Although there are general aspects to all business plans, you should definitely have some kind of an original strategy and it gets specific to your location, target markets, etc etc. The best thing to start with is a pricing analysis, to figure out your costs and potential profits. Once you clearly show you potential profits, your business plan will revolve around that. look more in the BUSINESS/FINANCE SECTION or here http://www.t-shirtforums.com/business-finance/t45626.html
You might also find some useful tips for your business plan from this excerpt from an article that Alex wrote on starting up a dtg business.
Maybe you're an up-and-coming entrepreneur. Maybe you have your own screen printing or embroidery business. Now you've decided that you want to start a direct to garment business. It's easier than you think. Check out this guide.
By Alex Oster
What do I need to start out? Hardware: First things first: you need a direct to garment printer. Next, you need a computer. You also need a heat press. These components are the basics of any direct to garment business. Software: Adobe Photoshop is more or less an essential tool in the graphic design world today. Not only will it allow you to create your own art, it will allow you to fix your customer's artwork as well. Don't worry, you don't need to spend a lot to get Photoshop CS 4, the latest and greatest version. Version CS 2 offers a great balance of value and features. Plus, it's much cheaper than CS 4 and compatible with Windows Vista. Knowledge: Now may be the time to invest in a how-to book about running your own business, or to take a course at a community college. If you know how to run a business already, the other piece of knowledge you need is how to work with graphics. Remember that old term, photo-ready art? That denotes artwork that's optimized to the proper size and quality and ready to print. It's the rare customer that will bring you photo-ready art, so it's up to you to prepare the customer's artwork for printing. Usually, you will need computer graphics knowledge to optimize or fix a customer's artwork. If you aren't proficient with Photoshop or another graphics program already, this might be the time to learn. But the easiest route might be hiring an experienced graphic designer, a local college student, or finding a freelance designer at a website like Elance.com to help set up your artwork. Once you have a finished and optimized piece of artwork, printing out a design on a direct to garment printer is easy.
Now what do I do? It's time to purchase your hardware. Take your time researching who to purchase your machine from and which machine to purchase. How long is the machine under warranty? How easy is it to get support? Remember, this is the company that you're going to be calling for support in the future and the machine that you'll be using day in and day out. How easy is it to use the RIP software that comes with the machine? That's the essential piece of software that translates between the computer and the printer. The easier the software and the printer are to use, the easier it will be to have employees do the printing in the future. Getting a machine with one or two timesaving features or a fast print speed can make a big difference over time. You'll be printing thousands of shirts with this machine, so make sure it's robust and reliable. Different direct to garment printers have different resolutions. Some can only print 600x600 dpi, providing less detail than other printers which can print up to 1440x1440 dpi. Some direct to garment printers can only print on white or light shirts. In some areas, dark shirts are preferred much more than light shirts, in which case you want to purchase a printer that has white ink to print on dark shirts. Once you've purchased your printer, you need to learn how to use and maintain it. If you don't know how to print, you won't be able to make a profit. That's why installation and training may be very valuable things to include with your purchase. It's essential that you get up and running quickly.
What can I print? You can print virtually anything you can see on the computer screen. That includes photographs, drawings, vector graphics, and bitmap graphics. Remember that you may need computer graphics knowledge to tweak the colors or quality of the graphic that you want to print.
What can I print on? Your most popular item will likely be t-shirts. 100% cotton shirts will work best, though with today's advanced ink formulations you can print on some polyester and 50/50 garments. I've found that Hanes Tagless shirts print very well. These can be found for a reasonable price, about $2 per shirt. More expensive shirts like American Apparel, geared for upscale markets, generally work well too. You will be able to see a major difference in print quality between a cheap shirt and a quality shirt. Don't forget that you can print on many other goods, like sweatshirts, towels, and even painter's canvas. Mouse pads will print well. You can even make a direct to garment print, then embroider on top of it.
Where can I buy shirts and other printables? Purchase shirts and other printables from a national distributor like Bodek and Rhodes or Alpha Shirt Supply. Not only will these distributors have better pricing and availability, their shirts will also be free of the chemicals you can find on some blank department store shirts. However, you will usually have to purchase at least a case at a time. A case contains 72 shirts.
What should I print on? Whatever you can print profitably. While you're in the business of printing great looking apparel, you're also in the business of making money. Unless you see an unprofitable job bringing you profitable business in the future, you may need to just say no.
How much should I sell my shirts and other products for? Putting a selling price on your products can be difficult. Look at what shirts sell for at other local retailers, including department stores. Generally, you'll want to charge between $12-$30 for light shirts, and $15-$40 for dark shirts. Depending on your geographic area or target demographic, you may charge more or less. Because you're direct to garment printing and not screen printing or heat pressing, you can charge more than average. That's because you're able to print shirts with sharp detail, with thousands of colors, and with personalized designs. That's something that other processes can't match. Charge more for personalizing designs and less for stock art. Charge more for larger designs, because they take more time and use more ink. Charge less for orders in quantity, but only if there is little or no personalization involved.
Do you have any more profit-making tips? Find a screen printer that you can trust. You may be able to find someone local, or you can look online. Employ them as a contract printer. That means that, whenever a customer comes in with a job that isn't suitable for direct to garment printing, you can contract out that job to the screen printer. You won't make nearly as much profit, but you'll keep the customer and keep the customer satisfied. If you're really lucky, the screen printer will employ you as a contract printer for sampling or for its small jobs. You'll also want to purchase a set of heat pressable numbers and letters. Sometimes, all a school or sports team wants is some simple numbers on t-shirts or team jerseys. It's simpler to heat press these than to print them with a direct to garment printer. When you deliver these simple shirts, include a sample of what you can do with your direct to garment printer. For example, print a picture on a shirt and tell the coach that you can print the team's photo on t-shirts or even print individual pictures of the players on shirts for their parents to wear. This could turn into a nice marketing opportunity and, since the team changes every year, a chance for regular business.
I am in serious need for some feedback and advice for how to price my product. I'm very keen to hear any thoughts (no matter how obvious) on (i) what do you think my price/shipping strategy should be across channels, and (ii) how to investigate further issues. Very keen to break this analysis paralysis stage I am in! Thanks in advance for any thoughts
This is an ultra-competitive space and I am a mom & pop newcomer. I need ways to stick out, with our brand proposition being quality.
I believe customers selling Product X fail in 2 respects. The main/ primary reason is the product should be refrigerated/shipped with cold packs. The second reason is the ingredients could be of higher quality.
Product X retails most commonly for $25. The vast majority of the space is at $15-25, and some branded products are $28-35, and the very rare brand at $50. The highest volume items are $18-25. I don’t perceive any differentiation in product between the $15-$50 product aside from brand/reputation.
I think the higher quality message is worth $3/unit. Refrigeration/shipping with an ice pack is the bigger differentiator, however, and would drive more volume than the +$3/unit from higher quality. Maybe refrigeration can drive +$3-5/unit, but I know it can drive volume. So in aggregate I think I can charge +$3-8/unit. So if average Product X is $25, I can get +$28-33/per bottle. write a business plan
My Problem: Refrigeration/Ice Pack = Expensive
Refrigeration + Ice Pack = +$13.50 in cost vs. using Amazon FBA
Adding an ice pack/thermal bag/logistics cost adds ~$3 in material cost.
Further, you will need to do FBM not FBA (FBA doesn't have refrigerated warehouses/ice pack shipping) -- so you need to pay the Amazon marketplace fee and pay the entirety of shipping out of your pocket. You want to send priority mail at $10.50 (+$7 vs. USPS first class) at your own cost.
So I Have 4 Possible Sales Strategies (I Think)
Sell on Amazon FBA/Walmart etc. at $28 (no refrigeration, no ice pack)
Sell on Amazon FBM/Walmart etc. at $41 (refrigerated product with priority mail ice pack).
Offer two different ASIN/SKU on each channel (let the customer decide)
Sell the $28 unrefrigerated version on all channels, and the refrigerated version on my website.
Why I Struggle
Reasons against charging $41:
I am not sure what the volume impact is from charging $41. Maybe this is what I need to cement my place on crowded marketplaces. But maybe this is just pricing myself out of business.
My charging $41 doesn't increase my margin dollars, it is a straight pass through of my incremental cost. I don't think consumers understand the incremental cost to do this and how my margin % will shrink.
If the vast majority of products are not refrigerated -- am I needlessly pricing myself out of the market?
Reasons for charging $41
My brand/product will very differentiated, and could drive volume
It keeps with my brand proposition of quality & high integrity. That is my brand!
Reasons for mixed offering
Customers can decide if the science warrants +$13 cost
Reasons against mixed offering
It sends a mixed message: why should consumers pay +$13/50% for the same product, if a vendor they trust feels comfortable offering the same product at a cheaper price without refrigeration? How can I advertise 'refrigerated is better' and yet offer an unrefrigerated version?
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