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Ok, this might seem like a really stupid question, but I am doing research to see the amount of competition that I would have in my area. I live in a large city. I have looked in the yellow pages, but under printing, there really aren't any ads for T-shirt companies. What would the listing be under?

When I first thought of starting this business, I was going to sell custom designs online and do some festivals and onsites. In looking at the different methods and processes, I'm getting very excited and starting to think much bigger. So while I want to get a heat press and put custom transfers on shirts, I also love the DTG presses and would love to get into that. But to justify that kind of cost, I would have to do more than online selling. It would take a lot of sales; so I'm looking at who my competition would be in my area for businesses and organizational printing. I don't mind thinking big, I'm actually very good at thinking big, but I want to also research this thoroughly to make sure that I don't bite off more than I can chew. This will take a larger business loan that I had originally thought about.

So what catagory are other T-shirt businesses listed under in the yellow pages?
 

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Try looking under T-shirts, its just after swimming, in the yellow pages....

Thank you so much! I looked there, but didn't see it. After your post I looked again and it is such a small list that I overlooked it the first time. That in itself is encouraging! There are only 11 listings and this is the second biggest city in our state. Again, thanks for your help with such a newbie question. I'm determined to learn quickly and get rid of my newbie status!
 

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I know you asked about yellow pages listings, but here are some online research ideas:

You might try simple searches using Google or other search engines, using variations of your business type, plus city name (i.e. T-shirt printing CityName).

Secondly, you might try the online yellow pages. The Google maps find business feature helps show where they are located.

Google Maps, and then select "Find Businesses." Then enter your business category (i.e. T-shirt printing) and your city name.

Another:
Yellow Pages Business Directory - MapQuest Yellow Pages


Third, you might see if there is a chamber of commerce for your city with an online website. For example, Denver has one, and there is an online business directory and I can search by category (and it is free to use).

Good luck!
 

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Hi Jinx. You need to do far more research than just establishing how many are out there. You need to know what they specialise in, what their minimum quantities are, print methods used, plus of course their pricing structure.

Exploit their weaknesses. see what they don't offer.
 

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type screen printing and your zip code into google earth. You should see quite a few pop up.

Good luck,
Cam
Rj Dollen
 

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Hi Jinx. You need to do far more research than just establishing how many are out there. You need to know what they specialise in, what their minimum quantities are, print methods used, plus of course their pricing structure.

Exploit their weaknesses. see what they don't offer.
Thanks Will! I did realize that I needed to do more in my research than just see how many were there. But you have given me some great input. Thanks again!
 

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Ok, this might seem like a really stupid question, but I am doing research to see the amount of competition that I would have in my area. I live in a large city. I have looked in the yellow pages, but under printing, there really aren't any ads for T-shirt companies.

What would the listing be under?
i agree, place it under T-Shirts.


if the yellow pages is something that you have researched as a good advertising venue, go with it.

An ad with a t-shirt graphic abot 2"x2" that reads custom shirts (or something like it) works well in paper ads.

I would spend time and money on creating a unique concept/image for the public. Also, your business location is extremely important.


As for extending your startup budget, i think the lowest overhead at startup is best. Then you can feel out what works best and grow as you need.


...researching the competition in relation to the vast amount of other research work that needs to be done for startup is only a small element. A more important thingee is researching the actual market in general. I have found.


good luck. :)



:
 

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OMG! That is where they all are! OK, now I'm really nervous! There are TONS of companies. I hope it is
possible to compete in this market.
It could be a little overwhelm knowing how many Screen Printing companies could be out there but you have to be smart and know their weaknesses so you could exploit them like "DREAMGLASS" said.

There is a big market for everybody, find out which one is yours. Good luck!!!
 

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....you have to be smart and know their weaknesses so you could exploit them !!

hummm, for some reason that *exploit" term does not agree with me.

do you know of any articles about such companies that have used the *exploit* technique, have made a name and fortune for themselfs and are STILL around? ...just curious.


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Learn about their mistakes and their weaknesses and take advantage of that. This is called "Business".
Yes, that may be true with some business folks and it does happen a lot, but some may not be as agressive in business and they manage. You know, eat,drink and sleep "what is the competiton doing type deal". :)

Heck, I imagine the more popular ONE becomes the more explOIted ONE become also.

So, get used to it as my friend once told me.

<short-story: "rel=follow>

Actually, this dear friend at one time was spending a lot of money on full page ads in a national newspaper. Only to have his competitor next door, rip out the ad page and post it in their own shop window with my friends prices slashed by 10% at least. .....serious. :rolleyes: :)


anyway, im just a softy and no longer a Liona Helmsley type :). I love my competitors. :D they have tough me a lot. Thank you.




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OMG! That is where they all are! OK, now I'm really nervous! There are TONS of companies. I hope it is possible to compete in this market.
It's always possible to compete. You just have to find your niche. As in, find a specific area of the industry that you can compete well in.

Every business has strengths. Just find something that you can do best and emphasize that in your business plan and in your marketing. Since it sounds like you are doing heat press, you might emphasize that you can do lower minimums than a company that offers screen printing. Make sure you research your chosen printing method thoroughly before you commit to anything like that, though. :)

Also, if you are selling at festivals and stuff, be sure to check the festival websites for a list of exhibitors. You should be able to find out who your competitors are at the events. Then you should go check them out at the event to see what they are doing.
 

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Its an ever changing world for t-shirt marketing. I have worked for 2 prominent T-shirt companies and both of them understood that the internet was important but they could never figure out how to use it. Its not just about having your own website, or custom shirt engine or store to sell shirts.. you can use the internet to learn a lot of about your customers and competitors. For instants.. spoke.com will give you the corporate structure and name of the person who you need to track down in most cases. You can also look them up on Spyfu.com to see how the advertise online, how much money they are spending on it, how well the keywords are working and who some of there competitors are, other than you. Its all out there somewhere for you to find, digest and then appy as needed. Its just not easy to find at all times.

Great thread guys. Good input!

Cam
Rj Dollen
 

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hummm, for some reason that *exploit" term does not agree with me.

do you know of any articles about such companies that have used the *exploit* technique, have made a name and fortune for themselfs and are STILL around? ...just curious.
:
Perhaps the way that printer manufacturers exploit users with cartridge prices that are way over the odds, or maybe the way that many employers exploit their workers. They are all still thriving.

Business isn't about being nice to people that are in competition with you, it is about offering something better than the other people in the commercial arena.

Every major corporation has a competitor file and have analysts trying to exploit weaknesses in the other guys products. That's the information they use to develop new products and stay ahead of the game.
 

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If the phrase "exploit their weaknesses" is bugging you, think in terms of "gaps."

Maybe you survey your competition, and none of them specialize in organic products (organic shirts, organic inks, etc.). Perhaps there is some demand for this. Or none of them provide services to the local schools, such as t-shirts for the fan clubs. Or maybe you can do specialized printing that the others don't offer.

These kinds of "gaps," if you find any, are potential business opportunities where you can meet customer needs that your current competition currently doesn't address.

Good luck!
 

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It's always possible to compete. You just have to find your niche. As in, find a specific area of the industry that you can compete well in.

Every business has strengths. Just find something that you can do best and emphasize that in your business plan and in your marketing. Since it sounds like you are doing heat press, you might emphasize that you can do lower minimums than a company that offers screen printing. Make sure you research your chosen printing method thoroughly before you commit to anything like that, though. :)

Also, if you are selling at festivals and stuff, be sure to check the festival websites for a list of exhibitors. You should be able to find out who your competitors are at the events. Then you should go check them out at the event to see what they are doing.
After doing my research on the different methods, I have decided that I want to do heat press and DTG. I have no interest at all in screen printing. I hope that doesn't sound weird, but it looks so labor intensive. I have minor arthritis in my hands and back and I can imagine that it will get worse as the years go by. To me, screen printing compared to DTG is "almost" comparable to developing your own pictures in a dark room compared to using a digital camera. I'm not talking quality here, but I'm talking in terms of enjoyment of what you are doing. My dad developed his own film and he; like lots of people really enjoyed it. But I would much rather use a digitial camera or
have others develop my film for me. :)

I really lucked out a couple of days ago. I called a friend that ran her own business for awhile. She gave me the contact information for a group of business owners in my city that help women get started in business. I am starting their program this coming Tuesday. The first part is an orientation, but then I start classes. At the end of the classes, I will have a lot more business knowledge and will have a business plan that I can take to any financial institution for a loan. I will also have a large network circle in my area. I'm also going this week to an orientation about going back to school for a degree. Now I just need to decide if I want to go for business or graphic design. I'm really excited about that. As much as I want to "get going" on this business, I also want to do it right because I plan on making this work and making it a career. Not just a hobby. :)
 

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I have no interest at all in screen printing. I hope that doesn't sound weird, but it looks so labor intensive.
I was going to say it's really not that bad, but...

I have minor arthritis in my hands and back and I can imagine that it will get worse as the years go by.
It involves bending over a platen and a repetitive wrist action to pull a squeegee for every print. I can definitely see that being exacerbated.

I'm also going this week to an orientation about going back to school for a degree. Now I just need to decide if I want to go for business or graphic design.
Look into what business subjects are offered within the graphic design course. Around here at least most graphic design courses seem to have a small business component to them anyway. Obviously it's not as comprehensive as doing an actual business course, but it might be sufficient. Which the graphic design component of a business course definitely won't be :)
 
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