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Right now, we're rollin'. I know what's coming.

What if anything do you do to generate revenue in dec,Jan,and Feb?
Historically, these have been my slowest months. We've always pulled through, last year was by the skin of my teeth! I went as far as calling one of my old employers to get a job 3rd shift! Didn't fall through, but still.

This year I have a loan payment, car payment, insurance, and an equipment payment to boot. I need money in Jan and February.

Just got a 24" vinyl cutter, so maybe I'll try and do some small signs and more custom t-shirts. I'm just looking for some input and ideas.. this one might be a tight fit!
 

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I hear ya, those are our slow months. We keep a minimum of 3 months expenses in savings at all times, this year will be tighter for us also because my partner is going full time with the business soon. SO...payroll too but, like you it's never beyond us to pick up seasonal work at the department store or what ever! I'm looking forward to reading responses from folks who have done this longer...we need tips too. We just entered into our 3rd year in business..
 

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man, try living in new england, who want's a t-shirt when it's 20 below?

Find a good price on sweatshirt blanks, and learn to print non-textiles. And you really got to push the nation-wide advertising.
 

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Our marketing plan is set up in two marketing waves, the first one in the early spring, we visit local business bringing with us a filled out rolodex card, business cards, a postcard pricelist, and a pen. We do the same in the early fall (we are in Maine), this time with a lttle diffrent material, reminding people about hoodies, long sleeves, embroidered jackets and hats, ect. and throughout the year we send website update e-mails, and followup e-mails to keep fresh on peoples minds.

Another thing we are trying this fall is releasing a new "clothing line" aimed at a certain genre (t-s, hoodies, baseball caps, beanies...) this will be web based, with online ordering. we have "pre-marketed" this line to gauge interest.

Our hope is that this line will help supplement the decline in t-shirt sales we will experence this winter season... I'll let you know how it turns out:)
 

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this thread has reminded me that I need to get a move-on on some of the things I want to implement next month!!

Well, we opened our brick and mortar location last june, and the Dec-Mar time period scared me stupid!! I didnt know what to expect....and with all the stuff that needed to get paid every month left me a bit stressed. Here is what we did....

We hosted an open house at the begining of December. The turnout was great, and the fall out helped pay the bills.

We also started the blog, get onto facebook, and did alot of networking in December, January and February which are very busy months for this!!!!!! Getting out there, and getting known helped get the bills paid. Why? Because folks had someone they knew to come to for their signage and apparel needs.

Now, we arent screen printers we do dtg and cut vinyl heat pressing. But now that you have a cutter, you will be able to offer one offs, you can do photo t-shirts with transfers as well. These make great christmas gifts. Dont forget fall rush and spring rush for the fraternities.....especially if you can do these at the last minute. We got quite a few coming in on tuesday, needing shirts by friday. If you can get it done, they will remember and be back for the spring (hopefully with more notice).

For signage since you have a cutter, you can push the sidewalk signage, banners, window/vehicle lettering, even vehicle magnets. There is quite a bit you can offer....you just need to get out there and let others know what you can do.

Dont stress it (K, so I need to not stress it too) but I am a firm believer in networking and getting yourself seen. Start now, and come the "slow" season you will have shifted gears and you will be busy enough to get all the bills paid and hopefully enough to buy dinner a night or 2 too :)

We even banned ourselves from calling the December to March season the "slow season". We did alright, sometimes by the skin of our teeth, but we made it. Im sure this "off season" will be fine. :)
 

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Right now, we're rollin'. I know what's coming.

What if anything do you do to generate revenue in dec,Jan,and Feb?
Historically, these have been my slowest months. We've always pulled through, last year was by the skin of my teeth! I went as far as calling one of my old employers to get a job 3rd shift! Didn't fall through, but still.

This year I have a loan payment, car payment, insurance, and an equipment payment to boot. I need money in Jan and February.

Just got a 24" vinyl cutter, so maybe I'll try and do some small signs and more custom t-shirts. I'm just looking for some input and ideas.. this one might be a tight fit!
Hoodies, sweat shirts, sweat pants, Long sleeve tees... schools, clubs.. you should be doing great bsuness. I did a mess of hoodies last fall.
 

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Maybe the momentum will carry us through Jan and Feb. We usually sell fashion clothing during December, that has always pulled us through. I'm seriously looking at a Roland Versacamm.Gotta raise some more capital.
We lose a lot of sign business because of not having an ecosolvent printer. If we can get one.... GAME OVER!
 

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On the opposite end of this, is anyone else ridiculously busy lately?

I'm complaining mind you, but I spend an entire day just burning screens, then the rest of the week printing non-stop.

Not bad for a shop with a 4/1 press and no conveyor dryer. Not to toot my own horn, but who better knows the the tune?
 

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Congrats Robin on your 1000. Yeah, I guess, but I turn jobs in 1-3 days. Never more than 5 days. I'm extremely fast and efficient- well not this week but......
It's just a major pain for me to sub out anything other than bus cards and flyers. Even then most of the people that come in my shop can't wait 5 days for a product. I wont do any flyers or cards less than 5000pcs.
Just the nature of my beast, can't seem to tame it.
Like I said, this season has been my busiest to date... by far. We're averaging 8000 impressions per month for the last four plus months. Got the counter up past 30k on the auto since we got it. I dont want to have a coronary in January, so I'm trying to figure something out now.
 

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On the opposite end of this, is anyone else ridiculously busy lately?

I'm complaining mind you, but I spend an entire day just burning screens, then the rest of the week printing non-stop.

Not bad for a shop with a 4/1 press and no conveyor dryer. Not to toot my own horn, but who better knows the the tune?
What may be busy to you, may not be to others. Perhaps you are spending all day burning screens without proper equipment? We are able to burn a screen in about 1min or less. The reason it takes you long to print non stop is bc you are using a 4/1 press without a conveyor dryer... Something that takes you about 5 hours, can take another shop 30 minutes. Just keep that in mind. :)
 

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Congrats Robin on your 1000. Yeah, I guess, but I turn jobs in 1-3 days. Never more than 5 days. I'm extremely fast and efficient- well not this week but......
It's just a major pain for me to sub out anything other than bus cards and flyers. Even then most of the people that come in my shop can't wait 5 days for a product. I wont do any flyers or cards less than 5000pcs.
Just the nature of my beast, can't seem to tame it.
Like I said, this season has been my busiest to date... by far. We're averaging 8000 impressions per month for the last four plus months. Got the counter up past 30k on the auto since we got it. I dont want to have a coronary in January, so I'm trying to figure something out now.
Thanks :)

I understand what you are saying, but my argument is that you are still turning customers away for a product you will be wanting to give them in the future.

I think who you use to sub the work out to should be a big issue. You need someone who has a good turn around time etc. The guy we work with can get banners to us the same day if we need it. He runs his own busy shop....but he has been awesome to work with!

Just something to think about....dont think that there arent folks out there that cant get you what you want when you want it. Sometimes its just a matter of finding them. I guess we have been lucky this way.

:p Im done arguing now :D
 
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