Apparel Graphic Academy

Growing your business

What does it take to grow a business

It takes many things to succeed at owning your own business. You have to know finance, sales, production, marketing and the latest technologies. You can be good at everything but the most important is “the people thing.”

Limited number of things you do right

In certain business you need do only a limited number of things right and you can be successful. Anybody with enough money can buy equipment, advertise and set up a office. But in the apparel graphics industry you must master sales, marketing and customer service. You also need people to close sales, process orders, create art, separate or digitize it, make screens , run jobs and prepare the goods for final delivery.

Your role changes as you hire your first employee. Becoming a “employer” thrusts us into a situation for which we have little training beyond what we learned at our last job. Whatever you have been taught in college fall way short of what skills you need.

Some of us are good at being a boss, working with people comes naturally. Others leave much to be desired. And still others would rather stay out of their employees’ way and hire someone to handle this task.

Employee turnover

A good way to judge an owner is the amount of employee turnover. This applies to managers, top salespeople and higher paid employees.

Companies in our industry that experience high turnover are expected to show low profitability and substandard quality in their products. The root causes of these maladies are generally associated with poor customer service, poor production, and poor quality.

Employee moral

The only time you hear about moral is when it’s bad. This stems from management’s inability to recognize the importance of good human relations.

Few companies regard employees as capital assets. Capital assets require maintenance. This means training, company meetings sending to trade shows. This is never realized until a key employee turns in his or her resignation. Maybe that employee will head for a competitor and even worse become one.

Selling your business

If you ever wanted to sell your business the first thing a potential buyer would look at is employee longevity. They want to be sure that the employees are happy and willing to stay on.

To summarize this article it’s time to address the issues. It’s time to consider taking care of all your employees and not just the key ones. It is important to:

  • Offer advancement
  • Evaluate employee performance
  • Define expectations (a company manual)
  • Company meetings
  • Educational training
  • Performance reviews for raised and performance
  • Develop a employee manual
  • Develop a mission statement