From writing your business plan to defining your product, getting backing and more; last month we revealed 5 key steps to help you set up your digital print shop. Now it’s time to show the textile and garment world that you’re in town by actually taking your business online!
Introducing part 2: “Getting Going.”
Step 6. Create your website
Treat your website as a “shop window,” this is the place customers come to see what you have to offer. Whether you opt to do-it-yourself or hire a web developer, remember to keep your website clean and simple. People will buy from you if they trust the site and can readily find what they want. Make it fast and secure to place orders (customer should be assured their details will be kept safe!) – this is your main objective after all.
Hint: The key to a good website is making the user experience a great one. Aim that someone visiting your site will enjoy every part of it (the design, the content, the offers!), buy your product, and tell others about it too.
Step 7. Launch your business
It’s the easiest trick in the book, yet it’s the most common error an online business can make: waiting too long to launch. Take a leap of faith from the outset! Holding off your launch doesn’t change the outcome. Face your fear, begin the journey and reach your business goals. Also, think about offering an opening promotion, this is a handy trick to help getting you one step closer to achieving sustainable revenue.
Hint: There’s no time like the present!Why not give your customers some added shopping incentives? A no-minimum order policy is always a crowd pleaser, or how about an option for free shipping? Give them little reason to look elsewhere.
Step 8. Get social, digitally!
Ok, so you have your business and you have your website. You’re thinking, “I’m done right?” Many people assume that once their business is online the customers will start rolling in. Wrong! You need to be heard now. Start “e-shouting” about it. Aside from your amazing products, the internet is your marketing power tool. Look to Google Adwords, blogs, and social media to get your marketing campaign rolling (and your customers rolling in.) And, remember that websites should be mobile-friendly these days for better access.
Hint: It’s time to test your communication skills. Link your website to your social media platforms keeping your customers in the loop 24/7 and while they’re on the go. Your website will mean nothing if customers can’t find it.
Step 9. Think inKredible results and crazy colors
Your digital textile printing business will offer unmatchable color results. It’s time to think inkredible results! Make sure your inks match your fabric stock and know your color gamut! Be sure to set up a simple online color correction chart (from RGB to CMYK) if your customers are providing the prints.
Hint: Computer screens glamorize designs, they are designed to do so, but this can easily mislead customers wanting to achieve that vibrant, million pixel print they see at home. To avoid color complaints and reprints think about your customers’ needs in order to prevent any color confusion! Certain machines specialize in different things – e.g. Kornit Hexa has an extended color gamut meaning that you can print more colors and serve customers with high color demands, such as the sports industry.
Step 10. Listen to your customers
What do they have to say about your business? After launching your product you will start to get feedback from your customers; wanted or unwanted, listen to their comments and concerns. How else will you know what people want to buy or what they like or dislike about your business? Use their voice as a means for improving your product and service.
Hint: Do your utmost to build your business through it’s viable reputation (think old school, word-of-mouth) and if necessary call in a customer support army to help handle the discourse!
Remember, small online business can take over the world. People want customization now, and you can give it to them…answer their call. And remember, by fostering safe and responsible production runs you can add value to your business through the Triple Bottom Line, “Profit, People, Planet.” There are rules and regulations about the environment in the printing trade (textile especially). You can find a solution that meets market standards and ensures the production process is sustainable and provides quality assurance for your customers (see, GOTS, OEKO-Tex).