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Step 4. Develop your Product Line & Pricing

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When it comes to product decoration, the products that your business will offer are determined by the decoration process or processes that you perform.  The same goes for your pricing. There are other factors (including the business model, substrate quality, and necessary design work), but by far the most important factor in determining a product line is what you are capable of decorating.  Below is a breakdown of the basic product and decorating guidelines for each decoration process.

+Screen Printing presses typically print up to six-color designs, and can print on almost all garments.  Screenprint machines are extremely efficient, and therefore capable of printing vast quantities of garments inexpensively.


+Screen Print Transfers can also be pressed onto almost any garment.  Most screen print transfers will contain few colors and are relatively inexpensive, much like traditional screen printing.  The ability to print on-demand, which means you do not have to carry printed inventory that may or may not sell, is what sets screen print transfer printing apart.  


+Direct-To-Garment (DTG) printers can print full-color, photo-quality images, but only on cotton and certain cotton-blend garments.  DTG printers are best-served printing customized small runs or individual garments because they are not terribly fast, and the ink is much more expensive than screen printing ink.   


+Sublimation printers decorate photo gifts like mugs, plaques, and awards.  Sublimation printers can also print white, 100% polyester products in full color, but the other substrate is far more commonly used.  Photo gifts have a high perceived value because of their full color and ease of customization.  


+Embroidery also has a high perceived value due to the fact that the most commonly embroidered garments, including polos, hats, jackets, and bags are typically more expensive.  To be embroidered, products must be able to be properly prepared, in other words hooped. Also, products must have a consistent composition (not ribbed or stretchable) to sew properly. These necessities limit the available product line.


+Wide Format printers print high quality, full-color designs and photographs onto flat substrate like vinyl banners, stickers, wall clings, and canvas.  Again, due to the high level of customization and relatively low cost of production wide format prints have a high perceived value. 


The area in which your business model will have the largest impact on your offerings is in the pricing.  For most of the decoration processes you will be able to offer different levels of quality when it comes to your substrates.  If your goal is to market yourself as a retailer of premium products, then of course you will need to only purchase and sell higher quality substrate.  The opposite is true should you intend to market your decoration business a value or discount retailer. While pricing will change over time as markets fluctuate, your prices should be easily identifiable as either premium or value.  If you are offering custom decoration, then you should make sure that your prices are always readily available to your customers.  


This is another area where strong industry research will be beneficial.  If you have been thorough in your initial industry research, then you should have learned a lot about the major suppliers for your respective industry.  Suppliers will also have a major impact on your pricing. It is important to determine what suppliers are best for the different types and qualities of substrates that you will offer, as it is uncommon for one supplier to dominate a single industry.  Working with multiple suppliers is also a good way to keep costs down, as you have more options to find the best deal for you.


Your available product line and pricing should be a major part of your marketing efforts, and as such are critical to your business’s ability to succeed in your target market.  By defining the right product line and determining the right price points that fit your business model and market, you enable yourself to compete for prospective customers. In the end, product quality and price are two of the most important factors for customers when selecting a business to purchase from.  Having consistent and sensible pricing is a great way to get your foot in the door with your target audience.


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