Here is the reasons why we see this episode caught your attention.
1. You are a new business working on a shoestring budget
2. You are an existing business dealing with an economic downturn / recovery and uncertainty.
3. You are doing well, but realize you might be missing out on some ways to grow your business, or ways to reduce budgets.
The good news is that ALL 5 of these things work for everyone listening. Let’s get right into it, there are ways you can really use your creativity and your time to get more business.
This is a place where business owners and business people socialize. You will find that not everyone you know is on here, but there are a lot of prospects for your business here. You can join groups or directly connect with people. Your connections with people can turn into connections with other people. There are a lot of articles and videos on how to use linked in for business. You can do a lot of it for FREE.
Here’s a link to our mini-cast on creating a good LinkedIn Profile: https://customapparelstartups.com/minicast2/
You can upgrade to a monthly membership for about $50-100 a month. It unlocks more features. Test it out and use it as long as you want for free, if you find it worth it… get the paid version. Really you only need to get 1 extra client every so often to pay for it.
Well, this is kind of funny because we don’t literally mean looking at everyone’s profile and entire history to seek out clients,….. but kind of. So here is an example.
I did a Mini podcast on this with a video lesson Marketing so if you’re going to pursue this one watch/listen to this first: https://customapparelstartups.com/minicast3/
Let’s say you are a member of a FB group. In this group, you run into a business owner who mentions something like, “My Noodle Bar has really been taking off this summer.” This could be an opportunity. You can look at this person’s profile, look at the name of their business and look their business up on Facebook. Do they have custom apparel? How long have they been in business? Are they hiring? Do they sell any ‘noodle’ swag?
Once you answer some of these questions you can make your move. Maybe shoot them a DM (if group wouldn’t kick you out for that) – “Hey I noticed you have a noodle shop and you said it’s doing well. I looked at your FB page and your food looks YUMMMM. (ok… I’m hungry now) One thing I noticed was your team didn’t have matching shirts or hats. I own a local custom apparel shop and would love to chat with you about stepping up the look of your team. I can do shirts, hats, aprons and even masks”
Join local groups, forums, etc.
There are going to be a lot of local groups you can join online. Facebook, Linked in, NextDoor, small forums, meet-up and other social platforms.
Get on these places and BE ACTIVE. Whatever it might be. Answer surveys, post pics, respond to posts. It doesn’t have to be a big deal every time. Sometimes just cheering people on or congratulations. If you can provide advice, do so. Stay away from controversial topics and just meet people.
Be sure to drop hints about what you do, and when it’s appropriate… solicit business. You will find people will recommend and tag you in posts. You will find that a lot of business is there just waiting for someone to participate. Realtors and insurance people do this all the time and your business is about 100x less common than theirs. You can do it.
Email collecting / sending
As you are doing the above you should be growing your email list. Get an email from anyone who will give it to you. also while you are looking around, if you notice a published email on a website or profile… collect it.
Episode 31 – Make More Money Next Month – Using Email for Profit is a great place to learn more about this: https://customapparelstartups.com/episode-31/
You can then shoot some cold emails, reminder emails, etc to people. You will find that most everyone will either be receptive to the emails, or ignore them (cause they were busy that day, or didn’t need your service at that time) You won’t find too many people who will be offended or bothered, people have come to accept that emails come with a degree of solicitation.
You will 100% get business from emailing people. As if they have needs, show them, new things you have, ask if they want to chat custom apparel, ask if they plan to get custom apparel for upcoming season changes or events (e.g. halloween or back to school)
Pick up the Phone
This is free. This will get business. This is a VERY active way of selling. It will take some chutzpah. You dial all the local restaurants during a slower time of day and have a quick pitch.
I liked our podcast on this topic, Episode 120 – Injecting Life into a Stagnant Business https://customapparelstartups.com/episode-120/
“hello i am XXX with your local custom t-shirt shop. I was hoping to chat with the manager about his custom apparel.”
” Hi Manager. I know a lot of local restaurants are dealing with a high turn of new employees. I am a local business just like you and I was wondering if you had any need for custom t-shirts, hats, etc for your staff. “
There are tons of books, videos and philosophies for phone selling. I say just study it, learn some pitches and pick up the phone. After a morning of dialing you WILL get an order.