The Dos and Don’ts of Investing In Branded Merchandise For Your Business

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When you run a small or medium sized business, you’ll do anything to spread the word about your company. As we all know, competing with bigger businesses in terms of visibility is basically impossible; Amazon, Nike, McDonalds, Starbucks – these huge corporates are everywhere. 

One strategy many people turn to to promote their company is branded clothing and other merchandise. Not only does branded clothing help to make money from your brand – that is, if you can flog it – but it will also help the overall branding and message of your company sink into people’s minds. There are, however, common mistakes that small business owners make that can be both expensive and detrimental to the brand overall.

In this article, you’ll discover some of the dos and don’ts of investing in branded merchandise. Let’s get started!

The Dos of Investing in Branded Merchandise

Here are some of the things you SHOULD do if you are having branded merchandise made for your business.

1. DO find a merchandising company that produces high quality products.

If you want to sell merchandise that goes with your brand, do it right. Your customers will expect your merchandise to be of the same standard of work you deliver from your own company – so if the merchandise is poor quality, they will associate this with your brand. Find a merchandising company that makes things that last, so when someone buys a branded shirt or mug from you, they can count on quality. 

2. DO organize a small merchandise release before investing huge amounts of money.

The thing about merchandise is that you never truly know how well it will sell. Your customers might absolutely love it, or they might be less interested than you expect! That’s why you should always do a small release before you drop a full line of merchandise. That way you can test the waters, and gauge interest before you invest further

The Don’ts of Investing in Branded Merchandise
1. DON’T tell other business owners what you’re doing.

Unfortunately, the business world is every man for himself. Although collaborations are more popular now than ever before, you should keep your cards close to your chest. That way you won’t wind up giving away the game or even potentially subjecting yourself to theft of intellectual property. Until the plans are finalised and all legal documents are signed, don’t tell other business owners what you’re up to.

2. DON’T use companies with unethical practices.

Your merchandise will be an extension of the values you hold dear as a company. If you use a merchandising company that creates their products using unfair labour conditions or pay, your customers can use this as a reason not to shop with you in the future. Make sure the merchandising business you use is legitimate.

Final Thoughts

Selling branded merchandise is a great idea to spread the word about who you are as a business. Make sure you follow these tips so you get it right first time around, and avoid making expensive mistakes.

 

Create A Sense Of Organization Among The Small Business Chaos

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A sense of organization is something that every single business needs to feel, but how easy would you say that that is to do? Especially as a small business, it’s so easy to feel a sense of panic and despair, rather than feeling as though you’re actually comfortable with what you’re doing. Especially if you’re a new startup, organization most definitely isn’t going to be your strong suit, but we know there are a few things that you can do to pull it all together. Because although it might not feel as important to you to focus on organization whilst you are just a small business, it won’t be long until the lack of organization will catch up with you as your business grows. Plus, there’s nothing worse than feeling like the small business that you have, is all over the place in terms of organization. So, keep on reading, and we’ll show you the organization that you need, and how you can go about creating it.

 

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Realise The Scale You’re Working With

So the first thing that you need to do, is realise the scale that you’re working with, and how quick your business is growing. We carry this label of a small business around with us for so long, but the scale you’re working with could be much more, especially in terms of data. Data is one of the biggest targets in business at the minute, with cyber thieves are always on the lookout to take anything that they could use in terms of data, even if that just be email addresses and passwords of customers that you might have stored, or indeed your own. So one of the best ways to keep your data safe, is to use managed servers so that your information is more safe and secure.

 

Make Integrating Far Easier

Being able to integrate better with your own business is so important, especially if you’re growing at a rapid rate, and are expanding and making connections with other businesses. Not only that, but if your team begins to expand, you really need to focus on making working easier. One way of doing so is looking at Dynamic Personalization, which allows you to better share documents with the relevant people, as well as better track who is using them. Document integration is one thing a lot of businesses fail with, but they all need nearly every single day.

 

Manage The Daily Chaos

Daily organization is the one that business owners probably struggle with the most, and it’s mainly due to the lack of daily planning. A simple plan to start the day gives you something to stick to, rather than just flicking from job to job. Plus, it helps to keep your mind calm and collected, and teaches you which way is the best way to manage the day. You might also benefit from taking regular breaks throughout the day to simply have a drink and something to eat, and to let your mind switch off for a few minutes. Doing that will surely help with the sense of organization. Something all business owners seem to forget to do! 

 

How to Survive the Quiet Months as a Self Employed

The earning potential of a freelancer or self employed is limitless, unlike being an employee. As a self employed person you determine how much you want to earn so long as you back it up with the work that will make that figure possible. In a 9 to 5 you’re only entitled to a fixed salary from month to month.

There are pros and cons for each career path, so it all depends on what matters to you. Working from home works for me and my family at the moment, and I don’t see that ever-changing. I enjoy my work and the flexibility it brings. Plus, I make more money every month than I did at my previous traditional 9 – 5 job.

 

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Although being self employed is great, there are times when you face those dreaded quiet months where the inflow of projects or gigs is slow. This can pose a challenge in your life. However, if you’re prepared for those quiet months you’ll be unperturbed when those months knock at your door. Here are some quiet months survival methods for when you are struggling with new ideas to bring in money.

 

Survival Tip #1: Plan ahead

As much as planning for success is important, you should also factor in moments when things may not work according to plan. That’s where most self-employed miss it. They don’t expect that anything can go wrong, but that’s nearly impossible in real life.

Have a list of all the things you want to achieve next month and how you will make them happen. Now on another list write all the mishaps that could probably happen and how you would get over the problem.

This little exercise will give you a realistic perspective of your monthly goals as well as a road map out of possible things that may go wrong. The idea is not to focus on the negatives but rather help you make necessary improvements to smash your goals.

 

Survival Tip #2: Contact previous clients

Clients are the livewire of your business. So, if you’re having quiet months then you have a problem. The good news is that you don’t have to go very far before you can get clients.

One of the ways to get clients to patronize you is to reach out to your previous clients. Ask them if they have any projects you can help them with. Give them offers that will make them come back.

If they aren’t ready to hire you for the month, don’t stop there. Ask them if they know anyone who would need your service or product. You’d never know how many gigs can come out from just asking. Reach out to various corporations and see what happens.

 

Survival Tip #3: 10X your outreach

During those dry spells, you have to put yourself out there constantly and consistently so that more people can know about you and the products and services you offer. The more people know about what you do, the higher the chances that someone will buy from or hire you.

There are so many ways you can put yourself and your business out there. You can join meet-ups or other networking events and connect with people. Guest posting to showcase your expertise and attract your target audience is another great idea. You can help your target audience with problems or questions they have as a way to let people know what you can do. Pitch to companies or small businesses you can offer your services to.

 

Survival Tip #4: Promote on Social Media

Never estimate the power of social media. With the help of social media, you can be based in the UK, but still reach people as far as Detroit or from China. Ensure you always promote your business on social media. Make use of the social media platforms that work best for your kind of business and get the word out there.

 

 

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These survival tips are tried and tested by me, and have worked beautifully for many years now.

How do you handle the quiet months in your business? Do you have any tried and tested tip to share with other self-employed persons? Please drop a comment in the comments box below.

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