Starting a business is always a daunting task, and uniform companies are no exception. The uniform industry is highly competitive, and only entrepreneurs who know what they’re doing can expect to survive and profit. Thus in order to build a successful uniform marketing and distribution firm, you must have a clear plan that includes:
1. Identifying the Market
Uniforms vary wildly between industries, both in their appearance and in the function they serve. Retail clients, for example, primarily need uniforms to distinguish their employees from shoppers. On the other hand, construction and manufacturing gear improves employees’ safety, while hospitals and clinics use uniforms to prevents the spread of germs. You should have a clear sense of which industry you will sell to and what specific needs you will be addressing before you go into business.
2. Finding Promising Prospects
Once you know what market you’ll be selling to, the next step is to identify the specific sales prospects for that market. This often means finding potential clients that have problems your gear could resolve. If you’re selling gear for the medical industry, for example, look for clinics and hospitals that have had trouble with sanitation. By purchasing and promoting gear that addresses these particular issues, you can gain and keep clients from the very beginning.
3. Establishing a Brand
When you know how you’ll win your first customers, come up with a recognizable brand. This means choosing a name for your company that people will remember and that relates directly to your activities. It also entails creating a website for your target market, which must contain clear, organized descriptions of your services.
4. Selecting a Supplier
With a website in place, you’re ready to find a supplier for your uniforms. Ideally, you should look for a single supplier that offers all the uniforms you need. This will allow you to negotiate lower prices by buying in bulk, and it will simplify the ordering process. You should also make sure that the supplier offers convenient online ordering and can consistently deliver to your clients.
5. Pursuing Your Prospects
Once you have a supplier, brand, and website ready to go, you can start contacting your prospects and making sales. Learn as much as you can about each potential client before you get in touch with them; then craft your sales pitch to address their needs, concerns, and opportunities as specifically as possible. This shows that you truly understand and care about them, making them more likely to trust you.
6. Organizing Your Orders
While early orders are easy to keep track of, as your client base grows, so will the complexity of your operations. You should thus organize your clients and their orders as carefully as possible. Consider adopting online ordering and a drop ship distribution program, which will let you process orders with minimal effort.
For more information on founding and running a successful uniform business, give SmartBuy|TK a call today.
The article is part of the Start A Uniform Business Series.