Dress to Impress
A showroom provides an attractive, professional space in which to display both the look and feel of printable items, as well as your full range of graphic styles, decorating methods, specialty inks and unique applications. It’s a great opportunity to showcase your shop’s capabilities and demonstrate how your services can benefit them.
Do You Need a Showroom?
The decision to create a showroom depends on each screen printer’s niche. Consider the types of customers you sell to, where you are located, and how much effort you can afford to put into running the showroom.
A shop looking to attract walk-in retail or commercial clients in a high-traffic location can greatly benefit from having an attractive, accessible showroom. In contrast, a large-volume contract printer in an industrial facility may not want to devote significant space to a showroom. That doesn’t mean a showroom might not be beneficial in the business-to-business market, however.
A positive professional image is important when attracting new contract screen print clients. Sending a prospective client a photo of your showroom could sway a buying decision in your favor. Just as you market your screen print shop with a distinctive name or creative web site, a screen print showroom also acts as an effective sales tool.
In the quest to convert customers, a showroom easily ranks in my top four selling tools:
1. Good website
2. Nice showroom
3. Excellent customer service and easy process
4. Beautiful product delivered on time
Know Your Limits
Screen printers in a retail location should carefully consider the logistics of having a showroom in a high-traffic shop. If your customer base tends to order complex designs but small volume, showroom discussions can take up a lot of time for little profit. Some walk-ins may not purchase anything at all. A smaller shop may not have the time to devote to this type of a showroom.
To protect your shop’s productivity, always set firm limits ahead of time on the number of options offered. To reduce the drain on manpower in a small shop, consider opening the showroom only during specific hours. That enables you to devote the rest of your time to profit-producing activities rather than “potential” orders.
By thinking creatively about the type of customers who will be visiting your screen print shop, you can design a showroom that impresses customers and promotes sales. Here are some guidelines:
• Regularly change out items displayed in a showroom window, adjusting for holidays, sports or special events.
• Showcase best sellers, as well as unique alternatives that set your screen print operation apart from the competition.
• Keep showroom walls bright or neutral as a backdrop to your designs.
• Dress up plain concrete floors with paint.
• Display screen printed samples hanging on racks or on mannequins.
• Switch out and wash samples regularly to avoid fading and remove dust or fuzz from garments. (This also demonstrates washability.)
• Show the range of blank printable items (all available colors, sizes, styles, fabrics) on racks or neatly folded in cubbies or on shelves.
• In high-traffic showrooms where customers may need to wait their turn, install comfortable couches and entertainment options (TV, PlayStation, DVD player, etc.)
• Maintain a clean, neat area that represents a positive image.
Essentially, a screen print shop showroom is all about catering to the customer. Your goal is to bring customers into the shop, then make it as easy as possible for them to place orders that boost your profits.
Thanks for reading!