Choose where your area of expertise lies
HTV businesses have more success when they focus on one or two specific areas of sales. Whether you’re simply personalizing an item or creating your own unique design, there are many places to utilize HTV’s customizing abilities. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
– School activities
– Sports: football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, volleyball, tennis, wrestling, etc.
– Dance and Cheer
– Service Men
– And so much more!
Decide what kind of items you will offer to sell
When choosing blank items to heat apply, consider the fabric content. Not all fabrics can withstand high heat and some fabrics need special HTV’s. Additionally, make sure there is an area large enough and flat enough for heat application on the item. This will help you avoid all sorts of improper pressure issues. Furthermore, where will you be getting these blanks? Maybe you make those too. Otherwise, there are many online wholesale suppliers. Perhaps all this brainstorming has brought your first project to mind. If so, decide what type of heat transfer vinyl and what colors you’ll need. Here’s a few blank item ideas:
– Tote bags
– Hats and caps
– Bags- duffel, drawstring, tote
Make a winning design
While the quality of your materials are very important for your business, creating items with designs that people from your niche love and will actually wear is crucial. If you’re creative and at least slightly tech savvy you can create original designs. Large format and desktop cutters come with different design software packages so you can manipulate images into cut files. Typically, the simpler the machine the easier the software is to use. Plus desktop cutters usually provide some free graphics as well as offer hundreds of designs for purchase or on subscription programs. If designing your own artwork doesn’t interest you, you can hire someone to create for you. In our digital age there are many graphic designers for hire!
Choose the right tools for the job
Siser HTV can be applied with a home iron, however if you’re planning on starting a business we highly recommend investing in a heat press. It’s going to save you a ton of time. Plus it’s easier to dial in your time, temperature, and pressure for the best application. Additional necessary tools include: Siser Weeder or exacto knife, heat transfer cover sheet or parchment paper, heat transfer pillows or mouse pads, and extra blades. Oh, and if you don’t have a computer you’re definitely going to need one to run the software and operate your cutter. Choosing your cutter is going to depend on how big your business is and what your personal preferences are. For desktop cutters we use: the Silhouette Cameo, Cricut Explore Air, Brother ScanNCut, or GCC iCraft. For large format cutters we use: Roland printers.
Time to Get to Work
So you’ve come up with an awesome design and purchased all your equipment. This is where the actual production process starts and you can begin to make your product. But wait, is this a one man show? Consider who will help you create the awesome products you’ve dreamt up. Who’s going to run the cutter? Who will weed and heat apply the HTV? Will you be hiring (and paying!) a group of staff? Or do you have family members who have volunteered to help? Many hands make light work. Keep the size of your orders in mind if you’re riding solo.
Adding it all up
Running a business requires you to keep track of all the numbers associated with it. If accounting isn’t your strong suit, then lucky for you, accountants are hirable. When your business is up and running you can track sales, but first you’ll need to calculate your start up costs. Add your cost of materials, equipment, and anything else necessary that you had to purchase special for your business. How many items will you need to sell before you’ve made up for those preliminary expenses? This will help you determine the selling cost of your product. When calculating product cost do not undervalue your time! Many small businesses owners set a rate per hour to ensure their time is valued.
Market Your Items
Pretty much anyone can sell online. As long as you have a computer and an internet connection there are several sites available for you to sell on. Probably the most well-known site for small business sales is Etsy. However, perhaps you have a storefront you can sell in or maybe another local business would be willing to host a few of your custom items. Whatever way you can put your product out there in front of customers is beneficial. Consider ways to advertise in your community, at events, and schools. Social media accounts are one of the best ways to market to a wider audience. An audience that will hopefully become customers!
Everyone loves a pretty package
Depending on how your customers purchased your product you may be delivering the item face to face or through the postal system. Either way you’ll need some sort of packaging materials. It could be a simple bag you hand them on the way out of the store or a pretty box delivered to their doorstep. Just remember to include shipping material costs in your budget and consider them when pricing your items.
So if you want to ditch the 9 to 5 and work from home, Siser Heat Transfer Vinyl Materials just might be the option you’re looking for!