The Benefits of Investing in Staff Uniforms in 2016

The popularity of staff uniforms can’t be denied. In recent years there has been a surge in companies opting for printed and embroidered workwear thanks to its many benefits. From professional caterers to employees in the manual labour sector, staff uniforms can be advantageous for everyone.

Here, we look at three important reasons why you should consider investing in staff uniforms in 2016.

1. It improves overall appearance

One of the most common reasons business owners choose to invest in workwear for their employees is because of how professional it looks. When it comes to your staff members, image really is important and this is especially the case in roles with face to face customer interaction. By giving your team a standardised uniform for work, rather than simple clothing guidelines, you minimise the risk of unkempt and unprofessional looking employees.

Whether it’s a customised polo shirt or personalised chef’s uniform, staff workwear really can make all the difference to your businesses image.

2. It can be a platform for positive exposure

Another benefit of investing in staff uniforms in 2016 is the positive exposure it can bring. If you’re proud of your team and admire how professional and friendly they are, why not let everyone know exactly who they work for? Many customers and clients enjoy telling their friends, family and business associates about the times when they have received excellent customer service from a particular company, so make sure they know who to credit.

This uniform benefit can potentially bring in hundreds of new customers each day depending on where you work and could have a fantastic impact on your business both in the short and long term.

3. It can be tailored to your businesses needs

Staff workwear is more than just a uniform your employees put on every day to go to work; it can be used for your businesses specific needs too. If your employees work outside or in cold areas, customised jumpers, thermal gloves or high visibility vests can all work to keep your staff members looking smart and feeling safe. Alternatively, if your staff members are required to wear particular items or accessories during work, these can be customised too for a completely comprehensive employee uniform.

So, why not give your team safer, more comfortable working conditions in 2016 and invest in some high quality staff uniforms?

Talk to us about Staff Uniforms or get a Quote on our Website!

Business in The Spotlight – TT Store

This month our business in the Spotlight is The TT store.  We spoke to Gary Bigwood who told us about the name, brand, printing techniques and he shares his tips on starting a T-shirt Company.

  1. Please tell us a bit about your brand and company.

A passion for old cars and motorbikes was the inspiration behind The TT Store. Visits with my son to Brooklands Motor Museum in Surrey sparked the idea – however it took another 10 years before I started the business last year. A couple of years ago I’d been art directing and producing, (my day job), the first Help for Heroes catalogue and thought I need to get on with The TT Store – so the plans took almost a year to get going. I’ve been asked why The TT Store name, its an obvious reference to ‘tourist trophy’ however the influence was ‘Thomson & Taylor’ who were a motor-racing and engineering company based at Brooklands in the 1930’s. They developed and prepared many land speed record cars between the two world wars, Sir Malcolm Campbell’s Blue Bird being one. They could easily be described as the ‘McLaren’ of their day.

  1. How did you come up with the T-shirt Designs?

We’re trying to recapture the advertising style of the mid 20th century and the 1950’s in particular. It really was a golden era with illustration styles that capture all that optimism after World War 2, prior to photography taking over in the early 1960’s. In many cases our retro designs need to be multicolour printed, so consistent quick turn around coupled with quality printing is essential.

  1. Any tips for increasing brand awareness within this area of business?

Send out samples to bloggers, editors and celebrities; go to events and take a stand at shows, do Postcard drops, (local papers etc). This will enable you to assess what sells, plus you need time to look around at the opposition too – so don’t go alone. Attending shows gives you valuable feedback on your designs as well. Get some really good help on social media, put together a campaign and build that email list because happy customers will always come back and buy again – however they need prompting so a regular newsletter with new products and discount codes come in handy.

  1. What printing technique to do you recommend for T-shirts?

I wanted to go down the retro route so silk screen was best for me. Many of the shirts will have a tough life so the print must be the best, and you still can’t beat a well printed silk screen printed T-shirt, (in my opinion).

Garment Printing offer lots of other printing techniques print-on-demand, DTG which could be a great way to go. Particularly for the early days of a start-up as it’ll ensure you don’t overstock and they’ll even send out your orders.

  1. Any tips for those looking to start their own t-shirt brand?

Don’t give up your day job, it has to be a passion and you’ll need to work hard, evenings and weekends. Don’t get too many printed, start with short runs or even print on demand, margins are less but the important thing is to find out what sells. Try ebay and other sites, as a good deal of them will click through to your site and possibly leave email details. When doing your business plan put aside a decent amount for advertising and promotion and of course social media. Go to events and do your homework. Produce a business plan, and when ready book a stand at a suitable show with a limited number of designs. Look professional and have one person dedicated to discussing the product armed with an ipad for email data capture.

The TT-Store have extended some Christmas Cheer, they are offering Garment Printing clients a 15% discount on their range of classic gifts.

Visit their store http://thettstore.co.uk/, and enter the promo code GP15 at the checkout.

TTStore Discount .jpg

How to Organize an Event For Your Business?

Business events are the perfect opportunity to demonstrate your products, gain new clients and generally help to create a positive image and buzz for your brand. No matter what the size of your business, events are a great tool if they are used properly. So, how can you ensure that you have properly prepared for your event?

Audiences & end goals

Before all else, you will need to consider your target market and the end goal that you want to achieve from the event. It’s important not to get too caught up over the silly added extras that you think might look good. Finishing touches are nice and will add personalisation to an event but if it’s all frills and not much else, you might end up losing money, rather than gaining clients and expanding your customer base.

When considering your target audience, you want to keep in mind that the event needs to be mutually beneficial. Ask yourself: What are my guests expecting to gain from this event? What kind of audience will help me to expand my business? How can I turn skeptical guests into new clients?

From the speeches you make to the way you layout the tables, everything you do should be tailored to ensure your visitors have a memorable experience. Careful consideration of your target audience will ensure that you not only enhance the number of potential follow ups, but that your actions make a lasting impact on your clients as well.

Money, money, money

Another important thing to consider when planning an event is a strong, solid budget. Most people will pull together some kind of budget for their event, but it needs to be precise and carefully thought out to minimize the risk of overspending.

Try not to just randomly pick an overall figure for the event. If you consider each element, such as lighting, refreshments and finishing touches separately, you’re much less likely to throw money away on unnecessary things. It’s also advisable to factor a small amount of ‘spare’ money into your budget, just in case there are any unexpected costs that you may not have considered. That way, if a problem arises you can easily cover it with no stress. Alternatively, if nothing goes wrong you’ll have saved yourself some money.

…and relax?

Once your event is over, you can breathe a little sigh of relief – but don’t get too comfortable too soon. The absolute best thing you can do after an event has taken place is assess how it went. Whether this is directly after, or a few months down the line when attendees have made a decision on your products, assessing the outcome is crucial.

Look at what went right, what went wrong and discuss ways that you and your colleagues might be able to adapt and evolve the event next time round. Finally, tie up all those loose ends. Chase up any potential leads and be sure to say thank you to everyone who attended, a friendly business is a memorable one.

If you would like any promotional materials for your new business or event,visit Garment Printing. 

10 Habits of Great Entrepreneurs

Have you got what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur? Why do some people fail whilst others succeed? Take a look at these 10 habits of successful entrepreneurs and discover what it takes to become a great business person.

  1. Be proactive

Successful entrepreneurs are positive, engaging and want to make a difference. They see a gap in the market they want to change and they find ways to go about changing it. This is the first and most important step of entrepreneurialism.

  1. Figure out your end goal

Everyone needs an end goal. If you have nothing to work towards, you have no reason to keep going. Good entrepreneurs have a clear idea about where they want to be, they might not know exactly how long it is going to take, but they know they’ll get there.

  1. Learn everything

Want to be the best in your field? Learn absolutely everything you can about the subject you love. You cannot influence people until you have been influenced yourself. Look to the current leaders in your field and see what you can learn from them, but don’t forget to create your own ideas and theories.

  1. Mutually beneficial business

Good entrepreneurs never seek to pull other people down. When creating business plans, do so to benefit everyone involved. This is not only good for business but for long-term friendships too.

  1. Prioritize correctly

It’s vital to have an end goal but don’t lose sight of what is right in front of you. Prioritize the most pressing needs first, even if they are small and you are much more likely to have a clear head when tackling the bigger business issues later on.

  1. Review yourself and your business

If you’re not taking a step back and looking at your business and your life goals every now and then, you’re doing it wrong. Sometimes priorities change, or you change and what you wanted when you first started is no longer what you need. Don’t get stuck in a rut, if something needs changing don’t be afraid to switch things up.

  1. Don’t run before you can walk

How many businesses became big names overnight? Probably none, right? If things are starting to go into motion it’s super easy to get carried away, but it’s crucial not to make huge business gambles because of a hunch. Be confident in what you have and where you are going but don’t just guess.

  1. Make money for the right reasons

One mistake so many first time entrepreneurs make is following a desperate need to make big money. As a business owner you want to be profitable but that means putting a lot of your profit back into the business. Using profits to develop your business is a far more successful strategy than simply pocketing it all. This will eventually lead to stagnation and could cause your business to fail.

  1. Seek new experiences

This habit is more lifestyle than business. Successful entrepreneurs are often thrill seekers and constant learners. Whether it’s trying a new cuisine or jumping out of a plane, enriching your personal life will ultimately help you to be a better business person. It’s all about not being afraid to try new things.

  1. Love what you do

If you don’t love what you do, neither will your customers and clients. It really is as simple as that. Never choose to go into an area just because you think it will make you huge sums of money or because you want to be big news. Do something because you love it – you’ll be surprised at how far it gets you.

How Crowdfunding is Changing the World of Fashion?

Crowdfunding is changing the world of fashion as it allows start-ups to collect small contributions from a large group of people in exchange for products, gratitude or equity.

The fashion industry is so competitive for budding designers who want to break into the industry making it almost impossible for start-ups to gain financial aid which is why Crowdfunding was created. This new initiative has given fashion designers the once in a lifetime opportunity to showcase their master designs and receive funding.

Entrepreneurs use their networks of family, friends and acquaintances to spread the word about their fashion ventures, as well as using websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, which are platforms that allow start-ups to reach very large audiences of donors.

One of the advantages of using crowdfunding platforms is that it allows freelance designers to gain a huge customer base even if they do not have any connections in the industry. This has had a huge impact especially on the creation of various t-shirt designs.

Crowdfunding gives companies the ability to cut their costs

Crowdfunding has changed the fashion industry in a number of significant ways. As well as the emergence of funding given to independent designers, crowdfunding platforms also offer established companies the opportunity to gather feedback from consumers through a voting or liking system. Based on the results, companies can choose to only produce their most popular selling designs.

Buyers are the decision makers

Crowdfunding has also given more flexibility in the fashion industry whereby the power shifts to the buyers and no longer is the responsibility of the designers. A number of designs will be submitted onto crowdfunding websites and interested investors can back the project. If the funding goal is reached, these backers will receive samples of these designs. Therefore, potential buyers have the freedom to choose what they want instead of going to a shop and pick up a generic piece.

Many high street fashion retailers currently choose around 10 styles, and try to estimate the demand for products based on wholesale orders or the past seasons sales  performance  and then produce thousands of pieces abroad in countries like China and India. These mass-produced pieces are presented to consumers at inflated prices to account for probable markdowns as time and excess supply devalue them.

If you run a startup and would like some promotional good for your company contact us. 

Business in the Spotlight – The Printworks

This month our business in the Spotlight is The Printworks. We were overjoyed to feature them considering they are called ‘The Printworks’ and we love all things about printing. However, they don’t do any actual printing but do provide luxury student accommodation. We spoke to their General Manager – Sarah Turner (she’s a lovely lady) who told us about the name, the brand, their uniforms and she shares her tips on increasing brand awareness among students.

How did the name Printworks come about?

The Printworks was named in tribute to old James Townsend & Sons Ltd label printers who occupied the site from 1866.

How did the brand develop over time and become popular among students?

The original idea was to create an independent brand which would stand out from our competitors locally and nationally.

What defines the Printworks brand and consequently informs the property design, the development of the customer proposition and the way in which we serve our customers is a deep understanding of the needs of each of our target student customers and the ways to address these needs. What the brand offers the Exeter student population is different to any other purpose built student accommodation options in the city, but only different because we have listened and understood students and what they want, not different for the sake of it. Above all we acknowledge that Printworks is a home, not a hall, campus or student flat, but a home that offers independence and can be uniquely experienced by each and every customer. As such, the brand of Printworks is largely hidden in the DNA of the property rather than through signage, colours or logos.

The architectural design of Printworks contrasts with the neat boxes that usually form the bedroom space in purpose built student accommodation. We understand a range of different room types, shapes and sizes, each adding individuality to a student’s living experience. This design flows through to the look and feel of the wider property. The colours and decor reflect the styles and trends that resonate with our customer base, rooms are neutral allowing students to apply their own stamp just as they would at home, and communal areas mirror the relaxed independent feel that they would seek out in the coffee shops and bars they spend time in. It’s stylistic, aspirational and a far cry from the clean sanitized look that typifies student halls; we understand it’s our customer’s home.
The design and tone of the property flows through to the way in which we service our customers. Our team members are recruited to be similar in character and outlook on life to our customer base. They are genuine and authentic and blend informality with efficiency.

Since opening our doors in 2013 the brand has developed via word of mouth a positive reputation, within a very small University city such as Exeter this is crucial to our success and maintaining the competitive edge.

Staff uniforms

How did you come up with staff uniforms?

The concept behind staff uniforms was to maintain continuity without restricting the personalities of our staff. For this reason they have been kept informal with the branded logo on a colour coordinated polo shirt for comfort and approachability. Each job role has a different colour shirt (red for Reception/Customer Services, Blue for Maintenance and Black for Security)

Why were they important?

These makes the staff and their position easily identifiable while the casual shirt means they are approachable and comfortable when working.

staff uniforms

What the importance of creating a strong image in your business?

In a competitive market like ours a strong brand and a good reputation is essential to fill all our rooms. Our brand as explained above is embedded in everything we do from the design of the building down to the people that work here, this in turn creates our reputation among students and encourages them to book with us over a competitor.

Any tips for increasing brand awareness

Brand ambassadors are fantastic for a business’s reputation and brand awareness. We employ a handful of our residents who then act as brand ambassadors and share their experiences of our accommodation with their friends and peers.

staff uniforms

5 Ways to Keep Your Employees Happy

When employees are loyal and engaged in the company, profits are higher making people feel more valued and motivated.

Research also reveals staff will miss less work leading to improved productivity. They will also perform better, and are more supportive of and positive about company targets.

Here are 5 ways to keep your employees happy in the workplace:

Allow them to personalise their workspace

You don’t have to spend lots of money on revamping the office you can keep you employees happy and content by  encouraging them to bring in pot plants, photos of their families and friends or other personal items for example stress squeezers to decorate and personalise their desks.  Giving employees the freedom to change their workspace has been shown to help create a more attractive and stress-reducing environment.  Opening  blinds or curtains can also help your employees because they will bring in more daylight and can positively affect staff productivity.

Flexi hours

Recently flexible working opportunities have become a popular option for many companies as everyone can benefit including employers, employees and their families. Most employers now recognise that it makes good business sense to provide flexible working opportunities for their staff. This decision is popular with many parents with younger children and older adults who have other commitments and have health issues limiting them to the number of hours they can work.

Common types of flexible working include:

  • Part-time: working less than 40 hours per week
  • Flexi-time: choosing when to work
  • Compressed hours: working your agreed hours over fewer days
  • Staggered hours: different starting, break and finishing times for employees in the same workplace
  • Job sharing: Designed for one person alongside someone else for when you aren’t working
  • Working from home

Team lunches or outings

Many companies are treating their employees to lunches once a month or work outings or parties. Complimentary lunches can help increase staff moral and staff are at their most productive when they are happy.

Businesses can also benefit by encouraging staff to interact with each other as providing lunch on a Friday afternoon or once a month can encourage employees from different departments to sit down in together forming  stronger, more positive connections with each other. Mealtime conversations can often lead to connections between colleagues who otherwise wouldn’t interact.

Training and development

Offering training and learning development opportunities can help keep employees and keep them feeling motivated.These do not have to be expensive events as you can using  existing staff to help train staff in other areas or you can send them on local events as many are free or inexpensive. Make effective use of your internal resources encouraging your best staff to coach or mentor others is motivating for both parties.

Identify key skills required for each career path, and create a personal development plan for each employee to map out their route along this path.

Provide company uniforms

Many employees feel much happier when they are provided with company t-shirts, sweatshirts, fleeces or polo shirts featuring the company logo.

If you want to know how to keep your employees happy why not consider some of the above tips into your business plan if you aren’t already doing this. Garment Printing can help you choose promotional wear for your company call 0844 588 9808 to speak to a member of the team or to order today.