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Why We Attend Trade Shows

30th January 2008

Why We Attend Trade Shows

Those of you who attend trade shows as consumers probably have a lot of good reasons for doing so.  You’re probably hoping to find some bargains on products you already use.  Perhaps you’re looking for a new supplier or wish to learn more about a particular product you’ve heard of but never seen.  Maybe you get a lot of ideas for new product offerings when you see what is being offered at the show.  It could be you just find trade shows inspiring, and like mingling with so many people who are in the same business as you.

Businesses exhibit at trade shows for a lot of the same reasons that people attend the shows.  First of all, we want to meet the people who could potentially be our customers.  The best way to find out what our customers want and need is to talk to them, or the people who might become them.   A trade show gives us a way to be sure that the people we talk to will at least have some interest in what we offer.   It also provides us with an easy way to meet a lot of people in a short amount of time. 

We’re also hoping to see what everyone else is offering.  Some businesses might deny this, but part of attending any trade show is taking a walk around the floor to see what the other exhibitors are putting on display.  Keeping tabs on the competition is a business basic.  After all, if you don’t know what your competitors are doing, you can be taken by surprise and left behind.  A trade show is a great way to see who’s doing what and to learn more about new products and services that have become available.

A trade show is also a great way to display your whole product line in an up close and personal manner.  Web sites are convenient and photos can show you a lot about a product, but there are times when nothing can replace actually holding a product sample in your hand.  Exhibiting at a trade show allows us to allow our customers to “handle the merchandise” and gives us a chance to explain why we offer what we offer.

As a reminder, we will be at the ISS Show in Orlando February 8-10.  If you’re in the area, stop by and visit Syl, Matt and Andy in booth 229.  We also still have free passes available for that show.  If you would like a pass for the Orlando show, please contact us and we’ll be happy to get one to you.  We will also be at ISS Atlantic City March 7-9.   Passes for that show will be available soon.  If you would like a pass for the Atlantic City Show, please contact us and ask to be added to the list. 

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29th January 2008

4 Low Cost Methods for Finding Customers

When starting up a business, one thing most people know that they need is customers.  After all, you can have the best machines in the world, buy the best supplies, and create the greatest embroidered designs, but that all won’t matter if you can’t find people to buy what you create.  Every business needs customers to stay alive, and it isn’t enough to just open the doors and hope a customer or two stumbles through them.  You have to go out and recruit customers.  The following are a few simple ways to do that without spending a huge amount of money.

 Method #1:  Wear Your Work – One of the best advertisements for your business, and a great way to get people into your shop is for you, your employees if you have them, and your family to wear the garments you embroider.   Make sure you always have a supply of business cards on hand, so when someone asks where you got that great jacket or shirt you can hand them a card with all your contact information on it.  

Method #2:  Donate your work – Most communities are always having a fundraiser or some kind or another.  Maybe the school is raising money for a new gym, or your church has an annual Christmas bazaar. If it is allowed, ask if you can set up a booth to sell your work, and donate half the proceeds from any sales you make to the event.   If you are not allowed to sell, donate some items.  If you do donate, make sure that your business will be recognized in some way, either in a program or through an announcement during the event.   Again, make sure you have business cards available to hand out to those who ask about your work.

Method #3:  Join local business groups –  Most cities and towns have a Chamber of Commerce.  There may also be a variety of other clubs and organizations in your town which target a specific business group.  Investigate these organizations and pick one or two to join.  This is a great opportunity to network with other business owners.  Don’t be afraid to mention your business and to ask for leads from other business people in your area. 

Method #4:  – Ask for Referrals – Once you do start building your customer base, don’t be afraid to ask for referrals.  One method of referral would be for satisfied customers to recommend you directly to others.  Another might be for a satisfied customer to give you a list of people on whom they think you should call.  You can also ask satisfied customers for testimonials, which you can use to show new customers the kind of work you do.

posted in Making Your Business Grow | Comments Off

24th January 2008

The Supporting Players

I spend an awful lot of time on this blog talking about Iris polyester and rayon thread.  I have also spent some time talking about our Ntrans Transfers and the blank emblems that we offer.   The reason that I spend a lot of time talking about these particular products is that they’re the exciting products, the ones that those who read this blog are most likely to want to buy or about which they might want to learn more.

Today I wanted to spend a few minutes talking about the “supporting players” on our site.  These are the old reliable products that everyone needs but which most people don’t find very exciting.  Yes, I’m talking about tweezers and seam rippers and scissors.  Our topic of discussion today is the much less exciting accessories like screwdrivers and lint brushes which are so essential for machine maintenance, but which probably won’t make anyone do a dance of joy.  Obviously our goal here is to get you interested in what we have to sell, and we recognize that rhapsodizing about boring everyday items like scissors or bobbins might not be the way to do that.

Regardless of whether you find needles and backing completely enthralling or a total bore, the fact remains that you need those items, and the items I mentioned in the paragraph above to keep your machines and your business running.  Scissors and snips and bobbin cases might not be the most exciting things in the world, but they could be the things that help, in their quiet way, your business run smoothly.

At EnMart we pride ourselves on being a one stop shop for your business.  We work to stock all the products you might need to make your business run, from the high profile items like thread  to the more mundane items like heat presses.  Our goal is to become your main source for machine embroidery supplies. 

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies | Comments Off

22nd January 2008

California, There We Were

As some of you may already know, EnMart was an exhibitor at the ISS Show in Long Beach this past weekend.  We had a great time and got to introduce a lot of people to our great products.  One of the things people were most eager to learn about was our Iris Thread.  The show was a terrific opportunity to introduce people to this great thread and explain to them why Iris Thread is resetting the benchmark when it comes to machine embroidery thread.

We were so happy to be able to meet so many people from the apparel decoration industry in California.  Now that ISS Long Beach has concluded, we will be turning our attention to the Southeast and the ISS Show in Orlando.  There is one program note for that show.  Originally we were told that EnMart and Hilos Iris would be in booth 230.  As it turns out, we were misinformed and will actually be in booth 229.  We apologize if you received the wrong information from us. 

Also, please keep in mind that we still have free passes available for the Orlando show.  We hope to have passes available soon for the Atlantic City ISS Show in March.  If you would like to receive a pass for the Orlando show, or would like to be added to the list for passes for the Atlantic City show when they become available, please contact us and we will be happy to help you. 

Again, thank you to all the people who stopped by our booth in Long Beach.  We were happy to meet all of you and very excited to have the opportunity to tell you about EnMart, Iris Thread and the other great products we have to offer.  We look forward to meeting more people in Orlando and Atlantic City.

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17th January 2008

Playing with Color

Most designs that you sew come with color recommendations or instructions about what colors and perhaps even what brand of thread should be used.  These recommendations probably reflect the preferences of whomever created the design or whomever is selling the design.  For some machine embroiderers, these recommendations are treated less as suggestions and more as commandments.  If it is recommended that the design be sewn in blue and white Madeira thread, than that’s all that should be ever used.   It is almost as though the recommendations accompanying the design carry the force of law.

For other machine embroiderers the recommendations that accompany any given design are treated as what they are, suggestions.  The person who created the design couldn’t possibly have tried every brand of thread and every color combination when sewing out the original design.  There simply isn’t enough time.

Part of the fun of machine embroidery is that it allows for creativity.  When sewing out a design, try different shades of the same color thread and see how it alters the appearance of the design.  Try the design on different fabrics and see what a fabric change does to the original colors of the design.  Experiment with colors until you find the exact set of colors that works with your new fabric.  We all know that color and shade can make a difference in the feel of a design. 

In the end machine embroidery is all about creativity.  Experimenting with color can allow you to discover new ways to use the same old designs, and perhaps expand your product offerings.  We also want to let you know that you shouldn’t be concerned about depleting your available thread stock.  If you need more thread, we have plenty.

posted in Machine Embroidery Tips | Comments Off

10th January 2008

Coupons and Specials

Like many of you I would guess, I am a dedicated bargain hunter.  I love getting things on sale, finding a percent off coupon for something I really wanted, or discovering a good deal at just the right time.  When it comes to running a business, finding deals, bargains and sales can mean even more.  Businesses must control their costs if they expect to remain open and profitable.  Buying items that the business will use while they are on sale or part of a special is one way to help keep stock costs low.

EnMart is currently in the process of developing some programs that will allow our customers to save a little money and a little time when purchasing product from EnMart.  One of these programs is our Thread with a Theme.  This program will offer bundled thread which has been gathered to reflect a certain theme.  The theme might be centered around a holiday or around a significant life event, and the Thread with a Theme bundle would supply all the relevant colors to create designs centered around that theme.   The great thing about Thread with a Theme plan is that it will allow our customers to purchase multiple cones of thread at a price that is less than if they had purchased the same cones individually.

Another idea we are contemplating involves creating a monthly or weekly special on a particular item.  Lots of stores already do this sort of thing and it is quite popular.  Our goal is to step up a schedule of specials that will ensure that at least one item from each of the product categories we offer will be on sale at some point during the year.

Finally, EnMart is also working on developing a coupon program.  Coupons may be offered for things like free shipping or a percentage off a purchase or a particular item.  The first series of coupons may be made available only to those who receive the EnMart NewsBites E-mail.   If you are not currently receiving that e-mail,  and would like to do so, please contact us and ask to be added to our mailing list.

posted in Shop EnMart | 2 Comments

7th January 2008

Making Conversions Easy

Let’s face it, changing from one thread supplier to another can be a pain in the neck.  It isn’t just that you have to learn how a new company operates, learn new ordering procedures, and adjust to new delivery times,  all those adjustments can be relatively easy.  The hard part of switching thread suppliers comes when you have to convert all the thread you order from the old supplier numbers to the new supplier numbers.

 Conversion would be easy if you could feel safe in assuming that “pink” from Old Supplier is going to be the same color as “pink” from New Supplier.  As most veteran embroiderers know, and as we certainly know from our 30 years of experience with Ensign Emblem, that is almost never the case.  Differences in dye lots, in dying techniques and in processes can create shades that go by the same name but differ from one another.  If you are depending on having a precise shade for a particular design, the thread from New Supplier has to almost exactly match the thread from Old Supplier, or the task of switching suppliers isn’t worth the hassle.

At EnMart, we want to make converting from another supplier’s thread to our thread as easy as we possibly can.  One way we have done that is by creating our polyester thread conversion chart.  This chart shows the Iris thread color, the PMS color number, and the corresponding thread numbers from Robison Anton, Maderia, Isacord and Gunold.  Currently, this conversion chart is available for polyester thread only.  A rayon conversion chart is expected to be available soon.

We expect to have an expanded thread conversion program available within the next few months.  This program will cover both Iris Polyester and Iris Rayon Thread and will encompass additional thread manufacturers.  Until then, if you don’t see the thread you currently use on our conversion list, please feel free to contact us and we will be happy to assist you with making the conversion.

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4th January 2008

Popular New Years Resolutions

Almost everyone I know makes at least one resolution every New Years Day.  Some of the most common resolutions for business owners are about things like controlling cost, getting more organized, or taking more time for family and friends.  The New Year is always a good time to take a step back and determine how you could be more efficient and more effective.

Today, I wanted to tell you how EnMart can help you keep the resolutions you made this New Years Day.  Suppose your resolution was to be more organized.   Our thread kits with metal racks are a great way to keep your thread organized and within easy reach.  We also offer a polyester thread chart which will allow you to match colors before you buy, ensuring that your thread inventory only contains colors you know you will use.

Perhaps your resolution for 2008 was to open new avenues for your business.  Our Ntrans Screenprint Transfers allow you to offer screenprinted garments to your customers without purchasing any additional screenprinting equipment, beyond a heat press, should you not already have one.   Ntrans transfers are very easy to apply and can be designed in a variety of sizes and colors.

Some people make New Years resolutions regarding upgrading their equipment or establishing a stricter maintenance schedule.  It is a proven fact that equipment that is well maintained will last longer and perform more efficiently.  If you want to put your equipment on a stricter maintenance schedule, EnMart can supply the accessories and tools necessary to get the job done. 

A lot of business people make resolutions regarding controlling costs.  EnMart offers some of the most cost effective products available in the marketplace.  Combine our reasonable prices with our quick turn around times, our stellar customer service, and our record for on-time delivery, and you’ll quickly see how EnMart can help you control costs and save time in 2008.  

Whatever your New Years resolution for 2008, our resolution is to do everything we can to keep our customers happy and coming back.  If you have any suggestions for blog post topics, products we might want to consider, or just comments on how we’re doing, please feel free to contact us.  We always love to hear from our customers.

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3rd January 2008

ISS Long Beach

ISS Long Beach is about two weeks away.  We’re getting very excited about being able to meet all the machine embroiderers in California and to have the opportunity to tell everyone about our great products.   We plan to have a unique thread display, an embroidery machine and lots of information about all our products and services on hand.  

Besides getting to learn more about EnMart, Iris Thread, and to meet our knowledgeable and entertaining staff, there are a lot of good reasons why those of you who live in California should attend ISS Long Beach.   Attending trade shows is a great way to find out about new products, like Iris Thread   or new companies like EnMart.  Attending a trade show allows you to meet one on one with representatives from the exhibiting companies, and can allow you to get more information than you could from a collateral packet or a phone call.

Attending a trade show also gives you an opportunity to see the latest and greatest products in action.  In our booth in Long Beach, we will have an embroidery machine, and will be sewing samples using our Iris Thread.  You can also learn more about our unique Ntrans Screenprint Transfers and see why they are like nothing else available.  Our knowledgeable staff will also be on hand to give advice about thread, machine embroidery and other embroidery supplies.  With over 30 years of experience in machine embroidery it is likely we have answers to any questions you might want to ask.  Attending ISS Long Beach will allow you to ask those questions in person.

We look forward to seeing everyone at the ISS Show in Long Beach, January 18-20.  We’re in booth 1927.  Please do stop by and say hello.

posted in Trade Shows | Comments Off

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