You can't fight city hall, but maybe you can embroider it...
Small towns and municipalities can be a great source of potential business. The staffs in the town hall, police department, inspectors, recreation department and other areas all wear or would like to wear clothing embroidered with their city or departmental logo. And, there's always the need for shirts and caps for special events or a one-of-a-kind jacket for a visiting dignitary or local hero or even leisure wear for off-duty hours.
How do you get into this market? It's all about connections. If you've been a city employee or a volunteer fire fighter, you've already got a strong foothold. You probably already know the right people. If not, think about your circle of friends, relatives and acquaintances. Someone close to you may know the person who makes the purchasing decisions. Ask for an introduction. People like doing business with people they know.
Start building your network and showing what your business has to offer. Armed with an embroidered city logo, which was digitized at his expense, one embroiderer went to city hall and asked to speak to the city manager. Until then, the city had screenprinted the logo. After being shown the difference in quality, the city manager switched to embroidery.
Along with taking advantage of personal connections, watch out for upcoming special and educational events relating to police and fire-related occupations. With a little research on the Internet you can uncover a wealth of sales opportunities. It might be worthwhile to exhibit at some of these events. Do your homework first to make sure it would in fact be profitable.
When deciding to work with governmental agencies, be sure to consider that there may be certain restrictions and guidelines to follow. Most agencies have very specific protocol they want vendors to follow. Sometimes there's a bid process. But, don't let this scare you. In some cases, you may only have to win a single bid to become the embroiderer of choice for a particular organization.
Other markets you should target include :
You've zeroed in on your market, it's time to make a plan.