Screen Printing Companies Around New York “Slow Season”
There are many screen printing companies around the United States and plenty of those are located in or around New York City. Some may be on the larger side and others a bit smaller, like us, but almost all the screen printing shop experience a so called “down time”. Since it typically gets really cold out in New York around November / December and starts getting warmer around March, our slow season is December, January and February. There are many reasons it tends to slow down such as customers being preoccupied with Holidays, but I think the one that sticks out the most for me is the temperature. During the summer and spring, it is warm enough our for people to wear t-shirts and this is the season where many walks and fundraisers are held. In addition, schools go on trips, camps are in session and people are generally in a much better mood – therefore there is more of a demand for printed t-shirts and other apparel. Towards the end of the summer, September and October, people start to gear down for winter and usually place an order for their hoodies and sweatshirts. This usually leaves the later winter months a bit slower.
So what do you do during the slow season you might ask? You can’t just give your whole team off, otherwise who is to say they would ever come back to you when you need them? Also, you have to remember they depend on you to make a living, so you kind of have to keep paying them, no?
Time to maintenance your machines:
During the slow season, I tend to see around most screen printing shops that owners and employees organize and clean up the shop. Screen printing looks simple from the outside, but many don’t know that there is a lot of maintenance, organization and cleaning that goes in as well. For example, our M&R Diamondback Screen Printing Press is supposed to be cleaned and put through maintenance every two weeks, but when you are busy during the peak of your season this tends not to happen every two weeks. So what you end up doing is leaving the machine dirty (by dirty I mean with ink splatters and residue throughout the print heads) and just add lubricant to the machine to keep it running. So now that there is some free time on your hands, it might be a good idea to take some rags to the machines and really clean it well. The more you maintain your machine, the longer the machine will last. Today alone I personally collected enough dust from our shop to fill an entire plastic shopping bag!
Time to organize your shop:
Like me, I am sure most screen printers tend to order a few extra pieces of an items when ordering goods for orders. I need 72 larges for an order, but I would usually order 75 of them and think in my head “It’s a white shirt, we always use white”. But at the end of the year you end up with boxes full of extra perfectly good merchandise. So now that there is some down time you might as well organize the goods, inventory them and try to get rid of them. There is nothing greater then the feeling of selling goods to a customer that was paid for a while ago. This will also free up lots of dead space around your shop.
Seek more business:
So it’s slow and you just sit back, relax and wait for business to pick up again? No, that is the wrong way of thinking about it. What needs to be done is search for new account and more business. It’s cold in New York, so why not target a new market in Florida or somewhere a little warmer. Better yet, put on a suit and tie and walk the streets, walk into business and socialize in effort to gain more business. It’s better to be proactive and go out, rather than sit back and wait for it to come to you.
Another great idea is to start selling online. Online selling is a full year round business, so why not take this down time and start an online marketing campaign. You can either start a line and sell it individually by piece, or work on an online marketing campaign to “sell” your services to new customers. As you can see with these “Orgasm Donor Thongs“, we chose to make a line and sell the items online.
Screen printing in New York is a large business, but like all business there is a slow season for us too. Take advantage of this time to excel your business and push it to its potential!