Into The Unknown: Your Guide To Selling Uniforms In Unfamiliar Markets
The secret to success is to always play for more. Even if you already have a profitable business with a large pool of customers, you need to actively expand your company or you will end up losing ground. The uniform industry is a clear case in point. As a uniform supplier, you can’t be happy just providing gear to one type of business. If you are, other suppliers will eventually expand into your field and pick off your customers. Thus to achieve success, you must target every uniform market you can, and that begins with:
Identifying All Opportunities
The first step to expanding into new uniform markets is to assess the landscape. Consider all the businesses in your area that you sell uniforms to, and then note any others that could use uniforms but whom you haven’t sold to yet. Nearby hospitals and medical clinics, for example, can use lab coats and scrubs; likewise, public safety institutions need protective clothing, while food service businesses need gear that promotes cleanliness. The earlier you identify your opportunities, the easier it is to take advantage of them.
Once you’ve cataloged all uniformed businesses in your area, identify those that need uniforms similar to the ones you already carry. If you sell police uniforms, for example, you could market similar products to private security guards. Similarly, uniforms you provide for restaurants are also useful for food trucks and catering services. Expand into markets like these first. Then use your new revenues to purchase other kinds of gear and target markets with distinct uniform needs.
Outsourcing Key Services
As you start courting new kinds of clients, you’ll need to customize your gear so it meets those clients’ unique needs. Embroidering, hemming, and otherwise altering uniforms to each client’s taste is difficult and time-consuming, and may derail your expansion attempts. Instead, outsource these services to other companies, and have customers send customization details directly to those partners. This lets you expand your product flexibility without any comparable increase in administrative costs or hassles.
Taking to the Web
If you haven’t done so already, set up an ecommerce website where your clients can order uniforms directly. Make sure clients can order items in any quantity they want, and that they can complete every stage of the ordering process, from initial product selection all the way to payment. Set up the site to let customers choose how they want to customize their uniforms; you can have this information shipped directly to your partners so they know what alterations to make. You should also make arrangements with transportation companies so that they ship items to clients automatically once those clients have placed an order. In this way, you can meet demand for any type of uniform quickly and efficiently, allowing you to expand into new markets without skipping a beat.