Tips for Growing Your Sublimation Business

Learn how to gain repeat business and build a referral

A big part of my job is talking with sublimators on the phone to resolve various technical problems with their computer, design software, substrates, production equipment, etc. Believe it or not, a question that I hardly ever get asked is, “How do I grow my sublimation business?”

Following, I discuss strategies to help you grow your sublimation business through referrals and repeat business.

Strategy 1: Deliver more than you promise

A bonus product sample could be a new or complementary product imprinted with the same artwork from the order or a customized name badge. (Image courtesy David Gross)

Embrace the philosophy of Lagniappe. Lagniappe is a French word often used in Louisiana (and along the Gulf Coast where I live) that simply means an unexpected extra gift. You can deliver a little more than your customer expects by offering unique design options, including a bonus product sample, or simply providing an order earlier than expected.

Examples of a bonus product sample include a new and/or complementary product imprinted with the same artwork as the rest of the order or a customized name badge that consists of the person’s name, company logo, and unique corporate colors. These little extra touches help build strong customer relationships and create fans and cheerleaders for your personalized products business.

(Image courtesy David Gross)

Strategy 2: Create a referral program

A great way to grow your business is to have your existing happy customers refer new customers to your shop. Full-color sublimated products are attention grabbers and, like a beautiful piece of jewelry, often get compliments and questions with little to no effort.

Although some of your customers may not need any motivation, take advantage of this potential word-of-mouth advertising by offering them price or product incentives for sending new business to you. This referral process is excellent for increasing your customer retention rate and revenue. Further, be proactive and find out what businesses, clubs, and organizations your customers are plugged into, then produce a few customized product samples for specific decision-makers within those groups. For some, there could even be large-scale promotional or fundraising opportunities.

Being referred by someone within a group can be the difference between a cold sales call and a hot one, so prepare well and dazzle them with the full-color possibilities sublimation transfer offers.

Learn more strategies to grow your sublimation business in the November ’21 issue of GRAPHICS PRO.

Condé Systems president

David Gross

David Gross is the president of Condé Systems, Inc. For over 30 years, he has developed and built the Mobile, Alabama based company into the premier source for printers, substrates, and consumables serving the sublimation and digital heat transfer industries. David's goal has always been to provide business owners the superior guidance and resources needed to be successful at these exciting and profitable decorating technologies. Gross regularly contributed articles to A&E magazine as part of his “Road to Sublimation Success” series and continues to contribute to GRAPHICS PRO. He has co-authored several books including RTSS: Harnessing the Power of Sublimation for Outstanding Profits, RTSS: Cashing In On The ChromaLuxe Revolution, The Sublimation Journal, and others. He can be reached by email at

View all articles by David Gross  

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