Before you decide to leap into this decoration method, it is essential to ask yourself a question: Is DTG the right choice for my business? To help you decide, here are five scenarios where direct-to-garment printing makes the most sense.
1. Startup business. If you are starting a new business, all you need to do is justify the addition of DTG. Are you going to use it enough to make a profit and a return on your investment? You are purchasing because the printer fits your business needs.
Even if you are starting a new business, it is crucial to have finalized your game plan. Who are your customers? What is your business statement? Can you start making money right away? The learning curve, set up, and footprint for direct-to-garment is much smaller than other applications. You will also be able to offer high quality, high color, personal designs with no minimums. You can create inventory as needed on-demand, so there is no need to stock shelves with preprinted designs of different sizes and colors. You can even print to order if you like.
2. You’re turning away business. If you are a screen printer, one of the downsides is turning away work. Depending on the image and quantity needed, some print jobs require too much set up for small order quantities. Screen printing requires larger runs to become practical. Direct-to-garment helps to fill that gap in many ways. With DTG, you can print just one T-shirt if needed in full digital quality with no color limits. Over time you can begin to fine-tune what jobs get DTG printed and which will be screen printed. Losing business is never a good thing, and in many cases, DTG is a great solution.
3. You are expanding your services. As your business grows, the time may come when adding new equipment becomes a necessity. An increase in services and production is going to take you to that next level. Many people start in garment decorating with heat transfers. Another popular choice for garments would be sublimation. As your business grows, limitations may begin to become a hindrance. Though limited, all these applications have a purpose.
The addition of DTG is the most common solution for a growing garment decorator. Along with increasing productivity, you will also be adding more services, products, and choices. This business progression is one that has an excellent recipe for success. The initial investment of starting a garment decoration business is low. As a shop begins to grow, it buys new equipment out of necessity. The need to add DTG comes naturally when a shop has a strong business plan and customer base.
4. High production needs. This last decade has made some significant changes to how high production print shops work. In the past, screen printing was the only viable option for high production T-shirt printing. Today’s DTG printers are faster, ink costs are much lower, and maintenance needs are minimal. The combination of multiple machines is now becoming very typical in large print shops as well. Another benefit of using DTG for high production is that one operator can run two printers at a time. The operator also does not need a high amount of training or knowledge to run the printers.
5. You are moving work in-house. It is common these days for T-shirt printing companies to subcontract print jobs. The only issue with doing this is that the profit margins are small. There is a point for many where bringing the work in-house can become much more profitable. With its ease of use and minimal area requirements, DTG can be a simple addition. Because everything is on-demand, you can print to order as needed, and one employee can handle most of the operation.