Once you have successfully started your heat transfer vinyl business and begun building a solid customer base, you may be wondering – what’s next? How do I continue to grow my craft and my profits without having to shell out too much of my budget for new equipment, item offerings or education? 

The good news is there are plenty of practices you can implement to make more money with HTV using the equipment, supplies and knowledge you already have under your belt.

1. Don’t cut yourself short – upsell when and where you can (if it makes sense to both you and the customer).

Layered Vinyl on T-Shirt | Coastal Business Supplies

When taking orders or building out your pricing grid, identify different ways that you can charge more for personalized items based on supply and labor costs. Always remember to charge a little extra for specialty vinyl types, such as glitter, foil, flock and metallic – these supplies have higher hard costs, so don’t forget to account for that when pricing out your custom orders. It’s also acceptable to charge more for multiple applications/locations, extra vinyl colors or layered designs, as the labor that goes into the production time for these types of orders is higher. Do you stock pre-cut letters and numbers for jerseys in a small handful of colors or just one font? Offer clients custom names and numbers in different fonts or vinyl materials, then upcharge accordingly to custom-cut them. 

2. Create package deals for special occasions or group functions, such as bachelorette parties, team sports, family trips, and reunions!

Heat Transfer Vinyl T-Shirts for Bachelorette Party | Coastal Business Supplies

Entice customers by offering a price break when ordering packages – events like these almost always require placing a medium-large order in which most of the shirts will look the same. This means you can make a little more money with not a whole lot of extra effort (more shirts, less design work). To create a package, nail down a selection of shirt styles that the customer can choose from, as well as a selection of vinyl colors and placement locations for one convenient bundle price.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating packages:

• Look at past orders or do your research – create bundle packages and pricing based on achievable and commonly ordered quantities.

• When creating your selection of shirt styles for the customer to choose from, ensure all styles are affordable and in the same price range. Upcharge for higher priced styles if a customer is set on choosing a style outside of your selection.

• With bridal parties, one shirt will more than likely be white (for the bride) while the rest match – ensure you have a white option that matches the styles of the others. If you are looking to really “surprise and delight” your client (as well as the star of the party), offer the bride’s shirt for free or give them a discount on glitter/metallic vinyl to make the bride feel extra special.

• Sports teams will usually require a different name and number on the back for each team member – don’t forget to acknowledge that when quoting team shirts. To make things easier on yourself, create a pricing chart that shows bundle costs for teams of different sizes: 1-5 members, 6-10 members, 11-15 members, 15+, etc.

• Get some insight about the event from your client – then customize packages by throwing in additional personalized items, such as hats, socks, beverage coozies, bandanas, or other products that make sense for the occasion. 
Consider that most family reunion or vacation orders will require shirts in sizes that range from infant to adult 3XL+. This will be very important when choosing T-shirt styles that match – do your best to find style and color options that are available in infant/toddler/youth/adult unisex size ranges. 

3. If you are already buying vinyl in bulk, expand your HTV business by cutting the vinyl yourself and selling sheets.

Heat Transfer Vinyl Sheets | Coastal Business Supplies

Ecommerce stores (Etsy, eBay, Amazon, etc.) now afford everyone the opportunity to sell their products online, making it easy for you to take advantage of this avenue and earn some extra money with your HTV business. Purchasing heat transfer vinyl in rolls will help you save on personalization supplies in the long run, and you can cut and re-sell any overstock vinyl by the sheet in your online store when you need to clean up your inventory. 

4. Sell pre-cut vinyl designs to print shops and customers looking to create their own apparel pieces.

Pre-Cut Heat Transfer Vinyl Designs | Coastal Business Supplies

Sometimes it can be easier to cut a vinyl design and ship it off to a customer without having to worry about pressing the items (especially if the customer owns their own heat press or wants to apply the vinyl to a tricky garment style). Take advantage of this if you can! Usually vinyl transfers are light and can fit inside of a smaller envelope, which allows you to save on shipping costs. Add a pre-cut vinyl section to your Etsy shop or online store and be sure to add new or seasonal designs regularly to keep your selection fresh. If you have the right equipment, don’t hesitate to experiment with creating fun or printable vinyl that coincides with holidays or relevant trends before adding these items to you store as well – you may snag a couple new customers by doing so!

Have a knack for creating trendy designs that folks love? Take this concept one step further – create your own line of apparel for purchase alongside your custom offerings! Feature your own wares on the homepage of your website or hang up available sizes in your storefront where customers are sure to catch a glimpse of your latest work. Showing off your own apparel is one really good way to showcase your design talent and draw in new clientele – it also serves as a fun artistic outlet to express yourself and keep your creativity alive!

5. Utilize your heat press to its full potential and expand your offerings!

Add Sublimation or Heat Transfer Paper to Your Heat Transfer Vinyl Business | Coastal Business Supplies

Add other services such as sublimation and heat transfer paper application to your business. Let your regular customers know first that you will be using a sublimation printer or HTP for full-color printing, then pitch different order ideas to them to see if they’d be willing to let you test out orders for them at a discount, so you can begin marketing your new services to clients outside of your regular customer base. Don’t hesitate to experiment with mixed media and produce items that use both sublimation and HTV – this may provide another unique opportunity for upselling and customer satisfaction.

Looking for some extra advice on how to grow your heat transfer vinyl business? Have a couple questions about our suggestions to increase your profits? Want to speak to a pro before purchasing vinyl equipment or supplies? Give our Customer Success Team a call toll-free at 800-562-7760 or shoot us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get you the help you need to succeed.