I once had great fear of the idea of competing with places like China. They can make a hat, embroidered on 4 locations, with a sandwich bill and use “puff” embroidery and do it for $2.75 each. If I create that same hat, even if I give my employees the day off and do it myself, I would have to sell it for $12!
So, now what? I can’t compete….well, at least not there, but what I do is what every successful and imaginative entrepreneur has done in the last 200 years…do things better, or faster. I have ways to outshine these guys. I can do this job, say it is 300 of these hats, in 2 days if needed where as China might take up to a month or more. I also have some leverage if anyone believes in “buying local”. I don’t expect people to buy from me for that reason alone. If all things remain the same and I’m outrageously higher priced, I’m not getting the work. But what I have to do is show why it is better to buy from me. for one thing, I can provide personable service, create custom designs with a personable insight into what a customer needs. One thing for sure, with regard to these hats and many other products is that I can definitely create a much better hat. Quality of custom work, on a quality item is more important to some than price. If you want your company to be represented by giving away a cheap product that will not last, that may backfire!. That’s why I don’t sell the cheapest pens I can get. They skip, maybe write a few weeks, then they are thrown out. I would rather you buy a pen that people will love to use! It becomes their favorite pen!. The pens I give away at Dezine Line are around $.60 each, but they write great. (I have people, believe it or not, stop by to say “hello” just to nab another one!).
Every vendor, world wide, has its place. Once I found my niche, I have no fear.