Putting together a showroom – one that fits your customers’ needs and your business space – can help you market your products in an appealing way and help leave your customers with a positive impression of your business.
A showroom provides a space in which you can highlight your capabilities. You can showcase some of your available prints or samples of your previous work, and you can keep a small stock of products to show your customers some substrate and ink possibilities. A showroom also provides a convenient meeting space in which to customers’ projects, needs and costs.
If you don’t already have a showroom, the prospect of putting one together can seem intimidating, but with a few considerations, you can create a space that helps you to showcase your products and win new customers.
Operating space is one of the costliest aspects of owning a business. You need a showroom that makes sense for your available space and for your location. If you’re in a retail district where foot traffic passes by your storefront, a window display and showroom is a no-brainer. It can draw in potential customers and lead them to making a purchase or placing a future order. If you’re in an industrial setting, a big display might not make a lot of sense, but you should have a quiet, comfortable space in which to talk to clients and showcase some samples, substrates and inks. If your team travels to customers, rather than hosting them in your shop, you can even create a neat portfolio to serve as a portable showroom.
A showroom is a marketing tool, and just like any marketing tool, it should be devised with your target customer in mind. Stock sample substrates and inks, and hang samples of previous work that fit with what your target customers are likely to order. You can take this a step further by decorating the space to appeal to your target audience. If you work with local artists to create custom apparel, a fun and artistic showroom with interesting décor and samples displayed in inventive ways makes sense. If you primarily print marketing materials for businesses, a more subdued and professional showroom and meeting space makes sense.
As a customer, there’s nothing more frustrating than traveling to a new business and not being able to tell where exactly the business is located, where you should park and where the front door is. It’s even more awkward if you walk into an entrance to find yourself in the middle of the production floor. A successful showroom and business office need to invite customers in. Your business should be clearly marked from the outside, and customers should be able to tell easily which door to walk in. If your shop’s space doesn’t have an office/reception area and customers walk into the production space, at least make sure that your shop is set to provide room for the customer to enter without feeling like they’re in the middle of the production room. Have an area near the entrance with chairs and samples that let customers know they are welcome in the space.
Regardless of how big your showroom is or how you set it up, it absolutely has to be neat and clean, and your samples need to be up-to-date. Sample garments that are kept on display can collect dust and fuzz, and they should be laundered from time to time. The samples you have on display should be relatively recent; it’s hard to attract new orders if your samples showcase the colors, artwork styles, inks and special effects from 20 years ago. And of course, the space should be kept clean. Tables and fixtures should be dusted, the floors should be washed and windows should be clean. Don’t forget the exterior: The landscaping and the parking lot should also be neat and attractive.
A showroom is your opportunity to make a positive impression on customers and potential customers who visit your shop. Putting a little effort into creating an attractive showroom that presents your work and your products to your customers can have a real impact on your business.
Looking for some more tips on displaying your screen printing work? Check out this blog: