Why do you feel so guilty whenever you share your full-priced product offer with your audience?
It feels like they are doing you a favor by placing an order with your small business. On the opposite end, you may feel like no one will shop at regular prices despite buying the same tee from a boutique for 50% more, and that boutique didn't even handmake the product like you did, more times than not. Therefore, we must work to shift the mindset that sales are expected in your business. There are five reasons why always running sales is actually hurting your business. Let's jump into the first reason.
#1 You're devaluing your brand.
When you sell your t-shirts at a consistent discounted rate, you're telling your customers your shirts are not worth full price. Think about those viral posts you see on social media about companies selling garbage bag dresses for $1,000, and PEOPLE BUY THEM. Back to my original example of boutiques selling 100% Gildan tees for double your price. Do you know what's worse... You may even have the same wholesaler, and people in your area are willing to pay for the same item for double the price from this boutique. Why? Because they have established their worth and the kind of customer they want to attract. The good news is, you get to decide the value of your brand too. The time to set the standard is today! The longer you allow things, the harder it is to change the culture.
#2 You're encouraging customers to wait for sales.
If you're constantly running sales on your t-shirts, you're teaching your customers to wait for a sale before making a purchase. Unfortunately, this can lead to lost sales in the meantime and long-term damage to your brand if customers expect to always be able to get a deal on your shirts. Why shop on Tuesday when I know she will do a mad grab on Sunday to say all orders placed 4 hours before closing will get 25% OFF? Then, what happens when you decide to not hold that closing sale the customer was expecting... they don't even end up ordering at all because they made a false assumption about your following action. Sales should be so random (other than strategically planned) that waiting for a deal doesn't even occur to them.
On the other hand, the beauty of creating rare sales is it enforces to your customers that I don't do this often, so I mean it when I say you need to get in on this sale, i.e., tee party prices.
#3 You're eating into your profits.
Can we get real for a second? We all know Rebecca isn't making anything off selling screen-printed tees for $7 consistently. If she wants to break even (lucky to even do that) and treat her business like a hobby, that is her prerogative, but you... we aren't doing that. Imagine this, you have a blow-out sale of 30 tees sold for $13 each. Your profit margin didn't expand because you sold more. You keep the same profit margin no matter how well the sale goes. The sale may have been a special event or to grow your group, but consistently running sales does nothing for your bottom line. If you're not careful, you could find yourself in a situation where you're selling t-shirts at or below cost just to move inventory.
#4 You create an unsustainable business model.
If your business is built on always having sales and discounts, it won't be sustainable in the long run. Like #3, hustling to sell & make $7 tees is not sustainable. How are you going to invest in building a website? How will you afford to pay a monthly subscription service for email marketing? The amount of sales tees you need to sell monthly just to break even is absurd. It's much easier (and more sustainable) to build a business model that doesn't rely on constant sales and discounts. What if you could make the same amount of money (or more) by making less tees? You can, raise your prices!
#5 You are creating unnecessary stress.
Running a business is stressful enough without worrying about planning and executing sales all the time. Planning a bid war on Monday, to Mystery Bag sale Wednesday to Fast Finger on Friday then 20% OFF every 2 tees on Sunday... that is exhausting! Somehow running sales generates less profit and requires more time and effort to put together. Simplify your product offering by creating a weekly routine of product drops at full price. If you need help getting started with weekly runs, read 10 reasons why your business needs a weekly run.
Not sure how to shift away from the sales strategy in your business?
Here is a starting idea, don't offer color options for sales or mystery tees. So the customer is already getting a good deal on the tee, and now they get to customize it too?
The main thought process here isn't necessarily taking away options from them during sales but giving them options when they shop full price. If they want to pick their color, that is reserved for those who shop full price. It becomes more like a reward or treat for paying full price. They get the custom experience.
Subtle changes compound into big profit changes in your business.
It's time to break the sales-only mentality to grow a business.
It's time to level up.