Shipping containers are stacked on docks in the Port of Los Angeles on February 10, 2006 in San Pedro, California. The U.S. trade gap reached the third-highest level on record in December according to the Commerce Department, pushing the annual deficit to a record $725.8 billion, 17.5 percent more than in 2004.
Not every business can follow the niche, crowd-sourced business model employed by T-shirt company Threadless.
Many need mainstream marketing and big clients to help meet margins.
But chasing after mega-clients can be dangerous for a small business.
Another casual-wear company, the Texas-based Big D Custom T-shirts, which has a location in Chicago on North Seeley, shifted from chasing bulk-buying clients to a more diversified customer base.
It didn't happen overnight, and not everyone in the company saw eye-to-eye about the transition.
Their conversion is chronicled in a recent New York Times profile of the company, and it includes this telling remark:
“If a business focuses solely on fewer large accounts, and one of those disappears, the consequences can be devastating. We try to expose as many people as possible to our business, and that exposure can only come by nurturing the smaller clients as well as the large ones.”
Sounds like good advice.
Read the full piece on The New York Times.