Attention Screen Printers! Always Request 100% Down Payment. Here's 3 Reasons Why

Business Lessons

A lot of screen printing, embroidery, signage, and custom printing shops ask for a down payment instead of the full payment on their orders.

They may take terms, basically giving their customer an interest-free loan. Ordering garments becomes risky. Inevitably a customer stiffs you or never picks up their order. 

This is no good. It's a self-inflicted wound that has killed hundreds of entrepreneurs' dreams.

We need to change this mentality. For direct to consumer jobs, we need to start requesting 100% payment upfront all of the time.

Sure, there are plenty of exceptions for term customers and contract work...but for 99.9% of direct-to-consumer jobs, it's time to request full up-front payment.

This is a no-brainer!

3 reasons to collect 100% payment upfront

How to automatically request down payment in Printavo

Note: Using the automation feature in Printavo, you can automatically request payment on orders after they've been approved by the customer.

There are three very simple reasons to get paid up front for custom printed products. 

Reason #1: Cash flow security

Poor cash flow management kills screen printing businesses. We've seen it firsthand. Don't be a victim!

Unless you are meticulously focused on your budgeting, there's a good chance you'll be financially strained unless you take 100% payment upfront. Why?

You're juggling too many things, taking terms is complicated, and it's simply human to account for money you think you have when it's actually coming much later.

Reason #2: It's less work to take payment upfront

Eliminating steps – particularly the uncomfortable phone call, email, or in-office visit to request payment – is always a bold move toward efficiency.

If someone pays for their order when it's placed, the transaction is complete. That's it! You print, fulfill, get your review, and move on.

Fewer things to remember, fewer things to collect on, fewer things to train employees on, less potential for problems, more time to focus on printing and sales.

Reason #3: Customers are used to paying upfront

When you buy something as a consumer, you pay the full price right then and there. Except for really big ticket items, you don't expect to come back later and pay the rest.

Whether you do it online or in a store, you're comfortable paying the full price. Even for custom printed products!

If you buy a couch, you pay 100% – and you don't get the couch for six weeks!

People are used to paying upfront. They prefer it. It's really not a problem.


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Join Printavo at our annual conference: PrintHustlers Conf 2020.

Held at Ace Hotel in Chicago on July 24-25, you'll take part in an exclusive conference for the elite custom apparel professional. 2019's PrintHustlers Conf was an astonishing event full of opportunities and insights.

We've seen lots of print shops struggle with cash flow issues. It's time to break the cycle and set the expectation that all custom printed products are paid for upfront. Last year we covered putting profit first, and this year we'll continue with more actionable presentations and candid conversations.

The big players – like Custom Ink and Amazon – always make you pay upfront. Why can't your business?

Start pushing this policy! Let's go. We can do this!


Next Post: PrintHustlers Guide To: Growing a Successful Screen Printing Business, Chapter 8: Training is Undervalued

About Printavo

Printavo ​​is simple shop management software. Whether your shop works with screen printing, embroidery, signage, digital printing, or awards & engraving–we make your complex workflow simpler to manage and understand. Printavo keeps your shop organized by handling scheduling, estimates, quote approvals, workflow, payments, accounting and more. With Printavo, you’ll work smarter–not harder.

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