Grow Your Business with School Spirit!
From back-to-school items to high school and university spirit wear, offering items themed around the education market is a great place to expand your customer base. There are thousands of items that can be personalized with laser engraving and marking, sublimation, toner heat transfer, vinyl application, and UV-LED printing that you can offer to customers and schools alike. Here are a few ways you can get in to the “school spirit” to grow your business.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to grow your business is by partnering with local school districts to offer “school spirit” items like drinkware and soft goods. With a little planning and budgeting, it can be great repeat business year after year.
Item #SUBS3700L: Vapor Performance Tee
There are countless schools across the country that offer school spirit items to their students and parents. From alumni mugs and tumblers to mascot-themed shirts and sports related items, schools offer these items to foster school pride and build a relationship with the community. Many of these schools purchase their items from large volume online sellers, and those sellers require minimum orders.
You have TWO big advantages as a local supplier of customized items. One is the ability to create short-run, almost on-demand orders, which allows schools to offer a wider range of products since they don’t have to buy in bulk, so to speak. And two, you can offer an ADDITIONAL layer of personalization with those short-run orders. Adding a name to a sublimated mug or sports jersey number to toner heat transfer t-shirt is something you can do that the bulk-order companies cannot.
One last way to work with the schools and help solidify your reputation in the community is to offer to split the profits with the school as a fundraiser. The school will be more inclined to promote those items if they’re receiving a cut of the profits, and you can promote that you’re supporting local education efforts. It’s a win-win for both you and the schools!
Colleges and Universities
Unlike local school districts, colleges and universities often have the financial ability to purchase logoed items at scale from large wholesalers. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities available that can help you grow your business.
Partnering with a university bookstore can lead to a unique revenue stream for your personalization business. For example, if the bookstore is offering leather notebooks or notepads with the school logo, you could offer to personalize them for their customers with laser engraver or UV-LED printing. The same could hold true for tumblers and other drinkware that you could personalize with a laser or with vinyl application.
Additionally, if you have a store front or retail location, working with the university to offer personalized items with their logo is a great way to introduce new customers to your business and increase foot traffic. However, be sure to get permission from the school to use their official logo on any items you offer to avoid any legal trademark violations down the road.
Item #SC018: Saddle Notebook
Back to School Items
For your existing customers, there are plenty of fantastic “back-to-school" items that can be personalized for any age group. Backpacks and water bottles for the younger kids to leather-like portfolios for the high school and college crowd are always hot sellers this time of year. There are items in every product category that can be personalized with sublimation, toner heat transfer, laser engraving, and more.
When the end of the school year rolls around, those same products can be used to create personalized gifts for your customers to give to teachers and coaches.
Working with local schools and universities is a great way to build your existing business with a custom group that includes regular, repeat orders. Building a relationship with these institutions can help you grow your business in other ways as well. Parents and teachers will see what you can do with personalized products, and that can have a ripple effect throughout the year. If you’re not already selling to the education market, it’s one you should focus on to take your business to the next level.
To help you get started, be sure to check out our School Spirit Gift Guide with products you can personalize with sublimation, toner heat transfer, engraving, vinyl, UV-LED printing, and more!