How many spare shirts or hoodies do you have sitting in your storage closet at your Box? For Stefan Cox, the owner of CrossFit Turbine in Carol Stream, Illinois, there was too much inventory left over from merchandise orders, and he knew there had to be a solution.
“We went from buying a bulk order of T-shirts for people to buy from us, to showing people the design on a piece of paper and they would write their size and how many they wanted,” said Cox. “We would order just enough so we didn’t have a ton of inventory leftover. That was fine, but it just felt like the 1960s and didn’t feel right.”
Enter Red Dog Design. A company based out of New Jersey that has made Cox’s life a little easier when it comes to selling CrossFit Turbine gear. Through Red Dog Design, Turbine no longer has to worry about leftover inventory collecting dust in the back room.
The company works with the Box to pick the more popular items based on the needs or wants of the athletes, and then they send their graphic design team to work. Once Cox gives the green light on the design and style, Red Dog Design sends them a store link and a spreadsheet with who has ordered what.
“Red Dog will give us our price and then we can control our profits,” said Cox. “We get to decide what we want to sell it for. We try to be very competitive and sell them just a little bit less than the competition. Then, Red Dog posts it online with the pricing that the members and guests get.”
The store is left open for two weeks, ample time for members or friends to get in their orders. After that time frame, the store closes and Red Dog works to get the designs printed and shipped to either the Box in a bulk order, or a member’s personal address.
A major reason many Boxes like to have extra shirts leftover from bulk orders is for potential members visiting their Affiliate. A shirt can be a way to get them to sign up for the intro class, and at Turbine they make sure they have shirts from each order for that reason.
“With the profits we make, we can then buy a minimal amount of apparel to have on hand when visitors come in or people want them,” said Cox. “Then we aren’t left with that overwhelming feeling of having shirts and apparel not moving.”
Choosing a company to partner with to make your Box’s apparel is important because if it’s the right company, they should be eliminating some of your stress as a small business owner.
“Find someone who works for you; you don’t work for them,” said Cox. “They need to earn your business. What that means everyone has to figure our individually, but you need to establish a good relationship with these people.”