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Tip of the Month:
Making Your Branded Apparel Budget Work
Making Your Budget Work

Organizations can achieve a uniform look without breaking the bank. By factoring in your budget, the number of employees, and turnover rate, you can determine what is right for your bottom line.

TIGHT BUDGET

Option 1: Require your employees to wear shirts and pants in colors of your choice; Example: a White shirt and Black pants.  Purchase aprons with your logo embroidered on the front.  Employees leave the aprons at work and you throw them in the washer at the end of the day.  Even if you choose to give employees the aprons, the loss will be minimal on such an inexpensive option.  If your business is slightly more formal, opt for a solid-color necktie or scarf and add embroidery.

Option 2: Only outfit the front-of-the-house employees since they have daily, face-to-face interaction with customers.

A BUDGET WITH WIGGLE ROOM

Option 1: Buy basic polos or button-up shirts in your company’s color.  Add your logo and/or the employees’ names.  Limit the quantity you hand out and require them to pay for any additional.  Just don’t expect shirts to last indefinitely after normal, repeated wear and washing.  The condition of the clothing reflects on your company’s image, so providing refresher shirts is a boost for the brand and your employees.

Option 2: With the expansion of your budget you can choose a shirt with nicer fabric and added construction details.  If that isn’t important to you, add pants to coordinate with the existing shirt.  This allows for a more concise look because it eliminates the variation in color between pants bought at Store A vs. Store B.  If you do business in a cooler climate or consider the cold temperatures of many office buildings, a sweater is a nice add-on.

BUSINESS-IS-BOOMING BUDGET

Choose an assortment of clothing that creates your uniform look.  An example: 2 blazers, 3 sweaters, 4 shirts, 3 pants, 2 skirts, 1 dress, 2 ties, and 2 scarves.  The objective is to select an assortment with a variety of styling options, suitable for the job function, as well as a range of body types and with colors that either match or complement one another.  Give each employee a clothing allowance and let them mix and match from the choices to suit their tastes.  Their allowance isn’t enough to purchase everything, but it gives them a certain amount of ownership over their uniform and they can accommodate their personal preferences.  Add to the spending allowance as your business grows or for a holiday incentive.

Be realistic with your uniform budget.  Your current state-of-business may not allow you to dress an employee head-to-toe, but as business grows so can the uniform options.  Just remember, whatever the budget, uniforms are worth the investment.

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