Tuesday, March 29, 2011

What IF... T-shirt printing for free

What if I calculated the cost of printing and the cost of t-shirts wholesale and removed the profit requirement from my scenario? I am pretty certain that I am working for free already, however, once I assume all of the expesnes, including taxes and other shit that is involved with running a business then I am lucky to have a profit. So What if...

I printed for FREE?

I don't mean totally free, because somebody has to get paid for doing the work and the shipping. Either children in Asia do it or sweatshop workers in your backyard do it, somebody has to print the actual t-shirts. Machines don't run themselves and there is no totally FREE LUNCH. Printing is a craft and somebody has to handle each printed t-shirt that has a design, no matter where you are from, but what if we printed for non-profit institutions for free? Personally I am only in business to make money because I have to be in business to stay alive, FUCK BUSINESS for business sakes! I hate business just to make a profit, it sucks, it takes all my time, I feel greedy, but I have to do it to make money to pay my mortgage and make sure my kids can go to college and have food to eat... I'm sure we would all rather be doing something else than playing this stupid game called making money.

The bigger picture is what I am talking about here. I can get paid by running my business as a non-profit and my long term goals are covered by insurance anyway, like if I die or something. So my biggest expenses are to pay taxes and work for the man, which make my life difficult. As a non-profit my tax profile might shift to a simpler profile and in the end breaking even is where I end up anyway. So why not be a non-profit and transition my insurance and basic expenses to that scenario. Is is reasonable to think my business could fit into a non-profit scenario if I am still planning on being paid a basic salary to cover my expenses? Does a non-profit simply mean that the additional funds a company may make get turned back into the company at the end of the year? Not sure.

Let me assume that you are a potential customer of t-shirt and t-shirt printing. If you provide me with printable artwork and you are not unrealistic about the job, then I can get you the lowest price on printing and still make enough money to survive. My problem is that I have to deal with customers that give me crappy artwork, they are potentially fraudulent and don't really know what they want to begin with. This stress is why I have to mark up my prices have to have a padding in them currently to absorb the potential for losses, credit cards etc..., but if I was printing for free then I can dictate the terms of my work and not be stressed over the outcome as much. The company requesting the service is sort of a partner and if they want the service they have to bring the correct pieces to the table to begin with.

I don't want to under-estimate my abilities, but I do a simple job and it is t-shirt printing. No more, no less. You want embroidery, go somewhere else. You want to save the world by putting a stupid slogan on a t-shirt; you got the right place. I just want to print shirts because that is what I do. The profit motive is a fantasy anyway, unless I was going to sell my company or if I had investors. None of that here. I just want to keep my shop moving forward without the stress of the business world.

If you think this concept fits with a non-profit let me know in the comments section. Is there any advantage to the consumer who is working with a non-profit, or more correctly not-for-profit?