The Seasons Are Changing, and So Should Your Product Mix!

Photo courtesy of @westside_store on Twitter.

The seasons are changing, and so should the product mix you are offering in your school-based enterprise!

Spirit Factory is here as a resource to help you and your team offer the most popular and relevant products to your school, regardless of the season. Check out Spirit Factory’s latest blog post on the products and designs you should be considering.

Here is a peak into what it looks like to initiate the process of purchasing new inventory for your SBE:

Product Ideas
Researching the best products for your school store can take time. It can also be costly to order products that your target market doesn’t want. Be sure to ask students, parents and faculty/staff about what products they would purchase. Conducting a product survey is a great way to get this feedback.

Art Mock-Up Approval
Whether you’re creating your own design or are having Spirit Factory create a design for you, it is helpful to involve students in the process. Some teams have had great success conducting a design contest! Ask your school community to submit their own, original designs and then have the student body vote on the one they want your SBE to sell.

Check Your Calendar
Some items can be time sensitive, so be sure to establish turnaround times with your custom merchandise supplier so you can plan your marketing campaigns around the estimated arrival time of the merchandise.

Now that you know the process, here are a few things that you want to have ready when you begin your order:

Be sure you understand from your supplier how many items are needed to be purchased to satisfy the minimum order quantity. Also, ask for the next quantity break pricing, as the savings on the per unit cost might help you decide how many to order.

Ensure that you are aware of what sizes you will need for each item and how many of each size.

Art/Design Ideas
Designs can be tricky. Typically, when working with a supplier, they will want to have a Vector file. If you do not have a Vector file, some suppliers will work with you to help create. Keep in mind that for most products, the more colors you have in your design, the higher the cost will be.

If you have a general product idea in mind, but need help from your supplier to share some options with you, be sure you let them know your budget. There can be hundreds of options for most products, and providing your desired price point can help you supplier in their search.

Now that you know the process and what you might need to begin your order, here are some of the top items Spirit Factory is seeing SBEs and other school store teams selling successfully (click the product to see more info):

For some fool proof methods of getting these hot items into the hands of your customers, check out our most recent article full of great marketing ideas.

For more tips and tricks for your SBE, please visit

Spirit-Factory-Logo-EPSEmail-SigThis article was written by Spirit Factory, a DECA National Advisory Board partner and Corporate Social Media Correspondent. Learn more about Spirit Factory and how it can help your DECA chapter here, and check out the Spirit Factory Blog for more SBE tips!

Categories: Chapter Development, Chapter Resources, Chapter Resources (Home Page Teaser), Comprehensive Learning Program, School-based Enterprises