Rob Bates had already run a full-service screen printing business for several years when he had the idea for the hyper-focused, one-color-only print shop. “I envisioned how fast I’d be able to produce jobs if every print was a one-color design,” Bates explained. One-color prints already accounted for 65% of the orders in his shop. “Focusing on single-color designs saves time, eliminates color separations, [eliminates] making extra screens, and all the headaches that come with multi-color designs.” 

But to make his idea work, he couldn’t rely on the local market. Bates would have to take his idea online. One Effin’ Ink prints one-color designs on eight different styles of clothing, with low prices, small order minimums, and fast delivery. 

My Successes: 

“He’s helped me really figure out my costs and profit margins to make sure I can make this business work selling $5 T-shirts,” Bates says. 

How SCORE Helped: 

Bates first met SCORE volunteer mentor Rick Scofield in 2009, when he was working on a clothing product he had developed. He reconnected with Scofield in May 2017, about a year after Bates started thinking about launching a single-color print shop. “I had an early version of the website built,” Bates says. “I wanted him to take a general look at what I’d created and help go over my business plan.” Since then, the two have met once per month to go over ideas and next steps.

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