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.
“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.
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.