Ryonet Blog

Measurements of Success for Your Screen Printing Business

KPI Success

Below is an excerpt from my book, “Made to Make It: A Guide To Screen Printing Success.” Learn helpful tips and tricks on how to run a screen printing business.

You’ve probably figured out by now that I like football. I see a ton of points of commonality between between winning football teams and winning organizations. If we ran our businesses as well as even a high school football team, we would create a lot more success and wealth with a lot less struggle and failure along the way.

Similar to great businesses, great football teams are founded on common values, and rely on the coordination of a team of players working together to achieve a shared vision for the future. They strategize on a game plan, practice how to make it happen, and train for success. Unlike most businesses, however, football teams have a very easy way of knowing if they are winning. At any time during the game, they, and the observers can look at the scoreboard and see who’s ahead.

Key Performance Indicators

Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, wrote a book about what it takes to make it in the world of business, called “Winning.” In it, he talks about the importance of goal-setting to helping your team understand the game, the score, and what it takes to win. We’ve tried to implement some of his methodologies at Ryonet, with Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) designed to give our team a sense of how close (or far away) we are from the goal line. We review our progress against these markers weekly and monthly to look for trends and areas of opportunity for improvement. We continue to look for ways to simplify this process and make it easier for people to understand how their individual contributions impact performance.

You can choose to list out KPIs across different functions of your organization or, depending on your business model, just choose one measure of success. Southwest Airlines has achieved great success with this strategy, simply aiming to conquer one goal—“Wheels Up.” They strive to deliver the fastest airport turnaround time, reducing delays, canceled flights, missed layovers, thereby achieving customer satisfaction and loyalty. They’ve even been profiled in “Great by Choice” which I mentioned earlier, and “Hyper Sales Growth” by Jack Daly.

Of course, it takes a while to become a Southwest Airlines. So, while you’re figuring out what that great, lofty goal might be, here are a few SMART items you can track performance against.


• Order delivery goals met

• % of misprints caught by shop

• % of returns/misprints/imperfects caught by customer

• Production goals met


• Consumables used per shirt

• Labor $ per shirt

Customer Satisfaction 

• Customer reviews

• Customer referrals

As your business grows and evolves, so should your KPIs. Remember, it’s your job to “ BE THE BEST AT BEING BETTER,” so challenge yourself to reach new milestones, which previously seemed impossible. You’d be amazed at how far you can go if you stretch yourself.

Like what you read? Get more great business tips on running a screen printing business from my book, “Made to Make It: A Guide To Screen Printing Success.”




  • After almost 10 years in the industry I still feel like I haven’t progressed financially. Sure I have upgraded my machines and moved out of the house and into a warehouse (because too much Craigslist Creep from my possible customers), but I feel like I’m failing.

    One, employees have been the bane of my existence. Finding experienced help has been challenging to say the least and then you try training someone only for them to crap out on you after a couple of months wasting your time and resources.

    Two, I feel that I’m not worth the price I should be charging some people or I sacrifice my prices in order to try and land the deal only to discover that my profit margin is sad at the end of the day and my expenses have gone way up in the place I’m in now.

    It’s the greatest, longest, job I have ever had that I’ve wanted to quit almost every day from. Thanks for the post.

    • The issue is that most companies charge too low for the goods and service we perform and produce. Just cause you work from home to start you have to price the items as if you are full size in the future state. Including employees. Most companies pay their help too low and that gets you low quality employees. Remember that you get what you pay for. It is only the company’s fault for bad employees.

      Whether it is low pay, or poor work environment or a combination; it is the company’s fault. The price we set is what we set in the minds of the consumers. Low prices, customers see us as low value; yet they want the goods. Higher prices = higher value. If people would stop trying to race to the bottom in pricing then we all could sustain our companies for a brighter future.

    • “… or I sacrifice my prices in order to try and land the deal only to discover that”

      To discover that you got a job but didn’t get a customer.

      Jobs are great! We need jobs! But we need customers more than we need jobs. Customers come back. Customers tell other people, they sell for us. The people who are looking for the lowest price will leave you as soon as the other guy beats your price.

      Do a good job, satisfy the customer, and you will get ahead in the game. Maybe only slightly, but still…. anything in the positive direction is in the positive direction.

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