Home / News

Blog - News

Filter by tag:

Deciding Between A Template or Custom Design

Audio: Deciding Between A Template or Custom Design

Which sell the most items? Best selling templates or a custom design? 

In this post, I'll do my best to go over the honest pros and cons of both to help you make the right decision. 

To start, every gym is different and we tailor our process to each gym owner's personality, philosophy, and business procedures. 

Some clients enjoy the apparel process. They have ideas. They have a specific direction.

Some clients hate this process. They have no idea what to do. They want this off their plate and wrapped up within 3-4 emails. 

Some clients are a mix of the two! That works too. 

For all new clients, I encourage them to run 2 orders with us. 1 order from our best seller templates. 1 order from a custom idea that we come up with. See which one sells best. 

Best Seller Templates


  • Saves time
  • Takes out the guess work
  • Many options to look at
  • "Delegatable"
  • Plenty of variety


  • Another gym may have the same design
  • Can feel "off brand"

Custom Design:


  • An "on brand" feel.
  • Unique and specific to you


  • Extra time required
  • Taking a shot in the dark
  • Extra back and forth required
  • Unproven track record
  • Tough to delegate
  • May lead to extra cost if a custom illustration is required

Will Every Order Be A Home Run?

We've all been there. That one order you thought would be popular, "everyone will love!", and "this is a home run!"...but it flops. You feel dumb for even suggesting it and you decide you lost you apparel mojo forever. 

The honest truth with selling apparel is simply this: Not every order is going to be a home run. Any business selling any type of apparel will tell you that there are orders where they only sell 25% of what they were expecting. 

Do you encourage clients to give up on fitness just because they had a bad workout? Nope. You show up for the next session and follow the plan. You make adjustments. You focus on the long term. 

The best piece of advice I can give you is this:

Consistency wins (Get On an Apparel Plan)

You need to be consistent with ordering (Establishing a Culture of Apparel In Your Gym)

You need to change up the designs (Play the Long Game)

You need to use incentives (Incentives Matter)

You need a marketing plan (Marketing Guide)

Every order may not be a home run but when you combine these tactics, a plan that works, and ask the right questions to improve your preorder, you will minimize the orders that fall flat. 

The Importance of a Summer Order

Running an apparel order for the Summer months is surprisingly a polarizing topic. 

Some gym owners enjoy switching things up. Tanks. Brighter colors. Something much different than people are used to. 

There are some owners who don't like this idea because the gym tends to become a ghost town in the Summer months due to members traveling and taking vacation. Also, some just can't wrap their minds around doing a design that has brighter colors or "not gym colors". 

A Summer package is absolutely worth your time. There two main reasons for this. 

1. Variety- You need to switch things up. If you continually run the same black tee/tank every order, there will come a time where members say "I already got one". Whether it is the design, the garment style, or garment colors, pick one thing that is different about this order and put it out there. People crave variety and picking just one thing to make different on this order can help keep things fresh

2. This is going to sound counter intuitive....but it won't be for everyone. Some folks just won't get caught wearing a bright yellow tee...and this is ok and intentional. You want to offer a wide range of designs that appeal to as many people as possible throughout the year. Read that again. I said "appeal to" and not "make every single member happy on every single order". You want to run an order where someone says "I'll take part in the next one". This will help with demand and momentum for the next order. 

Summer orders are a great way to switch things up and set up a big Fall order. If you haven't started your Summer project yet, now is the time to get it started.