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How to Raise Prices and Keep Customers

Ryan Moor never got a business degree. He's only taken a few college courses.

Ryonet
Source: Ryonet.com
Ryonet

But at the age of 30, he runs a company with 75 employees on track to make $26 million in sales this year. This despite the fact that his own costs are up double digits, and he has had to pass some of them along to customers.

Moor is CEO of Ryonet, a silkscreen supplies company outside Portland, in Vancouver, Washington. Seven years ago Moor and some former bandmates started Ryonet after learning how to make their own T-shirts to help fund their musical endeavors. They were so good at it that other bands started asking how they did it. A business was born.

"Right now we're seeing year over year growth of just over 30 percent," Moor says. That's slower than last year's 50 percent growth, but it's coming as Ryonet has raised prices to help offset the higher cost of ink, aluminum, chemicals, and shipping. Yet Moor says the bottom line is growing, too. "We're actually being more profitable." How? Ryonet has a side business educating silk screeners to operate more efficiently. For example, by buying a finer mesh screen for a few extra dollars, they can use 32 percent less ink.

Use less ink, buy less ink.

So how can Ryonet's business be growing?

Moor says by helping customers save, he builds loyalty. "Our goal is to train our customers to be more successful, because if you're more successful, you're going to come back and buy more products from us."

Moor also says that the T-shirt industry, which left the U.S. for cheaper labor elsewhere, is starting to come back as inflation goes global. Other countries "are facing the same problems we're facing here domestically."

Listen to Moor's interview, as he explains how he became an entrepreneur at 23, and how at 30, he's using a tough economy as a personal challenge to be creative and efficient. What worries him? "Being too confident."

Questions? Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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