So, you’ve set your mind to get some profit out of your favorite hobby – machine embroidery. Good for you! As crafting industry hitting pretty high numbers in profits worldwide, it has fantastic potential for home-run business development. So why use this potential, right? But to get the gig going, you need to settle some questions that, we’re sure, are buzzing inside your head like a hype of busy bees. What to begin with? Should you use your old embroidery machine or should you get an update? If you’re set on the update, what embroidery machine will suit your venture? How to find clients? How to land orders? What should your inventory be? And the list is going… To help you get the answers right, Royal Present Embroidery offers a series of articles dedicated to setting up a home-run embroidery business. The series will feature the following topics:
1. How to start an embroidery business at home? What does a home-run embroidery business need to have at the beginning?
2. How to find your niche in embroidery business.
3. How to find clients and land orders for your embroidery business.
4. Embroidery business: what to charge?
5. Best embroidery machine for your home-run embroidery business.
6. Skills and knowledge, needed for starting embroidery business at home.
7. Home-run embroidery business: extras that will add to your success.
Today we’ll tackle the very first question. For those, who’re eager to learn more, in a section, following the present article, we’ll give brief summaries of the rest 6 the features.
How to start an embroidery business at home? What does a home-run embroidery business need to have at the beginning?
In the intro we addressed those, who’re making a transition from a machine embroidery hobbyist to a machine embroidery entrepreneur. This, however, doesn’t mean that embroidery business is out of reach for an absolute beginner. So, to be fair to those, who are jumping into home-based embroidery business, and to be as inclusive as possible with the answer to the set questions, we’ll start with the basics.
Important issues to consider before starting embroidery business at home:
– Knowledge of the trade,
– Equipment and supplies for your product (be it actual goods or service),
– Knowledge of the market in your area (competition, potential clients and orders).
How to start an embroidery business at home
Knowledge of the trade
To start embroidery business at home one should definitely know what machine embroidery is. The better your mastery, the easier it’s to attract orders. So for starters one need:
– learn all the ropes: handling of the machinery (software and hardware), proper use of the supplies (stabilizers, needles), etc.
– Practice a lot. You need to know very well how a certain type of designs is used, how different types of fabrics behave etc.
– Establish area of expertise. Practice will help you not only in building your skills, but also in establishing your area of expertise. This area of expertise will be the basis for your business.
e.g. If you’re great at embroidering apparel, it’ll be easier for you to offer your service and attract orders in this area. This is service-based home embroidery business. If you love decorating, you can specialize in sewing and embroidering interior accessories. This is the production-based home embroidery business. Then there’s embroidery and assembly into sets of baby-related items. This is the combination of both types of embroidery businesses.
Equipment and supplies for your embroidery business products
Now, this point goes right after the knowledge of the trade part for good reason. You just won’t be able to achieve good first without this second. So, the list of things you’ll need in the beginning consists of the following:
1 – Embroidery machine (obviously),
2 – Embroidery machine accessories (only the necessary of them, don’t go splurge on the extras, like specialty hoops, that you won’t use as much).
3 – Computer (laptop) for downloading and handling of your designs. You’ll be transferring designs from your computer to your machine by means of a cable or a USB-flash card. If you’re serious about starting a home embroidery business, never use a family computer. Important files get deleted, important software gets mishandled – you don’t need these problems when you are pressed with deadlines etc.
4 – Embroidery software. In the beginning you’ll be mainly converting designs from one format to another. More complicated tasks and, oh-gosh, digitizing should not be of your concern in the beginning. So, again, don’t splurge on expensive programs. Most of the actually needed ones are available for free online or come with your embroidery machine.
5 – Supplies: threads, needles, stabilizers and minors like textile pens, scissors etc. By the way, as we only listing the items, some of you might like to learn of them in a more detailed way. Browse Blog Royal Present Embroidery section of our site for a vast collection of dedicated to particularities of machine embroidery threads, needles, types of stabilizers and more.
6 – Printer. Some project will have you planning very carefully where to position embroidery designs. Printouts of embroidery design images help dealing with the task. So, to get printouts of such, you might consider investing in a printer.
Knowledge of the market in your area (competition, potential clients, what orders could they bring in, etc)
So, knowledge of the trade combined with the so-called embroidery home business “starter pack” will give you a pretty good ground to grow your embroidery business on. In order to “fertilize” the grown so that it’ll give you good harvest (a.k.a. – orders, profit etc.) you must learn the market. If nothing else, you can’t achieve success only on the hope that people will buy what you offer. You need to know what and how to offer in order to make your endeavor work. So, the things, you should learn, include:
~ Learn competition in your area. In the beginning your area is all you need to worry about. Scale your competition. Large chain stores with read-made embroidery items are not your competition. We wish we could say that same goes for ateliers with multi-head embroidery machines. Usually they won’t bother with tailoring of a single order with a lot of customization. Their expense time-wise just won’t pay off. But at times they might turn their attention onto small orders too. So, if you have in your area something of the kind, it might be of a concern. In general, your competition as a blooming home-run embroidery business will be those, who’re into customization or personalization of unique items.
~ Think of potential clients that will want your product (be it embroidery decoration services or actual embroidered things). This particular point is very important as it’ll virtually define your entire enterprise. If you know or somehow are sure in the type of orders that you’ll get, you can make more defined development moves.
e.g. You’re about to sign up with another business, that is interested in you making them patches. Making embroidered patches requires specific equipment – heat press. This equipment requires investment, which is always an issue at the beginning. Another example, involves choosing an embroidery machine with features that will suit your particular setup. Let’s say you know that your potential clients will need you embroider on sturdy fabric (Cordura backpacks). Not all machines are able to sew well through such materials. Thus, you might consider investing in an embroidery machine that can.
A lot to consider, right? Well, you’re starting a business, not a hobby club. And the list of the things to consider is not nearly through. There’s also the pricing policy (What will you charge?), promotion (How can it help you grow?), legal issues (at some point) etc. But don’t you worry about them now. For now, sleep on the information, given in the present article as you need to let it settle in. And after it has, we’ll have plenty more in the articles that will follow. Here’s the sneak peak on the series’ upcoming pieces:
~ How to find your niche in embroidery business? The article will tell you why in the beginning it’s important to take up a particular type of product or service line. Also it will help you decide what your home-run embroidery business will specialize on.
~ How to find clients and land orders for your embroidery business? There’re a lot of ways to attract potential clients. Some of them, including branding and promotion, will be discussed in this installment to the series.
~ Embroidery business: what to charge? Pricing policy of your business can vary from that of your competition. Should it be lower? What will the price for your product be comprised of? How to figure out the formula that will work for you? All these questions will be answered in this article.
~ Best embroidery machine for your home-run embroidery business. Should you buy a used embroidery machine or invest in a brand-new one? What features should it have? Are there such things as “good” and “bad” embroidery machines? You’ll know how to answer these questions after you read this piece.
~ Skills and knowledge, needed for starting embroidery business at home. You know that you have to be more than ok at using of an embroidery machine. But is there something else you should know? Should you also know how to digitize? What digitizing is? Are there other skills that you absolutely have to have to start your own home-run embroidery business? Is timing a skill? Should you count it in? We’ll speak about all of the things in this article.
~ Home-run embroidery business: extras that will add to your success. As you’ve probably understood, embroidery has many lines that a home-run business can take up. Some of them might require specialty equipment, which in its turn requires special knowledge and skills. This article will speak about such “extra” features. Also here we’ll touch upon legal issues, hiring help etc.