Are you looking for advice on how to start an embroidery business? If you love to sew and create personalized gifts then starting an embroidery business may be a great way for you to make an additional income.
You may be already working on projects as a hobby, or maybe even friends and family have asked for you to make them items. Regardless of where you are in your embroidery journey, this post will help you decide on the next steps you’ll need to take it to the next level.
If you want to start a business that allows you to be creative and gives you the freedom to work from home, then learning how to start an embroidery business just might be right for you.
Is there a market for embroidery?
Embroidery is very common in the fashion industry. Many people who are looking for a unique or personalized fashion item would likely be interested in embroidery.
Just take a look at sites like Etsy…
They have over 670,000 searches per month for “embroidery”–this means there’s quite a demand for this service.
If you take a look even closer, you’ll see embroidery products with thousands of reviews–this tells us there are products getting high volumes of sales. It’s always a good idea to look at products that are already working and make observations about why the market might be resonating with what’s out there.
In addition to embroidery products like what you can find on Etsy, there’s a market for things like uniforms with embroidered logos that are used in places like schools, business advertising, and sports. They have a professional look and last a lot longer than a vinyl or screen print image, which makes them an ideal option for many consumers.
Take a look at sites like Zazzle or Vistaprint for example. They get thousands of customers monthly who buy embroidered products for school uniforms, weddings, baby showers, and so many other occasions!
There is a huge potential market for embroidery and it really depends on what you decide to do with the skill. Some more examples of markets that buy embroidery products include:
- Sports teams
- Non-profit organizations
- Wedding parties/decor
- New moms
- Summer camps
- And, many more.
How to Start an Embroidery Business – A Step-by-Step Guide
Now, you know the demand, but you might be wondering, “So, how do I get started?”. Here is my recommendation on how to start an embroidery business…
1.Create a Business Plan
An important first step for any successful business is to set goals that help guide your actions.
- When do you want to launch?
- What services will you offer?
- How much will you charge?
- How much product do you need to launch?
- and More
Ensure that you emphasize the problem that you’re solving for your customer. If they don’t know there is a problem, you can’t sell a solution. For example, a well designed company uniform can increase employee productivity. They don’t have to waste time choosing what to wear to work, and it gives the entire staff a more professional look.
You can use our Business Planner to help you get clear about your goals and tasks you can do to attract customers online.
Incorporating your business is one of the best ways you can protect your personal assets and limit liability. When your business is incorporated, it is a separate legal entity from you, the business owner.
First, you need to file a document called “Articles of Incorporation”. Some important information you’ll need is:
- Company name
- Business’ mission
- Name of Registered Agent
- Director Information
- Leadership Structure
- Business’ Address
By incorporating, businesses often gain tax advantages, additional tax write offs, and it can boost credibility which can be beneficial for any new business.
3. Build a Website
Building an online presence doesn’t have to be difficult. Nowadays setting up a website isn’t as hard on the wallet as you may think. For less than $300 you can buy a domain and get hosting. These are two foundational assets for starting a business website.
When you have a website, you can use tools like search engines and social media to attract potential customers to your products and services.
4. Building Email List
You can capture the emails of people who visit your website in exchange for a download, free consultation, exclusive discount coupons, or another “foot in the door offer”. Once they’re on your email list, you can send them sneak peaks to new products and other promotions. Little perks and the feeling of exclusivity helps to not only build your clientele but maintain repeat customers as well.
4. Map your Customer Journey
What are your customers looking for? Know what their wants and needs are.
Be clear on what services you offer and make it easy for clients to view pricing and check out once they’ve decided on products they like.
Also, it’s important to make sure that your website looks trustworthy. A good way to do this is by having customer reviews on your website and social media pages.
Your customer journey could look like this:
- Make contact with a potential customer
- Go to either an opt-in page for a free and helpful gift (such as a discount on their next order)
- And, hope they go to your sales page to purchase a product.
When you have a clear customer journey, you are no longer leaving it up to chance. Instead, you’re being intentional in your business process. You could go around handing out business cards and hoping that the potential customers go to your website to book purchase a product.
Or you could use social media and search engines to your embroidery businesses advantage to help guide customers to you in an intentional and organic way.
Customer journey mapping lays out how a stranger (who knows nothing about your business) turns into a customer.
Your sales process may look more like…
- Facebook or Pinterest Ad
- Check Optin Page
- Collect Email in Exchange for Discount
- Check out Website
- Left item in Checkout cart
- Abandoned shopping cart Email reminder
- Make the Sale
Customer journeys can vary, but it’s a good practice to think about areas a customer may drop off in your sales process, and create systems that serve as guardrails that lead toward the sale.
5. Choose your Tools and Equipment
There’s equipment that every embroidery business will need.
- Quality threads
- Embroidery designs
- Computer to make designs yourself
- Blank items (t-shirts, ballcaps, bags, etc)
- And of course an embroidery machine
The embroidery machine you decide on will depend on the size of business you’re looking to set up and must fit into your budget. Remember to take your time when choosing. It’ll be your most valuable asset. A beginner machine can start around $500, mid range are around $6000 and high end/ commercial machines are $13,000+. Your machine will determine the area that you can work with and projects that you are able to take on.
If you take into consideration how much you’re expecting your business to grow when choosing a machine, it can help you save money in the long run.
- Brother embroidery machines click here
- Bernina Embroidery Machines click here
- Janome Embroidery Machines click here
- Set up Payment Options
When you have an online presence and products that you want to sell from your website, then you have to add ecommerce functionality. This means that people will be able to shop and checkout right from your website! E-commerce functionality will usually add onto your overhead costs but can be well worth the cost if you want to primarily focus on online sales.
- SamCart- eCommerce Software
- Podia – Digital product, webinar, and email marketing software
- Shopify – eCommerce Software
7. Advertise and Get People to Know about Your Business
It doesn’t matter how good your product or service is if nobody knows that your business exists.
When people want something personalized, it’s becoming more and more common to do is an internet search. If you’re offering local embroidery services, you want your business to be the first to show up in your local area for embroidery.
There are many ways that you can advertise and promote your business online like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram, Pinterest, and more. It’s important for any new business now to take advantage of online marketing, even if it means simply having an active business social media account.
Social media marketing like Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram ads are great ways to target new clients looking for your specific services. When you use social media/online marketing alongside email marketing you’ll see steady growth in your business.
It’s important to remember the offline world too when it comes to the business world. A few ways that you can boost your brand awareness is by always having business cards ready to hand out to potential customers, attending trade shows, and even approaching businesses yourself.
By marketing to the correct clientele, learning how to price your items correctly, having positive online presence, and producing quality work you’ll build a strong customer base. With a strong customer base you’ll gain brand awareness not only through word of mouth, but through social media too.
8. Sell and Make Money
The possibilities are endless for products that you can sell in an embroidery business. Popular items to embroider are uniforms, jerseys, baby items, wedding decor, toys, towels, spa robes/towels, hoodies, hats, bags and more.
You can choose to sell items that you’ve already embroidered, offer custom/personalized services, and allow customers to bring their own items to you, the possibilities are endless.
When people start coming to your website and see that you have a reputable service that serves their needs, then you’ll be making money.
Starting an embroidery business can be a satisfying job and a great way to make money while working from home. You can keep start up costs low by starting off with a smaller machine. But by offering a wide range of services you can still make a healthy profit with the right planning.
Get started with our free business planner, and get started on working towards your goals. If you have any questions, you can leave them in the comments section below.If you’re ready to get started with your business, I recommend you check out the Startup Entrepreneur’s Toolkit and learn how to master the process of getting consistent online sales.