Starting your own sewing business can be a real adventure. And just like real adventures, it also has its fun and enjoyable moments, as well as risks and troublesome situations.
By Helen Spencer
But if you enter the adventure well prepared, you will be lowering the risks greatly while increasing your chance of success.
Sewing skills and an entrepreneurial mindset aren’t the only requirements for starting up your sewing business. There are a few other, more important things you need to take care of if you want to run a successful operation. So, let’s check out these things you need to start a sewing business.
Make a business plan first
Running head first into starting your own business is a reckless move. It’s important that you make a proper business plan before you venture out into the entrepreneurial waters.
Start by analyzing your local market. You need to know what your competition offers to their customers and what you should do to position yourself one step ahead of them. Consider what services or products your potential customers might seek. Then focus your business on providing them with that.
Another important part of a proper business plan is the financial organization. Calculate how much money you need for purchasing the essential equipment, paying the rent for your workplace, wages for your employees, and advertising. Try not to make everything tight though, you might have difficulties with attracting customers in the first few weeks. You should have enough money to keep your expenses covered for the first two or three months.
Finalize your business plan by making a marketing plan and a list of tasks and responsibilities for the employees, but also yourself as the owner.
Don’t neglect the paperwork
You wouldn’t want your business to be closed quickly just because you forgot to take care of some paperwork on time. Hire a legal adviser or an attorney and have him help you take care or all the permits and licenses.
Find an accountant as well. They will take care of your taxes and other financial responsibilities.
Lastly, consider purchasing a business insurance. You never know what could happen, and ensuring that your business stays up and running no matter what is your top priority.
Businesses need space
If you decide to run your business from home, check with your local small business administration’s office and see which permits or licenses you need. All states and towns have their own regulations and rules on this matter, and you must follow them accordingly.
You can also rent some space and establish your business there. Check your nearby buildings for offices or small apartments and rent one. Once your business grows, consider renting a house and making it your base of operations.
Get your tools of the trade
You won’t be able to do much sewing if you don’t have the equipment for it.
Here’s a list of essential tools you should get for your sewing business.
- A quality sewing machine will allow you to honor the demands of your customers and provide them with the thing they need.
- A serger machine will help you add those finishing touches to your projects and them a real professional look. But what is a serger and do you really need one? Here’s an article explaining the difference between a serger and sewing machine to decide whether you need to add a serger to your sewing equipment.
- An iron and an ironing board are important for keeping the seams flat on whatever you’re sewing.
- Various cutting tools like sewing scissors and all kinds of shears will let you cut the fabric neatly and precisely.
- Measuring devices like rulers, tapes, and gauges will endure that your customers get clothes that fit them perfectly.
- Pins and needles are crucial for any sewing business. Without them you wouldn’t be able to create or fix much.
- Business supplies like fabrics, threads and other expendable shouldn’t run out ever. You should also get some pens and papers, a card reader, and maybe some refreshments for the customers.
Prepare your own portfolio
Just like fashion models do. Take photos of your best work and make some advertising material with it. Show your potential customers what they can expect from you by allowing them to touch or try out your creations in your office. Need inspiration? Head over to Pinterest or Etsy and see what the other shops are doing.
Advertise your business
With the internet around, advertising is now easier than ever. Make a page for your shop on social media and share it with your friends. If they all share it just once, you’ll reach a great number of people in no time.
But don’t stick to online advertising only. Make some fliers and distribute them around your town. Buying some advertising space in the local newspapers is also recommended.
Don’t have the budget for advertising yet? Your business still can get listed and gain visibility on a number of places for free.
Enjoy your work
It might sound silly, but this is also a very important part of running a successful business. If you enjoy doing what you do, your productivity will grow and you’ll be able to provide even more customers with your services. And once they see your enthusiasm, they’ll know that you make high quality products.
I hope you found this article helpful and enjoyed reading it. I wish you good luck with your business. You’ll do great, I’m sure of it.
Helen Spencer is the editor of the sewing blog HelloSewing and a seamstress of more than 5 years. When she is not researching and reviewing sewing machines and tools, she’s making beautiful things out of scratch. She loves all things DIY- crafts, drawing, decorating, and above all – she simply loves sewing!