Embroidery has grown into a popular startup idea. It is one of the easiest and most affordable businesses to initiate on your own. And if you are talented and well-skilled, you could turn what you started as a side work into a massive, full-time one. Shirt embroidery is highly demanded either for personalizing the clothing item or for marketing and advertising purposes. In this article, Pouted online magazine presents you 7 steps to launch a successful shirt business, but first let’s know more about shirt embroidery as a business: its opportunities, profits, etc.
Embroidery business opportunities
Shirt embroidery is about applying graphic designs to the fabrics using an embroidery machine. In the beginning, all you need is the machine and basic business management skills to run your small business. Among the several opportunities it provides are the following:
- Becoming an entrepreneur means being your own boss. Plus, if you managed to grow the business and make a full-time job out of it, you do not have to work for others anymore.
- Embroidered shirts are highly demanded. Numerous individuals obtain custom embroidered shirts for themselves and loved ones as gifts. Besides, social and business entities buy logo wear and printed shirts either for employees, school students, sports teams, or as a marketing tool for almost any business. However, you need a good marketing plan to reach out to this broad base of potential customers.
- Many local firms, factories, clubs, and schools prefer to deal with efficient local embroiderers who they know and can meet face to face rather than sending their t-shirts to large companies.
- No big space is needed, meaning you do not have to rent a workplace. Many embroidery startups work from home.
- The embroidery industry, in general, is quite profitable, achieving revenues that reach $47 billion a year.
Among the embroidery startups that have grown to form a success story is Printful, which offers various print-on-demand services. It was launched in 2013, and in 2019, they have celebrated printing ten million items and reaching out to a million clients. The aspects of their success include organized management of their resources, well designed and organized website that introduces their services, prices, and how to order their online products. They provide useful information and tips about the industry and how to turn it into a profitable business on their social media platforms, including a Youtube channel, Facebook page, and Instagram account.
Now, let’s move on to the primary steps you need to take to initiate a shirt embroidery business.
1 Build a database about embroidery
Knowledge is power. So, logically, the first step is to gather information about the different aspects of the industry from reliable sources and to organize the pieces in a database. Doing this provides you with a solid base on which you can establish the project. Among the free sources where you could find valuable information are the websites and social media accounts of successful entrepreneurs who run custom embroidery businesses. Also, attend embroidery-related trade shows and events to have a chance to communicate with professional embroiderers directly. Reading related books along with taking courses is quite beneficial too.
2 Consult a lawyer
Talking to a local lawyer is essential. S/he would enlighten you about the legal and financial aspects of the project such as taxes, insurance, legal procedures. They will also inform you if there are licenses you need.
3 Choose the embroidery machine
Smart machines equipped with software to produce the demanded designs digitally have turned embroidery quite easy. Besides, digital embroidery is indeed more profitable than manual, for the machine is faster than human hands. Various types of devices are available in the market. Look for the one that meets your needs and budget best. For example, there are 6-needle machines and 15-needle machines. The 6-needle is suitable for light embroidery work such as monogramming, while the 15-needle is efficient to deal with the higher complicated custom t-shirt design. Also, buy from a reliable seller who provides a side service to teach you how to use the software and run the machine.
4 Find yourself an embroidery coach
To achieve success and allow your business to endure, it is not enough to learn the basics of embroidery. You need to master the skill, for new, creative ideas and production are what attract the customers and make them notice you among numerous competitors. Therefore, you need a skillful coach to teach you every single detail about the craft. This coach could be a Youtube channel, embroidery course, or an entrepreneur mentor. Among what you need to learn about embroidery, are the suitable embroidery stabilizers, toppings, and needles for the different types of fabrics, how to fix embroidery mistakes without having to start all over again, etc. Even if you are going to depend on a digital machine, you need to know the details of the craft on which you constructed your business.
5 Put your business plan
The great skill and efficient machine are significant but not enough to build a successful business. To establish a project that endures, you need an effective business plan. So, learn about basic business skills or hire a professional to help you deal with this critical aspect of your work. Your business plan should determine how to manage the clients’ orders, customer service, and marketing.
6 Defining your customer
This step helps you a lot to put an effective marketing plan. Determining the targetted customer depends on the size of your business and the number of contacts. These may be limited at the start then expand gradually. You could begin with relatives, friends, and contacts who could order custom embroidered shirts then expand your marketing to reach out to more individuals along with small and medium businesses, schools, and clubs in your locality and city.
7 Determine the suppliers
Among the significant decisions that you need to make mindfully is selecting the suppliers who will provide you with the material you need, such as clothing, thread, etc. Also, find out more about their systems regarding urgent orders to make sure they are capable of supplying you with what you need quickly, especially in the emergency cases when you have tight schedules of orders to fulfill.