Streamlining your area of concentration will make earning money in the sewing business easier
Before you can make money in the sewing business, you must decide where to concentrate your efforts. For example, areas may include home decor, specialty clothing, monogramming, alterations and repairs, wedding and pageant dresses and quilts. When deciding your area of specialty, consider trends; you may find your niche in sewing and selling reusable grocery bags. Also consider the groups of people with which you are familiar. Perhaps your area churches have a need you can fulfill sewing and repairing robes.
Develop a specialty. Aside from simply knowing your desired area of concentration, you must find a market. For instance, if you choose to specialize in monogramming, you may focus on creating gear for the local college or area high schools to increase profit. Those interested in sewing clothing might specialize in providing costumes and dresses for the local pageant circuit. Other markets could include those surrounding figure skaters, people with special needs, pregnant woman, babies or pets. If possible, provide products or services for a niche market with which you are familiar. If you know who needs your service, how best to serve them and how to successfully reach them, you should find success more quickly.
Attend shows, events and festivals. Sell directly to your market by having a booth at functions they attend. Booths range in price from the extremely affordable to the very expensive. Visit the event website or contact the organizers to learn pricing. To find events catering to your niche market, go online at Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Bureau sites. Also refer to web forums and discussion groups. Read publications specific to your area or your market.
Associate with potential clients. Learn where they are physically and on-line and make an appearance. Be friendly; engage them in conversation. Give them a business card and, if appropriate, make a quick call or write a note to let them know you enjoyed the meeting.
Consider selling products on-line as well as locally. Sites with easy storefront setups include Etsy, Amazon, eBay and Yahoo. Another option is to host your own website. If you choose to build an on-line store, consider writing blogs to drive traffic to your site. Be sure to include words that potential clients might commonly use when looking for someone with your expertise. Highlight your services and/or products on your page. Provide links to your on-line store.
Cut down on materials costs if possible. If you are buying materials from retail establishments, watch for sales. Consider researching wholesale companies and notion suppliers. This may include contacting manufacturers or importers directly. Also, resources such as Worldwide Brands and Alibaba.com provide access to thousands of wholesalers. Typically, buying wholesale will save you 40 percent off retail prices.
Set up credit and debit card processing if you haven't already done so. Make purchasing from your sewing business as easy as possible.
Create a portfolio. This can be on-line or in-shop. Either way, ensure you have high-quality photos so people can see the quality of your work.
Stand out from the competition. Provide timely service, free pickup and shipping and high quality workmanship. Consider other ways to bring more value to your service verses other similar businesses.
Market your sewing business. Start small. Work with people you know and provide excellent service and quality. Some of the most effective marketing is word of mouth. Utilize traditional marketing avenues such as press releases, paid advertising and social media.
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