Thinking about opening a sewing business? We tell you what you need to know to get started.
Business Realities for Sewing Business Startups
Given their low capital requirements, home-based sewing businesses are extremely attractive startups for sewing hobbyists. You'll find plenty of resources that promise fast and easy ways to earn a fortune by launching a sewing business, but is sewing business ownership really that simple?
In the vast majority of cases, starting a sewing business is like any other small business venture. Although passion and sewing experience are essential, they aren't enough to deliver profitability and success. As a startup entrepreneur, you'll also need to apply sound business strategies, hard work and commitment. If you're doing it right, starting a sewing business will be the most difficult job you've ever done -- as well as the most rewarding.
The Dollars and Cents (Sense?) of Starting a Sewing Business
The long-term success of your new sewing business will hinge on your ability to effectively manage income and expenses. Like any other small business, a sewing business must earn more than it spends and be capable of providing an adequate income for its owner.
Budgeting is an entrepreneurial skill you'll need to master right out of the gate. If your business is based out of your home and you are the only employee (at least for now), you don't have to worry about lease payments or salaries. But you'll still need to accurately budget the cost of supplies, sewing machine repairs and the value of your time. These expenses will play a role in determining the price of your services and volume of work you need to bring in just to break even.
Creating a Niche for a Startup Sewing Business
Some sewing business entrepreneurs achieve success by implementing a niche marketing strategy. In niche marketing, your business targets a specific segment of the sewing marketplace rather than offering a broad range of general sewing services.
Possible niche opportunities for sewing businesses include wedding dress alterations, window treatments, home décor, kids & baby projects, and other popular sewn product categories.
If you are active in your local sewing community, you already know which types of products and services are in demand in your area -- now it's time to quantify the demand and select a specialty that holds the most promise for your business based on your abilities and the number of other providers in your community.
Essential Features of Business Plans for Sewing Businesses
Every business plan is unique, yet the most effective plans share a handful of essential traits.
If your plan lacks required elements like an executive summary or marketing plan, it could jeopardize its potential to deliver real benefits to your startup.
But in today's business environment, it's also important to discuss the external factors your sewing business is facing. As a rule, we recommend including a PEST (Political, Economic, Social & Technological) analysis in your business plan as a way of addressing potential threats and opportunities at the macro level.
Don't Overlook Competitors
Well in advance of opening a sewing business in your town, it's worthwhile to see how you will fit in the competitive landscape. We've provided the link below to help you find competitors in your city. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of sewing businesses near you.
How are you going to successfully complete with existing firms? It's important that you never underestimate the competition.
Find Good Remote Business Advice
If you want to open a sewing business be sure to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
But, a person who owns a sewing business on the other side of the country will be much more likely to talk with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. Many business owners are happy to give advice to new entrepreneurs In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
Want the scoop on finding a sewing business manager that lives outside of your area?
Here's one way to do it. Just use our link below, find somebody and call them.
Buying Advice for Sewing Business Entrepreneurs
Many entrepreneurs elect to acquire a profitable sewing business instead of navigating the challenges of a business startup.
Yet for many entrepreneurs, financing represents a major hurdle to buying a sewing business. If you're prepared to deal with lender requirements, you'll find that lenders are more open to financing established operations than they are to take a chance on a startup.
To increase your approval odds, we suggest you take a look at Gaebler's Business Acquisition Financing Tips.
Recognize that your chances of achieving your top business goals are higher if you opt for franchising instead of doing it all on your own.
If you planning on starting a sewing business, you would be wise to assess whether purchasing a franchise might be worth investigating.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding getting started as an entrepreneur may be of interest to you.
If you already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing sewing business, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to sewing businesses, we've got better information for you elsewhere on our site. Try these resources instead:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.