People work with businesses and professionals they trust. Building customer retention and loyalty in your embroidery business is an ongoing process. Here are 9 tips for building customer retention, trust and loyalty with both customers and new prospects.
- Always keep your word with your customers
If you promise delivery on a particular day, make sure to deliver when it was promised. Even something as small as the time you have scheduled an appointment is extremely important to that customer. He or she is trusting that you will keep that appointment and be on time if not, you did not keep your word. Each time you break a promise or do not keep your word to that customer, you break their trust in you.
- Create realistic customer expectations
Make sure the customer understands exactly what you will do for him or her and what is included in your service and what is not. What will create extra charges? How and when will you be billing the customer? Living up to the expectations you create helps to build trust with your customers.
- Help customers to understand the process and strategy for their order
If your customer understands how you and your business works and what the process of their order is, the customer can then know what to expect and when to expect it. Trust comes when the customer feels confident and comfortable with the plan and the strategy.
- Never over promise
It is tempting to promise whatever the customer wants to hear without looking at your schedule or asking if it is doable. When you do not deliver on your promise this causes broken agreements and broken trust.
- Carefully explain the customer’s role
When a customer is clear on what his or her role is then he or she gets clear on what progress can be made without their involvement. Getting really clear on what the customer needs to do to move his or her order forward, helps you work as a team and builds trust.
- Discuss potential problems that can happen
Nothing disturbs the trust of a customer more than when something unexpected happens. Guard against something negative happening as a surprise by discussing the potential pitfalls with the customer.
- Review the work order in detail
Any decisions that the customer is going to have to make should be discussed in detail. Relationships and trust are built over a long period of time, but it can be broken easily. An unexpected issue that is a surprise to the customer that he or she was not expecting can break that trust quickly.
- Avoid making the customer feel stupid
No one likes to feel stupid. If customers feel that you think they are stupid they will no longer entrust you with their ideas or work. Customers who don’t feel valued by you may stop trusting you. No one sets out to make a customer feel stupid, but it could be an attitude, an inadvertent comment, or a look that gives the customer that impression. Be aware of your inner thoughts. They show up without your noticing. Be very careful with your language.
- Don’t allow interruptions when you are meeting with a customer.
It gives them the feeling that they are not important to you and you really do not want their business. Everyone needs to feel special no matter how large or small their order is. This can ruin the goodwill and trust that you had with them.
Building relationships and customer trust with both your customers and prospects help you to build loyalty. Loyalty is something that is very uncommon in the embroidery business anymore, but it is not impossible to get. When your customers feel that they are valued and you give them excellent customer service, they will become loyal! This helps in building customer retention.
Really think about these tips and how you work with your customers and prospects. Building customer retention, trust, and loyalty in your embroidery business is extremely important in today’s world and is a process something that is not often seen. It can make the difference in a business that is OK and a business that is growing rapidly and building a huge repeat following, Focus on building customer retention and this will help you become a sought-after embroidery provider!
The idea of having your own embroidery business is fun and exciting but when you first started your business, did you stop to think about the business end of setting up your embroidery business? You were excited because now you were going to do something that you love to do, day in and day out! The business end is one of the most important parts and the only part that is going to help guide you in growing your business. I am going to go over some simple steps for embroidery business success that if you follow, you can truly get your embroidery business set up for success!
Now that you have been in business for a while, is it going the way that you had envisioned? Do you have the right systems in place to help you keep track of the progress of your business?
Most embroiderers or most people that start any type of decorating apparel business, only think about being able to provide a lot of people with their unique embroidered or decorated apparel products. Most embroiderers are born creators and are not business oriented, but unfortunately, part of owning a business is setting up systems for your business that help you keep track of your business and stay on top of. This is essential in setting up your embroidery business for success.
Here are some questions that I get over and over and maybe they are the same questions that you have on your mind.
- Is it necessary to have my pricing set up before setting up my bookkeeping system?
- When should I start setting up my bookkeeping records?
- How do I organize all of this paperwork?
- What tools should I use for keeping track of my orders?
- What type of records do I need to get started?
- Do I need an accountant to help me set up my bookkeeping system?
Is It Necessary To Have My Pricing Set Up Before Setting Up My Bookkeeping System?
No, it is not, but it is to your advantage to have your pricing set up because it is going to save you a lot of time with not only invoicing but in creating higher profits. Chances are if you have not gone through my “How To Price Embroidery” program, you are not creating the profits that you could and should be making. This is very important. After completing the “How To Price Embroidery” program, many of my students have realized that they did not have their pricing done correctly and when they created their new price lists for each area of their business, their profits increased dramatically.
This is your first step in setting up your Embroidery Business for success! This can be done very easily and I teach you step by step throughout the program. You can also use this program to create a price list for each service area of your business in addition to embroidery. Most embroiderers also offer other services such as screen printing, heat press applications, promotional products, and even alterations. You want to make sure that you are creating a profit with each area of your business.
When Should I Start Setting Up My Bookkeeping Records For My Embroidery Business?
This needs to be done in the planning stages of your new embroidery business. You need to be keeping records from the very onset of creating your new embroidery business, but if you have been running your business without setting up your bookkeeping records, it is time to stop and get this process started. You need to keep track of all of your start up expense.
Many embroiderers that work from home, feel that they have no expense because they are working from home and they paid cash for their machine, but this is a totally wrong way to think. You have expenses that need to be kept track of and must be part of your pricing system right from the beginning of setting up your business whether you are working from home or have a storefront or are adding embroidery to an existing business.
How Do I Organize All Of This Paperwork?
Organizing your paperwork is vital and must be done before you can start setting up your bookkeeping system. Here is a simple step by step process that will help you organize all of your paperwork to make it easy to get started.
Step 1– Separate the receipts for your expenses and for your income. Make sure that you have every little piece of paper because it can make a difference at tax time.
Step 2– Take the pile of receipts of your expenses and separate them by the month. Do the same for your income.
Step 3– Separate the piles of expenses and income for the first month into piles of like kinds.
Step 4- Create a spreadsheet with columns of the like kinds for your expenses and add the receipts into each column that is applicable. By like kinds I mean, Office supplies, Utilities, Embroidery supplies, etc.
Step 5– When finished with the month, place the receipts into a file folder marked by the Month and place the file folder in a file drawer. Keep one file drawer for this purpose only.
Step 6– Repeat this process for your income statements.
Step 7– Total each column of expenses for the month. Do the same step for your income.
Step 8– Repeat this process on a separate spreadsheet for each month. Make sure you have a printout of the months spreadsheet added to the folder.
Organizing them in this manner will make it easier for you to start the process of working with bookkeeping software. I know that bookkeeping software may be something that you are not familiar with or have not used to this point, but it is not as hard as it seems. It is simply a system for keeping track of all of your records. Organizing your expenses and income records is the first step.
What Tools Should I Use For Keeping Track Of My Embroidery Orders?
Your number one tool or the number one tool that I recommend is QuickBooks.
I have been in the embroidery business for almost 40 years and I have used many tools and have developed many systems that made a huge difference in my business. One of the most time-saving tools that I have found was QuickBooks. I started using QuickBooks many years ago, but I have since developed my own way of using QuickBooks and have since created a program around QuickBooks for other embroiderers. This same system that I created, Embroidery Business Bookkeeping System, and have used for many years helps me to know at all times:
- Exactly how much work I have in-house.
- Which department within my embroidery business is making money.
- Exactly which department or service is not making any money and it helps me make the right decisions as to whether or not to keep that particular service or remove it from my business.
You will also need a scheduling system to help you stay on schedule and be able to know how long each job is going to take. This is very important in being able to plan out your production and stay on track. The Embroidery Production and Scheduling Program is another system that I have created, and I can look at my production schedule and know exactly how many hours of work I have in house at all time and how long each and every job is going to take.
What type of records do I need to get started?
- A list of all of your customers
- A list of all of your vendors or suppliers
- All of your expenses organized
- All of your income
- A list of the different services that you offer, such as embroidery, screen printing, DTG printing, sewing, heat press services, etc.
With my new Embroidery Business Bookkeeping System, I show you how to create a chart of accounts that set your business up in the right departments to make it easy and you can instantly see what is happening in your business. Once your QuickBooks is set up using my system, you can save a lot of time and know where you are at all times in your business. This system will help you increase your cash flow because you can collect money faster and easier when you follow the system.
- When you receive an order, you log it into your system with Pricing and all of the information about the job.
- Once the job is completed, you can instantly create your invoice.
- You send this invoice immediately to your customer instructing him or her that their order is ready for pickup and make sure to have the right amount of cash, check or a credit card with them in order to be able to pick up their order.
- At the end of each day, you will run a report to see what jobs are still in-house.
- At the end of each week, you can create your schedule for the next week based on all jobs that are still in-house.
- This makes it easier to schedule all new jobs that are brought in during the next week and you will know immediately where you can add rush jobs.
Once your accounting system is set up correctly, this is all very simple. Obviously, there is a lot more to this system, but these are the basic steps that will help you bring in cash a lot quicker and with less hassle. Following this system, makes accounting a lot easier, and saves a lot of time, especially if you are a small home-based embroiderer and are doing all of the jobs yourself.
I have found that the easiest version of invoicing software for me is QuickBooks Online. I love the fact that it is always updated and I do not have to worry about my invoices getting to my customer on time. I can check on a job even when I am in the field because it is online and not on my desktop.
Do I need an accountant to help me set up my bookkeeping system?
No, you do not need an accountant to help you set up your bookkeeping system, but it would be a great idea to have an accountant check your set up to make sure that it is OK and that he or she understands exactly what you want to do with your business. It is always great to have an accountant that you can go to that will help you make good decisions about your business. Personally, my accountant is like a partner in my business. I would not run my business without one.
Here are the Simple Steps For Setting Up Your Embroidery Business For Success!
- Organize all of your Expense and Income receipts
- Create Price lists for each area of your business
- Create a list of all of your Customers
- Create a list of all of your Vendors or Suppliers
- Create a list of all of the services your offer
- Install QuickBooks
- Set up your Chart of Accounts
- Import all of your Lists of information into QuickBooks
- Start adding your Orders into QuickBooks
- Add each job to your Scheduling System
- Create an Invoice as soon as the job is completed
- Deliver your job and collect your money!
I know all of that sounds very simple and really it is once you have your system all set up. It is critical to organize every part of your business and your records must be organized for easy and accurate bookkeeping. Without good organization of your records, it can become very overwhelming when you need to produce some important information and it can cause unnecessary stress in your personal life and your business. You won’t lay awake at night worrying about paperwork! It will be taken care of!
If you are serious about wanting to have a system for setting up your embroidery business for success check out my system, Simple Steps For Setting Up Your Embroidery Business For Success today! This new program is a combination of the “How To Price Embroidery” and the “Embroidery Business Bookkeeping System.” It also saves you money when you purchase this program instead of each one separately! It is to your advantage to have your profitable embroidery pricing in place when you set up your Bookkeeping System and it is going to save you so much time as well as increase your profits! You will be so glad that you did!
If you will follow this system of simple steps for embroidery business success, you will have your embroidery business set up to start making the profits that you dreamed up when you first started your embroidery business!
When you start your new Business, Marketing your embroidery business is imperative for the success of your business. You must get the word out about your Embroidery Business!
When I first started my embroidery business I thought that all I had to do was put out my sign to let everyone know that I was now in business! Along with that I placed a couple of ads in the newspaper. I thought that this would let everyone know that I was here and I would have all of the customers that I ever wanted or needed! Guess What! It didn’t quite work out that way!
I soon found out that getting customers was not as easy as I had envisioned! It really took a lot of work to get that steady flow of customers coming in the doors. Without that steady flow of customers, you have no business!
Is the word Marketing freaking you out? Instead of thinking in the terms of marketing, how about just thinking in the terms of I want to get the word out about my embroidery business. When you start to think in terms of get the word out about your business instead of having to learn how to market the business, it makes it seem a lot more doable and even a lot more fun.
To most of us embroiderers, marketing is not the fun part of the business and many times we feel very intimidated by it! The term Marketing your embroidery business was a very scary process for me in the beginning; just the thought of it scared me to death! Have you ever felt the same way? I discovered very quickly that all I really had to do was get the word out about my business. YES, I can do that!
In simple terms, Marketing is just the process that you go through to find the “Right People” that need your product or service. The Right People, your Niche Market, are the ones that need or want to buy your product or service. In other words, we have to get the word out about our business and let them know who we are, what we do and what we have to offer that will benefit them! Sometimes we have to expand on what we have to offer to broaden our reach for more of those Right People !
The most important process in getting ready to market your embroidery business is to create a working plan. You must have a Marketing Plan! This is your road map and will help to keep you on the right track. If one strategy is not working you can go back and review your plan and make some changes, but without a plan you are just running in circles and do not have any idea as to what to do or where to go to get started.
Create a planning calendar with all of the holidays, sports seasons and events and start planning your promotions around all of them. What are some of the items that you can offer for each one of these special occasions? What would you have to do to put together a simple plan to promote each one of these holidays, sports seasons and special events?
You must find out when your lean times are so that you can act proactively and create promotions just ahead of these slow times so that you can avoid them entirely. You must always be proactive instead of reactive in your marketing.
People need you and what you have to offer. All you have to do is make them aware of what you have, work with them to find out exactly what they are looking for and you can create the perfect relationship. I know it sounds so simple, and actually it really is.
Once I put a Marketing Plan together and started working my plan, I found out that letting everyone to know that I was in business was not as hard as I thought that it was going to be. If you are not marketing your embroidery business and learning how to do it effectively, most people will NEVER find you!
I have created a course on how to market your embroidery business off line and on line. This is a total embroidery business marketing system that will help you get the word out about your business and help to keep you in contact with all of your current customers as well as automatically prospect for new customers.
The Embroidery Coach
The Embroidery Coach, Joyce Jagger simplifies the complex world of embroidery into easy to understand lessons. Her passion is to help get the new embroiderer off to a fast start and help the existing embroiderer improve their skills so that they can provide higher quality embroidery and increase their profitability!
Do you want to get faster results in your embroidery business? Are you tired of staying at the same place year after year? In my last newsletter, I talked about “6 Ways to Jump-Start Your Embroidery Business Growth Today!”I hope you found those useful and that you’re putting into practice what you’ve learned already to get the growth you desire. Of course, there’s more to the subject than we’ve covered so far, and you have some options about how to go forward. I want to go through each one of these options with you:
You can continue working on expanding your business on your own and juggle it with your other business activities. You might get there eventually, or you might get side-tracked by other things. You may be too busy to “Work on your Business” because you are so busy “Working in your Business!”
You can do nothing and go back to what you’re doing now, though that may mean that your business doesn’t grow at all
You can let me give you a helping hand to get the outcomes you want faster and more easily.
In my course on how to create your “ Embroidery Business Growth Plan,” I’ll walk you through the process step-by-step. It’s totally hands-on, so you’ll be taking action and implementing what you learn at each step. Here’s exactly what you’ll be able to do when you go through my program:
- Take a fresh look at why you are in business and what your aims are for your business growth so that you can reconnect with what motivates you
- Reaffirm your ideal target market and specify your ideal customer profile, so that you know exactly who to market to
- Get a snapshot of the financial situation of your business, so that you understand the resources available to you
- Define what you do well as a business, so that you recognize what already works for you
- Assess the places in your business where you aren’t performing strongly so that you can take steps to lessen or eliminate those weaknesses
- Identify your business opportunities to see where growth can come from so that you tap into any hidden potential
- Flag the external conditions that could hinder your business growth, so that you are aware of what you need to do to mitigate them
- Take a look at your current marketing and its effectiveness, so that you know what to focus your efforts on
- Review how your current team members are working individually and together so that you can identify changes to make for greater productivity
- Examine your current business processes and tools to assess if they’re delivering what you need, and to make sure you have the most up-to-date systems
- Put together a comprehensive Embroidery Business Growth Plan for the next 12 months that will guide and support your success goals
- Review your Embroidery Business Growth Plan and identify your next steps, so that you can achieve the goals you set for the course
This is a live class for the remainder of January. We are going to have 2 more live sessions and then we will have a live Q & A class to help you review your plan and answer any questions that you may have.
You’ll also get all of the following:
- Video Replays of each Module.
- Note sheets to use to take notes on as you are watching the videos.
- A Workbook so that you can fill in the blanks with each step.
- Formatted Spreadsheets
- Your Embroidery Business Growth Plan Template
Do you want to get faster results in your embroidery business? I’ll help you avoid the mistakes that most people make and get to the level of income you want… without the headaches and lost time of trying to do it on your own. So if you’re ready to move ahead and figure out exactly what you need to do to raise your business to new heights….
Check out my full course here: https://theembroiderycoach.com/embroidery-business-growth-plan/
Are you confused as to how you can jump-start your embroidery business growth? Do you feel overwhelmed with all you have to do currently and wonder how you can fit in the time to grow your business at the same time? Where do you even start with embroidery business growth?
The first step is to tackle overwhelm with an organized and systematic approach and then use your current customers as the foundation for your embroidery business growth. I want to think very strongly about your current customers, what you have to offer them and about the 6 ways to jump-start your embroidery business growth that I am going to share with you.
Discover Your Strong Points
• Talk to your customers and get their feedback: find out why they like doing business with you and your business
• Customers know things about your business you don’t know
• Once you know your strong points, you can leverage them to grow
Get New Product and Service Ideas
• Your existing customers can help you come up with ideas for offers they’d like to see
• Ask your followers on social media for products or services that they would like to see you offer that they are not able to get other places.
• While you’re discussing ideas, you can also ask for feedback on changes you could make that would improve your products or services or your business.
• Once you have some ideas, take them back to your team and discuss what would lead to profits or business growth.
Go the Extra Mile for Your Buyers
There are many different ways to make improvements for your current customers
• Decrease Customer Delivery Time – respond to your customers’ inquiries immediately and deliver your products or services slightly faster.
• Take an Individual Approach – Interact with customers and respond to issues personally.
• Win People Back – Solve your customers’ problems quickly and give them something extra to assure their satisfaction.
• Know Your Customers Well – Use marketing data and personal interactions to modify your customer service to their tastes & preferences.
• Be Consistent – Handle all issues in the same way and establish procedures so everyone offers consistent customer service
• Always Put Customers First – Always consider how changes will affect your customers and make sure it’s in their best interests
Nurture the Relationship with Your Customer
• Great customer service is not enough. You need to build strong, long-lasting relationships with your customers
• Email Marketing – Build an email list and send your subscribers regular messages with helpful exclusive content
• Social Media Challenges – Increase engagement by giving your audience a challenge on social media
• Entertain Your Audience – Know your audience well and share content sometimes that’s just for fun
• Create a VIP List – Identify VIPs who are the most engaged with your business, offer them special promotions and nurture a relationship with them
• Interact Offline – Host offline events or join local community events where your customers are
Offer Rewards for Referrals
• Referrals are the best and most cost-effective marketing for any business.
• Ask for referrals:
• Right after a purchase.
• When someone sends you a personal message thanking you
• At the conclusion of helping solve a customers’ problem
• Offer a small incentive or reward for referring you
• Publicize your referral program
• Reach out to reviewers, bloggers, and others with a large audience and offer them an incentive to talk about you.
Extend Your Customer Database
• Always look for opportunities to gain new prospects.
• Regularly attend networking events and talk to as many people as possible
• Create a system for following up and telling people about your embroidery business or offering ways you can help them
Was this article helpful? It should give you a great starting point. But there’s more you’ll need to do in order to take your business to the level you desire. If you’re ready to get started, I’m offering a course that teaches you step-by-step how to create embroidery business growth so that you can achieve your long-term goals.
Want to start growing your business today? Click on this link to get started TODAY! Embroidery Business Growth Plan