If you want to have a highly successful business, there are 5 Golden Rules you need to follow when you build an embroidery business that will help your business sustain the test of time. Whether you are just starting out with your embroidery business or if you have had your business for a while and it is not where you want it to be, I highly advise all embroiderers to live by these 5 golden rules.
Rule No. 1 – You are in business to make money!
Do not forget this! That is the most important rule to remember when you build an embroidery business. You have a business just like any other business person has and the main object is to make money and provide a living for yourself and your family.
Rule No. 2- Always require a 50% deposit plus the design fee before starting any job!
Far too many embroiderers use their own money to work with and then when the order is picked up, they hope that they will get their money in 30 days. DO NOT WORK LIKE THIS!
This is the fastest way to fall behind and run out of money. You are not a bank and you cannot finance people’s orders. If you are working with large companies or doing contract embroidery, they will generally not pay upfront, however, they must pay within 30 days or you do not start the next order until they are paid up in full. If they drag out their payments, drop them as a customer, you cannot afford to work like this under any circumstances.
Rule No. 3 – Do only Corporate or Retail Embroidery!
Do not do contract embroidery unless you have several multi-head machines and have at least 50% of Corporate or Retail work coming in to help build up your profit! Corporate is when they are paying a higher price plus you are selling them the garments as well as the embroidery. Retail is when the customer such as a small business, club or organization bring in the garments to you and asking you to embroider on them. Retail is your highest priced customer.
Rule No. 4 – Create a price list that you know you are making money with.
Make sure you have all of your expenses covered, a paycheck for you plus profit built into your equation. Creating your price list is not hard, but it does take a little time. Create different price lists for different scenarios. The corporate customer, or the customer that purchases the garments from you as well as the service should not be charged as much as the retail person that brings in the garments to you to add the embroidery or whatever service you are providing. Charge the retail person at least 25% more for the service than the corporate customer.
Rule No. 5 – Always Complete the Customers Orders On Time!
When you start an embroidery business or if you have had a business for awhile and you are struggling with trying to get repeat customers, this may be an issue for you. On time delivery is extremely important if you want to have a profitable embroidery business. All orders should be completed on time or ahead of schedule. If you run into a situation where this is impossible, you must let your customer know what the circumstances are and be honest with him or her. If you have a good scheduling system, this should not be a problem.
When you start to build an embroidery business, if you will remember that you are in business to make money, always require a 50% deposit, focus on Corporate or Retail embroidery, create a profitable price list and always complete your orders on time, you should be able to build a very profitable embroidery business! Print out the “5 Golden Rules You Need to Follow When You Build an Embroidery Business” and review them every morning before you start your day!
To receive some help or guidance in starting or building your own success embroidery business, please Click Here to reach out to me. I am always anxious to work with embroiderers and help them reach the success of their dreams!
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Here we are almost 4 weeks into the new year already! Do you have all of your information together for your year-end bookkeeping? Are you all ready to go to the accountant with all of your year-end bookkeeping records organized so that he can quickly do your taxes? This is a task that I used to hate doing because I was so disorganized, and I felt like I was too busy to take time out to get it together. I had work to do, and it did not include bookkeeping. I did not start my business to do bookkeeping! Do you ever feel like that?
Have you found yourself spending many days just before time to file your taxes trying to get everything organized? Trying to pull it all together at tax time when it is disorganized is really hard and time-consuming, not to mention how frustrating it can be. You could be spending this time getting more jobs out, but instead, you have to stop producing your embroidery and concentrate on the taxes in order to stay compliant with the government.
Bookkeeping is one of our least favorite things to do as embroiderers! We did not start our embroidery business so that we could do bookkeeping! We are born creators, not bookkeepers, but unfortunately, it is part of owning a business and is a very necessary part of the business that we must be on top of!
I found out the hard way that 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 important information and it can cause unnecessary stress in your personal life and your business.
Your business generates a lot of paperwork and it can easily get out of control if you do not have a good system for taking care of it. This was a huge struggle for me until I realized that I could not continue to do it as I was and get my jobs out at the same time. I had to take some time out, stop the crazy disorganization of papers and get my books in order.
I also found out that keeping accurate financial records is necessary for the growth of your business. You need to be able to look back and compare one year to the next so that you can plan in a more efficient manner. You also need to know which area of your business is performing the best and in which area you are not making enough money. Without accurate records, this is impossible.
If you are new to bookkeeping and you have not started to use any type of accounting software you must first go through all of your invoices and expenses to get all of your year-end bookkeeping records organized. You must have them in order before you can even think about using any type of accounting software.
Once you are ready with your records organized you can then start setting up your Bookkeeping System so that you do not have to go through this again at the end of next year! Your QuickBooks will be set up properly and your year-end bookkeeping records will be organized and ready for your taxes.
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Are you lacking enough customers or clients to reach the goal that you have set for this year? Are you confused on how to get new clients or customers without spending a lot of money on advertising? Are you lacking time to be creative in trying to come up with ways to get new clients or customers?
Here are 3 easy ways that you can use to dramatically increase your customer base!
- Create a Business Card with an offer
- Add an Email Signature to all of your outgoing email messages
- Start a Referral System
Create A Business Card With An Offer!
A great business card with a message will bring in new business. On the back of this card, give them a reason to shop in your place of business. On the front of your business card have the Name of your business, your company logo, your tag line, website address and your contact information. The contact information is going to depend on how you want people to shop with you. This could be your street address and phone number, it could be your email address and phone number or just your web address.
If you choose to use your web address and email address, then you want to make sure that your phone number is on your website. You need to have a way for people to talk to you personally. If you do not want to answer the phone, create a great message on voice mail with an offer and tell them that you will return their phone call as soon as possible, that you are looking forward to talking to them.
On the back of your business card you want to give them some type of a free offer or a discounted coupon. If you want to drive traffic to your website, create a Free Report or a discounted coupon that the customer or prospect would have to sign up to receive. By doing this, you now have a way to continually market to this prospect.wit
By creating a card with an offer on it, your card will stand out and you will be remembered. I also have my business cards printed in small quantities because I like the change the offer on a steady basis. This way your cards are always fresh and new!
Below is a sample of my business card front and back! The actual business card prints out much clearer than these pictures.
Add An Email Signature To All Of your Email Messages
Many of your contacts may be unaware of what you have to offer and by adding a message to the end of your emails you can create an awareness of your current offer, new website or Facebook page. This can be done very easily, can bring in new clients and the best part is, it does not cost you a dime! You can create several different signatures and send out your messages with the signature of your choice for a particular type of customer or client.
You can add images along with your text in your signature. Here is an example of one of my Signatures.
I have received several prospects and some new coaching clients as a result of the message in this signature. Your emails with the signatures can be forwarded to other people.
You never know how many times your emails get forwarded to other people or who is going to see your signature. Make it one that will work for you. They can be powerful!
Add A Simple Referral System!
Setting up a Simple Referral Program for your Embroidery Business takes only a few minutes and it so worth it! Asking for referrals is one of the most effective, quickest and least expensive ways of gaining these new customers. Setting up a system to reward customers for referrals by giving them a discount on their next order is always effective. How do I do this? There are several ways of asking for referrals.
- Have Business cards Tucked Into Customers Pick Up Bags.
- Send Out Business Cards Or Brochures With Invoices.
- Ask For A Referral After Customer Has Placed Their Order.
- Tell everyone that you know about your Referral Program including your employees.
Have Business Cards Tucked Into Customers Pick Up Bags
The easiest and most effective way that I found was to always give my customers business cards and brochures. When they pick up their order, make sure to add business cards or brochures to their package. Ask them to write their names on the back of the cards or brochures and hand them to their friends, family and acquaintances. When the person comes into the shop that has been referred, take their business card and keep track of the person that referred them to you. The person that gave the referral would then get a discount on their next order. Everyone wants to get something for giving out your name. As I said there is a small cost to it, but this is a customer that you did not have to go after.
Keeping Track of the Referrers
I set up a simple spreadsheet for my Referral program. On that spreadsheet, I put the Date, Customers Name, Name of Referrer, Amount of Sale, Date Referrer Purchased after Referring and Amount of Referrer‚’s Sale. This helps me to keep track of the amount of sales that are brought in by the Referrers and who the Referrers are. You can increase your reward for those that give you a lot of referrals. This is the best type of Salespeople that you can have!
Tell everyone that you know about your Referral Program including your employees. This is a simple way to set up a Referral program for your Embroidery Business that WORKS!
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Does your business card leave a great first impression for your embroidery business? Have you really thought about your business card and what that first impression says about you and your Embroidery business? The first impression that you leave with your new prospect or customer is extremely important and if you do not leave the right impression or a positive impression, you will not have the opportunity for another chance. What does that first impression say about you and your Embroidery Business? That first impression is the lasting impression and you want it to be the one that they will want to remember you by and tell others about you. Here are some questions that you need to answer that will help you to create a good first impression.
- Do you look like you have an Embroidery Business?
- Does your logo give an indication of what your business is about?
- Do all of your Marketing pieces flow with the same look?
- Do you advertise your product every place you go?
- Is your appearance reflective of your workmanship?
- Is your Showroom neat and organized ready for customers at all times?
When you talk to your prospect or customer that first time, you need to have a marketing piece to hand to them. Most generally, this is your business card, but it can also be a brochure or postcard. What does your marketing piece say about you? Is it leaving the kind of impression that you want to make.
When you are creating or having your marketing pieces created you need to make sure that they gook great, let the customer know exactly what it is you do and how it is going to benefit them. What do your marketing pieces say about you? Are they leaving the kind of impression that you want to make?
You Must Tell Your Prospect What To Do!
What is it you want your customer or prospect to do? You must let them know by the marketing piece that you hand them.
- Do you want them to call you?
- Do you want them to visit your website for a FREE gift or coupon?
- Do you want them to come to your place of business to receive a FREE gift, coupon or discount?
You want to make sure that your message is clear and that you are giving them a call to action. You must give them a reason to come to you! Your business card is the first item to take into consideration. What does your business card look like? Is it one that they will remember? You want your marketing pieces to be items that they will look at and say “WOW! I need to check these people out!”
Many people overlook the importance of a high quality business card, one that will actually leave a great impression. Remember, the first impression is the lasting impression Most people will buy the cheapest business card that they can, never thinking of what an impression that is actually leaving with the new prospect. Many have a standard logo or a logo from a company that is printing them on the back of the card. Do Not Ever Do This! A cheap business card with no real thought behind it says that your business does not pay attention to detail. Bad mistake!
What Does Your Business Card Say About You?
Thank about how your Business Card is representing you and your business. Here are the important components that need to be your business card.
- Business Name
- What you do (Your tag line)
- Address (if applicable)
- The best way to contact you (email-phone or both)
- An offer on the back (You can send them to your Facebook Fan Page or your website for a FREE offer!)
Only have 500 Business Cards printed up the first time. You may want to make a change on it. You can then make the changes and have more printed. Give it some color. Use a color that you love and one that you are going to use in all of your marketing materials including your website.
Have a coating applied to the front side. Do not put coating on the back. You may want to write a note on it. The colors that you choose should be part of your branding process. Yes, you will make changes. You may want to change your offer or your message. I did this several times until I came up with exactly what was working the best.
I get a lot of compliments on my card. You can see that I have all of the information on the front that is important and I have an offer on the back. This has worked very well for me and has brought in many prospects. I had my business cards printed on line through a company that offered overnight service. I did not choose the overnight option, but their service was excellent and fast.
You can also have a postcard created with one lead product or some type of promotion on it that you can hand out at different functions that you go to. It can really work for you. Again, make sure that you have an offer on it, one that they cannot resist! It does not have to be expensive, just something that will make them take action. If you have a post created make sure that it is 4″ x 6″. I have learned that people do not pay as much attention to the normal sized 3″ x 5″ postcards as they do the larger ones.
Does your business card leave a great first impression for your embroidery business? Remember, that first impression is so important and if you want the opportunity to create customers out of your new prospects you absolutely must create a great first impression! Join us for our Free Monthly Training.
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I want to address something that came across my desk this morning. This message is from a “Marketing Expert” and he claims that this one question is the worst question you can ask. It is a message that I do not agree with at all, but I wanted to share this with you! The question that he claims is the worst question you can ask is:
“What’s your budget for this project?”
“This killer question immediately makes you a commodity provider and not a trusted partner.
People don’t ask the question to confirm whether or not the person they’re speaking to has a budget.
People ask this question so they know how much to charge. And do you know a secret?
Their “budget” is way lower than the value you should be providing. That’s because asking about the budget for the project actually reverses the decision-making process. And the worst part?
You know darn well that no matter what they say their budget is, that’s what your price will be. And your prospect knows it too.”
Wow! I do not agree with that at all. Asking your new prospect what his budget is, is a great place to start your conversation when they come to you looking for a certain item. I have found that this is especially true if they are shopping around.
I have had many people come into my shop after they had shopped someplace else and already have a quote to find out if we can match it or come up with a lower price.
If that is the case, I immediately tell them that we will probably not be able to match his previous quote because of all of the extra steps that we do to make our customers happy and satisfied. We offer only the highest quality service and in order to provide that type of service, there are certain processes that we do that are not always offered by other embroiderers. These extra steps in our processes are standard operating procedures for us and we do not skimp on them to offer a lower price.
I always ask what their budget is and I have found that in most cases, the customer appreciates it because he knows that you are willing to work with him and are looking out for his interests. That is if this is true.
Before you start your conversation, you need to have your prices set firmly in place so that it makes it easier for you to be able to talk intelligently to your customer. If you do not have firm prices, you will not show that you have confidence in what you are doing. If you do not show that you have confidence in what you are doing, your prospective customer will not have confidence in you. This is extremely important and something that you want to remember.
If you come across to your customer with confidence, he will immediately know that he is dealing with a professional.
If you have to be within his budget, then you need to show him or her options that are in a lower price range if he is all about a lower budget. You do not charge him based on what he said he is willing to pay or what his budget is.
I always gave my customer three choices of quality in products. This way he had choices in what garment he could choose to meet his budget, but we did not skimp on our quality of embroidery. Regardless of what the garment quality was, our embroidery was always top quality.
Maybe he cannot afford embroidery and needs to stick with a digital print or screen printing if that will meet his needs. Many times, a person, especially if it is for a business, can lower his garment standards but he still wants his employees to look professional.
DO NOT ever ask your customer what his budget isso that you know what your limit is for charging him. That will make you look very unprofessional and lack confidence. This is a real NO, NO!
Know your costs; know what you need for a markup, and know your prices! Have then set in stone!
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