Do You Have Your Embroidery Business Organized?

Do You Have Your Embroidery Business Organized?

Do you have the business organization and forms that help you to run your embroidery business? Do you have your embroidery business organized? When you first start your embroidery business you can become so overwhelmed by all of the forms and processes that are so necessary to keep your entire production running smoothly.

There are software programs that can be purchased to help you keep track of your entire order, but most new embroiderers are not in the position to be able to purchase these programs so you must have a way of keeping track of it manually. I always advise new embroiderers to start keeping track of their jobs manually before going to the computer systems.

Record keeping is so extremely important and there are many forms that I have and keep with each order. You must have a system for keeping track of each step and the forms for each part of your organization or production of every job. Without a good system in place, you will soon become totally overwhelmed with the workload and you will not be able to keep track of your production and it can become very discouraging. I have 3 types of forms

  • Office or Sales Forms
  • Production Forms
  • Shipping Forms

The Office or the Sales Area is the First One That I Will Address.

This scenario is based on the fact that you are an embroiderer that sells retail and may have a retail or showroom in your location. If you are working from home and do most of your orders online or on the phone, the same processes and forms will apply to you as well.

I create sales packets that are ready for each sale so that I can grab them and be ready when I am first starting to work with a customer.

  • Customer Quote Form – Can be part of the packet or separate-This form is filled out and a copy given to the customer-your copy is then placed in a binder until the customer comes back in ready to place the order.
  • Order Form – I have one for Apparel and one for Caps-You can expand on this if you have different needs.
  • Form of Payment -Credit card-Pay Pal-Check form
  • Design Tracking & Timing Form
  • Production Tracking & Timing Form
  • Packing List
  • Do you have a checklist to make sure that all of the steps are taken?

These ready-made sales packets make it easy to work with and you do not forget anything as you are going through the entire process with your customer or prospect. Between the Quote form, the Order form and the Form of Payment form, you can collect all of their information and be ready for the sales process. I also have all of their information to easily input it into my database and start marketing to them. This can be in the form of a Newsletter, postcards, emails or a combination of all three.

In the next post on do you have your embroidery business organized, I will go on to the next area of organization. Check out the free training that I will be having on August 3rd.


Are Your Controlling Your Embroidery Business or Is Your Embroidery Business Controlling You?

Are Your Controlling Your Embroidery Business or Is Your Embroidery Business Controlling You?

Are your controlling your Embroidery Business or do you feel like your Embroidery Business is controlling you? Do you feel like your embroidery business is choking the life out of your personal and family life and you just cannot seem to get control of it? Many embroiderers feel very overwhelmed and are very disorganized in how they have their business set up. This can cause so much pain and frustration that it makes it really hard to think straight and then in turn it can create a lot of tension at home and drastically affects every area within your family life.

Do You Have Systems Set Up?
Do you have systems set up for your business that helps you run your business on a daily basis? Are you doing so many tasks at one time that you cannot even think about how to get someone to help you? Do you have an easy way to train someone else to help you out when you are buried with work?

If you cannot answer yes to these questions, you need to do some serious thinking about your business.

The next question is how do you stop it? You are so busy during each day of your business trying to get all of the orders out, how do you change this? Is there a quick fix to this problem? No the answer is there is no quick fix, but in order to change this, you must take a step back and take a good look at your entire business.

Where do I Begin to Reorganize my Embroidery Business?

You must take some time out of your business, go through each area within your business, get systems set in place for each function of your business and totally reorganized it. This is the only way that you can grow your business, move forward in an organized manner and get back control of your life.

If you continue on as you are, you will just continue on as you are! That may not make sense to you, but stop and think about it. I know exactly where you are coming from. I had no idea as to how to really set up systems for each area of my business until I brought in some help. Thankfully, it was my accountant that could see what my issues were and where my bottlenecks were also. He had been inside of my business and helped me create a good pricing system for which I was very thankful. After doing a lot of observing in each area, he could see what was really happening. Did he do it for free? No he did not but it was some of the best money that I had ever spent. Sometimes you need an outsider, but someone that is familiar with your type of business in order to be able to see what is really happening.

You CAN do this yourself but you will have to be very objective and look at it from an outsider's perspective. You must take off your business owner’s cap, step back as if you were a consultant, and take a look at each function of your business that you go through on a daily basis.

  • What could you do to make each step easier and more organized?
  • What steps could you eliminate?
  • What steps do you need to add?
  • Do you have all of the steps to each function written down to make it easy to train someone else?
  • Can some of your equipment be moved to cut out some time going from one area to the next?
  • Can some of your supplies be moved to save steps?
  • Is your order-taking process easy?
  • Do you have a system in place to keep track of the goods that you have ordered?
  • Do you have a way to keep track of the jobs that come in on a daily basis?
  • Do you have a system in place to help you schedule your jobs?
  • Do you know exactly how many hours of work you have in your shop at all times?
  • Do you have a systemized approach to your hooping?
  • Do you have a system set up for trimming, packing & shipping or pickup?
  • Do you have the process written down for taking an order from a customer?
  • Do you have the process written down for creating an invoice?

These are only a few of the items that you need to take care of to make your business run smoother and make it easy to bring in someone else to help you in your business. If you do not have systems in place, it is very difficult to train someone else because you are so scattered in your thinking about how to do the different steps each and every day.

You get into the robot habit every day of doing the same thing over and over without even thinking about it but you cannot train someone help to help you when you are like this. You must take time out, even if you have to close your shop for a few days, and re-evaluate your entire system and how you are running your business.

Your first step is to look at every aspect of your Embroidery business and write down what needs to be changed. Then you need to create a plan as to how you are going to do it. Maybe it means bringing in someone else that is not working with you to see if they can see where you need to make some changes. When I brought in my accountant, he walked with me through every step of my business and told me what I had to do to make the changes. This took some time, but I took each area, started writing down all of the steps to each process that took place in that area and created process manuals. This was a huge help and made it so much easier for me to train someone else to help with that part of the business.

This is not an overnight process, it takes weeks to get this done, but it is such a huge time-saver in your embroidery business and helps you to gain back some of the control in your business. You cannot do everything in your business by yourself. It just does not work. You need to have someone that you can call on to help you from time to time if you are working alone. If you have the processes written down, it makes it so much easier and saves you a huge amount of time. You need the assurance that whomever you have to help you is going to do the same job the same way that you do. Without written processes this is impossible.

Take the time out and take a good long look at your business and see what you can do to make your business run a little smoother. This is going to give you more control, help save you a lot of time and help you grow your business much easier.

If you would like to set up a strategy session to talk about your embroidery business I would be more than happy to answer some of your questions!

Joyce Jagger
The Embroidery Coach

Set Boundaries And Create Your Own Space When Working From Home

Set Boundaries And Create Your Own Space When Working From Home

As a new embroidery business owner, do your family and friends have the opinion that you should be available for their every need 24/7 because you are working from home? Set boundaries and create your own space when you are working from home. This is very important for new embroidery business owners.

This was a huge problem for me when I first started my business from home. I still had one teenage daughter at home and I had always kept up with running the kids everyplace they needed to go and kept up with all of the regular home duties that a housewife is expected to do. No one in the family expected any part of their life was going to change when Mom started her own business.

For a while, I was driving myself crazy trying to be all things to everyone in the household and run my business at the same time. It just was not working and I could not accomplish anything in my business.

New Embroidery Business Owners Must Set Boundaries

This is a problem that so many new embroidery business owners are faced with when they are first getting their business started from home and they do not know how to say NO or to set boundaries and create your own space for those around them!

I learned very quickly that I had to set regular business hours and regular family hours. I have to admit, this was not easy at first, but it was a must if I was going to succeed with my business and keep my sanity.

Setting boundaries is absolutely a must for the health of your family life and your business life. Without certain “rules” and even physical divides in your home, your children assume that you are available for their every need, and even partners and friends can impose on your working day, causing frustration and tension for everyone involved. This is very hard on relationships.

Set Aside One Room To Create Your Own Space

Set aside one room to create your own space if at all possible; one that you can close the door to the rest of the world. This is very important. If you cannot separate yourself from the family you cannot do your business justice, you will not be able to concentrate with all of the interruptions and you will not be able to grow your business.

When my door is closed in my office, my family knows that they are not to disturb me for any reason unless it is an emergency. I established this rule several years ago and it has worked very well. Now my husband is retired, another big adjustment, and he knows DO NOT ENTER!

I now have 2 rooms, one is my office and the other one is my workroom that has my embroidery machines and all of my other equipment in it. The door to my workroom is always open but the embroidery machines are not going to stop unless there is an emergency. They can come in and talk to me but they are not to disturb the workflow.

Running your business from home is entirely possible for the new embroidery business owner if you do set boundaries and create your own space, but you must stick to your rules. Your family will soon learn what the rules are and both you and your family will be happier at the end of the day!

If this has been a problem for you, let me know what you have done to eliminate the issues and how you enforced your rules.


How To Control Production Spoilage In Your Embroidery Business!

How To Control Production Spoilage In Your Embroidery Business!

I go into many embroidery shops to do on-site training and I am totally amazed at the amount of spoilage that I see in boxes. These boxes of ruined garments are very costly to the business owner.

Learning how to control production spoilage in your embroidery business is an important step in reducing the total cost of operating your embroidery business. Operators should be required to show the amount of garments that were lost or ruined. This should be part of the production form that they are required to fill out at the end of each completed job. You must also know why the loss occurred. Keeping tracking the causes and the operators can help to reduce the loss and avoid them in the future.

Keeping a chart on a weekly basis of these losses is very valuable. This information can be reviewed at the end of the week and used to help retrain the operators in the areas that they are apparently lacking information. When operators know that they are being tracked, they have a tendency to be more careful and pay closer attention to detail.

Many people say that this is part of your Production Cost! I do not agree with that at all. This is a cost that can be almost eliminated if the employees are trained to pay attention to all of the details. Yes, there is some spoilage when a person first starts to be trained, but they must be trained from the very beginning that this is not acceptable.

Embroidery Industry Standard of Loss

There has been an industry standard for many years of a 2% loss. Many claim that a 2% spoilage rate is acceptable. You may have that in your contract, but many people will not do business with you if you have a spoilage rate that high. If you properly train your operators to be aware of all of the factors that can happen and how to avoid them, your spoilage rate will be greatly reduced.

I created a simple Wastage and Spoilage Report that you can download, print out and use to keep track of the production spoilage in your embroidery business. Just fill in the form below and I will send you over the Spoilage Report. Even if you are a one person shop, this will help you keep track of the costs that your errors create. This is a huge eye opener to everyone!

How To Save Time Using Computer Keyboard Shortcuts

How To Save Time Using Computer Keyboard Shortcuts

Using Computer Keyboard Shortcuts is a huge time saver. If you are like me, I spend a lot of time on my computer and every second of my day counts. I am either writing an article, creating a program, writing emails or working on a design for someone and I am very grateful for whatever time I can save.

Basic Computer Keyboard Shortcuts To Save You Time

These Computer Keyboard shortcuts are helpful also if you find that your mouse does not seem to be working or if you are on a laptop with limited space and cannot use a mouse. Here are eleven of the most commonly used Computer Keyboard Shortcuts for changing and editing text.

  • To select text shift + arrow left/right
  • To select an entire page of text shift + page up/page down
  • To copy text control (CTRL) + C
  • To cut text control (CTRL) + X
  • To paste text control (CTRL) + V
  • To undo your last action control (CTRL) + Z
  • To close a program ALT + F4 or ALT + F + X
  • To open the task manager control (CTRL) + shift + escape (ESC)
  • To tab between applications ALT + tab key
  • To return to your desktop Windows key + M
  • To lock your workstation  Windows key + L

My Favorite Computer Keyboard Shortcut!

It is very common for me to have several windows open at the same time and I just want to find something simple on my desk top but I do not want to have to go through and close everything down in order to reach it. I just hit the Windows key + M and it instantly takes me back to my desk top. I find this such a huge timesaver! This is my favorite computer keyboard shortcut!

If you have some favorite computer keyboard shortcuts that I do not have listed, please share it with us and I will expand my list to include it!