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!

3 Tips To Help You Prepare To Make More Money In The Coming Year

3 Tips To Help You Prepare To Make More Money In The Coming Year

We all need to start thinking about how we can prepare to make more money in the coming year! I have been working on my new marketing plan and during this time I have come up with 3 Tips that may help you as you are preparing to make more money in the coming year.

  1. Create A Great Mindset!
  2. Set Your Goals!
  3. Start The Year Off With All Of Your Financials In Order!

Create A Great Mindset!

This is the very beginning and most important tip of the 3. That is why it is No. 1.
Do you have a great or positive Mindset? Many times our thoughts, especially the negative ones, are what hold us back from succeeding at what we want to achieve and may really be hurting our chances of having a successful embroidery business. I thought that I had a positive mindset but I discovered that I had fallen victim to a negative mindset and it was all of my own self-talk and negative feelings.

I wanted to charge higher prices for my embroidery work when I first started my business but then the negative talk started. I had been told so many times that there was no way that I was going to be able to make a living with an embroidery business that I actually started believing it.

We second-guess ourselves and we have doubts when this happens. With all of the negative thoughts and other people‚’s opinions, we soon tell ourselves that we aren‚’t good enough, smart enough, talented enough, or whatever to be able to charge the prices we want or need to for our work. So we end up just settling for what we think we can get and really create a tough struggle for ourselves.

This was a huge struggle for me when I first started my embroidery business and it lasted for almost 15 years!I was determined to have the highest quality embroidery of anyone that I knew of that was in the embroidery business and I was told many times that I had accomplished that. I was offering this very high-quality embroidery at a price that was as low or lower than the embroidery businesses that were offering low quality. How stupid was that!

I thought that my customers would not pay the prices that I really wanted to charge and I found that the secret is not to project your thinking & feelings onto your customers! This mindset held me back for 15 years! Since everyone else was charging low prices, I thought that I had to stay in line with them or charge less to get the customers. That mindset almost cost me my entire business!

I did not realize that what I had to offer was a product that I could have priced much higher right from the beginning of my business but my mindset had blocked my ability to see that. It took my accountant practically batting me in the head to get this point across.

It was a struggle for me to change that mindset but with his help, I was able to do so. I guess you would say, he was my first business coach. When I changed my total mindset and started promoting my quality product and excellent customer service I had plenty of work! Most of my customers were already coming to me for my quality and service and when I raised the prices, they were OK with that.

I would love to be able to convince you and all embroiderers that you need to charge for your expertise. We are not or should not be struggling artists! We are highly skilled professionals and should be paid accordingly and you need to develop the mindset of a professional!

Set Your Goals For The New Year!

Now is the time to start thinking about the new goals for the coming year! This year is already half over and we need to be prepared to get the new year started off on the right foot! Are you on target to reach your goals this year? If not, how far are you from reaching them? What is the obstacle that is in the way that has prevented you from reaching your goals?

Sit down with a pad and paper and look back over each month of this past year and see where you were and think about what you could change to make this next year a more profitable year.

Now is the time to set your new goals for the coming year. Do not wait until January gets here. You need to get prepared months in advance so that you can start January off with the right plan to reach those goals.

Setting your goals is the very first step in creating your plan for the coming year. Do not set goals so high that you cannot reach them and do not set them so low that they do not mean anything. Set your goals a little out of your reach so that you do have to stretch in order to reach them.

Write down your Goals. I have found that if I commit to them on paper, not just on the computer, but actually writing them down they mean a lot more and I am more apt to follow through and reach my goals. You must create a plan for each one of your goals in order to be able to reach them.

Start The Year Off With All Of Your Financials In Order

Do you know how where you will stand financially for your year end? I know that the year has not yet ended and we  are few months away, but you should be able to anticipate how your year is going to end.

Are you happy with the results of where you are presently? Can you run off a quick report and see where you are today? You may or may not be happy with the way that your year is going to end or where you are today, but knowing exactly where you are financially is the first step in being able to make a change.

Without the knowledge of your current status, it is impossible to create a plan that is going to help you reach your goals and make the necessary changes in your business to do so for the coming year.

If you cannot run off a quick report to find out where you are, you need to start preparing to get all of your financials in order and be ready to start the new year going in the right direction. By the time the year ends, you need to have all of this information gathered.

  • All of your expenses, month by month
  • Your credit card purchases
  • Your Bank Statements
  • Loan information

Your next step is to see if you are making a profit. If not how far are you behind? Do you know your break-even point? This is exactly how much money you need to be bringing into your business each day, week or month in order to pay all of your bills, including a salary for you! You need to be rewarded for all of your hard work.

You need to know which area of your business is profitable and which area is not. This is the only way that you can realistically make the right course corrections and start your plan for next year. If you find an area in your business that is not profitable, get rid of it. It is not servicing you well and is costing you money.

Change your mindset, Set your goals and get your financials in order. This is the beginning of creating a great plan to help you make more money during the remainder of this year into next year!

If you will do some serious thinking about what I have given you in this article and start applying these tips, it will help you to get prepared for the coming year.