Hi, I am Joyce Jagger, The Embroidery Coach and I started my business back in 1978 when a friend of mine asked me to Embroider names on some school jackets for him.  When I finally got the job done, he was thrilled with it. There was no one in our area at the time that was doing embroidery, so I decided that this just might be a way that I could earn a few dollars and still stay at home.

Like so many other people that decide to start a business, I had big dreams of this being a business that was going to give me the freedom that I wanted, I could name my own hours, and make some extra money doing something that was enjoyable. It didn’t quite turn out that way, at least not at first.

This was the start of my home embroidery business that grew into a medium-size multi-head embroidery shop.  Unfortunately, I learned everything the hard way and it was tough going.  I spent many years struggling because I had no mentor and made many mistakes through it all.

I did not know how to price my embroidery, so I gathered the price lists from embroidery businesses all across the nation.  These price lists were from large embroidery shops with many embroidery heads as well as small embroidery shops.  I would average out what everyone was charging and create what I thought would be a good price.  I had no idea that a large embroidery shop with many embroidery heads could charge less for the same design than a small shop with only a single head.

I was on a constant treadmill of running and running and never getting anywhere.  Each month it seemed like I had less money to work with and more work was coming in.  We were known for our outstanding quality and my business grew rapidly with repeat orders and by word of mouth. I was constantly borrowing money to purchase more equipment and be able to keep up with my payroll.

Our customer base was increasing and yet I was still struggling to make ends meet. This was a mystery to me.  Why wasn’t I making some money.  I was going further and further into debt and yet I was working night and day, 7 days a week trying to keep up with all of the work.

Then something happened that changed everything…

After 15 years of this nightmare, I finally went to my accountant and told him I just could not go on like this.  I was tired of struggling and needed to stop this chaos.  He told me that I needed to raise my prices and I was scared to death to do that because I would lose all of my customers.  He flatly told me that either I raise my prices or go out of business. I had no idea how to do that.  I thought that I had to be charging what the average embroiderer was charging, but I was so wrong.

He agreed to come into my shop and work with me for one solid week.  He timed everything that everyone was doing and taught me how to keep track of each process and how to figure out what the cost was for each one.  I was shocked when I learned that I was losing money on every single job that went out the door.  He taught me how to create a price list that was profitable, and it is the same process that I teach today.  He also taught me how to better organize my entire business and get it running more smoothly.

My whole life changed.

After 15 years of running night and day with no light at the end of the tunnel I had learned how to stop the chaos and start running my business like it should be run. After a few months, I totally turned my business around and started making money.  I was able to go home at night with a clear head and enjoy my family.  This is the way that it is supposed to be!  With the right pricing structure, this can happen for you also.