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Buying a Digital Embroidery Machine: The Business Considerations

Published on 24th June, 2019

digital embroidery machine

When purchasing a digital embroidery machine there are various business considerations your startup company should think about.

You need to work out which machine is best for your business, especially if you’re entering a niche. For example, when looking to buy an embroidery machine you may be thinking:

  • What size is our business?
  • What level of embroidery is required?
  • Do we have the staff to operate them?
  • What are our competitors doing?
  • What quality of product and output do we need to achieve?

We want to help you succeed in your venture, and this article is designed to answer your questions.

What Size Is Your Business?

size of your embroidery business

If you understand the requirements of your startup, you’ll know what you need to keep up with customer demands.

Being in the embroidery business can be a profitable industry to work within. You may find yourself working within industries such as fashion, sportswear, printing, schoolwear, workwear, uniform supplies and team wear. Customisation is on trend and many companies now see the added benefit of personalising workwear.

As a small business, you may be working by yourself, perhaps you have some employees or a manager. Choosing a commercial digital embroidery machine that fits with what your business demands is key.

Your biggest outlay as a new embroidery business will be the machine you choose and any software you need, especially if you plan to digitise logo designs. But you’ll also want to think about the size of your business and your choice of premises:

  • Are you working from home? Do you have a dedicated area or are you using existing room around partners, children and pets?
  • Are you going to rent a space? Have you thought about the cost involved in this?

The upside of working from home is that you don’t have the overhead costs you’ll incur if you choose to rent business space. However, you’ll need to think about the output you can achieve and if you can successfully manage distractions.

If you’re contemplating renting a space this can offer you the advantage of more room, potentially a bigger machine: meaning a greater output and opportunity to supply more to your customers.

Renting a property for your business has the additional advantage of allowing you to advertise in your local area, as drivers and pedestrians will see your shop front.

However, It is important to remember with renting versus working from home that you’ll have bigger overheads such as rent, electricity and water etc. When thinking about the size of your business it’s advantageous to not just think of yourself as you are now, but to also consider the growth goals of your business.

Working with your budget, business size and business space will help you to decide which machine will be the right purchase for you. But so will understanding your expected growth as a business and what volume and level of embroidery you hope to produce.

What Level of Embroidery is Required from Your Business?

computerised embroidery machine

Take time to work out what level of embroidery will be required for your business.

Embroidery can be a very lucrative industry; there is profit to be made in each area, particularly if you are able to embroider and sell clothing straight to the public.

After considering your business space, budget and growth; you will want to think about the type of embroidery machine that you will need.

Are you looking to purchase a brand new or used embroidery machine?

Dependent on your business considerations and budget, your machine distributor will be able to offer you a new/fully refurbished machine that could suit your new startup.

A single head machine will be ideally suited to you if you’re planning to produce custom-made one-off items. Whereas a multi-head machine is built to withstand larger, bulk, repeat orders.

With a multi-head machine, your running costs for larger orders and the time it takes to complete them will be greatly reduced.

The time it takes for you to produce your items and the cost to you will also be factored into what you will charge your customer too. This is something to consider within your business, as it can impact how competitive you will be against other businesses within your niche.

Another point to note is whether or not you plan to convert logos onto embroidery designs yourself or whether this is something you will plan to outsource.

This process of digitising is built into the software, and will convert the text or graphic into a design. Of course, the cost of doing so will vary depending on whether you outsource or decide to keep the digitising of designs in-house.

Do You Have the Staff to Operate Them?

staff numbers

As a new business, you may be working by yourself or you may have the staff to help you. You will need to think of how you will set-up your workspace to create a streamlined process.

You want to ensure that your workspace is laid out to allow for maximum output- but also that offers flow and ease for yourself and your staff. Having a space that keeps the process flowing with minimum disruption, will create a faster more effective process.

As well as making the process as productive as it can be, you also want to think about how you will store all of the equipment that you and your staff will need. Where you store each component should match each action of your embroidery process. This will keep movement to a minimum and will mean you and your staff are less fatigued.

Speed and volume of output are important, but not at the expense of the quality that you produce.

How you decide to operate will have a direct impact on your working costs and output.

What are Your Competitors doing?

When you’re managing your own business it’s important to understand who your competitors are, and what they are doing.

Keeping your finger on the pulse and researching your competitors both online and offline is key to knowing how to pitch yourself in terms of what you decide to produce, and how much you decide to charge for your embroidery work.

It has never been easier to search for and understand businesses today. Especially your competitors.

Search engines, trade shows, social media and networking events are great ways with which to grow your knowledge about what other companies are offering their customers.

This helps you to understand more of the market you are stepping into, but also assists you in knowing who your competitors are. As well as getting to know other similar businesses within your niche, it is important to market yourself so that you are seen by your ideal customers.

Many embroidery businesses will look to create a shop online or will have a website built for them. Of course, if you have a rented shop this will also act as your own advertisement for your company too. It is also important to remember to market your company: this lets people know that you are open and ready for business.

Try to market yourself in places where your ideal customer is likely to search and find you.

Social media platforms, online social groups, advertisement spaces, creating blog articles for your website and making content for your target audience are all great places where you can showcase your skills and expertise.

This willingness to put yourself out there as a brand enables you as a new business to gain authority and trust in your space.

What Quality of Product and Output do we Need to Achieve?

This is an important question to raise and ask yourself as the owner of a new business. Being reliable and offering quality embroidery products will earn you a good reputation. Choosing the right digital embroidery machine for you is reliant upon you knowing what you want to achieve.

Before purchasing a machine ask yourself:

  • What embroidery products will I be producing?
  • What is the expected quality and output for my business?
  • Who is my customer?
  • What are the demands from my customer?

Knowing what demands you need to work towards will be a huge factor in further understanding your business considerations and which machine is right for you.

In Conclusion

There is plenty for you to deliberate when choosing your new digital embroidery machine. With research and knowledge of your business considerations, you are offering yourself the greatest chance of success.