Thinking of Starting an Embroidery Business? Here’s our Guide

Embroidery is a hobby that’s forever growing in popularity around the world. And because of this, it’s no surprise that a lot of people are starting up their embroidery business. The industry is experiencing a significant boom period. 

It’s never been easier to set up your own embroidery business. Whether you’re starting from the spare bedroom in your house or on a bigger scale it can be a profitable move. 

But before you embark upon your embroidery-based journey, there are plenty of things you must consider. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This post will explore everything you need to know about starting an embroidery business from scratch.

We’ll cover: 

Why Should I Start an Embroidery Business?

If you’re passionate about embroidery, one of the main reasons that people start their embroidery businesses is because of their sheer love for it. 

If you can go to work every day and work with your biggest passion, can you really consider that as work? Having a job that you love is something that a lot of people can only dream of.

If you’re not thinking of entering into the industry for the love of embroidery, then maybe the profitability of the industry might take your fancy. 

But why is the industry so profitable? 

Well, embroidery is everywhere. Everybody buys embroidered goods, especially businesses. Uniforms that are embroidered have more of a regal impression and look a lot classier than a transferred print.  

Embroidery is also a lot more durable and long-lasting. So, there’s always a demand for embroidered goods – and that’s international, not just across the UK.

The scope for growth in the embroidery industry is also massive – which is the main reason why embroidery businesses are growing in popularity. 

A lot of people like the flexibility that comes with owning your own embroidery business. You can be your own boss, which means that you can work your own hours and not have to report to anybody. 

The freedom and flexibility of your own embroidery business allow you to take on as much work as you desire – you take control of your own growth.

What Skills Are Needed?

Before you start your business you’ll need to weigh up whether you have the correct skills or not. If you don’t, that doesn’t mean you can’t start your embroidery business. 

It just means that you’re going to have to recruit a team of staff that will help you achieve your goals and grow your business. 

There are no specific qualifications that you need to take care of the production side of the business. Machine operation and knowledge of the different fabrics and stitching will come from extensive training and experience – there are different techniques of embroidery dependent upon the materials used.

Good quality embroidery products can be rooted back to the design phase. So, you’re going to need to be a design-focused person. If you can’t produce strong designs to the customer, then they’re not going to trust you with the final product, are they?

With the advancement of modern technology, designs aren’t limited to what you can get down on paper. A lot of machines work hand in hand with design software, so basic computer design knowledge and the ability to operate design software is necessary.

Once you start up your embroidery business, you’re now an entrepreneur. Which means that you’re going to have to possess business operation skills too. Embroidery companies tend to operate on quick turnaround times, so your time-management skills are going to have to be on point.

To run a successful business you’re also going to need strong communication, general management and planning skills – all three are strong foundations of any business.

What Equipment Will I Need?

Of course, this will depend on the size of business you’re looking to set up. And also, you need to take into account how much you’re expecting to grow – this will help save money in the long term. 

Any embroidery business will need an industrial embroidery machine. There are plenty of different options on the market and this will be your most valuable asset, so don’t take the decision lightly when choosing one. Choosing the wrong embroidery machine can be costly to your whole business. Not just financially, but operationally too. 

You’ll also need the materials that you’re going to be embroidering. This depends upon the range of service that you’re looking to provide to your customers. Many types of items can be embroidered on.

If you have the budget, your business will operate more efficiently if you can purchase a full stock of materials that are ready to go when ordered. Items that are popular within the embroidery industry are: 

  • Caps
  • T-Shirts
  • Polo Shirts
  • Shirts
  • Jackets
  • Sweatshirts

When thinking of popular items to stock up on, think of the types of customers that are always looking for embroidered goods. For example, sports teams, fast food restaurants and charities constantly require embroidered clothing. 

You’ll need access to a computer and a printer for your designs. Plus, for those intricate and advanced designs, digital design software can ensure that they’re always professional and up to the highest standards. 

Where Should I Operate From?

Again like your equipment, where you locate your business depends on what size of business you’re starting up. Growth is something that should massively dictate where you decide to operate from. 

Renting business purposes allows you to choose the right workshop to meet your business needs. Rather than working from home, workers will be more focused and more productive a proper workplace. 

There are so many distractions at home that can grab your workers attention. For example, 76.1% of remote employees have worked with the TV on. 

If you can rent a property in a busy area, you’ll also drive more interest from the public just from footfall. If you’re in the public eye, your signs and banners need to be physically striking so that they catch the eye and get noticed. 

Like anything, there are also disadvantages to renting premises. Renting a property does come with extra costs. The rent itself, electricity and utilities are all costs that are involved with letting a premises. 

You’ll also have to work outlined hours. Operating out of hours can disturb the surrounding neighbourhood Plus, if you’re located in a public place and are always seen to be closed, it’ll give off a poor impression to the passing public.

When looking at a premises, you should consider what you can afford as an initial start-up investment. You should also consider whether the premises is big enough for your equipment and whether there’s scope to grow when you expand. 

Where Should I Operate From?

The main cost of starting up your embroidery business will be the investment into your machinery. So that you can produce complex logos and intricate designs you’ll need to purchase a commercial embroidery machine and digital design software. Plus, you’ll need to pay for the training to be able to operate the machine

Start-up costs will differ depending on the size of your business and how many customers you’re expecting to have. Smaller businesses will only require a single-head embroidery machine, whereas larger companies will need a multi-head machine to cope with more pressing customer demands.  

  • An average single-head embroidery machine costs – £5000.
  • An average multi-head embroidery machine costs – £9000.

As we mentioned earlier, if you choose to rent your premises you’ll have those extra costs too. These costs will vary depending upon location, size of the premises and any local taxes that are included too. 

Your materials will also be an expense when starting up. The cost of them will vary from supplier to supplier and it’ll depend on how many units of products you buy too. It all depends on what products you’re deciding to embroider.

Is There a Gap in the Market?

As we’ve established, embroidery is everywhere. 

And the fact that a lot of embroidery businesses are starting up can lead to potential business starters thinking “how am I going to differentiate from my competition?” or “why would a customer choose my business when there are plenty on the market already?”

Well, don’t let these thoughts put you off. 

We’re not saying that if you buy yourself an embroidery machine you’re guaranteed success. It’s hard work, but it can be very rewarding should you be prepared to put the graft in. 

What will differentiate your business from the competition is your knowledge. Whether that’s knowledge of your products, embroidery in general or amazing commercial designs. Knowledge is power and knowledge is what will make your business a success. Strive to be the best and it’ll trickle into the way you operate your business. 

Are There Any Legal Requirements?

With any business start-up, there are legal requirements that they must adhere to. And setting up within the embroidery industry is no different. 

You don’t need any specific licences to own and operate an embroidery company. However, you may need insurance should anything go wrong. To see which type of insurance that’s available to your business, click here.  

When you’re deciding where to base your business, you need to consider whether the premises meets health and safety regulations on. For the full regulations you need to consider, click here.

If you’re employing people, then there’s an extra set of regulations that you need to adhere to. Your responsibilities include payroll, pensions and National Insurance tax. To see the full set, click here

You should register your business with HMRC and make sure that you’re VAT registered too.

How Do I Market My Business?

The first thing to do when marketing your startup is determine what your objectives are as a business. What do you want to achieve? Is it a revenue goal or a profit goal? How many leads per month do you need to generate that revenue? Having a clear indication of success factors will help you to define a budget.

Once you have objectives and a budget, it’s time to start thinking of where you would like to market yourself. The obvious channel is a website. Your website is the public face of your business and most likely will be the first glimpse of your brand, products and message a potential customer will see. So it’s really important to get that right before investing any budget in advertising.

Once you have a website, you have a number of choices of which platform you focus budget on. For a startup, we would recommend Google Ads, which can generate you some quick wins by placing your brand directly in front of searchers for the terms you choose. It’s a great way to start creating leads immediately.

While you’re Google Ads are working away, you can then focus on long-term brand awareness and organic footprint. That means creating engaging content and placing it on your blog or resource pages. The goal here is to start building trust with Google that you know what you’re talking about, even if it’s just in your niche industry. If Google recognises that you have authority and that searchers are spending lots of time on your website, they are much more likely to rank your website higher in the organic results.

Higher positions in the organic results means more traffic to your website. Just make sure you choose the correct keywords when planning your content. You don’t want all that hard work to go to waste by creating content that isn’t targeted to the right audience!

Make Your Embroidery Business a Success With the Right Equipment

There’s a reason why embroidery businesses are becoming increasingly popular in modern times. Embroidery is everywhere and the need for embroidered clothing is endless. Your creativity can plug this gap for many different organisations. But you need to make sure you do everything right. Especially the things you can control. 

Your equipment is your trump card within your business. So, it needs to be perfect for your company. There are loads of different options that’ll suit any kind of start-up embroidery business. 

If you’re not sure which one is the right one for your business, don’t worry. We’ve created a free comparison to help you with the decision when the time comes. Remember, your machine is your most valuable asset, so you mustn’t rush when choosing one for your company. 

Download your copy today. 

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