Interested in small quilting business ideas? If YES, here is how to start a quilt shop with no money and no experience. How much does it cost to start up?
How to Start a Quilting Business
So, you love quilting, you are very experienced and you have mad skills in it? The next logical step will be to own your own quilting shop, right? Or you’ve found out that it’s difficult to get certain fabrics for a certain quilting niches in your area and you’d like to fill up the niche.
These are good thoughts; it’s great to aspire to more. However, good intentions and excitement are not enough to run a successful quilt shop. Do you know what you need? That is apart from money of course. You’ll need research and a host of other important things. These and more are what we shall be discussing in this article.
Conduct Appropriate Research
This is very important when starting a business especially the quilting business. Due to many online stores doing what used to be the sole duty of the brick and mortar shops, quilting is going in a very different direction. This is especially true for offline quilting business. So your research should include trends, more recent trends actually, not forgetting local trends.
There are many niches in the quilting world. Different kinds of fabrics, different kinds of quilting related services. For example, sales and repairs of sewing machines, quilting classes, quilting supplies. This research will tell you if you should even start to think of going into the quilting business.
And if you decide to go in, you’ll be able to know which niches are good enough and what quilting services you’d be going into. Don’t forget to research your competitors too. And make sure you know the most likely pitfalls in your industry and know how to avoid them.
Write a Business Plan
This is a norm now for all kinds of business, both large and small. A business plan becomes more important if you hope to get some kind of funding from a bank or a venture capitalist. Your business plan should include a very detailed budget or projection of expenses. How much you are going to buy your products and how much you’ll sell them. Other expenses like you rent, salaries and so forth.
Your quilt business plan should also include a marketing strategy and a target market. In your research you should have identified a demographic already. And then finally you should have a cash flow projection. How long it will take you to start making a profit, of course you should have more money in your coffers that will last you until you start breaking even.
Without money you can’t make money, we all know that right. After your research and business plan, you should begin putting money together from your several sources. You can get money from friends and family, personal savings and of course the bank. Your business plan should be very formal and professional so as to make it easier for you to get a loan from the bank.
Your business is only as good as where it is located. So make sure your business is located in a place that’s easy to reach. A place that has a lot of population living in it or passing through is great. It also helps if you have your business in a crafts district or an area where there are lots of stores. So that when people come around to the stores they can see your place.
Advert and Marketing
After getting your location you should actually start advertising. This will create awareness for people even before the grand opening of your shop. It’s good to create some kind of anticipation; this is very good for new businesses.
Of course make it clear that shop hasn’t opened. You should be willing though, to share the date for the grand opening and be prepared to answer their questions. If you are perceived as helpful from the beginning people will be more willing to patronize you.
Don’t forget to use the internet; Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and even localized google ads. A good and very easy to navigate website will be in order. Whether you plan to do online sales or not you need to have a presence on the internet.
Supplies and Decoration
So people are beginning to get aware of your soon to open business. You should begin to stock the place with supplies. Whatever it is you have already planned to sell. Stock them in little quantities and experiment. This will enable you know the products that are in higher demands when your quilt shop finally opens.
Decorate your shop; make it very welcoming to customers. Sometimes what brings customers to a place may just be the decor. Plan to take advantage of everything you can to pull in customers.
Open Quilt Shop
Now we are ready to start business, you can give freebies to pull the people in for business. You might also need additional staff with your quilting establishment. It’s you who know how big the place is going to be. Make sure you staff accordingly, both by knowledge and by expected customers.
And also train your staff on proper customer relations. If your customers are treated well on the day of your grand opening, you should be sure they’ll come back even if they don’t find what they are looking for.
With these steps I think you are good to go to open a quilting shop. These steps that have been outlined here are for brick and mortar shops. If you are thinking to open an online store, other steps will need to be taken.