Start A Sewing Business

Starting Point
Before you begin planning your new home sewing business you really need to take an objective view of yourself and your abilities and establish how good you are compared to your competitors and what skills you may need to acquire, this is also a good time to consider your market, your pricing structure and the amount of hours per day you can dedicate.

A) Who else is your local area, how do they compare to you and what are they charging? Can you find a niche which is not being met?

B) What business permits do you need in your area, do you have any restrictions you need to think about.

C) Is your home in a neighbourhood which is easily accessible for your clients or would they prefer to go to Susan down the road because parking is a nightmare, what about your neighbours, would anyone complain of a disturbance?

Business Plan

Should you need any financial backing then a business plan will be required by any lender, however, it is also a good tool for you personally and one which will help guide you through each stage. Below is a guide on how you could set up and categorize your business plan in 4 easy stages.

1) List the services you are going to offer

2) List start up costs

2a) Sewing machines and manuals

2b) Thread, needles, bobbins, pins and pin cushions, sharp scissors, steam iron and ironing board, seam ripper, chalk, measuring tape, ruler, yardstick, organizer boxes

2c) Pattern

2d) Computer equipment

2e) Computer software

2f) Website: Domain, Hosting, Development, Maintenance

3) As this is a labour intensive business staff are a consideration, hourly rates would be appropriate

4) Place of business, if you have to rent commercial space, what are the costs?

5) Customer attraction, marketing and lead generation cost

6) Owner responsibilities

When pricing for your equipment you will need a heavy duty, high quality machine so it can withstand repeated use. You may also need a spare should the worst happen and yours breaks down, your equipment is key to this business so be prepared.

You may also note that you can purchase industrial grade machinery for cut prices if you contact large factories, on many occasions you may find they are more than happy to sell you their equipment for less value than you can buy online or on the high street

Business Register
Get in touch with your county clerk office and apply for a business license along with the Internal Revenue Service to obtain your employer identification number for use on all your business documents, tax forms and invoices.

Working Space
Organize the space in where you will work and meet customers, you will need your complete sewing projects and somewhere that you can leave your work out without having to tidy away every night. You will also need some space for your equipment and supplies so perhaps a shed in the garden or a garage? Are you able to work from home, a quick call to the zoning commissions office will give you the answer to that question, some areas do not allow business to be permitted in residential areas.

The average wage for a seamstress is $31,000 per annum, this can of course change if your work more than the average hours and if you hire staff. Should you require more than this per annum, you may need to re-think your business plan to be on a larger scale. The hourly rate is above the minimum wage so have a check in your area and see what prices are being charged currently. Are you a quick seamstress, if you are slow then you may need to adjust pricing based on your speed.

Many a seamstress these days gets too busy and ends up taped out, therefore staffing is an option you should be considering, there is only so much 1 person can manage in one day by themselves. The average wage for 1 person working from home running their own sewing business is $31,000, the only way to achieve a higher income would be to hire staff and pay them on an hourly rate, check out your local suppliers to gauge an average hourly rate in your business.

Do not start your business without the correct insurance, after all you have put a lot of effort and time into becoming a professional seamstress, however, things can and do go wrong which are totally unforseen and minor accidents could have major consequences.