Discover tips and tricks for turning your love for machine embroidery into a successful home-based embroidery business. In the second installment, you’ll learn all about how to choose
the right price for your work
Taking your embroidery from a hobby to a business can get complicated. Starting a business is exciting, but figuring out what your work is genuinely worth is one of the most challenging aspects. You don’t want to oversell and alienate your potential clients, but underselling looks unprofessional and may even cut you off from the embroidery community that can help you grow your business. A good foundation and understanding the basics will help you accurately price your work and help your business in the long run.
There are several factors to consider when deciding what to charge in a home-based business. If you think you may want to start a business, it’s a good idea to charge something
for your embroidery work — even when it’s family or friends, though you can make an exception for gifts.
A good base price point is $1 per 1000 stitches. It won’t factor in everything it takes to run your business, but it’s a starting point if you’re only making a few items for a select clientele. A hoop fee is also a good idea. Usually, a hoop fee is about $5 per hooping.
Embroidery pros use digital software to create custom patterns. Detail work costs money, but if someone you know is looking for a custom piece, like a logo or patch, you can offer them a charge for the pattern, based on the number of stitches and thread color changes requires. The average is usually around $20-$30 per pattern, with simple patterns costing $10, and more complex costing upwards of $60. Judge for yourself what the time you spend digitizing patterns is worth to you, and keep these figures in min as a ballpark.
It makes sense that color changes are more expensive than simple black script. It all depends on the amount of material you’re using. The more colors you use, the more spools you need to add to the machine. Monogrammed baby blankets and simple black script style logos are a lot cheaper for you, and you can pass those savings onto the customers. $5 for a monogram
or patch in black with one color is reasonable, while $20 for three or four colors makes more sense.
The difference between charging friends for your hobby and creating a business around your embroidery is that you need to factor in the cost of everything. That means your electricity, internet access, materials and equipment all factor into the value of your work. You may have the option to rent an embroidery machine to start your business off on the right foot.
However, if you plan to get serious, you’ll want to purchase your own. Your pricing will determine how fast you’ll pay off your machine and the quality of materials you can offer customers. Research reviews on the best embroidery machines that will give you a pro look, even if you’re starting out. Also, remember to factor in the cost of your materials and
equipment when you set your prices.
To really make a dent in the world of custom embroidery, getting a few corporate accounts can turn things around. It’s not as fun as custom pieces, but it’s still a great way to get
creative and to make a name for you and your business. Most embroiderers don’t use price lists. There are too many factors to consider. An excellent way to build customer loyalty, though, is to offer volume discounts. Off ering 20 hats bought in bulk for a cheaper rate than offering 16 custom jobs makes the work easier on you. And you can provide savings to your
customers, building your reputation as you do so.
Cheaper isn’t always better, even to the most discerning buyers. Now that you have the basics down, figure out what you’re offering. Don’t worry about price listing, but check with other embroiders to see where their prices compare to yours. If you’re involved in any crafts groups or classes, talk to your peers about how they set their prices. Overpricing could discourage people from buying from you, but underpricing might make buyers suspicious about the quality of your work. Research cost analysis graphs online to help you. Don’t undersell yourself. Many beginners set their prices low, with the idea that they’ll raise them as they gain skills. But raising prices never works for fledgling businesses. Set your prices to reflect the quality and dedication of your work.