How To Start an Embroidery Business Without Buying Any Machines

Are you passionate about providing people with a product they love and a service they dream of, but your skills lie in business management rather than production? Don’t waste your talent and time! Have you considered starting an embroidery business?

With the right mindset and a stellar partnership, you won’t even need to buy an embroidery machine! In this handy guide, we’ve consolidated all the necessary information to move forward. Read on to find out everything you need to know.

What Does an Embroidery Business Do?

At its heart, an embroidery business provides products with creative designs embroidered onto them. Those products can range from clothing to patches and anything else in between. As for the designs? That’s entirely up to you, your creativity, and your business acumen. As the creative genius of the business, you will likely have the designs people desire.

Your embroidery business might have started as a hobby, but there are so many benefits to making the move from amateur to entrepreneur. For example, this business is highly profitable, you can do it from anywhere, your customers can be anywhere in the world, and perhaps most importantly, it’s super scalable!

It’s all about finding a hole in the creative world and filling it with an embroidered product that people love. Your designs could have a campaign message on them, be a logo for an organization, or simply resonate with people because of how beautiful they are. Ultimately, it’s all in your hands – create it, and they will come.

10 Steps To Starting Your Own Custom Embroidery Business

1. Learn Everything You Can About the Embroidery Industry

You’ve heard the phrase “knowledge is power” – now you need to embody that. The immediate first step in leaping into the world of business-owning is to learn everything there is to know about the market. Why? You will need assurances that your product will be successful and sell enough to cover your costs.

Furthermore, you need to find where there are holes in the market. What would you – as a consumer – like to see in the market that is not currently catered for?

Use this research time to check out YouTube tutorials, speak to people currently working in the industry, and start conversations with the consumers themselves. What are they looking for that you can provide?

You’ll also find a great selection of organizations and clubs you can join to get into the scene. These resources – and events such as trade shows and exhibitions – will give you a fascinating insight into the world of embroidery and how you can fit into it with your new business!

2. Find a Niche

One of the best pieces of advice you’ll receive, no matter which industry you start a business in, is to find a niche. If you make your range too broad, you may spread yourself thin. The goal is to become the top business within a smaller market rather than an average business in a large market.

Trust us: that’s where the money is! And that’s one reason this is step two, not one: you need to know the embroidery industry before finding where you fit within it. It’ll also make marketing much easier for you if you can target a specific audience rather than attempting to appeal to everyone.

By all means, try out a few different ideas, but we recommend uncovering your niche sooner rather than later.

3. Embody the Three Business Personalities

Did you know there are three business personalities? Each one of them is as important as the other. If you’re going to run your business single-handedly or with a small team, then you need to embody all three of them to ensure maximum success. Let’s call them the Technician, the Manager, and the Entrepreneur.

The Technician is the creative director of the business. By this point, you have likely already honed this skill, so this should be the easiest one to embody. While the others have a more business-ready mind, don’t let them overpower the original creator – the Technician.

The Manager is all about organization and efficiency. You might need to take a few classes or watch a few tutorials to get the hang of this one, but you’ll be glad you did. Without the Manager, your business will be much harder to maintain.

Finally, the Entrepreneur: they have the vision and the motivation to kickstart your business. They’re the team leader when it comes to making money and getting things done. Follow your gut with this one – in terms of niche, market success, and business goals!

4. Pick Your Products

You’re well on your way to being a successful business owner at this point, so now you need to start thinking practically about the product. What exactly is it you plan on embroidering? As with the section on choosing a niche earlier, try to find one area and make it great rather than offering everything.

For example, T-shirts are a saturated market. Try hoodies, jackets, or fleeces instead. Do your market research before you decide so you know it is informed and not random. Always consider the consumer.


Get started with your design today!

Why wait? Select your options, share your artwork, and we’ll get you started on your custom products.

5. Get Your License, Permits, and Insurance

Whatever you do, don’t skip this step! Ensuring all the legalities are in place is incredibly important when setting up your business. Bottom line: it’s not worth avoiding it. When it comes to licenses and permits, you’ll have to check which apply to you, as some are federal, some are state, and some are local.

An excellent place to start is looking for business licenses and selling permits. For more information, we recommend contacting your local government office, which can point you in the right direction.

Once this is all done, you can officially call yourself a business and get up and running. You’re almost there!

6. Create a Website

What’s a successful business without a website? It’s certainly important – in this day and age, anyway. While it might seem daunting at first if you’re not very tech-minded, a website is, without a doubt, a must-have for your business. It will be your primary source of securing new clientele and profits, so make sure it’s representative of you and your company.

It might be worth working with a provider to help you with this aspect so it’s as professional and confident as possible. This way, you can be sure the website is fully SEO-ready – an essential in the marketing world.

7. Get Marketing

After creating a website, you’ll need to consider your marketing strategy and which aspects you will focus on. While word of mouth might have worked for you while you were a hobbyist, it’ll likely not cut it now that you’re going for the big leagues.

Along with your website, concentrate on social media and email marketing – the latter is especially good for gaining repeat customers as you can promote deals and competitions.

Remember, followers, subscribers, and engagement numbers are all part and parcel of a successful business. Making sure your clients engage and interact with your work will be the best way to get more profits – and eyes on your products.

8. Decide How To Fulfill Orders

When your business is all about physical products, an inescapable part of your plan must be shipping. How exactly will you fulfill all of your orders in a timely fashion? There are two main options here:

First, you can do it all yourself. This would involve taking your embroidered products and hand-posting every order. The obvious downside to this is the time it will take you; however, many people like this option because of the personalized aspect of it. You can add little thank-you notes, etc. Think Etsy!

The second option is to outsource the shipping. While your packages won’t be as personal, they will likely save you money in the long term and be far more efficient. You’ll be able to guarantee delivery in a specific time range, and should anything go wrong, you know exactly where to go to sort it out.

9. Don’t Try To Do Everything Yourself

The ultimate lesson that every business owner needs to learn: you don’t have to do it all yourself. Delegate, delegate, delegate! Finding ways to work with others – in partnerships or with employees – will make your business far more professional, smooth-running, and lead to far higher profits.

As your embroidery business structures without you needing to buy equipment, you’ll need to find a partner to create the products for you. Often you can come to a shipping arrangement with these partners, too.

10. Create and Maintain a Good Relationship With Your Partners and Clients

Do your research and conduct meetings with prospective partners before signing any contract. Make sure you get physical copies of the product they’ll be creating for you. And if possible, create a good relationship with the person who will be your account manager. Healthy communication and relationships with partners are an essential part of your work!

As for your clients, having a good relationship with them is just as important. You want your customers to trust you and return whenever they need more embroidery work. Don’t just see them as numbers in your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – they’ll see right through that.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does It Cost To Start an Embroidery Business?

If you’re starting from scratch, consider the cost of building your website, potential license fees, and software you can use to track your orders. However, if you partner with a production company, you can save money on both the physical creation and shipping costs. Either way, starting an embroidery business is low-cost.

Is Starting an Embroidery Business Worth It?

To put it simply, yes! Starting an embroidery business can be a low-risk, high-reward job that can bring in high profits from the very start. It’s low-cost to start it up, and it can be easily scaled in the future if and when your clientele grows.

Starting an Embroidery Business? Work With Us!

Cut costs, hassle, and time by working with us at The/Studio! If you’re just starting an embroidery business, don’t get bogged down with how you’re going to manage to get all your orders printed. That’s what we’re here for.

Instead, concentrate on the designs themselves and grow your business to new heights. Let’s work together to make the best of your talents and our professional manufacturing methods.

For more information, get in touch now. We’ll set up a time to chat and get started on a mutually beneficial working relationship. We can’t wait to hear from you!


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Get started with your design today!

Why wait? Select your options, share your artwork, and we’ll get you started on your custom products.


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