Everyone loves custom made goods. In the past several years, the “maker” movement has taken hold, with handmade items becoming more widely available seemingly everywhere. Owning your own customizing shop can be rewarding and lucrative.
If you’re the owner of a custom embroidery or other design business, your overhead can be higher than anticipated. Between keeping a large inventory, your equipment, and attracting new customers, it can be challenging to manage your business overhead. Hidden costs lurk everywhere. Here’s a few tips for staying on top of them.
Keeping Costs Down Without Compromising Quality
As a good business owner like yourself knows, quality should always, always come first. You can reduce costs, but if quality suffers, so will your profits. The first thing to do when looking for cost-saving measures is to make a plan. Start small, don’t do everything at once and avoid getting overwhelmed.
- Make a list of expenditures
- Locate areas of overspend
- Identify your cost per unit
- Reduce your inventory, keeping only items you need in stock, and not “potential”
- Make items to order
- Focus on offering fewer, higher quality items
- Negotiate the best rates on materials with suppliers
- Act as both the warehouse and the shipper, rather than outsourcing these services
- Update your equipment to streamline your manufacturing (and reduce costs)
- Look for tax deductions if your business is home-based
Streamline your Process
Now that you’ve identified ways to reduce your overhead, it is important to streamline your processes. Even if you are the sole employee of your business, it helps to document procedures. Decide how long it will take to start working on the order once it comes in, how you will process payments, your shipping times and return policies. Treating your business as a “real” business will only make your company stronger, giving you more time to focus on producing high-quality customized items that your customers will love.
Streamlining means you’ll spend less time figuring out how to handle things, and more time actually handling them. Keeping everything in one convenient location will ensure you know where things are every single time you need them.
By standardizing your process, you’ll do things the same way every time, and you’ll have a better idea of how to handle the occasional unhappy customer or unexpected order change. Start spending less on your business and earning more.