Hi, it's been a while since I have posted or checked in. I've been going several directions over the past year.
I thought someone here surely has some feedback on where to find "embroidery" customers? I work out of my home and most of my embroidery business is from referrals, smaller jobs. I've been fortunate to have some more med. sized jobs (or large for one commercial machine) land in my lap. But, I didn't "beat" the streets for the work. I'm wanting to get a away from the small jobs from local moms, etc....a towel here a bib there...you know what I'm saying?
I would like to push my buisness further and pursue small to med. sized companies, etc. I just feel lost as to how to accomplish this. It seems like digging for a needle in a haystack or maybe I'm just overwhelmed with the thought. Can any of you point me in a direction of places locally in a city or community where one (embroider) might get lists or information on how to get the foot in the door to some of these companies. I'm not sure I've asked my question the correct way, but maybe someone out there knows what I mean? For example, my sister works for the school district. I have been fortunate to get a few jobs doing about 200 shirts for their summer fundraisers. She works in the food service divisiion, but has told me I should get my name on the vendor list for the district...so other departments contact me for orders. Well, my problem is I don't want to come across as this little outfit that works out of the home. I worry they may view me as "two bit". But, at the same time I want to build what I have and work towards adding a 2nd machine and more business. Can any of you provide feedback on how one might accomplish this?
Thanks for listening to me, and I"m glad to be back on the forum it's been too long!
When I started in the embroidery business.....I sat down and I wrote letters to the local business places. Insurance Companies, Restaurants, Bowling Alley's, Schools etc. I also took the time to digitize a sample of my work and send it to them. Sometimes it was a logo of their business.....other times just letters n things. I offered free pick up and delivery to get me started...and it worked.
Hope that this helps some......
Barb in Idaho
Thanks for your feedback. I like the idea of giving them a sample of your work. This helps....I geuss I thought maybe it was more complicated than that. So, it's kinda like "beating" the streets, huh? Sending mailers to local companies? Thanks so much.
Thank you for the suggestion. Did you do this? What takes place at the meetings or what was your experience? I have never looked into this. Thanks.
Joining a local Chamber is good. Also joining a network group like BNI (www.bni.com) or NRG (www.nrg-networks.com). These are pricey and require attendance, but alot of people have built their business through these. Find groups that are in your area and visit several groups before deciding to join one.
In joining or visiting these organizations you will find out about networking events to attend. Go to them and bring lots of business cards to give to others. It is recommended to send an email to those you meet (get their businss card) saying it was nice to meet you and maybe putting a short blurb in there about your business. Most people don't do this, I don't always do this; so you will stand out.
Also bring a pen. In the event someone says they are interested in your products, write that information on their business card so you can follow up with them. Then follow up. Many people don't follow up and miss business. I have found that there are those who really want what you are selling, but their business/work take precedence and they will not stop long enough to call. So you need to remind or tell them they need your products. If I don't get a commitment for an order, but they are interested, I will ask if it is ok to call in a month or two and they usually say ok.
If you do not have an elevator speech prepared, it is a good idea to have one. An elevator speech is a short speech in which you can tell someone about your business in 30-60 seconds. The idea is if you get on an elevator and have the opportunity to tell someone on the elevator with you about your business, what would you say in that very short time. Having it prepared in advance keeps you from rambling on and on.