Reaching Embroidery Success

Use these three tips to maneuver through the growing pains of owning a business

Most often, success in the world of business comes down to how well you’re able to get through the growing pains. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, nearly every organization will experience this frustrating stage at some point in their journey. It can even happen more than once if you’re in business long enough. It’s stressful, discouraging, and the natural response is to retreat and hope it passes. However, that’s very rarely the way to successfully moving past painful growth periods.

For embroidery shops, growing pains can take a variety of forms like decreased productivity, more frequent mistakes/product waste, inability to handle any added volume, understaffing, or cashflow challenges. All of it means you can end up stuck in one place, or worse, backsliding, instead of moving toward your next milestone.

Check equipment

Start assessing your current equipment. Having the right machine decreases headaches. Equipment that breaks down frequently or is challenging to work with ultimately affects your bottom line through lost productivity. Likewise, a machine that’s too small will hold you back from new revenue opportunities.

A few things to look for in the right machine:

  • It’s able to handle your current volume and have room for growth
  • It’s easy to work with, with features such as fast, tool-free transitions from flats to caps
  • It’s versatile with dual-function technology, allowing users to run two different jobs simultaneously
  • It saves you time and money, with improved workflow (like WiFi capability)

Review finances

At the cusp of success, businesses often experience the cashflow challenges that comes with increases in production, whether that’s adding new employees, expanding equipment, or purchasing higher volumes of materials.

“When you’re experiencing fast growth, you’re likely also experiencing increased expenses,” says Stitch It CEO Kyle McMinn. “That can prevent you from making the upgrades or expansions you need to sustain that higher volume of business.” When this happens, it’s an excellent time to explore financing options that will help you invest in the equipment needed to continue your growth trajectory. If cashflow is keeping your business from expanding, financing is a viable option. It can be a painless process, and some companies even offer delayed payment options to get you through the growing pains.

Utilize support

Last but not least, make sure you’re utilizing all of the embroidery resources at your fingertips. This means learning the ins and outs of the equipment you have and calling technical support for any questions. Also, consider connecting with likeminded businesses to talk about strategies and struggles.


Erich Campbell

Erich has more than 18 years experience as an award-winning digitizer, e-commerce manager, and industry educator. He empowers decorators to do their best work and achieve a greater success. A current educator and long-time columnist, Erich takes every opportunity to provide value to the industry.

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