Starting a quilting business is a big commitment that requires connections, know-how, and a lot of time. If you're planning on founding your own quilting business, you'll want to avoid these mistakes as you work your way toward success.
Mistake 1: Not Having a Passion
Quilting is extremely labor intensive, and anyone who opens a quilting business without being fully aware and accepting of the work involved will be very disappointed indeed. Those who do not have a passion for quilting may find the work repetitive and tedious. In fact, it is exactly for this reason that other people who are otherwise fond of sewing will hire someone else to quilt their designs. Just enjoying sewing isn't enough: you must have actually quilted quite a few quilts in the past, and you must have enjoyed doing it.
Mistake 2: Not Differentiating Prices
There are a number of acceptable ways to charge when you have a quilting business: by the hour, by the square foot, or even by the entire project. If you decide to use either of the latter two as your main method of charge, you will need to have different categories to make sure that you're appropriately compensated for more intricate work. The tightness and complexity of the pattern is important to consider if you charge by size.
Mistake 3: Allowing Customers to Leave Dissatisfied
Sewing groups in most communities are generally a pretty tight-knit group. Sewers and quilters communicate with each other and relay their positive or negative experiences. This means that a single dissatisfied customer is likely to tell a huge number of potential customers about their dissatisfaction. The loss of business isn't worth the extra time or even lost profit to make a customer happy. While you shouldn't allow yourself to be taken advantage of, it is sometimes necessary to compromise in order to reach a solution which is satisfactory for both sides.
Mistake 4: Not Accounting for Shipping
Heavy quilts can be quite expensive to ship if you're accepting quilting requests from out of state. It's reasonable to expect your client to compensate you fully for any shipping costs; just make sure that they're aware of your requirement ahead of time.
Mistake 5: Taking Too Much
As quilting requires so much time and effort which should not be rushed, it's vital to biting off more than you can chew. Determine how much time you can devote to quilting and how long you expect it will take you to finish a project, and give clients a reasonable time estimate with a bit of padding in case anything does not go as expected. Keep track of your projects. It's a good idea to have a wait list so you have a steady stream of work, but are never working on more than one or two quilts at a time.
By avoiding these 5 mistakes, you can start down the path of building a successful quilting business.