Changing the way your embroidery business works, after the lockdown

Hopefully by the time you are reading this we are easing our way out of lockdown. This month Peter Wright, managing director of Amaya Sales UK, outlines how to come back with a bang.

I am sure that during the enforced lockdown that we are all living through, you have probably been sitting at home wondering what will happen to your business when the lockdown ends.

You will be thinking when will the business start picking up again, will it be slow or come back with a bang?

At the time of writing none of us know when it will end, but I think it is fair to say that it will not go back to where it was from one day to the next. It will be a gradual build from what we are experiencing in the lockdown back to where we were before the pandemic hit us. In our own business we have noticed that our customers who have an online presence have been trading reasonably well and some have even seen increased sales over 2019 targets.

Never the same

Business in the future will probably never be the same, with online businesses growing at a faster rate than ever expected. So, if your pre-COVID-19 business model was not online you should be using this time to plan a website with e-commerce facility, and if you were already selling online, you should be streamlining and see where you can improve it.

To gain an advantage and an instant sales response use PPC (pay per click) Google ads. These should give you sales leads from day one but make sure your site has good landing pages to maximise the conversions. Also check out your organic SEO on your site and make sure it is optimised. Social media advertising is also a good way to attract new business, particularly if you can identify the demographic of your target audience. Please contact me if you have any questions on this.

At the moment, your customers have a lot of time on their hands and much of that is being filled with a device in their hand, either scrolling or online shopping. My wife certainly is!

Take advantage

Take advantage of this captive audience. Give some thought to embroidering more unusual items that might entice people. Goods that you can charge a premium for. Products like bathrobes, pyjamas, bags, belts, shirts, clothing etc. personalised are great gifts, easy to produce and by personalising them can make you a good margin. What about embroidered designs on to bags, children’s clothes, schoolwear etc.

By the time you read this article, hopefully the lockdown will have been eased and your business will have started some kind of production. Now is the time to start promoting your business strongly to give you the best possible start in this changed environment. I must say that in my experience of past recessions, the garment decoration business has survived pretty well.

Hopefully during the down time, you have maintained your machines, so they are in tip top shape to perform when needed.

Take a good hard look at your production set up and the machines you have. Ideally you should have a flexible line up of embroidery machines that will give you the upmost flexibility and efficiency. Machines that allow you to switch between single head use and multi-head and give you the ability to cater for all types of orders.

Re-train your operators if necessary, to run your machine as efficiently as possible. Remember that embroidery heads that are not sewing are losing you money. Check out how a modular system can help you with efficiency and save you thousands through the year.

So, give some thought to how you can change your business model and embroidery production for the better and look forward to a strong return to normal post COVID-19.

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