Small Business Start-Up Idea – Monogramming

A monogram is an overlapping motif which forms a symbol. If you are good at embroidery then you could sell your monogram designs online. You can place your entire catalogue online so that customers can easily browse it. The majority of your sales will come from corporate clients who want their logo on clothing; therefore if you impress them then you are likely to get repeat business.  

Skills needed: You will need monogramming experience in order to make the products. It will also be important for you to have an eye for selecting high quality clothing suppliers, as poorly made items will reflect badly on your company. It would be helpful if you had basic web publishing skills so that you can update your website easily.  

Business environment and set-up cost:  The items you will be producing are quite lightweight and therefore can be shipped internationally without incurring massive postage costs. If you own all the standard equipment (computer, printer, digital camera & scanner) and specialist embroidery equipment already there is not a huge cost to start this business. You will need to pay for a professionally designed website and online storefront. The overall start-up cost will range from less than £2,050 to £12,500 (2,500 – 15,000 EUR, 4,000-25,000 AUD/USD).  

Marketing Techniques:  

  • Make sure your website is easy to find by using search engine optimisation (SEO)
  • Participate in the pay-per-click schemes of the popular search engines
  • Reciprocate links with marketing agencies due to their strong links with corporate branding
  • Set up a mailing list to communicate with your clients in the future
  • Have a ‘Featured Product’ page on the site to encourage repeat traffic
  • Develop an affiliate network to generate income from referrals
  • Use OnlineOffice to set up web-site, blog and online shop to promote your business online

Complimentary business ideas: The other main outlet for your products (other than corporate) is the gift market.  You could offer a gift registry service for special events and add-on services such as gift wrapping.  

Notes: You must be competent at pricing your products well and also able to manufacture whilst working within a tight budget.  

Online examples & resources:  

For previous SME start-up ideas, look through the archive here  

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