Join us every last Saturday of the month for JUKI’s small business seminars designed to help you start or grow your at-home sewing, quilting, embroidery, or direct-to-garment business.
When it comes to owning your own small business, finding your niche is one of the first goals you should focus on. While you can have all the supplies in the world, and top equipment, not knowing your niche will leave you lost. Take the time to consider who you’re selling to and what kind of designs and work you’ll need to do to hit that audience base
Sometimes finding your niche can be coincidental. If you create a t-shirt for your daughter’s dance friends, and everyone loves it, you might find yourself attending dance recitals with moms and supporters wearing your shirts. Think of finding your niche as an upside pyramid. The top is wide and covers everything on earth, it’s up to you to trickle down and see what’s at the point for your market.
Who are you marketing to?
The best way to start your small business is by planning who you’re going to sell to! Having a target audience or niche will help you build ideas for designs or connections to go after that will grow your shop. Below are some examples of audiences you could market towards.
Hobby and Niche Markets
Are you obsessed with comics, cars, and more? Many groups of people enjoy having products that are different and creative, and allow them to show support for their favorite things in fun ways! Think of what groups you resonate with that you could create custom shirts for.
Car Hobby: If you find yourself having fun puns or art ideas for cars, those in the car community would enjoy having new products like t-shirts they could wear to car shows to show off their personality!
Punny Jokes: Something so many people enjoy are good puns and jokes. Creating material with fun graphics, or even quotes is a great way for people to show off who they are. Think of fun socks, printed t-shirts, or canvas bags with fun quotes.
Pop Culture References: With media constantly expanding and growing, you’re always likely to stumble upon a TV show, movie, or band that has a following. Create things in your style that fans would enjoy wearing as a form of pride and excitement in their likes.
Events and Show Markets
In a world where there is always something going on, events and shows always need some merchandise and freebies!
Charity Events: Charity events are always circulating. Many times these events include team t-shirts to set apart company teams, or for individuals who are volunteering! Connect with your local charities and see who needs a partner for event merchandise. These events are not only a great way to get your business out there, but they will allow others to see the quality of your work and bring in new connections for future events.
Trade Shows: If you’re located in an area where tradeshows are common, look into exhibiting at these events! Many times teams will set up their shops on-site and sell their goods and creations while customers are attending. You can also look into what tradeshows are happening near you and create custom products to sell beforehand.
Sports Events: does your town have a kickball league? Look into what leagues are in your area for options on creating merchandise for their teams! Many companies, schools, and friends have their own sports leagues that require team t-shirts, tote bags, hats, and more.
Create Your Brand
For those who have a mind filled with artwork and fun style, look into creating your brand! These projects may seem big, but you get to choose how you create and sell. Many small businesses are known for having their select few designs that they focus on. We recommend starting with 3-5 designs you want to place on merchandise and going from there when creating your brand.
Once you’ve picked your niche deep dive into what’s popular in the community. Whether it be characters, quotes, styles, or more; these tips will help you create your shop and build up a profitable business. The more you know your audience, the more likely you are to create pieces that others find special and worth buying. Small niche consumers pay more as well because of the low product options available for them to choose from.
Whether you choose to market to corporate, or to your local community, finding your niche is the essence of creating a profitable and successful company. Don’t be afraid to join niches that seem popular, the same reason people go to Walmart instead of Target can be the same reason someone goes to you instead of another seller. Begin with categorizing people so that the game plan is more concrete. Research their demographics, interests, jobs, etc. Once you reach the point where it’s too narrow, go up a level until you find your sweet spot. Try to find a niche where there are enough people to market to, and then go for it!