In this modern day and age, lots of people are getting more concerned with the way they dress. So if you enjoy tailoring and creating interesting clothing patterns, then this might just be the perfect business opportunity for you. You can choose from the wide array of sewing projects available such as costume design, special occasion clothing, dressmaking, school uniforms, or even clothing and sewing machine repair.

However, there are some few things that you must put into consideration in order to be successful in this industry. To help you out, this simple checklist will take you through all the basics you’ll need before you finally decide to set up your tailoring shop.

1. Write a business plan

The first thing to do before you even think of starting up any kind of business is to have a business plan. This is because a written business plan will guide you through every stage of your sewing business development. Your business plan should include important things such as:

  • The start-up cost
  • Legal structure
  • Type of niche you’ll be specializing in
  • Market analysis
  • Your sales and marketing plan


2. Get a sewing/business training

You can choose to enroll in either sewing or business course – or even both. This is because even if you’ve been sewing for quite some time, taking these courses will arm you with all the necessary tricks and techniques to enable you to succeed in this business. That said, you can join an already established sewing business either as a paid or unpaid employee. Keep in mind that at this stage your main target is the experience and not the money. You can see examples of these at Collars & Cuffs bespoke tailor.


Alternatively, you can join a good sewing school in your locality that can turn you into an expert after only a few months of training. All in all, if you know all the technical aspects of tailoring, it will be very unusual to make common mistakes in your business.

3. Register your business

It’s also very important to make your business legit. Moving forward, it’s always advisable to start it out small scale. However, if you feel that you have enough resources to start a limited liability company, then you can go ahead and do so. But keep in mind that you’ll need to register it with your country’s corporate affairs commission or apply for your business license with your small business administration office. 


In addition, you’ll need to apply for a TIN (Tax Identification Number) with your country’s Internal Revenue Service. Don’t also forget to find an appealing name for your business during this stage and ask for opinions from your family and friends.

4. Decide on Your Budget


It can be very difficult to set up a profitable business without having a proper budget. That aside, you should consider running expenses such as equipment, rent, employee salaries, and many more. Moreover, you should decide in advance how you’ll get the funds. You can choose to apply for a bank loan or a cooperative credit society loan. Another thing to do is to ask for a loan from either your relatives or friends. In most cases, their interest rate will be much lower compared to getting a loan from a financial institution.

5. Get the necessary equipment

First and foremost, the minimum requirement for setting up a tailoring shop is a heavy-duty sewing machine capable of handling any kind of fabric. For this reason alone, don’t even think about bringing along your home sewing machine. This is because these kinds of machine are not made for continuous work. Home sewing machines are also not good with sewing heavy fabrics such as leather and denim. You can see our top picks at and choose the perfect fit for your business. Another thing that you'll definitely need is a big table which is to be used for cutting fabrics and making storage shelves. Also, ensure that you have a fitting room that has a closable door or a curtain for privacy purposes. Don’t forget other important things such as business cards and delivery bags with your business name labels printed on them. However, you should avoid spending too money much decorating your shop’s interior because you will most likely need this money elsewhere. But make sure that the layout is comfortable enough for all your customers.

6. Select a niche

As we’ve mentioned earlier, the sewing industry has so many areas that you can choose to pursue. With that in mind, you should specialize in one or two fields, to enable you properly market your business and avoid getting worn thin in general. Whether you want to specialize in children or adult clothing, uniforms, home décor, or sewing machine repair, there’s certainly an array of options for you.

7. Market your business

This is where a business card comes in handy as you’ll just be a phone call away from your next potential customer. You can also market your services in fashion magazines, or display flyers in local wedding and dress shops, dry cleaners, grocery stores, or any other local businesses. You should also keep in mind that lots of businesses are moving online, particularly the fashion industry. You can create a website displaying all your good work, customer testimonials, hours of operation, as well as your prices. A common structure used in the US is an LLC


8. Dress the part

If there’s one crucial thing that most people in the sewing business forget to do, is to dress well when marketing their sewing business. You should try wearing your own products as this is also another effective marketing strategy. Chances are that your customer will buy your products if they look good on you.


It’s that simple, isn't it? Starting your own sewing business shouldn't be so difficult if you follow the right procedures. In fact, it all comes down to our first point – planning!

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