Tips For Dressmakers On How To Be A Good Business Persons

By Dorothy Kimble

Dressmakers, like many other artists, may be good at their craft, but need assistance when it comes to being a business person. The following are some suggestions to assist you in the business world.

You need expert advice. You may be top of the game when it comes to tailoring an award winning frock from scraps of cloth and thread, yet you are not likely to be an expert at law and financial affairs as well. Don’t be scared to seek the assistance of financial advisors, lawyers, insurance agents, marketing consultants or any specific advisor you need. You may be more scared come tax time if you never met with an accountant than if you had.

All of this expert advice does not necessarily have to be pricey. You can find government agencies such as SCORE, and SBA and many colleges offer the services you need free or at a low price.


When it comes to expert advice it is true that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Write down all expenses. Many businesses fail due to inadequate funds. Be completely honest with yourself during this step. Do not let your emotions talk you into opening a business when you are not financially ready. Write out all of your estimated expenses for one year’s time. This list should include all overhead including materials such as fabric, sewing equipment, space rental, advertising, insurance, electricity, accounting, etc. Make this list exhaustive and keep in mind your estimate will likely be less than what you actually end up needing.

Charge what you are worth. The most common mistakes artists, including dressmakers make is not charging enough for their work. To get an idea of what you should charge, add up all of your overhead and decide what price you are comfortable making as profit. This will be your bottom line price and you should not charge less than it. If your competition is charging less they have either figured out a way to cut corners on cost or are operating at a loss and may not be aware of that yet.

You must communicate well with your customers. In all businesses lack of communication is one of the most easily remedied issues that lead to disgruntled clients. Particularly in dressmaking where you are dealing with matters of personal tastes and emotional issues that may surround a big event such as a wedding or award show. To avoid potential misunderstandings make sure that you seek feedback regularly. Listen to your customers and repeat back to them what you understood them to have said. Keeping a client updated on the status of their garment is professional as well. Once the customer receives your final product it is a good idea to touch basie with them to make sure all went well. Unhappy customers may not voice their concerns unless you ask. Simply by asking you have an opportunity to remedy the situations, keep the customer and prevent them from spreading bad words about your work.

Lastly, don’t bite off more than you can chew. This is common mistake of new business owners, including dressmakers, who are scared to turn down any work. If you take on more than you can properly handle you will likely end up disappointing some clients and yourself in the process. Not a good thing for your reputations. It is better to politely turn work down than to not have the time to do the job right.

About the Author: Dorothy Kimble is a staff writer at

Crafts Digest

and is an occasional contributor to several other websites, including

Recreation Digest



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