Something New!!!

Many times I have been asked if I do online classes and the answer is yes, I have lots of machine quilting online classes on the Longarm Classroom website. To view this website Click Here 

I have also been asked if I have live, online classes, and I have had to answer no, I don’t.  Until now!!!

I have taken the leap into a new technology world and will be offering LIVE, ONLINE classes!

My FIRST, live, online class is scheduled for Saturday, July 13 at 1 PM Pacific Time! 

This class is titled Finding Customers for your Machine Quilting Business. It is a 2 – 3 hour class and all you need is a computer, or a laptop, or a mobile device to attend!

In this class I will talk about

  • How to find local customers – and it’s not only via a local quilt shop.
  • How to find out of the area customers.
  • How customers can find you!
  • And much, much more!!

Since this is the FIRST class I am doing this way, I am offering a discounted class fee of only $35! 

For More details on this class and how to register, Click Here

Note: This is the ONLY way you can access this class information!

I hope you will join me on my FIRST ever, live, online class! I know there may be a few hic-ups in the class – we can muddle through them together!

This class will be recorded so you can view it at a later date. The details of this are being worked out. When the recorded class is available you will be notified via email.

I am extremely excited to share this information with you and this is the only place I am advertising my FIRST ever live, online class.

Over the next few months I am planning on putting all the classes of my Business Basics Boot Camp online either in the LIVE class or the recorded class formats. When those future classes are ready I will be sure to let you know!

If you have any questions about this class, or questions about finding customers for your business, please send me an email at longarmu@aol.com

I look forward to welcoming you to the Finding Customers for your Machine Quilting Business class on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 1 pm Pacific Time! 

Getting New Customers – Follow Up

In the last post, I had a new quilter asking how to get customers for her business, other than joining the local quilt guild. I asked for comments from you all on how you get customers and there were many excellent responses. Thank you all so much for your suggestions and input!

Here are some of my thoughts about getting new customers.

Join several quilt guilds – you may need to travel a bit to a new area, part of the city, county, etc. (Remember, travel expenses, including gas, are legitimate business deductions. Talk to your CPA/accountant about this.)

If your guild has a quilt show, see if you can rent a vendor booth so you can show your quilting skills to other quilters who are visiting the show. You may even have a “prize” of a big quilting discount, free batting, fat quarters, etc., if they leave their name and contact information – which you can use in your future business mailings.

Talk to the local piecing teachers.  Contact the (piecing) teachers directly about quilting their quilts. You may want to offer a special discount to the teachers. Remember, most teachers teach at several different quilt shops and show their quilts (that you quilted) to many different people in different areas. You can mail a flyer and/or coupons to the teacher if you know their address or possibly call or email them –  again, if you have their contact information. You may even want to think about taking some piecing classes. You can talk directly with the teacher and the other students in the class. Don’t do a “hard sell” but bring some of your quilting to the class for Show & Tell.

Join a Block of the Month (or similar) at your local quilt shop. Many quilt shops have a “Free” or a “$5 Quilt” program where, once a month, you come to the shop for a quilt block pattern. There is usually a free class you must attend and then you pick up your the next month’s pattern. Even if you don’t like the quilt that is being offered, bring a completed small project – tote bag, baby quilt, quilted vest, etc. – of course quilted and bound, using the previous months pattern provided by the shop. Bring business cards/brochures, but again, don’t do the hard sell. Just show your “stuff” and leave some business cards. When you get business from your class mates, you can offer to bring the competed (customer) quilts to the class to be picked up – and shown it off to the class!

Think outside your box/area – You may have to look further than your local area for new customers. (Where is it written that we MUST only get customers from our local area?)

If you live near a tourist/recreation/special event area, try contacting the quilters who may be coming to your area.  Let’s say you live near a tourist area and many people come to your area for vacations.  There are three things you may be able to do –

  1. Have your customer drop off their quilt during their vacation and then send it back to them after it is completed. Make sure to add return shipping charges to your fee.
  2. Have your customer send their quilt to you before their vacation. You can quilt it and have it ready to pick  up during their vacation.
  3. Have your customer drop off their quilt at the beginning of their vacation and you quilt it while they are on vacation. They can pick it up when their vacation is over. (Because this is a “sort of rush” quilting, I may charge a little bit extra for this service. ) This may add extra pressure to you, but, think of the convenience for the customer. If you were the customer, would you tell your friends about how quickly the quilt was finished? I sure would!

Unfortunately, I can’t tell you exactly how to contact the “out of area” quilters. I am sure that, with a bit of thought, you can figure out how to do this.

Market to quilters who are a (farther) distance from you. You may want to think of going to quilt shops, guilds, etc., in other cities/towns in your area. Again, you are going to have to figure out how to do this, but, with the shipping resources available (USPS, UPS, Fed Ex, etc.) quilts can come to you from all over!

If you can think of more ideas on how to get new customers, please leave a comment. Click on the “Leave a Comment” button at the top of this post.

Getting New Customers

I recently received this question from a quilter who is starting her new, machine quilting business.

I wish I could find information about how to find longarm customers…outside the usual guild memberships.

I thought that this is an excellent question and it is important to those beginning their machine quilting business and to those “experienced” quilters wishing to expand their customer base.

The quilter asking the question lives in central Pennsylvania, and, according to MapQuest is 20 miles for Harrisburg (the State Capitol), 55 miles from Gettysburg, 90 miles from Baltimore, and about 120 miles from Philadelphia. (You can probably see where I am going with the location!)

So let’s help her, and ourselves. Write a comment on how you find YOUR customers for your machine quilting business.

To leave a Comment – at the top of this post, next to the date, click on the “Leave a Comment” button. Then type your comment or suggestion in the space provided.

I know that we are all looking forward to viewing the comments and suggestions.

A November Idea

Early November is a “strange” time for professional machine quilters.

Many quilters are up to their ears with customer quilts and customer Christmas quilts and are working nearly all the time to get these quilts finished on time. Other quilters may have big “spaces” in their schedule and could use some extra work to pay their bills or to use for their own holiday celebrations.

If you are a busy quilter, good for you and You Go Girl (or Guy)!!! If you are the quilter who could use a few more quilts to finsh before the end of the year, I have an idea for you.

I suggest that you go to your customer list (you should have a data base of the customers you have had, preferably since you started your business) and find the customers who you have had little or no contact with for a while. You have to determine what  “for a while” means to you. This could be customers who haven’t brought a quilt in for six months, or maybe they haven’t brought a quilt in for a year or more. (I would choose six months or more.)

 Now, write-up a note reminding them that Christmas and the Winter Holidays are coming up, time is getting short and if they want quilting done for the Holidays, they need to contact you as soon as possible so you can get their quilting done in time. (Don’t worry about what to write, I have an example you can use a little later in this post.) To make this offer irresistible to your customer, include that they can have a FREE BATTING if they bring their quilt before a certain date. Trust me, Free Batting get the attention of your customer – which is what you want!

Print out these notes (I use Publisher, which is already on my computer) on card stock paper (card stock is slightly heavier than regular computer paper), put your customer’s address on it, stamp it and put it in the regular mail. Wait the day or two it takes to have the Post Office deliver these notes, and you should have a few more quilts to complete!

Here is a pdf of the note that I created for my business November Customer Note Feel free to adapt it and use it in your business.

Here are the details about this note – There are two notes printed per page, landscape page layout. I cut it in half and then folded it in half with the address on the outside and taped the short edges together. I created labels with my customer’s addresses (using the Mail Merge function in Word from the addresses in my data base), then put these notes in the mail.

I put my note cards in the mail last week. The results – I have already had a few customers call and they will be dropping off their quilts in the next few days!

Let me know your thoughts and if you use this idea, please let us know your results.