Tag: start memory bear sewing business

Memory Bear Business: Orders and Shipping Your Memory Bears

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Accepting Orders, Contracts & Shipping 


memory bear sewing services ohioGet It in Writing! 

Accepting orders can take place a few ways, the one thing to keep in mind is that you need everything in writing whether through email, text or private messaging. Before you can even accept an order, you must know what the expectations of the customer are and they need to know what you offer, and you both need to agree on those terms. 

Typically, my orders come from Facebook via a private message. It goes something like this, 

Customer: Hi! How big are your bears and how long will it take? 

Me: Hello! Thank you so much for reaching out to me about my memory bear services. Each memory bear is 18” tall and I require a minimum of 3 weeks turnaround time from the time I receive your clothing. 

Customer: Oh, that’s a nice size bear. How many pieces of clothing do I need to send you for one bear? 

Me: Well, that depends. Are you sending infant, toddler, children or adult clothing? 

Customer: I will send …. 

From there I tell the customer how many pieces of clothing I will need to create one memory bear. I also send them the link to my website that contains the mandatory order form and my policies. 

Contract 

Yes, I do require a contract for every order. This is the legal document that will keep my customer and myself in-line with the terms of our agreement. My contract states the terms of sale, policy, procedure, shipping, additional services, pricing, and clauses.

Shipping 

Shipping is very straightforward. I have a FAQ page on my website and on the contract which states that one bear receives free basic shipping, large orders of memory bears do cost an additional shipping and handling fee. 

If the customer wants insurance, they are required to pay the additional fee and I am not held responsible for any lost or damaged mail. Do not get stuck paying for the shipping and handling! The cost can add up quickly due to the box size, tape, mailing labels, postage, driving to the Post Office, and any extra shipping materials you use. 

Once the box has shipped, I use my smartphone and take a picture of the receipt showing the date, time, and tracking number then I send it via text, email or private message to the customer. This gives them a sense of security knowing that their memory bear is on its way. It’s up to the customer to pay for insurance and also keep a watch out for their memory bears to arrive at the address they gave you. 

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Follow along for part 7 ~

Business Tools and Supplies

Memory Bear Business: Marketing, Sales and Customers

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service 

How to Get and Keep Happy Customers 

Let’s recap! You have your business name picked out, searched to make sure it was not Trademarked and you just purchased the domain name! You have your legal paperwork completed, you’re registered with the government and now, you need customers! 

Your First Customer 

If you are brand spanking new to owning a memory bear business and have never had a customer, now is the time to offer your service at a reduced cost. When I first opened my memory bear business and had no customers, I decided to offer my services at a reduced fee. In the first week of opening my doors, I had 8 orders. 

Marketing Your Small Business 

As a new business owner, you need to start drawing attention to your services even before your website is created. In fact, using Facebook or Instagram while your website is being built is a great way to get the word out about your memory bear services. One thing to keep in mind is your target customer. 

Do not think every customer is your target customer because this is simply not a fact. At first, you may find yourself taking every order inquiry that comes your way simply because you do not know what your boundaries are or how to say ‘no’

Let’s dig deep into finding your ideal customer by asking the following questions: 

  1. Who wants your memory bears?
  2. Who would love to brag about your services?
  3. What is their income, age, and gender?

Your Brand Identity 

While researching your ideal customer, you’ll need to build a strong brand identity…this is the step that WILL MAKE YOU STAND OUT from the rest of the memory bear business providers. Your brand identity is about your values, communication concepts, emotions you want to your customers to feel, and your mission.

Generate and Nurture Leads 

Now that you’ve begun building an online and local presence and creating awareness of your business, you need to generate leads that will bring you, customers. 

To generate leads online you could post pictures of your happy customers with their memory bears, or you could post pictures with stories of other items you have made that will show off your sewing skills. It’s a great idea to either make a few memory bears as gifts and give those away to people that will BRAG online about your services or make memory bears out of your own clothing so you can show your skills. Remember, potential customers, want to see your memory bear sewing skills before they are going to trust you with their treasured clothing. 

To generate leads in your local community you can attend local craft shows and business networking groups which will help establish you as the ‘go-to’ memory bear provider. By creating a local buzz about your sewing services, you will be given opportunities to grow your customer base, especially if they love your services! Bragging about how great your memory bear services are, will happen naturally and growth will occur. 

Follow along for part 6 ~

Orders and Shipping Your Memory Bears

Memory Bear Business: Business License and Taxes

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Business License and Taxes

What Is It & Do You Need One? 

I think it’s safe to say that every business needs a business license, and as a memory bear business owner, you’ll need one to operate legally, but requirements may vary. The specific license or permit you need can be figured out by visiting the Small Business Administration website. 

Small Business Taxes 

As a business owner, you are obligated to pay specific federal taxes, and the amount of those taxes is determined by your business entity. You will also need an Employer Identification Number (EIN), which you can apply for on the IRS website here. 

Some taxes you want to consider include: 

  • Self -Employment (SE Tax) 
  • Employment Taxes 
  • Excise Taxes 

Please seek the legal advice for your specific business structure, this is simply a reference blog to give you guidance on starting and/or growing your memory bear business. 

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Follow along for part 5 ~

Marketing and Customers

Memory Bear Business: Choosing and Registering Your Business Name

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

Choosing & Registering Your Memory Bear Business Name

Standing Out from the Rest 

Establishing your business name is a little more complicated than making a list of your favorites. You’ll be using your business name on all your legal forms, client contracts, website, business cards, employer tax identification number, licenses, and permits. 

If you’re using a name other than your personal name, then you need to register it with your state government so they know you’re doing business with a name other than your birth name. 

Start strong! You will need to make sure the name you want is available in your state. Business names are registered on a state-by-state basis, so it’s possible that a company in another state has the same name as yours. You only need to be concerned if there’s a Trademark on the name, so do a trademark search of the name you want to desire so you can avoid costly issues down the road. 

Now, be sure to do a domain name search to make sure your choice of a business name is available for purchase. I use and recommend this service for domain name purchasing and website hosting. (Here is an affiliate link to the hosting company I use and have trusted for over 5 years!)

For a more depth look into naming your business, registering it online, and filing your legal structure, you can visit the Small Business Administration (SBA.GOV) and/or SCORE.ORG. 

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Follow along for part 4~

Licenses & Taxes

Memory Bear Business: Getting Started (part 1)

“If at any time you feel overwhelmed and would like to speak with me, please schedule a no-cost 15-minute phone consultation via this business coaching page

 

Happy Memory Bear Customers

Starting a memory bear business involved a lot of moving pieces, some more fun than others, though all are necessary. Things to consider are: 

  • Business Name 
  • Legal Filings 
  • Filing Taxes 
  • Domain Name 
  • Hosting Company (I use this company and recommend them)
  • Payment Processors 
  • Marketing and Publicity

The trick to successfully getting your memory bear business off the ground is to plan and organize your materials, prioritize your time, and stay on top of these moving parts. 

From registering with the government to getting the word out about your business to making key financial decisions, here’s an overview of what you’ll need to start and run a successful memory bear sewing business.

This is not one of the fun parts, however, it is necessary. All new businesses need to be legally structured according to rules and regulations in your State, City, and County. This includes things like determining the legal structure of your business, your business name, registering with the government, and things like getting a tax code, a business license, seller’s permit, vendor and/or transient vendor’s license. 

Businesses are regulated on the federal, state, and local levels. It’s important to check what’s required on all three of these levels to ensure you are operating legally. When you register your business with the government, be sure you’re covering registration on all the levels required for your memory bear sewing service location. Your business won’t be a legal entity without covering these, so stay on top of it. 

It can be overwhelming to figure out what legal steps you need to take for your location, so let’s break it down in this memory bear business guide. Below you will find a brief explanation of what goes into each of the steps, along with some helpful links and resources so you can dig a little deeper. (Note: These steps are suggestions for starting a memory bear business in the U.S. only) 

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Follow along for part 2~

Determining the Legal Structure for your Memory Bear Sewing Service Business

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