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Old June 12th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
Claudette79 Claudette79 is offline
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Default Digitizing software question

Hey! I'm currently stationed in Bahrain and will be getting out of the Navy next year and plan on starting my own embroidery business afterwards. Right now I have about 6 months left to kill before I get out and was wondering if it would be a waste of money to purchase a digitizing software program (Wilcom or Wings) before I purchase a machine.

I don't have any graphic design experience and that's what concerns me about starting this business. With that said, wouldn't it behoove me to go ahead and purchase the $795 Wings software (or whatever software) and get used to working with it so when I get my 4-head machine in April I will already have one aspect of the business covered.

What do you think?
What software is preferable? I've been told Wilcom or Wings, but I think Wings uses Corel Draw as well. Is this incorrect?

Thanks,
Tracie
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Old June 12th, 2008, 04:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
Robert Young Robert Young is offline
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Default Re: Digitizing software question

6 months will go by pretty quickly... In my opinion you should spend every free moment reading books on business.... with 90 percent of startups failing in the first year a bit of studying could save you a lot of money! I think starting an embroidery business is a great idea.. so not trying to discourage that... I just think that your digitizing is what will help set your quality apart from your competition and you are not going to learn enough in 6 months to have any sort of quality (sorry)..... but you can do some market analysis and complete a proper business plan and research all the sales stuff... get your name, business cards, letterhead... website? , forms to use for orders and invoicing, what your policies will be for payment, mistakes and how you plan to market.... etc... so much to do in just 6 months!
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Old June 13th, 2008, 01:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
Claudette79 Claudette79 is offline
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Default Re: Digitizing software question

Thanks, Robert! I'm fortunate in my current job where I can spend a lot of time researching on the internet. My business is all I can think about, which is very exciting to me. I appreciate your advice, and you're right---6 months will go by very fast!

I already have plans to intern in March with an old friend who owns her own embroidery business, so I should learn a lot then. I've already spoken with an SWF sales rep and she said I'd most likely use Wilcom or Wings. With that said, if you were me, would you go ahead and purchase one of these softwares to get familiar with them? Because they're about $800 I'm hesitant, but like you said, six months will go by fast...

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Tracie
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Old June 13th, 2008, 08:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
Robert Young Robert Young is offline
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Default Re: Digitizing software question

I just don't see anyone getting great quality in that short of time... I am talking about manual digitizing... I would NOT even consider automatic vectorized digitizing unless you like FLAT BORING embroidery that will not help you gain clients... spend some money and shop around 5 digitizers... find what they are good at.. then when you get a job farm out the digitizing to whichever is best suited for that particular type of embroidery... ie, fur effect, puff, small lettering, applique, etc... you are not going to beat your competitors if you don't have outstanding digitizing and you are not going to learn enough in several YEARS... sorry, but that is reality.. .so many people buy software only to figure this out after the fact and wish they had that money back for marketing or thread or something else.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 11:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
Claudette79 Claudette79 is offline
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Default Re: Digitizing software question

Thanks, Robert. What you said makes a lot of sense. I thought it was good to ask before I spent the money.

On another note, what type of machine do you use? I have two friends in the business and both swear by their brand, but one uses Melco the other SWF.

Thanks again!

Tracie
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 12:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
mrshill mrshill is offline
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Default Re: Digitizing software question

Tracie, I wish you the best in your new endeavor. You are getting some really good info from Robert! Well i will tell you what I have experienced I am by no means and expert but i have learned from my mistakes. I started out in the business with a 6 needle machine that I paid for. I had a ok customer base and all but then I thought that by having more i could get more business. So i purchased a Amaya XT, this is a wonderful machine but i purchase it too soon. What i am saying is this, take your time and get what you need to start out and add as you go along. It takes time to build up a good customer based, if you have never done this before there will be a host of other things you will have to learn before hand. I read that you will be working to intern with friends and that is great just make sure you are comfortable and not overloading yourself.
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Old June 22nd, 2008, 10:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
SunEmbroidery SunEmbroidery is offline
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Default Re: Digitizing software question

I agree with what has been said. Your time will be better spent working on other aspects of starting your business. When it comes to digitizing, what you see in the software isn't necessarily what is embroidered (it doesn't always look the same). Without being able to embroidery your designs you won't be aware of some of your mistakes. I would contract out your digitizing for at least two years while you're learning the different parts of your business. There are free trade magazines (Stitches for example) that contain a wealth of information. Also, join different embroidery forums. Helen Hart has written two books on the business that I've heard are very through reference books. Although they are not inexpensive, I'm sure they contain a wealth of valuable information:

http://www.helenhart.com/page/page/1749255.htm
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 01:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
Claudette79 Claudette79 is offline
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Default Re: Digitizing software question

Thanks guys! I actually ordered Helen Hart's books after reading about them on this site. You're right, they're definitely not 'inexpensive'! After much consideration I agree with all of your advice on not purchasing a s/w program yet. I'd be better off narrowing my focus and sticking with forming a business plan and conducting more research. Incidentally, does anyone know anyone who owns an embroidery business in Washington State? That's where I'll probably end up.

One of my, I guess you could call it 'concerns' is researching the area I'll be moving to. Will embroidery business owners in my area actually be willing to tell their potential competition what they charge and how they run their business? In other words, what's the best way to go about inquiring about a potential competitor's pricing?

Thanks again!

Tracie
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