Hey Everyone!! Have you missed the Business of Machine Quilting blog series? I know that I have missed writing it! But now that Quilt Market and Quilt Festival is behind me, things have slowed down a little bit and life can get back to “normal”. When I left off, we were talking about setting up your business and attracting new customers.
Today’s blog post is all about a different topic, finding your niche. Every business needs to find it’s niche within it’s market, and your quilting business is no different. Finding your niche will not only help you define your business, it will help your business be as successful as possible.
What is a niche?
Whether you pronounce it “nitch” or “neesh”, the first step of finding your niche is knowing what it is. According to the FreeDicitonary, a niche is a position particularly suitable for the person occupying it.. For the professional machine quilter, I define a niche as a style of quilting that you excel at or an aspect of your business that separates you from other professional machine quilters.
How do you find your niche?
Finding your niche as a machine quilter may be really easy or it may be a little more difficult. In my opinion, you will find you niche when you can find a style of quilting (or aspect of your business) that you enjoy doing, that has a demand, and that you can profit from.
For instance, you may love trapunto quilting, and you may have a few customers that would love you to do it on your quilts, but you may not be able to charge enough to make it profitable. That is a niche that you may not want to aim your business at.
On the other hand you may find that a lot of your customers love allover patterns, and that it is profitable, but you don’t love doing allovers. This may not be the niche for you. While we are in the business of making money, spending days on end doing what you don’t like is a sure-fire recipe for burnout!
Of course your specialty, or niche, can evolve. In fact, is should evolve as you grow as a business and quilter. My niche now is different from it was even a few years ago.
Working your niche
Once you determine what your niche is, make sure that you are appealing to that customer base. That’s not to say that you can’t do anything else besides your specialty, by all means enjoy the challenge of new and interesting quilts. Instead, think of your niche as your “bread and butter”, the thing that pays the bills.
What do you think? Do you have a niche? If not, what do you think it could be.
On a different topic, I got a copy of Quilt Festival magazine,
I wrote an article on machine quilting negative space for it.
I am so honored to be included in such a great magazine!