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Focusing Your Business

If you are starting or refocusing your upholstery or sewing business, you may be trying to decide exactly what you will be doing. For example, will you only be sewing cushions, or only making slipcovers, or will you be doing all phases of upholstery. This is important to decide because it affects what you will be writing in your advertising.

As you try to focus your business on what type of work you want to do, here is another business principle to consider. If you live in a large city, assuming that you are advertising in a wide coverage advertising medium (such as the telephone directory), you can narrow your focus to do a very specialized area, such as only cushions. However, if you live in a fairly small community, then, in order to get much business, you'd need to take in a much wider variety of jobs.

For example, before he retired, my uncle had an upholstery shop in a city of about 10,000 people. In order to survive he had to do almost every type of upholstery and sewing possible. He did furniture upholstery, auto upholstery, he sewed up truck tarps, and whatever else came in.

On the other hand, I live in a city of about 150,000, and I do a much more specialized business. I mainly do furniture upholstery (which includes RV cushions) and a few slipcovers. If I wanted to, I could probably narrow the focus down a lot more and do only residential furniture upholstery. Because I advertise quite a bit, and because I live in fair sized city, I get a lot of calls each day for estimates and I can be more picky about what type of jobs I take.