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Thread: Questions for those who use Longarm for business

  1. #1
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    Questions for those who use Longarm for business

    I am thinking about starting a business and have researched it somewhat. But I have some questions.

    1. Do you still enjoy what you do as much as before you started your business?

    2. Do you use your business as your main income or just for extra and for fun?

    3. Did you quickly become too busy or was there time to slowly build it up?

    4. Do you feel pressure to work longer and harder than you want because of backlog?

    5. Is the tax accounting a real pain?

    6. Do you use a computer program to keep your information?

    7. How long did it take before you were making money over and above your expenses?

    Thanks for any information you can give me!
    Beth in Maryland

  2. #2
    Senior Member pinecone's Avatar
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    I don't have a business but be ready for the critics of your work.

    piney

  3. #3
    Junior Member Bataplai's Avatar
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    I'm sorry I can't help with any of your questions, but I'm interested in the answers you get.

  4. #4
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    1. Do you still enjoy what you do as much as before you started your business? yes, i still enjoy quilting- been doing it as a business for 8 years now

    2. Do you use your business as your main income or just for extra and for fun? it has in the past been enough income to (support my quilting habit) and allows us extras in life...vacations, concerts, weekends away...

    3. Did you quickly become too busy or was there time to slowly build it up? there are busy times & slow times- people do not tend to sew alot in the summer months- thats when i have time to work on my own projects- i don't allow myself to get 'too busy' if i have 2 customer quilts in the house & someone calls i let them know when i will be ready to accept another- if they are in a rush and do not want to wait i refer them to someone else who may be able to get them done sooner. i don't feel threatened by 'sharing' the work with someone else who has more time than i may.

    4. Do you feel pressure to work longer and harder than you want because of backlog? no...i don't put myself into a backlog type of situation. i've known too many who allowed their (business) get away from them-out of control- & within 6 months given up- sold their stuff & don't even make quilts anymore- because it was too stressful for them- i keep it in my control.

    5. Is the tax accounting a real pain? i keep good records- and my CPA has not had any issues...

    6. Do you use a computer program to keep your information? no- (i keep copies of my pricing/policies/receipts ect on the computer) but i fill out a form for each quilt that comes in - by hand- with all the information i need- customer information, quilt information- pricing ect...when the quilt is finished the customer gets a receipt and the form is filed...i also keep a file for all expenses, postage ect.

    7. How long did it take before you were making money over and above your expenses? it took me about 2 1/2 years to have covered the price of my machine set up. now my expenses are- thread, batting, and maintenance/repairs.

    i have always still worked a full time job outside my home- i tend to be very busy january through April- then it tapers off thru the summer- then picks up again in September. I stop taking customer work by November 15 (except under special circumstances) so i can work on my own holiday/family projects. this past year has been busier than previous ones-and i have commited to spending more time then i used to- working toward not having to work outside the home.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    ckcowl - thanks for the thoughtful answers. I think anyone with a longarm thinks occasionally about turning it into a business - I know I do - and the questions that An Arm Long asked are the ones that many of us fret over. The other questions I would ask are -

    How often do you get a quilt that has a lot of problems that make it hard to quilt?
    Have you ever had a customer complain about your work?

  6. #6
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    I am going to keep an eye on this thread, I am in the process of trying to start my own business so I can stay home with my kids and make a little extra $ on the side...I've been trying to get my name out there but its been a long process, I started this January and seem to be just making and selling baby quilts and making and selling quilts for friends...hopefully one day soon the quilting side will start up but I have patience and it will come some day..
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  7. #7
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    Thank you ckcowl for your thoughtful answers to my questions.
    Beth in Maryland

  8. #8
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    1. Do you still enjoy what you do as much as before you started your business? Yes, even more now!

    2. Do you use your business as your main income or just for extra and for fun? For extra...I'm retired and can use the extra funds.

    3. Did you quickly become too busy or was there time to slowly build it up? I became busy over the period of a year or so...I do some work with an interior designer so stay busy through her.

    4. Do you feel pressure to work longer and harder than you want because of backlog? No, I don't allow a backlog except two years ago when I was seriously ill; but I called my customers and told them what was going on and they were very understanding. One of them didn't even check back with me for six months on her quilt status!

    5. Is the tax accounting a real pain? Yes! Lots of things to remember, but my CPA doesn't have a problem with the way I keep my books and I'm sure he would tell me if he did.

    6. Do you use a computer program to keep your information? Some but not all. At some point in the near future I plan to enter all the information into Excel.

    7. How long did it take before you were making money over and above your expenses? Three years...I've been in business for 6 1/2now.

    Thanks for any information you can give me! Hope this helps a bit!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  9. #9
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    The answers to your questions were very informative. I have occasionally thought of making quilts and quilting for a business. The thought is quickly gone from my head. If I wanted to work, I would still be nursing as I loved that job. Quilting is a labor of love, but I can't even please myself, so I figure I would never please a customer. lol It would really worry me to work on someone else's quilt. So far I only quilt on my Janome machine, and need more practice in my opinion. Keep the information coming. Thanks
    Sue

  10. #10
    Junior Member An Arm Long's Avatar
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    Thank you Momto5 and also susie-susie-susie. These are great answers.
    Susie, I too am a retired nurse. I find such joy in quilting and am surprised that I didn't know I had this creative side and could be enjoying such a solitary passtime. I am being careful not to spoil it by starting this business and allowing it to consume my life. The above answers give me good ideas about controlling what I agree to do.
    Beth in Maryland

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