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How to start Cloth Alterations business to make money for individuals want to quit their jobs and start their careers as an entrepreneur are as follows:
Description of Job
• Adjust sizes and fit of new or old clothing.
• Add hems to dresses and pants.
• Make minor repairs to fix costume malfunctions.
The Need
One size does not fit all . . . and we all change size over time.
Those two facts of life support the need for clothing alterations. Although
you may think of yourself as a perfect size 8 or a 40 regular, your new dress or
sport coat may not be quite ready to wear. The gown or the pants that fit you so
nicely a year ago may have mysteriously shrunk . . . or, more likely, you may
have added a few pounds.
Sometimes a minor costume malfunction—a missing button, an open seam,
a broken zipper—can be repaired to rescue a favorite or valuable piece of
clothing.
Another fact of life is that relatively few people in modern society have the
time, skills, or equipment to make clothing alterations or repairs.
Challenges
Don’t experiment on jobs that are beyond your skills or experience.
As a business, you will be liable for any damage you cause; your agreement
with customers should limit the liability to the cost of replacement, excluding
claims for sentimental value or loss of use. Even so, you should be very careful
about accepting a job to hem a $2,000 wedding dress for a $20 fee; the risk is
much greater than the reward.
Know the Territory
Your principal advantages:You have skills that are no longer common and equipment
that is not generally possessed.
Another advantage is the fact that almost all of us purchase clothing off the
rack and are forced to deal with the fact that even though an item may be labeled
a particular size, modeling forms of different manufacturers vary widely.
Spend the time to get to know as much as you can about fabrics, designs, and
methods to let out or take in clothing.
How to Get Started
Contact area clothing stores—for both new and used apparel—and make them
aware of your services. They may be willing to let you perform work as a subcontractor
at the store, or they may refer customers to you for alterations.
Local bridal stores may be willing to contract with you to perform alterations;
these jobs may involve an entire wedding party, including bridal gowns
and bridesmaids’ outfits.
Community theaters may need help adjusting costumes to fit their actors.
Small restaurants that provide uniforms to their waitstaff may need alteration and
repair services. (Larger restaurants, hotels, and factories generally use uniform
rental companies that probably have their own tailoring services.)
To reach individuals, place ads on bulletin boards at malls, in retail clothing
stores, and in fabric stores. You can place an ad in community newspapers.
Up-front Expenses
You’ll need basic tailoring equipment, including a sewing machine with some
professional features such as buttonhole serging. You should have an iron for
touch-up; you can also send oversized or specialty clothing to a dry cleaner for
pressing.
Necessary supplies including thread and buttons.
How Much to Charge
Charge a flat rate for simple mending. Add a charge for buttons, zippers, lining,
and special threads you must purchase.
Your agreement should list additional charges for more difficult jobs, such as
hemming a lined dress.
If the clothing must be cleaned or pressed, add a charge for services you perform
or for services you subcontract to a dry cleaner. (As a professional, you
should seek a discount or a commission from outside companies. You can mark
up these costs when you bill your customer.)
Legal and Insurance Issues
Special notes: In dealing with your client’s property, seek to limit your liability
for damage or loss to the actual replacement value of items in your possession.
You should protect yourself against claims for sentimental value or loss of use.

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