Business Planning and Startup

It's helpful to read general books about starting a small business, as well as the following books focused on quilt businesses:

  • How to Start a Home-Based Quilting Business. This is a general business book within a quilting business context. Contains several useful checklists, worksheets, and forms.
  • Make Money Quilting. This is an older book, so some of the details are outdated, but I liked the general advice and perspectives from successful quilt entrepreneurs.

Books about starting and running an art or craft business often include useful advice, as does the magazine Where Women Create Business, which features terrific role models from many types of creative business.

If you will be involving your spouse, other family members or friends in your business, learn the pros and cons in these books about family business.

For visioning your business plan, I like the book The Right Brain Business Plan. With the subtitle “a Visual, Creative Map for Success,” how can business planning be any more fun?! A related book, but one that places more emphasis on the artistic process, is The Creative Entrepreneur.

If you are more of a left-brained type, you may want to use software for creating a business plan or these books by widely-published columnist Rhonda Abrams: Business Plan in a Day and Six-Week Startup.

Financial and Legal Resources

For a U.S. business, you can receive training, counseling, and information on eligibility for small business loan programs through the Small Business Administration, including local women’s business centers. If you live in a rural area, you may be eligible for some U.S. Department of Agriculture business development programs. Should

Local business startup mentoring and advice for U.S. residents is also available through the SCORE program. In other countries, check with your national or local commerce agency or business association to see if they offer similar services.

If you are creating art quilts or quilt-themed art, a local art center, art council, or artist groups may offer business workshops or project grants.

Before exploring online sites for raising startup capital, you’ll find it helpful to read at least one book on crowdfunding and peer lending.

The women’s crowdfunding site Plum Alley has a good series of articles about this funding concept and how entrepreneurs have used it to start their ventures. (Guys: These articles may be useful to you too!)

Learn about how quilt tool inventor Laatifah Saafir raised business capital with a successful Kickstarter campaign in Episode 72 of the Modern Sewciety podcast.

To explore other online sites for raising startup funds, do an online search with the phrases: personal fundraising, peer to peer lending, crowdsourced funding

QuickBooks is a popular small business accounting software for installation on your computer. In the U.S., find information about your tax obligations as a self-employed person or small business owner in this IRS tax center. In other countries, check with your national or local tax authority.

Confused by copyrights, trademarks, and similar protections for your work? Find helpful explanations in books about intellectual property. (But you’ll also want to consult a qualified attorney, too.) Other resources to consider are membership in the Copyright Collaborative association or this article on copyright and patterns.

Goal-Setting Books, Software, and Apps

If you are motivated by setting goals and tracking your progress, you may find this software package and mobile app helpful: Goals on Track.

Becoming a successful business owner is as much about your habits and daily practices as it is about specific actions. You’ll find helpful guidance and ideas for developing these practices in the book The Daily Entrepreneur.

Craft Business Websites, Webinars, and Podcasts

If you enjoy listening to podcasts while you sew, several cover topics relevant to many forms of a quilt business: While She Naps, CraftSanity, Modern Sewciety, and this list of creative business podcasts. (Be sure to search through the archives and to sign up to be notified when new episodes are available.)

Even if modern quilting is not your style, a membership in the Modern Quilt Guild will give you access to a good series of recorded webinars on various quilt business topics.