Thursday, January 5, 2012

In hard times it can help you

For the past fifteen years I have been working from home as a seamstress.  I have mostly been doing jobs for the local schools and churches, and a few projects for a small number of motorcycle groups.  I have recently started receiving more clients and have decided that it is time to make some changes.  I have not made much of a profit, and I would like to expand and become more serious about my work. I need my business to be more qualified and equipped so that I am able to keep up with the local competition, reach out to more people, and serve the clients that I already have in a more professional manner.
One advantage that I have to the other, well-known competition is that I try to keep my business personable by establishing a one-on-one client relationship during each transaction. The bigger companies seem too impersonal and I believe I can use that point to market my business.  I also find that many of my competitors are unable to finish projects in a timely fashion.  I put great stock in my ability to finish projects by the deadline I am given by my clients.  Not only do I find that my business is more personal, I also offer exceptional, top of the line work and above all, I love what I do, which shows in my finished products.
To accomplish these goals I will need to start including embroidery in my list of services I already provide.  Many of my customers request embroidery services, especially for the students at the local schools.  The children like to have pictures and wording embroidered on their clothes, letterman jackets, and sports jerseys.  My focus in advertising will be to those schools, as I have considered contacting the high school newspapers, and placing flyers around the offices.  Parents are looking for other options for their children and I have been asked numerous times if I offer embroidery, so offering this service would increase my business immensely.  I have been taking classes to learn the trade and with my years of sewing experience have taken to it rather easily.
Eventually, I would like to expand my business enough to hire a couple of employees.  I will be very selective about who I am willing to hire and would only be looking for individuals that are trustworthy, hard-working, and as passionate about their work as I am.  I would also like to find a larger location outside of my home that is more easily accessed and appealing to the public.  These goals will take time, but I believe that with your help it will be possible to achieve my dream.
In order to expand I would need to start by purchasing some equipment and supplies, and begin advertising my company. I am requesting $19,500.00 to complete my business expansion.  Below I have listed the needed items and the approximate cost for each.
My husband and I do not have any extra funds to cover this business expansion.  As I mentioned, I have not made much of a profit with my business since I have not been able to keep up with the demand due to lack of proper equipment.
Our current income includes my business profits and my husband's retirement fund.   My business profits total about $1,000 per month at most.  My husband's retirement totals approximately $2,300, which is used for our monthly expenses.  We pay our bills on time but struggle to do so, and we rarely have a surplus at the end of the month.  We pay at minimum a mortgage of $945, electric/gas at $115, cell phone at $40, phone at $40, car insurance at $68/month, and TV at $50, totaling $1,258.  We also have other expenses, but these are the most predictable.
I would greatly enjoy being given the opportunity to provide more of an income for my family, so that we could feel more secure in our financial situation and allow us to save more funds for the future and unexpected circumstances. This is something prudent in our current economy.  I have considered applying for a loan through the bank.  However, at my age I would love to start decreasing my debt by meeting all of my current financial obligations instead of taking on more debt.  I would like to have a strong financial position in my later years, as opposed to rampant debt and uncertainty of the condition of my future.
I have always believed in giving back to the community and have tried to contribute in any way possible.  Aside from running my business, I volunteer at the local nursing home and teach sewing classes to the residents.  I would love to do more for the community by providing higher quality service I will be able to do so.  I want to expand my volunteer services, as I enjoy making items to donate to local organizations for school auctions and fundraisers.  I hope to become proficient enough to take part in bazaars and craft shows.  The options are endless; I just need the proper resources to enable me to complete these tasks.
Once my business becomes more successful, I will also have job opportunities available for people in my area.  Unemployment rates in Louisville have been steadily increasing, as with the rest of the country.  Although I cannot offer much in the way of jobs, having two or three openings would help that many families.
If I am lucky enough to receive financial assistance, I would like to hit the ground running.  I am prepared to take on a large workload and start advertising with gusto.  I am extremely excited to turn my business around and I know that I will greatly enjoy my new focus.  I have always been very goal oriented and self-motivated; the only thing preventing me from achieving my dream is lack of funds. I have not applied to any other foundations for grant funds nor do I have plans at this time to do so.  I hope you will find that I am a great candidate for your financial aid.