Tips For Your Home Jewelry Business Success by Gary Capps - HTML preview
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It is not always a straight path to get where you want to go. In fact, the curves and turns, detours and obstacles are what make the journey a mysterious and magical event.
Your first step in your home-based jewelry business is to plan to be successful. As you know, many new ventures fail, and oftentimes it is because they failed to create a plan for themselves. A plan will keep you focused on what is important and less distracted by the interruptions.So let’s get started.
1. Determine for yourself if your love of making jewelry is a hobby or if you can see yourself producing under time deadlines, in large amounts, to appeal to the other peoples preferences and with materials that fit in the customers budget.
2. Fortunately, jewelry components and tools are so small that you wont need a real estate agent to help find a big warehouse for your business. Many people operate their craft from the kitchen table or a room in the basement.
3. Before you actually launch your jewelry business, you would be wise to do some research. Make a list of the retailers in your area or city that you envision carrying your line of jewelry. Go visit each one and see what they carry. Talk to the owners/managers and find out what sells and what doesnt. Talk to other customers and listen to their opinions about designs, price and selection. Be a SUPER SLUETH.
4. Write down your ideas– every one of them!It doesnt matter if they are good or bad at this point. Get them recorded. And dont forget to write down what you learn in your “spy” business-youll be using that information for sometime in the future.5. Determine if you are going to begin full-time or part-time in your business. Full time may be your goal, but before you burn your bridges consider:
· Do you have enough cash to keep yourself comfortable for the first year of business, without draining every dollar you have in savings?
· Are you prepared to focus everyday on what you used to enjoy as a pastime?
· Will your body cooperate with the positions required to work with tiny objects for hours at a time?
· Will your family offer their support or do they expect a certain financial contribution from your work?
· Can you work in isolation and enjoy the time as quiet and to yourself, or do you need interaction with others to stay motivated?
· Do you need the benefit plans afforded from working in a larger company?
6. How well do you get along with your new boss? That means YOU. When we leave a job, its easy to think that working for ourselves is easy, but in reality, it can be a tough slug. You may be a slave driver, a perfectionist, or a procrastinator. These characteristics dont always make for the easiest working relationship. You will have to find a way to make peace with the new head honcho, and tell her when you need some time to yourself!
7. Do you need to borrow money to get your business off to a good start? Because of the seasonal aspect of jewelry sales, you may be able to enter the market on a shoestring budget. But if you intend to capitalize on Christmas season, or tourist months, you may need an infusion of cash.
Make a list of possible resources and make some calls. Find out what you will need to provide to get assistance.
8. Prepare a budget. You want to be as thorough as you can be, even though your knowledge of the industry is limited. See below for a sample worksheet to serve as a guide.
9. Prepare your family:Teach your family what “Do Not Disturb” means when you are working. A lot of home-based businesses suffer due to lack of good boundaries with friends and family. They dont always remember that you are working, and it is your job to teach them.
You are off to a great start. In your next chapter we will talk specifically about how you can find your niche in a crowded marketplace; how you can be unique and have a style that motivates people to want to buy from YOU.
SAMPLE BUDGET WORKSHEET– Start-up Costs
1. Office or Workshop Furnishings _$__________
2. Jewelry Tools _$__________
3. Designated Phone Line _$__________
4. Website _$__________
5. Business Cards _$__________
6. Stock – beads, jewels, etc _$__________
7. Business licenses _$__________
8. Insurance Fees _$__________
9. Legal Fees _$__________
10.Other ………………….. _$__________
………I have bad news.
Let’s go with the bad news first:
There are many competitors in the jewelry making industry. They too, want to sell their designs to the public and make money. Some of them are good at what they do and actually make some lovely jewelry. Some competitors have more money than you do and can advertise more than you can.
You are a unique person with a creative perspective and your jewelry will be a reflection of your person and your skill.Your customers wont care about how much money you have or dont have. They care about if you know about them, please them, price for them, and design for them. Its all about them! SO, the better you know them, and what they want, the more you can target them specifically and build your business.
What is a USP?
USP stands for “unique selling proposition”, or you could say, “unique selling position.” What it means is this:
In the marketplace, you have to have a reason to be. There must be something about you that is a reason for your products to exist; for you to compete with others for market share.
Are you going to position yourself to be the cheapest? Will you have all your beads imported from Greece? Are you going to offer free shipping? Will your trademark be pearls? Whatever you decide to become the focal point, the selling point for your business, is your USP.How do you find a USP?
You wont find an effective USP drinking coffee and eating a donut. You can dream up what you want about your business, but to be successful, you need to base your USP on what the market demands.Your business will be successful if you are meeting a need, solving a problem or making life better for your customer. You will need to do some market research to determine what is missing for the consumer and how you can help.How to Begin Your Market Research Marketing research is a science of its own, but every new business owner needs to have some basics down pat. Here are a few steps to take toward determining your USP:
1. As we mentioned in Chapter 2, going to the places where you expect to be selling your merchandise and asking questions and *really* listening, will be a real eye opener.
2. Get your hands on at least 20 different magazines published within the past year. Take note of the styles, the prices. Go online; look at the sites that are similar to what you want to do. Note the styles, prices and variety.
3. What type of person is likely to buy your product– describe them in as much detail as you can; how much money they make, where they live, their age, family status, education, gender, and buying preferences.
4. Will there be enough of those types of people, that if they buy, you will make enough money?
· Check this out by using a tool such as Wordtracker you can find instructions
5. Once you have an idea of what you want to design and sell, make some samples and take them to at least 10 different local retailers – Ask the merchants for feedback. Be open enough to HEAR what they are saying.
Remember, they want to sell your product. In fact, they want you to be smashing success as it means more money for them.
This is just a beginning, but we all start at the beginning! I discovered a lot of good advice from some jewelry business leaders who have also written about the business. You might find something helpful here:· Start a home based Jewelry Business · Secrets of a Handcrafted Jewelry Shopping Service
Do your homework and get ready! In your next chapter, you will learn some of the basics of jewelry making. Prepare yourself a table to work at, and book some time to yourself; its time to start your Basic Beading and Jewelry Arts 101.How To Make Jewelry 101Learn how to make beautiful handcrafted jewelry at home
What got you hooked? Do you have a friend or family member that gifted you with a unique handcrafted piece of beaded or wire jewelry? Maybe you have spent a small fortune purchasing jewelry from artisans either at public fairs or in private boutiques. Whatever brought you to this juncture, you are sure to find some personal satisfaction and delight making your own fine pieces of jewelry.Let’s begin with some of the tools required for jewelry making:
1. The basic tools are: round nose pliers, flat nose pliers, crimping pliers and flush cutters. Tools average around $15 each.
2. If you intend to do knotted jewelry such as pearls, there are special tools for knotting.
3. For jewelry wire wrapping, a wig-jig tool helps make the loop designs consistent. You will want some nylon jaw pliersso that you dont leave marks when you work with wire.
4. Split ring pliers will help you open the split rings and attach them to your chain.
The prices for all these tools can vary. The experienced jeweler will have quality tools that can last for a lifetime, but when you are starting out, you can find tools at affordable prices. Shop on EBay, local craft stores, or watch for upcoming lessons when I will share with you some of the insider secrets to buying your materials at wholesale prices.
Consider your lighting and invest in good lamp coverage. You may want to have a good pair of reading glasses, even if you dont need reading glasses. After several hours of working with tiny elements, the magnification can be helpful!Things seem to get smaller as time wears on.Additional Tools As you develop your skills, you will find there are many tools on the market to help you get the job done. 1. A ruler for measuring bracelets.
2. A Design Board: A nifty tool for making necklaces or bracelets. You have a board that has little holes grooved out to hold the bead or stone that you want in that position. You can see what the piece will look like in advance, and not loose your tiny elements in the process.
3. A Bead Mat– you will love me for suggesting this. Keeps your beads from rolling off the table and into a hidden corner or under the refrigerator.
4. Thread Scissors – great for cutting thread and helping to tie it at the same time. Normal scissors are too big and clunky.
This is the beginning. But of course, tools dont make jewelry without beads or other elements and you! And then of course to be a winning combination you will need PRACTICE, and then more practice and then some more practice.I found there are some sources that I can highly recommend for jewelry making techniques and instructions.
First, my favorite is the e-Book that is loaded with ideas and step-by-step instructions. Written by Lorri Ely, this jeweler and business owner has been where you are, and helps the reader to build their business precept on precept.
She loves making jewelry, and her enthusiasm will motivate you, even when you are practice weary! In fact, her website on making jewelry is a digest of free information you wont want to miss.
Are you getting excited yet? Have you made a piece of jewelry? Ev en if you dont have the tools to make the finer items, let your enthusiasm guide you and practice seeing jewelry in everything. Stones, berries, pine cones (the tiny ones), marbles; anything can be your practice elements. Envision yourself “seeing” designs and successfully completing them.You are on your way.
In our next chapter, we will address how the successful jewelry handcrafter actually creates or “dreams” their designs. You might be surprised at where the pros find their inspiration.How To Find Great Jewelry Designs Secret sources for jewelry designs that sell
Creative thinking, in any field is exhilarating, magical, idea popping and frustrating. Unlike a math problem, where there is a certain formula to follow, creative thinking involves education, discipline, imagination, playful abandonment, adventure, positive expectation, personal exposure, emotional expression and precise detail…and rarely at the same time or order.
Your first assignment, regarding jewelry design, is to take the pressure off and relax. Millions of jewelry designs are possible and they are waiting to be found, or recreated with your specific touch.Ideas for great designs are waiting to be found! Expect the unexpected. If you feel anxious about your ability to innovate or create, you subtly blind yourself to the mysterious world of inspiration.Where to look for your Inspiration:
1. The first obvious choice would be jewelry design catalogs or magazines. You can do a search online and scout about. Go to some artisan markets. Of course, you dont want to copy, but you wont need to. Your mind will have different interpretations, and your choice of materials can make all the difference. You might want to check out: Arts and Crafts Mega-Ezine; as an ongoing source for ideas and inspiration.
2. Expose Yourself– Careful now, keep it legal! Expose yourself to the most creative people you can find. Whether they are musicians, painters, woodworkers, actors or children. Surround yourself with an influence that anticipates the unexpected and welcomes new ways of thinking. You will be inspired, and when you are inspired, your creativity will find you.3. Travel – Get your body moving…away from your worktable. Walk in the woods, go to the beach, visit the museum, or explore the art gallery.
4. Study Keep refining your craft. Buy books, read e-courses, take local classes, teach a class (you learn so much more when you actually teach what you know). By adding more techniques to your portfolio, your ideas cant help but to expand.
5. Rest– You may remember the classic movie The Gambler, with Kenny Rogers. Rogers is a gambler in need of a life-saving idea. The theme song became a top hit: “You gotta know when to hold „em, know when to fold „em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.”
Sometimes the smartest thing you can do when the juices dry up is to walk away. FORGET ABOUT IT! Tell yourself you dont need to know what to do, that it will come to you at the right time. Then go play golf, or run 5 miles or go shopping. Whatever will distract you from the need to be creative; do it! If you need to, leave it alone for 24 hours or a week.
But while you distract yourself, there here a few helpful tips:
· This is not the time to punish yourself for not being productive. You are being productive – you are releasing your knotted brain.
· Put the beads away if you need to. Dont walk by and look into the room and see a pile of “nothing going on” lying on the table. Clean it up. Put it away and tell yourself that when YOU are ready, you will take it out. The priority is your energy flow, not the project.
· Dont go talking about how frustrated you are or how stuck you feel. Talk, if you choose to, with friends who dont know a thing about jewelry. Listen to their stories of caring for the kids or minding the garden. Let your insistent mind lose its grip on your thoughts.
· HAVE FUN. Don’t feel guilty for a second. Enjoy yourself.
If you will try it out, you will be surprised. New ideas will spring into your mind like a targeted rubber band snap. Before you know it, you will be busy again and enjoy yourself as you bend the wire, knot the thread, and count your beads.Are you wondering how to price your jewelry so that you actually make a profit? We are all over it! Stay tuned; your next chapter will address product pricing specifically.PS. Keep yourself surrounded with idea generating tools. Check out the Arts and Crafts Mega-Zine. Your first copy is free!Pricing Your Jewelry For Profit How to determine fair market value for your jewelry pieces What is value? When we look for the right quotients for fair market value and pricing, let me be clear about the difference between price and value.
The price charged for an item is the determined monetary amount required in cash or currency for that item or service to leave the possession of the owner and become the new possession of the buyer. It could be $10 or $657,851.46.
What makes a person pay a certain price is the value they place on the item. Value is determined solely by the buyer. How much time is this item worth; meaning how many hours/weeks/months would I need to work in order to pay the price? Is the item worth effort to me? Would my spouse leave me if I buy this new boat? Is the boat worth sleeping alone? If I choose to travel Europe for 2 months, my children will not go to the private school of choice for this school term. Is the experience of travel worth the cost of the private education of my kids for a year? That answer equates to the value you place on the trip, or the education.
Handcrafted items are largely paid for because of perceived value. You can, by using the appropriate methods, increase the value of the item. But first, you need to have an idea of what the item cost you to make so that the price you charge the customer reflects profit.
PROFIT: whatever money you can put in the bank after you buy the materials, pay the overhead, cost our your time, cost out the time of any employees working on the
project, and any reductions you offer in the final price, either to the customer direct or to a retailer wanting to purchase from you at wholesale prices.
1. time – your time to make
2. creativity-your talent to design unique designs
4. overhead expenses
5. skill to make the jewelry
Rena Klingenberg suggests in her book Jewelry Booth thatjewelry artists increase profits mainly from cutting costs and learning how to buy smart. However, she also suggests a formula that works for her and encourages her readers to determine their own winning formula.Possible Price Formula:Add the Base Price (materials and packaging x4) + your pro-rated hourly rate+ 10% of the above costs for your overhead costs = final price.
(See the book Jewelry Booth for detailed description.) With all the variations in the market, it can get complicated. There is however an easier way. You can have the pricing figured automatically by using a software tool designed specifically for the home-based jewelry business called Bead Manager Pro. With Bead Manager Pro, you enter the products you purchased from your supplier including the date, the cost, the number of pieces etc...
As you can see below, your entry allows you to not only begin the pricing strategy but keeps your inventory up to date:
Once you have entered the parts, you can begin making jewelry and knowing exactly what each piece cost you to make in raw materials.
You simply choose the parts from your stock that were required to create a piece. The total cost of materials is calculated for you instantly (these parts are also instantly deducted from your stock so keeping inventory is a snap), all you have to do is put in your labor cost and any other miscellaneous costs.Be sure, when you are posting your labor and overhead fees, to allow enough margins for you to sell your products wholesale at a 25-50% reduction, and still make a profit.On the next tab after cost Bead Manager Pro automatically prices your items for you at wholesale, direct and retail pricing, depending on the formula you choose to use. Each of these fields is fully customizable so you can change the markup values to suit. You can learn a lot more about Bead Manager Pro at www.beading-software.com P.S One more thought about profit and value= you increase profit when you increase the perceived value in the eyes of your customers.
Custom designs, historic symbols, trademark stones, detailed packaging, “sets” verses individual pieces, and even celebrity reviews or photos add value to your products but dont have to result in increased costs in production.That clearly amounts to profit, no matter who you ask!Sourcing Your Stones & Beads How to find the best product for the best price
For your jewelry making business to be successful, you must be able to price your product so that you make a profit. You cant purchase your products consistently at retail prices and hope to build a business. You will need to go wholesale.As in many fields, jewelry makers can be tight lipped about their suppliers or sources for materials. Today, I will show you some key tips in building a successful supplier list.
You will need to do some research with this chapter. You might find it helpful to work from the e-copy of this lesson (rather than a printed version) as you will be able to click your mouse and go locate the sites with ease.(This chapter alone could be worth its weight in ….silver!J)How to find the materials you need:
1. Put the Bead or Gem Fair on your calendar. One of the best ways to find bulk materials is at a show. You can see the products and have a “hands on” experience.Here is a link to use to access a directory of all the shows scheduled in the US. It includes International shows.http://www.lapidaryjournal.com/cal1.cfm 2. Go Online: There are many distributors online. You can purchase large quantities and get some deep discounts. You may want to visit:
3. Try EBay:Dont be deceived! Just because it is on Ebay does not mean it is cheap or a good deal. Check the prices– so some homework. Having stated that disclaimer, you can find some good deals on Ebay.
(Be sure the provider has at least a 99% rating!) Here are a couple dealers you might want to look at:
http://stores.ebay.com/junesgems-antique-jewelry-beads 4. Buy from bead stores– but only in the case of an emergency! You wont make any money if you are buying your raw materials retail. 5. You may want to import your own stones from other countries and skip the intermediary altogether!
It is possible to gain access to the Asia market and import your own supply and/or, you may want to take advantage of those connections and sell online to other jewelry designers.
Check out The Ultimate Jewelry Source. They provide you with an extensive database, training in how to sell online, create mini-sites and protect yourself when doing international trading.
6. Buy at wholesale or below wholesale by taking advantage of clear-outs and liquidations. Again, you could use your price advantage to resell at wholesale prices and/or for your own business alone.Check out: Buy Jewelry at Wholesale Over 250 sources available plus training for how to resell at flea markets, online and retail and Ebay.
You should have no problem finding a suitable source for your blooming business. In fact, with the information in this chapter you may have found another way to fund your creative venture!
If your cash flow is short and you need find the money to buy your materials and to market your business properly, you could use a wholesale jewelry business to fund your creative genius.Sounds like you have might have some investigating to do! In the next chapter, we offer some introductory tips on how to recognize the value of jewelry and various stones and elements.Your Best GuessHow to estimate the value of jewelry
At this point in the book, I assume you have spent sometime looking at jewelry, either online or in a retail venue. Have you noticed the lack of consistency in pricing? One reason prices are so varied arises from the term value.
Value is all based on perspective. If I were to offer you a tattered old coat for your child from my giveaway bin in the basement, and your son had several coats, one for each season, you would most likely find very little value in my offer.
However, if I offered you the same tattered coat, and you and your family had gone through some tough times and your son had only a spring coat for a cold winter, you might place a great deal of value on my gesture.Likewise, most jewelry buyers are not educated in appraising, and the value of the gems or stones is often perceived by the marketing and presentation.You need to educate yourself to protect your best interests (and your customer’s too!)
What Will You Need?
1. Eyeglass – If you have a Jewelers Loupe (a tool used by jewelers to magnify the image below in varying degrees) kicking around, you can certainly use it, but for the those just starting, dont buy one off the batYou can purchase a small plastic eyeglass with a 10-x magnification that will do the trick. Jewelers Loupe
2. A ruler or micrometer – This needs little explanation, as you want to measure the size of the stones or items you are appraising.
3. Use the 4 C’s – If you are looking at gemstones there are standardized guidelines for the jewelry industry called the 4 Cs:
· Carat (weight)
As a primer, the Munsell Color Grading System is a look place to start in judging the color. With the plastic tools in place, you can begin to look for the hue (gradation of color, shade or tint), and the chroma, or saturation of the color, which gives the color a vividness, strength or purity. Lastly, we look for the Value or tone; that which causes you to think of a color as dark red or light red.If it sounds complicated, it is because it is complicated! For most people the sound advice offered online and offline is this: hire a reputable appraiser and save yourself a bundle of time, energy and possible regret. But lets face it; in our business if we hired an appraiser every time we had questions about a stone, we wouldnt make any money ourselves.
There are courses available at colleges and in adult education programs that you can take for 2 years or more to study gemology. If that interests you it might be worth the time and effort.
There are also courses online you may want to check out. One we found that not only offered the courses but actual appraising kits and assistance with your own appraisals is found at How to Value Jewelry. David Foard is the owner of the site with over 35 years as a gemologist. The site is extensive with free information and the right tools to help in appraising stones.Another site worth using as a reference is: http://www.onlinejeweler.info/index.phpManaging Your Ideas & Jewelry Inventory Left brain details support right brain creations
If you are the creative type, you will love what you can do with wires, hooks, knots, tiger tail, crimp beads and crystals. You may get lost in your work and forget to eat, do the laundry or pick up the kids from school.No matter how much you might get “in the zone”, you cannot afford to forget two vitals ingredients to your home based jewelry business success:
1. You can’t make product without inventory! Dont wait until its 1:30 in the morning and you are trying to finalize an order you must ship to one of your key retailers first thing in the morning, to discover you are 6 stones short to complete 6 necklaces!
2. You can’t afford to forget one unique design! Get ready for the „knock off parties” that will be held in your honor. Other designers that lack originality will simply check out your work, and go home and copy, sometimes to the last knot, and sell it before you can say, “dagnabbit”!
Your inspirations are your art and your livelihood. You need to preserve the ideas you receive.
Here, there and everywhere!
I find that my „inspired ideas” tend to arrive in my local brain station at the most unusual times. Riding my bicycle, taking a shower, driving downtown, cleaning out the refrigerator, and even upon waking from a cozy late afternoon catnap! Once I quit trying, things seem to fall in place in my consciousness with ease. So how do I capture the ideas?
1. Notepad by the bed with a pen handy
2. Dictaphone in the car
3. Napkins in the glove compartment in case Dictaphone battery is dead and I need something to write on
4. A pen and my palm (no not palm pilot, palm as in hand!)
5. I have been known to use lipstick when necessary
6. Keywords that are meant to trigger the entire idea later… (not always effective and can result in extreme exasperation with self!)
It can be very helpful to perform brainstorming idea sessions when you are sitting at the table with the materials and have a pen and paper handy. If you are good at scheduled creativity, which some people are, this is a great way to insure you capture the best ideas.
Bead Manager Pro has some great features for idea management. Once you have entered the items you need to make the piece, and it totals your inventory (we will look at that in a minute), you can then add a description of the design and even a photo to remind you. So as soon as you get a chance to try out one of your napkin or hand palm scribbles on some beads or wire, you can enter the details in the software and you are set.
One of the best features of Bead Manager Pro is the inventory control. As I mentioned previously, it can be very disheartening to discover at 2 am that you are short a few stones or beads or 3 feet of wire. With BMP, you can enter what you purchase wholesale, and each design you make will automatically deduct the materials from you inventory. You can set alerts to warn you when you are down to levels of 50 or 100 or 10 – whatever you choose.
The Alerts summary page will show you exactly what Alerts you have in your inventory for parts & pieces. You can also set alerts for special occasions to remind you of customers special dates (a great way to keep track of when they might be in the market for a new piece of jewelry)
Its also so simple to actually get to the part that is in alarm. Just click on the active alert and you will instantly go to the detailed section of the part, piece or customer alarm so you can see instantly whats going on in your inventory.Does your picture paint a thousand words?
There is so much to do to get your business off and running. Our next chapter outlines the best tips on photographing your jewelry to sell. Can you imagine working this hard to build an elegant product and successful business, only to lose valuable sales because the picture did not say 1000 words? Ouch!Photographs That Sell Your Jewelry A picture paints a thousand words! One very important way to build your business and sell online, at parties, retail or shows is to have great photos of your work. If you have seen the before and after pictures of models, you have seen the power of some good makeup and a great photographer.
In the beginning, you may not be able to afford, or want to wait, for a professional to snap shot your creations. Fortunately, you can learn how to do it without a two-year course behind you.Look at the photos below. Look at the power of the image. note the lighting note the pearls note how they hang what would it look like with color behind it?
and the color that makes it impossible to see them
Pretty girl, but who cares? We can't see the jewelry!WOW - it pops! You are kidding right?So how do we take a great photo that makes someone say, “Wow! I want that”?
I will give you some great references later in the lesson but first; lets look at some of the basic guidelines for effective jewelry “pics”.
3. Make your photos clean and sharp– You need the right pixel count so dont enlarge your photo so much that you begin to soften the edges. Keep it crisp. Remember for print you need a higher resolution than you need for the web, so if you are going for full color print, a photographer could be worth the cost.Dont do this!4. No Glare Allowed!
5. Make the background compliment your image. Use color behind metals to highlight. Don’t use patterns behind beads! Be sure you make your jewelry “pop!” A few examples of what NOT to do:Would you buy any of them? Here are some dependable references for preparing your photo shoot.http://www.tabletopstudio.com/documents/jewelry_photography.htm
I would be remiss if I didnt stop here and recommend an e -Book that is loaded with valuable information, especially on the actual selling and presenting of your jewelry at parties, booths, shows, or to retail boutiques. Ultimate Guide to Your Popular Jewelry Booth, by Rena Klingenberg, is a detailed success approach to your business. The cost is only $29.95 but the information could save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. Check it out!Coming up in the follow chapters:
· How to market your new business
· How do you succeed at a fair or trade booth? · How to promote your new website
· How to get people to come to your jewelry party · And much more.
By now, you have probably taken a few beginner steps to launch your new business. There is so much to do; finding materials, improving your crafting skills, developing your artistry, setting up your workshop – even teaching your family that you have a business and you are actually “working”.What good will all this effort do for you, if no one knows you have a product to sell, and that the product you offer is just the right product for them?
Your journey must include some marketing. I think of the marketing process as a courtship. You introduce yourself, you make sure that you “run into” your prospect consistently, finally, you go for coffee, you follow that up with a card or note, and before you know it, you have a date. Or in your case, a sale!Marketing and sales are not the same thing. Marketing can be defined as the environment you create that helps sales to evolve. So where do you start? Since marketing is an extensive discipline, we certainly cannot exhaust the topic in a lesson, but we can introduce you to some ideas.Where to start? Do you remember the chapter that discussed your USP or what makes your business unique amongst your competition? That helps you define what you want to do or be.
Now, we look for the reason your customers want you to go into business. Its called market research. In this phase, you want to talk to as many people as you can and find out what they like or dislike in artisan jewelry.You can do that by using:
· Personal interviews
· Focus groups
· Surveys you pass out to people
· Surveys you conduct
· Online surveys (check out: www.surveymethods.com)
· Talk to suppliers
· Read magazines. Look for the people who are advertising regularly. They are
A business model that fails builds the business of the whims and preferences of the owner and not the customer’s needs/wants. There is a lot of helpful information online to teach you how to do some elementary market research. Here are a few references to check out:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_research
Once you have completed your basic research and you can identify who are your target customers, what they want, and what will they pay to purchase what they want/need, its time to begin the courtship.We call it the Marketing Mix The marketing mix is the combination of disciplines you use to create the environment that is friendly to sales. When you are determining what to use in your marketing mix, you need to remember: · Where are your customers looking for products or information right now?
· How they prefer to shop? Are they online buyers, or do they shop at tradeshows or fairgrounds?
· What budget you have allotted for marketing?
· How consistent can you be with the methods you choose?
Typically, people become customers AFTER they have been involved in your marketing efforts 9-11 times. One ad in the local paper or online directory will not produce the sales you need to keep your business door open.
Here is a list of several popular methods. You will need to use the criteria listed above to help you determine which ones are right for you. You should have a minimum of 3-5 in operation at all times.MARKETING METHODS
Word of mouth
Social networking among friends
Paid networking in business groups Online Free directories
Online paid directories
Pay per click advertising
Publicity (press releases)
Newspaper ads in local papers
Magazine ads in target market groups Ask the expert columns
Business card promotion
Member of business groups
Direct mail (snail mail)
Tradeshow booth ads
Parties– online catalogs
Jewelry cards– photographs of your work Print Catalogs
Signage on car or outside your home Craigslist about upcoming shows
The list goes on and on….
You will find a sample
marketing plotting chart below. The idea is that you choose 3-5 types of marketing you will be using each monthly and the cost you budget for the month of marketing.
When you get really busy
making jewelry and selling, it will be easy to neglect your
marketing, so this game plan will become very helpful
Initiative Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total Costs Yellow $ Pages
Paid Ads $ Catalogue $ Mailing
Website $ Direct Mail $ Letters
Follow Up $ Telephone
Newsletter $ Email $ Campaigns
Trade Shows $ Total Costs $
The world of business marketing and communication has changed dramatically in the past 20 years. We went from a business card as the number one marketing priority, to a website as the ultimate business communication.In the new business world, if you work from home, you will have limited opportunities to hand out your business card and unlimited opportunities to invite people to your website.Where to Start?
You will want to start the process by referring back to your USP (unique selling proposition) and your target audience. Are you making jewelry for men, for teens, for elderly women, for fashion models, or for pets? Make sure your website reflects your business.Once you have established your market, you can begin developing your website. 1. You will need a domain name. Like the signage outsideDanny’s Pizza Place, you will have a sign for your website; your domain name.
Consider what you want to say: do you want to identify the need of the shopper in your name such as, www.pearlsandpetals.com (for a site that features pearls and crystal rosebuds). Or, www.menstoering.com for a site dedicated to toe rings for men.
Some prefer to use their name in the title; www.karensjewelemporium.com or, a completely unrelated word such as www.zipzup.com. Be careful though when you use abstract names. If you dont have much money to advertise, you will need the results of organic searches from the search engines– so including something about jewelry in the domain name might be the right move for you.
2. Buy the name. There are so many places online where you can search for the availability and purchase your domain name. A domain name can cost $8-$15 year (and more if you add special features). Check out:
www.networksolutions.com or search online for others.
3. Decide how much you want to spend on a website. If you are just starting out, you dont NEED to spend $3000+ on building a site. There are many options for you.Elance or Guru and hire a free-lance web designer and a copywriter to develop a site with you. ü Hire a marketing firm to do the research, and provide you with a professionally crafted site.
Remember: you can do this in phases. You could go with a template site for a year or two and then grow your site to the next level. You might be
surprised. The templates have built in systems that allow you to take
payments online, host shopping carts, send newsletters etc.
4. Do some studying on SEO– search engine optimization. Although you can pay for online advertising, you also want to come up in search results when people search for your type of jewelry. (organic results)
Keywords are crucial. You need to know which keywords are most popular when people search for artisan jewelry. Much to your surprise, you could fill the text of your site with the keyword “gems”, only to discover that the most searched term is “beads.” That one mistake could cause you to lose thousands of dollars.A great place to begin learning about keywords is:Wordtracker or https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
There are companies that can help you with SEO. Be sure to talk to a few of their references to hear what they have to say about the service. Unfortunately, there are some crooks out there!
5. Decide what you want on your main 5 pages. Remember your first page must capture the interest of your visitor. They dont care about how great YOU are, they care about what you are providing for them: how great they will look in your jewelry…and so on.The first five pages could be:6.ü Home– capture interest
ü Bracelets – Photos and descriptions ü Rings- Photos and descriptions
ü Necklaces- Photos and descriptions ü Contact us
Continue to ad content to your site. This is not only photos of more jewelry to sell. You
need to add content either about the jewelry pieces youve made, the kinds of stones, the
meaning of designs; its
7. Consider your customer service policies. Buying online involves extra risk. People dont know you or your products. What guarantee will you offer them, do you provide shipping discounts on purchase volumes? Finally, if someone has a complaint, is there an outlet provided where they can voice the complaint? (Perhaps a 1-800 number or an email address?)
8. How will you promote the site? There are many ways to advertise your new business online. Check out: http://www.promotionworld.com/tools/ and www.businessownerideacafe.com. There is free information to help you learn where to start.
Remember back at chapter one when you thought it was great to FIRE THE BOSS and start your own business? Well, it is fun! It is also, a truckload of work to get things up and running. Once you do, you can be making money at night while you sleep, or while you are making the next set or earrings! So don’t give up, YOU CAN DO THIS!
Dont miss you next chapter! We will talk about the largest department store on earth, and how easy it would be to sell your creations to the hundreds of thousands of shoppers who buy there everyday!Selling Your Jewelry On EbayHow to sell your jewelry in the largest department store in the world!
Twenty years ago when someone started a home based jewelry business they would set their goals to have some local boutiques sell their designs, and plan to take them to the local fairs and maybe some home parties. In their wildest dreams, they would not local fairs and maybe some home parties. In their wildest dreams, they would not million+ visitors a day.
Before we continue with todays lesson, it should be noted that in recent news Ebays pricing structures or buyers and especially sellers, has been seriously questioned. It is not cheap to do business with Ebay, but at present, they do offer dynamic and preinterested shoppers. You will need to weigh the pros and cons for yourself and your particular business model.If you are not able to get out to trade shows, fairs, home parties and networking, you may find Ebay to offer you a significant opportunity for sales.
On the other hand, Ebay is quite competitive for the jewelry business. Many artisan jewelers, like you, are doing business at Ebay. The typical shopper on Ebay is looking for a deal, so if you are not priced competitively, you wont sell much.Where to Start? We have established that your price point on Ebay is crucial to your success. There are some steps to follow to get your started:
1. Do some research and find out who sells jewelry most like yours and for what price? Take special notice of Power Sellers, as they sell the most products. You can use the advanced search feature to check out previous sales and what the final bid was that actually bought the jewelry.
(You can get a full detailed description of how to do an advanced search and much more in a highly recommended Ebook entitled: Jewelry Party Book by Lori Ely. Lorrie describes in detail many selling strategies used in the handcrafted artisan jewelry business, and beyond the initial sales, how to profit from your business.)
2. Lori suggests avoiding a lot of extra fees by streamlining your ads at the beginning of your campaign. Add a photo, but maybe skip the featured listing and bolded captions until you know you can recoup your investment.
3. Dont be discouraged if your auction doesnt close with a sale on your first round of auctions. It takes practice to match your market. The Jewelry Party Book goes into more depth on what days; what times etc. seem to sell jewelry the best.
4. Recognize that selling on Ebay is trial and error, testing and re-testing until you hit the formula that seems to work for you.
5. Ebay offers an extensive on-line help in their Learning Centre at www.ebay.com/education
7. Take great photos of the pieces you are selling at the auction. Remember, if you deceive people with the product, you will get returns, bad ratings on Ebay, and generally sabotaging any success you might have in the future.IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO UNDER-PROMISE AND OVERDELIEVER 8. Remember the photography lesson? Maybe now is a good time to review some of the important guidelines for photos that sell.
9. Lastly, write compelling headlines that will attract the visitors attention if only for 5 seconds. “Necklace” wont be sufficient! Try: “Sterling silver necklace with Smokey Quartz drop.”10. Prepare to practice. If you love the action in the auction, you can have some fun while you make money with your new home-based jewelry business.
If your product is quality and your customer service is excellent, many boutiques will want to sell your jewelry. However, until they know they are going to profit, they often ask for consignment terms. In our next chapter we will define the consignment business relationship, and give you some tips on how to manage your consignment arrangements.Setting Up Your Consignment Accounts & Receivables Learn to collect money with confidence and grace When you are wholesaling your products, you will most likely use two different types of wholesaling: One: the consignment. Two: wholesale purchase.
Consignment means people will allow you to display your product in their store, without the storekeeper investing any cash. They pay you, when (if) the product sells. Stores the storekeeper investing any cash. They pay you, when (if) the product sells. Stores 30 split, favoring you. You are just starting and they are risking NOTHING, so the percentages can reflect the risk.)
Consignment is a good way to get your product in front of people, if the merchant does display the product in front of people. You need to oversee to be sure that you have your art showing in ways that inspire people to buy. Otherwise, you and the merchant lose.
When your product is on consignment, it needs to be recorded and remembered. Dont let hundreds of dollars of inventory stay in a store if it is not selling. Also, you need to receive monthly checks for pieces that did sell, and you need to know which pieces they were. So be sure to number your pieces and provide some way for the retailer to keep a record. If their POS system is sophisticated enough, that wont be a problem, as each piece of inventory is monitored at the time of purchase.
Obviously, you would rather the retailer purchase the product. If they do, they have a vested interested in the sale, and work harder to promote the product. But often they wont purchase until they have tested the new designer, so pay your dues where you must.How to ask for money
For those of you Godfatherfans you will know what I mean when I refer to the horses head – You dont need to send such a strong message when asking for your money, but you do need to ask.
If you had an employee named Jennifer, and she went to the retailers to deliver some product, but you noticed she forgot a box– would you be shy to call her at the retailer to inform her? No? Let me assume that is because– you have a relationship with Jennifer, you are on talking terms, and she would want to know.
The same can be said for money. When you call one of your distributors (retailers) to ask for either 30-day account payments or consignment payments, you could just as easily be asking them about their next order. It is ONLY MONEY. You are not asking for their first-born. You are telephoning to ask them to put the check in the mail ASAP.
You are a small business and you require cash flow. Simple. When we get into trouble with collections is when we get emotional about the process. Money and emotion are not the combination for even distant cousins. Money is owed due to usage of some kind. Someone “used” your talent to create jewelry, and now they need to offer you money in return. Strangely enough, if you are uptight about the idea of needing to remind them, the retailer will “smell” it, and responses can range from mild agitation to outright rude behavior or avoidance.Ask the tough questions:
Hi Bob – It’s Mary Moneymaker from Money Matters Designs. How are you folks doing? Listen Bob, I am doing my monthly accounting and noticed I don’t have the check from you yet for last month’s payment. Was it overlooked somehow? Hey, no problem, I understand that can happen easily. Would you be able to drop it in the mail today? Oh, I see. When is your accountant back in the office? Is that Wednesday the 23rd?
Okay great. Now, let me confirm the amount– yes, I see it is $341.00. I will look for the check by the 28th. Thanks Bob, and thank you again for your business. (Be sure to send Bob a quick thank you note when the check is received)
Note that Mary asked for the date and reminded Bob on the amount. Mary asked for confirmation. If this was the second call, she would be asking what day she should call the accountant and for their name. There would be no anger or hostility. This is about cash. Period. No biggie. But not going to be ignored either.What if they dont order from me again?
If they have a problem with you asking for money that is due you, or a problem with paying within a reasonable time, you dont want your product with them anyway. There are, literally, thousands of places that will distribute good product like yours, why waste time orenergy on those who dont offer a win-win solution.
Short of hiring a goon (just kidding!), you can be quite effective with your consignment business records when using Bead Manager Pro. The software not only calculates your inventory and tracks your designs etc, but also creates an invoice for consignment users based on what they report either sold or did not sell within the 30-day time frame.
You enter a few details into the software and the rest is done automatically for you. The software does not make the actual phone call for you, but if it did, you would miss a chance to create another good impression on your distributor!
You many want to consider other forms of marketing your jewelry. A home or online party can be a low-cost and highly rewarding type of direct sale. In your upcoming chapter we will take it step by step– the first being: how do I sign up hosts to host the party?Party ON! What’s The Buzz? Success secrets to a successful home jewelry party
By now, you have a business name registered; you have ordered supplies, maybe made contact with some boutiques in your area and have your jewelry on display in their showcase.Our next few chapters deal with Home Parties featuring– You guessed it; YOU.
The Home Party is another way of getting your craft to the marketplace. You can sell it for retail prices without the monthly expenditures of a retail shop. You share you sales with the host or hostess and dont pay money until you make money. Sweet deal!
Secondly, it gives you a chance to meet people who want to wear your jewelry and some who dont. You can learn a lot about what your target market is looking for in accessories and respond with the appropriate future products.You will build a network of customers who in turn will have 5-10 friends who like jewelry and become your potential network of customers. There are few “cons” to a home party. The challenge is in how to get people to attend.Here are a few success tips to creating the party BUZZ
1. Make a list– start writing down the names of everyone you know. EVERYONE. (this is considered your warm market) Make an asterisk next to the names of people you know wear jewelry of some sort. (your warmest market) Much to most readers surprise, you know at least, AT LEAST 50 people, and more likely 100. Put them on your list.
2. Make an invitation list– the people on your list are the people to invite to your first ever “ROCK ON JEWELRY PARTY!” Tell them you want to showcase your new line. Include a great photo or two on the invite, following our guidelines for photographing jewelry in a previous lesson.
3. Ask them to bring a friend – entice them to ask one or two friends to join them and offer something in return– 10% off all purchases, or a free item, or gift certificates of $10 for their friends. Be creative and run with the ideas.4. You may well have 3 parties just from inviting the people you know.
5. Make another list– you know these people but you didnt put on your first list. You thought you didnt know them well enough. No problem. They belong comfortably on this list. These people work in the grocery store, cut your hair, nanny your kids, and go to the same childrens football games you do, order a latte after you each morning, or live down the hall.6. Make an invite– Serve them some food, have a couple door prize offers and tell them to invite their friends.7. You are now having your 4th, 5th and maybe 6th party.
8. Book parties at the parties! Invite people to host a party. Pass out Host guideline info. Ask them to help you and assure them (and detail it clearly) that you will help them in return. (Refer to the next chapter for more information on acquiring hosts.)This process is not difficult– it’s a numbers game. As soon as you accept that you are working with percentages…talk to so many people= get positive and negative responses.
Ask positive people to bring friends, and be prepared that only 7-10% will do so. Thats okay. Those are sales you would have missed, but didnt, because you made contact!
9. Always work to capture their information, most likely name and email address. Keep them in the loop – tell them about new designs and styles, about a new shipment of beads arriving, about parties coming up in their city, and any online parties you have going. To get the email address, you need to be prepared to give something in return.
10. Consider your customer service policy: How you handle the customer after the sale is very important. They are not just a faucet to use to turn on your money. Customers allow you to pursue your passion without shame. Applaud them, take photos of them and send it to them after the show.Next we will discuss how to find hosts and make the most of your Home Jewelry Party.How To Use Incentives To Attract A Host For Jewelry Parties Moving people from their comfort zone to a win-win business relationship
It happened when you least expected it. You became a salesperson! You not only design beautiful handcrafted jewelry, you have the opportunity to recruit people who will help you share your art with the world. You need simply to find them, create a successful environment for them, and help them succeed. After all, this is a win-win strategy.
When you sell at jewelry parties, you will share a portion of the revenue with the host. This can be accomplished through percentages of sales; i.e. $1000 worth of sales = $200 to the host, and $800 to you, or you can “gift” your host with jewelry. Of course, for you, the profit margins are better with gifting. However, in this case, you want to offer the kinds of incentives that motivate hosts to work with you, and the small profit you save may not be worth losing the 20 sales you make.
It Begins With Your Mindset
You will need to decide how many parties you would like to do a month. Are you game for once a week or once a month? Whatever your goal, you need to be clear with yourself about it, and follow up on all leads that come your way. Once you have a few parties, you can work with a “warm market;” people who are familiar with your work and the party idea. The key is in the follow up!
You might want to set a specific time of day that you spend making contact with people. Make it your goal to contact a consistent number of people a day or a week, and make the calls when you are in your best energy. If you are a morning person, call first thing! Get yourself into action before you talk yourself into procrastination.
Don’t be Afraid to Shar e the Wealth
Of course, when you are starting a business, the last thing you really want to do is share the profits. You need every penny you can get. But in reality, you can have a lot more pennies by rewarding the people who help you.
As mentioned above, you want to share your profits strategically with your hosts. It is their job to invite people, provide the refreshments, set up the seating etc. They work with you for your mutual success.You can decide to:
1. Reward your host with a percentage of your sales in cash.
2. Reward your host with a percentage of sales in product.
3. You can create a mix of numbers 1 and 2 by graduating the reward. Lets say, for the first $500 in sales you give 20% to your host in jewelry. That means you gift them with $100 of jewelry at retail cost– or less than $50 at your cost. From $501-$1000 you gift for the first $500 in jewelry and the second $500 in cash. For sales at $1500, offer gift certificates that the host can use within a year from the date of the party.
4. You can reward your host for parties booked at the party.
5. You can reward your host for parties booked at any time from people who were at their party.
6. You can go so far as second tier rewards. Reward the host with 20% either in cash or merchandise, and the honoring host (who gave the party where this host attended and decided to have a party) another 10% of sales. Now you have these two possible friends working together to create success for you, and themselves. It is win-win strategy.
But for the jewelry business, I strongly recommend Jewelry Party Book. Lorrie Ely leaves no stone unturned when it come to planning a party, preparing stock, booking with new hostesses, recruiting repeat business and having fun while you do it.
Lorrie includes several charts and templates on incentives that show you how to increase sales at the party, through sharing the profits. Much like I mentioned, Lorrie digs in and shares the win-win strategy.
Think of your party host as advertisements that go direct to would-be buyers: his or her friends. Treat them right, and they will help you launch and continue to feed your growing business.Our next chapter deals with a testy subject: how do we get people to GO to your hosts party? (Secret: its the WIIFM again: Whats In It For Me?)Hosting An Online Jewelry Party A great option to the home party; online convenience at work!
Not everyone will be ready to host a home party! There is the planning, the cleaning, the cooking and clean up to think about. They may be your friends, and they want to help you get your business off and running, but they just dont have the time for a home party.Not a problem! Todays Internet lifestyle makes an online party simple to do, easy to plan, affordable and there is no spilled wine on the carpet! Its not complicated for you either. In fact, you can be the supplier for 100s of parties all happening on the same day! Heres how its done:Begin with a website
You will need a website to make the online party possible. As we discussed in previous lessons, that can be done quite quickly and at very little expense if you use some of the online packages.
Once you have the site, you can begin to suggest to friends and present customers you know, how they could earn free jewelry by hosting a party intheir home. If they “hem and haw”, or give you the run-around, you have the next option waiting:
“Well how about we host your party online, and I will still give you the host/hostess percentages?”
Watch their eyes light up!
1. Your site is set up for the password, either on the front page when they enter, or on the ordering page when they submit their payment. One way or another, each guest visiting a hosts party, it accredited to that host.2. You will need to set up a password for each party. You give the host the password for them to distribute to their guests.
3. You provide the host with a sample email they can send their guests inviting them to the site, and the SHARON BUTCHER online party. It includes a tiny bit of subtle sales invite copy, your web address, the password and a special promo. Maybe each of her guests receives an additional Starbucks gift card for $5? (The invite can read, “Sorry we cant do this in person, but I want you to have a coffee anyway!”) Incentives always help. They show the potential guest that you and the host are interested in them getting all they can from the party.4. Your hostess can provide reminders and other promotional ideas during the party.
5. Allow about 2 weeks for the party.
6. When you ship the products, include a thank you card to the guest and acknowledge the party they attended. You may want to send a balloon or party hat…as a customer service specialty that sets you apart from your competition.
7. Try to fulfill the orders for the party at the same time and mail respectively. That keeps frustration from building when one friend is wearing her new bracelet when she meets three other friends for lunch on Saturday.
8. Be sure the hostess sends thank you cards to each person she invited, whether they attended or not. She may still get sales and better yet, if it is suggested in the thank you card that her guests can earn some of the jewelry they didnt buy if they also host a party, it can be a ongoing stream of revenue for the initial host as she continues to earn a small bonus for each party that occurs due to her party.9. Pay the hostess on time! Either in cash or product; keep your reputation squeaky clean!Potential for Money
If you understand the potential of the online party, you see the opportunity for many sales happening without you ever leaving home! Its easy for the host. All they need do is email their friends and invite them to the party. They can invite friends from Australia, China, California and Brazil. As long as the friend can get online, they can buy.Whats more? Each guest is a potential online party leader themselves, with their own circle of influence to invite as guests. I know, I understand. By now, you are wondering why I didnt tell you about this in your first lesson.J
You can learn a lot about Jewelry Parties; what makes them successful, how to get hosts, how to display the merchandise, how to take payments, and much more from the Jewelry Party Book. If you havent already ordered your immediately downloadable copy yet, I urge you to do so. Lori has worked with Jewelry Shows for so long that she has worked out the kinks and provides scores of tips for a successful Jewelry Party and business.
Now for those folks not so keen about looking at everything online, you might want to consider a catalog to promote your jewelry. The next options provide anything from online catalogs, to traditional 12 page jobs, and a few suggestions in between. Dont miss the next lesson!How To Create A Winning Jewelry Catalog Let your art speak for itself You are fortunate. Many businesses have to sell products that have no visual appeal or emotional connection. Imagine if you sold elbow pipes or oil for farm machinery. Not all that exciting. You either need it so you buy it, or you dont give the product the time of day. But your jewelry, what a different story! People buy your art because of the color, the texture, the shape, the length, the delicate touch, the bold definition, the unique stone, and on and on. Women buy jewelry to sharpen their mood, accessorize an outfit, to give as gifts, for inspiration and to feel beautiful. Your product begs to be seen.Why waste a tree?
Times have changed. We can display an eye-catching, mouthwatering, hand-tingling catalog right online. Potential customers or repeat customers can visit our site and see what we have in stock, what is new, and search by item or stone or whatever.If your website does not presently have the capacity for an online catalog, there are several options for you: 1. You can use a template site that includes everything for one monthly fee. www.homestead.com 2. You can use companys like www.1shoppingcart.com 3. Many of the contact management systems have online catalog and ecommerce solutions: Aweber or www.getresponse.com 4. You can have your own catalog built for you if you feel the need, but it is most likely your most expensive option.
Refer people to your online catalog regularly through printed handouts you offer at trade shows, home parties, included in your packaging, included when you ship an order. You can use email marketing to continue to refer people to new designs and colors you are offering.When a tree is needed
There are times you will want to send of catalog sheets. It doesnt nec essarily require the full catalog but perhaps you want to draw someones attention to a piece and you cant be guaranteed that they will run to the computer and look at it, even though you instructed them to do so! (Theyve got nerve!)There are several potential opportunities for sending off one or two pages of your catalog: 1. Use them to send as attention grabbers in your latest shipments of product, either to individual customers or to retail customers. 2. Use them to highlight styles or themes to prospective retail vendors. 3. Use them to confirm with a custom client the exact components of a piece
I have mentioned the Bead Pro Manager in previous chapters. This custom designed software was made for home based jewelry business and addresses your needs and concerns specifically.For the catalog, the features in Bead Pro Manager are most helpful. You can choose any of your products and make a unique catalog for any customer. Here is how it works: 1. You choose the piece you want to display 2. Bead Manager Pro takes the piece, and puts it into a sheet that has your logo and information on the sheet, the price of the product, the picture and description. 3. You can repeat this for as many pieces as you like, and you have just created a personalized catalog.
You may want to consider offering a gift–purchase-option to your clients. If they want to order a necklace for a friend, but prefer to send the friend a few options, you could provide a pre-paid gift enclosure with the personalized catalog of 3 options they chose for the friend. Itmakes the gift seem personal, while adding the option of choice. The value to your clients increases, which reflects on the price they are willing to pay for your product.Be sure all the ducks are in a row Refer back to your lesson on photography to be sure that your photographs are telling the best story of your work. Use descriptive language when you caption your items.For instance: See the difference:
Dazzling multi-stone earring in gold
swirl drop earringInsure that whatever you have in a catalog, you can either mass produce quickly or have in stock already.
Watch your prices. Be sure to update you prices to suit the cost of raw materials. If there was a fluctuation in your last order from the supplier, do you need to reflect it in your online or offline catalog?
Be original! Why not show some ways people can dress with the jewelry? Show the earrings or necklace by itself, and then show it on someone with the right collar to make the best impact.
No matter what tools you use, you are always there to solve a problem or meet the need of your customer. So although you may be tempted to make the catalog all about you and your beautiful work, always keep the customer in the back of your mind and think of ways to help and assist them in wise purchases.
There are so many ways to sell product! Have you considered trying your hand at a trade show or artists fair? Our next few chapters will introduce you to the idea and offer some moneymaking and saving tips you can start using right away!Take Your Home Based Jewelry Business To A Trade Show Or Fair Make money away from home - how to choose the right jewelry show
While those of us who work from the luxury of our home love the peace and solitude it can bring, you can make a good income when you add jewelry shows into the mix. Of course, like anything else, you have to choose the right shows that offer you the optimal environment to reach your target customer.For instance, if your jewelry is targeted to girls 16-24 and you are at a show for seniors, you will most likely not get a good return on your investment! But you can avoid those kinds of problems by choosing your shows wisely.How to Recognize the Show to Avoid (and Save Yourself Days of Drudgery)
The wrong show is like wearing a pair of shoes that dont fit right to a wedding and the following reception. Its a slow pain. By the end of the night, you refuse to stand unless someone brings you slippers. At the wrong show, you dream of the day(s) coming to an end, only to find yourself so bored and bothered you cant be bothered to sell…”just get me out of here!”
1. Determine if there are too many jewelry artisans at the show. Stay at less than 20-25%.
2. Avoid shows where importers of cheap jewelry try to sell off their goods as artisan work.
3. Avoid shows that have little or no advertising. If there is no advertising, there will be few customers.
4. Although shows where fireman are asked to attend as auction items, or leading restaurants in the area offer a feast for free are great fun for the attendees, they dont usually spend much money. They come for the attractions.
3. When possible,obtain information on the last years promotion, participants and sales.
4. Consider applying for juried shows. You will find a wealth of information in Jewelry Booth on successful applications for juried shows. Normally, these shows do offer a higher rate on your investment of time and effort (and money), but the initial costs are higher, and it takes some finesse to consistently receive acceptance letters.
1. Check out past participants in shows. Contact them. Ask questions.
2. Attend shows that interest you. Assuming that other criteria are met, it is helpful to choose shows in cities or towns you actually would like to visit.
3. Get out of your booth and meet other vendors. Get in on the “chat” and hear the word about popular shows that everyone wants to attend.
If you are interested in attending or creating shows get Rena Kli ngenbergs Jewelry Booth. She has years of experience and has taken the time to clearly outline a success strategy. There are scores of helpful articles available on a home based jewelry business on her website.
Attending shows costs money, and you will need to budget for them in your annual budget. Read the next chapter and learn some key points on successful financial planning for shows.Jewelry Trade Show Money Management Tips Make money away from home - budgeting to attend the show
You may find in the early days that you eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches packed from home for the 3 days of the show. It often takes every penny youve got to get things moving along. The good news is that once you do pay your dues, develop a customer following and learn how to make the most of your efforts, you will graduate to good food and respectable earnings each month.
You have probably heard the saying: “Make a plan or plan to fail.” Especi ally in the early days, you will need to set aside money to pay for the shows you want to attend, and to include your own advertising methods to attract your target market to the show.Here is a sample list for your start-up budget for you to consider:
Trade show booth (if applicable)
Jewelry supplies for your first stock levels Jewelry booths/racks for displaying jewelry Velvet cloths for display
Transportation to and returning from the show Registration for the show
Marketing tools for the show– free giveaways Marketing tools to attract people to the show Food at the show
Accommodation at the show
Photos for show display
Camera and film for during the show
Expect that it will take a few shows to get your rhythm. You will spend more money and most likely be caught by surprise with additional debits. However, if you stay with it, after the first show or couple of shows, you will have recouped your costs and the expenses and it will become far easier to make a profit.
I have found it helpful to project revenue on averages. Lets say I spend $3000 getting set up for shows. I will need 200 people to spend $30 retail to put me back into profit. Not so hard if the show attracts 1000 and 10% of them visit my table. Of course, your numbers will vary, but you get the idea.
What is a customer worth to you? Are you willing to spend $20 or $50 to attract a customer, if your average customer spends $100 a year for 5 years with you? If you are performing proper follow up, and continue to design new and creative jewelry, why wouldnt they continue to buy?
You may find http://www.budget5000.com/5.exe/ - a free online budget producer helpful for your budgeting operation.
You may find it helpful to begin your business using as many inexpensive (online parties, website sales, home parties, etc) methods as you can to promote your jewelry to create a fund that you can then use to set up shop at your favorite shows and locations.
When you get to the show or a home party for that matter, you will need great merchandising strategies to show off what you do so well. In our next chapter we will explore effective jewelry displays and how they affect your customers buying decision.Jewelry Trade Show Display Ideas Make money away from home - how to display your jewelry As we discussed in the photography chapter and catalog, there is a noticeable difference in how your customer responds to your art, when you display it favorably.
Crowded necklaces on a stand, where all the colors and beads are intertwined with one another, leave the observer with nothing all that special to fix their eyes on. The color combinations dont catch the imagination, and the psychological factor says -one of the crowd; nothing unique.
If your jewelry is something special, you need to communicate it to the buyer. And if you envision your art enhancing a special event or clothes ensemble for the customer, show them.
People will value your jewelry as you do. There are thousands of people making jewelry, and they dont respect their art like you can. Wear your jewelry, display it as though any celebrity may walk up at any moment and love it, and sell it as the perfect accessory or gift, not as another string of something you hope makes a buck.Your attitude, more than any other factor, will determine how much jewelry you sell.
1. Lean Mean Selling Machine
Remember, you will have a lot to carry and set up at a show. If you dont have an assistant, (difficult to do a show without at least someone to spell you off for breaks and lunch) it can be back breaking effort. You will do better to find solutions that are more portable. You can store your jewelry in them and then use them for displays at shows and parties.
2. Group your items properly.
You will sell more if you group items of the same idea or concept together. For instance, if you are displaying necklaces and earrings, (unless they are a special set) put the items which are of similar size and colors together. Its easier for the eye to look at, and so the eye will stay there longer! You can group by price, color, stone type, size etc…
3. Follow a theme of some kind. Make your booth about that theme. One strong color, say black, could be used for all backdrops, bags etc. Or you may choose a royal blue. Be careful not to use an orange or yellow or something that competes with rather than completes your display. If you dont want to use color, you can use style. You theme could be sporty (not delicate), or romantic (lace and flowers), but stay consistent throughout.4. Mix up your display each day of the show. It creates visual interest for return buyers, and the impression there is more than meets the eye. 5. Keep all your jewelry at eye level.
6. Less is more: avoid the cluttered look. Think of what it feels like when you enter a stock-crowded department store and you are looking for something special. Dont make the same mistake with your jewelry.
7. Avoid displaying multiples of the same set. People want to feel as though their purchase is special, and it is. It will look different on them and with their clothing, but you know that, they may not.
8. Have a lead-on grab box. This is where you put a bunch of your inexpensive jewelry; merchandise you want to move out or products you were able to make at a good margin. People want to dig around and think they got a great deal. While they do that, they have a chance to look at your other items and get interested. Besides, it creates traffic at your booth, and when people see that a booth is popular, they want to see why!
9. Display photos of unique marketing items. For instance, if someone of repute wears your work, have a great photo of it prominently displayed. If you have a personal studio where you work, have a photo of that displayed. If you have won awards, show it.
10. Create your own Customers Choice corner. Use pieces that have sold well and created interested to be your “star choices” for the day. Dont put them on sale; make them a bit more expensive than the others. Share how wildly popular they are with certain styles or age groups.
Now you are off to a great start in your display. There are lots more to learn of course. You may find some helpful ideas from Rena Klingenberg in her book,
Jewelry Booth. Her site has several examples of booth displays and display items you will find helpful.
We are almost finished with our chapters series on Making Money Away From Home at Jewelry shows. But we still need to discuss you– how YOU can sell jewelry from your booth. It is a grave error to stand there doing nothing, or talking on your cell phone, or eating a hot dog with mustard on your chin, when your potential customer walks by. Find out how you can double your income or more, by simply knowing some fundamentals of the personal sale.Making Sales At Jewelry Trade Shows Make money away from home - how to sell more jewelry at your booth
You have found a great show with the right customers for your jewelry, creatively stocked your shelves with attractive product, and worked on your inner mindset so that you already envision a successful show.As the main doors open to the public, you glance at a couple of your neighboring booths. Each person nods back at you and offers a “good luck” smile. The first day in begins.Mixed Emotions
Your internal roller coaster would seem a bit strange to someone who has never faced sales. On one hand, you hope that people will begin mulling around your booth. In fact, you have candy on the table and music playing to entice them.
On the other hand, youre offering silent prayers that people just walk by!
The fear of selling is common. Actually, more than half of the people standing behind the other booths feel exactly as you do. They would rather be ANYWHERE than where they are.Watch out the sabotaging behaviors and excuses are on their way:
1. You suddenly feel the need to go to the washroom.
2. You need to step into the lobby and make a couple of very important phone calls.
3. You forgot something in the car (which is parked a couple blocks away)
4. You dont feel well – you need air.
5. You are not feeling good under the lighting
6. You need a cigarette (and you dont even smoke)
7. HELP…what else is their to help me escape from the facing the people heading to my booth?
1. You dont need to convince
2. You dont need to coerce
3. You dont need to deceive
4. You dont need to steal
5. You dont need to pressure
6. You dont need to lie
7. You dont need to force
8. You dont need to talk fast
9. You dont need to outsmart
10.You dont need to be a fake.
Begin the process weeks ahead of time. Like an athlete, the outcome of your day is not based on luck alone, and certainly not on the weather. Your sales will be a direct result (except in rare instances) of your preparation and presentation.Let’s look first at your Preparation:
1. Have you spent time “seeing” yourself successfully selling at the booth, when you were still at home changing kitty litter?
2. Have you envisioned yourself driving home with your trunk empty of product and your pockets stuffed with cash?
3. Have you “seen” yourself walking in the front door beaming from ear to ear and telling your family, “We are going out for dinner tonight to celebrate”?
4. Did you make sure you were attending a show where people who like to buy your product attend?
5. Did you insure that you were not competing with scores of jewelry designers who make the exact type of jewelry that you make?
6. Did you test your product on others and choose products that you know will create enough interest for people to pay you for your product?
7. Did you bring enough variety for people to feel they have a choice both in product and price range?
8. Have you displayed your product so that it is aesthetically pleasing and emotionally enticing?
9. Are you smiling at people you dont know?
10. Are you prepared to serve?
How you present your product one on one is what is referred to as “sales” in this context. If you are desperate to sell, it shows. In fact, it reeks. And as you well know from running into those salespeople in different venues, people run as quickly as they can from desperation. It smacks of deceit and fear.
Even if you have used your line of credit to pay the materials to make the jewelry, the rental car to get you to the show and the ads in the trade show catalog, you must not internalize the sense of debt or urgency. You wont sell even close to your potential if you do.
What sells product or anything else for that matter is: · PRODUCT
This may sound very simple, and it is SIMPLE. When people buy from people, they are looking for someone who carries the product or service they require. Then they need to feel they can trust the person. They want to feel at ease, knowing that their money is safe from harm (meaning they feel they are safe).
Once this basis is covered, the buyer needs to know that the seller has some knowledge about the product and can assist them in making a GOOD BUYING DECISION. (Not a decision that is best for the seller, but one that is best for the buyerµ.)
You are not f orcing or cajoling them to do something they dont want to do, if you offer them the opportunity to look at and feel your work, ask questions, require information about the stones, match the piece they chose with a coordinate piece, and avail themselves of promotions that could save them money.If you see yourself as their kind guide to a successful transaction, you will sell successfully.
People will always want to wear accessories; yours or the next artist. Why not yours? Buyers want gifts. You have great ideas and offer gift-wrapping and shipping. How convenient for buyers with a busy lifestyle!
Jewelry is a feel good purchase. When women walk away with a new necklace and pair of earrings, they like, and were handcrafted; they “feel” special, pretty and “taken care of.”
The bottom line is this: when you take the focus off of yourself and your quota and your inventory and your pride, and allow yourself to be “all about” the customer and their happiness, you cannot help but sell product.Word travels fast at a show. If you treat people like a million bucks, they tell people; at lunch, in the hallways, at a workshop, or in the parking lot. Your booth will stay busy. Coincidently, if you treat people as if you need their money, they slowly disappear and you will be standing idle in even more desperation.Jewelry Booth Ebook has lots of very helpful information on practical applications that increase booth sales.
What a gift you have to offer! People buy your art, not to hide in a museum, or bury in a safety deposit box to protect from thieves, but to wear and to share with the world. They are ready and waiting for you. The time to begin is NOW.µ The best outcome for both parties is win-win; both the buyer and seller are winners and both parties have their needs and wants met, either directly or through honest compromise.What It Takes To Make A Successful Home Jewelry Business You!!! I could go on and on about all the things you need to be successful in your new home based jewelry business:
Good investment cash Good bookkeeping Good inventory controls Good family agreement Good software
Good eBooks for learning Good variety of product Good customer service Good pricing system Good marketing mix Good variety of sales tools Good hosts
Good target market Good catalogs
The numero uno, the big #1, the most important
component in your business is YOU.
Your attitude, your expectations, your ability to enjoy the process, to love what you do and create what you dream…that is what will determine your long term success.
Honestly, there are a lot of people in this business. But it changes rapidly. People are not prepared to polish themselves and not just the stones.
You are your best asset.
Remember all the lessons contained within this book, but remember your biggest lesson in life is to live and to find happiness. Stop throughout the day and play. Reward yourself for jobs well done. Take time off and see friends. Discipline yourself to stay focused. Wander in the woods for creative ideas. Keep your workspace peaceful so you feel your best in your space.
Commit to yourself and other s. Dont over commit and drown. You are your best piece of work. Honor it, show it off , take care of it, protect it, sharpen its knowledge, and dont be afraid to let it be all it can be to whomever has eyes to see the beauty.
If people or customers d ont see the value of you, no problem, keep walking. When customers cant say enough wonderful things about you, no problem, keep walking.Enjoy your new business.Stay Connected References
Throughout this book we have made many suggestions of possible contacts you can use for various areas of your business. Contacts are one of your most important business assets. Many of the websites have long standing proven track records in business, and some are rather new. We dont accept any liability for the performance of the recommended sites, and we urge you to determine for yourselves your comfort level for business transactions. That being said, with a little investigation on your part, you will quickly determine who would be a good “fit” for your business model and interests.Good luck with your jewelry business!
One last tip: Always check out the privacy policies of companies online before you offer them your email address and name. Be sure that they have committed to keep your information solely for their purposes. Not everyone plays fair– online or off, so protect yourself.
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