As this year comes to a close, we’re hurrying to fill orders for jewelry supplies and hustling everything out the door in time for the holidays. But, we’re also setting goals for the year ahead. One of our missions is to help jewelry makers build their businesses. It’s why we developed the Halstead Grant and it’s why you see business articles here on the blog. We’ll be doing more tutorials, tool videos and trend forecasting in 2016, too. Leave a comment and let us know what you’d like to see, do and learn in the New Year.
It goes without saying that you’re offering an amazing collection of jewelry made with love, skill and attention to quality. And, we all know that making jewelry is the fun part. But, the reality is that you will spend just as much time or more on the business side of things. Here are five things to consider as you grow your business:
1. Create an identifiable brand. Branding starts with your collection, which should have a unifying element that makes it your own. Design marketing materials that present a coherent message to the buyer. If your business is going well but you feel like it could be better, review your logo, tagline and other marketing collateral to see if they’re really telling – and selling – your story.
2. Know your target market. Who is your ideal customer? Identify where he/she will be most likely to buy your jewelry and then make sure you’re there. In today’s marketplace, this is likely a combination of in-person and online sales. Craft an elevator pitch that speaks to your buyer: three sentences or less that sum up your artist biography and company tagline.
3. Evaluate your competition. Research your direct competitors and take a hard look at what sets your business apart. Do you offer special services like custom designs? Or, is your competitive advantage a large social media following? Jewelry is a competitive marketplace and it’s important to know what you do differently and better than your competition.
4. Develop strategic pricing. This is one of the trickiest factors for most artisan jewelry makers. The key is to know your actual cost of materials, labor and overhead expenses and create a formula that strikes the balance between the actual price and the perceived value. Remember to consider wholesale first as you design a pricing strategy that relates well to your target market and competition.
5. Make a Plan. Create a timeline for your business that includes specific steps you’ll take to reach your goals. Consider revenue dollars, piece quantities and anticipated business costs as you outline your sales objectives. If you’re planning to expand, decide how you’ll adjust production capacity. Include necessary purchases and additional training on your timeline.
Our passion is supporting artisan jewelry businesses just like yours. Are you just starting out? Visit HalsteadBead.com/Grant for information about our Halstead Grant for business development.