Tuesday , 2 September 2014
So what’s a designer to do when creativity runs the show and a business mind takes the back seat? Well, let’s start with want NOT to do.

The 12 Biggest Mistakes Jewelry Designers Make in Business

 

Starting a jewelry business without a plan is pretty typical. We are artists and if you are anything like me, you think in circles rather than linearly (at least that’s how I describe it).

So what’s a designer to do when creativity runs the show and a business mind takes the back seat? Well, let’s start with want NOT to do. There is no judging involved, in fact I probably made every single mistake listed!

MISTAKE # 1: USE THE SAME BANK ACCOUNT AND CREDIT CARD FOR YOUR BUSINESS AND PERSONAL EXPENSES.

Personally, I wasn’t a culprit of this for too long. Mainly just when I was in college. Blending bank accounts is a terrible practice because it causes financial confusion. You need to have a very clear picture of your business, including, actual cash flow and expenses.. Mixing it all together may seem simpler, but really-not so much.

P.S. If you ever are audited, you will have a lot of explaining to do. I was audited and even with separate bank accounts it was a pain in the booty! A few of my jewelry designer friends were audited before me (for years when they were just starting out) and if you don;t have this separated, you will regret it.

MISTAKE # 2: DON’T HAVE A CLEAR VISION OF WHO THEY ARE DESIGNING FOR

You might question exactly what this means, but if you are having a hard time selling your collection, in a lot of cases, it’s probably because you haven’t found your peeps. The basis of being solid in your overall brand is to design with your ideal client in mind.

MISTAKE # 3: DON’T DESIGN COHESIVE COLLECTION

One of the biggest mistakes a designer can make is to just design a bunch of random things that don’t work together. Regardless, If you are wholesaling your work, selling online or direct to consumer, if you don’t have a collection that merchandises well, you will probably have a difficult time making as many sales as you would like.

MISTAKE # 4. DON’T PRICE THEIR JEWELRY CORRECTLY

How many of you are selling your pieces slightly over cost and adding a tiny bit of labor as your markup? Umm, you might think you are doing yourself a service because maybe people are buying it: because it’s cheap. Listen, if you are serious about having a business and make money, you need to learn how to price your jewelry like a professional does.

Are you ready to stop making $5 an hour for your beautiful work? I thought so!

MISTAKE #5: SPEND MONEY IN THE WRONG PLACES INSTEAD OF AREAS WHERE THEY NEED IT LIKE PHOTOGRAPHY

Time and time again we hear the same thing from buyers: a lot of the designers who submit work to us have terrible photography! Having great photos is the first gateway to get a buyer to notice your work. Enough said. If you can’t afford hiring a pro, learn to do it yourself. Luckily we have a training coming soon.

MISTAKE #6: DON’T APPROACH CLIENTS THE RIGHT WAY

Robin has a lot to say about this. Learning the right “way” is an art in itself. It comes down to really building the relationship with your buyer. We have volumes to say about this, so make sure you stay tuned for more on your sales approach coming soon.

MISTAKE #7: AVOID MARKETING THEMSELVES AND EXPECT PEOPLE JUST TO FIND THEM

So you made your amazing collection. You posted it on your site or on Etsy but no one is buying it. In the words of my girl, Marie Forleo, “you must always be marketing.” Even if this is not what you love doing, you must always be marketing you work if you want to sell your jewelry. It seems simple, but just placing it out there isn’t going to get you

MISTAKE # 8: THEY GATHER LOTS OF INFO BUT STOP WHEN IT’S TIME TO TAKE ACTION

Inspired action is the key step to getting results. When you gather info, if you are feeling overwhelmed, make a plan and break it down. Sometimes it starts with just a simple list of priorities. Schedule your time.

MISTAKE # 9: FINANCE THEIR BUSINESS ON CREDIT CARDS WITH NO PLAN TO GET OUT

Honestly, my biggest mistake was financing my business with credit cards. You may need to do this for awhile, but create a sales and financial plan to get out of debt as quickly as you can. Credit cards can be used for cash flow if you use the cash flowing in to pay the bill. Here’s the deal, you may need to rely on credit as some point. Many businesses do. Just be intelligent about how and when you are doing this.

MISTAKE # 10: DO TRADE SHOWS BLINDLY EXPECTING IT TO BE THE ANSWER TO THEIR SALES PROBLEMS WITHOUT ENOUGH RESEARCH

Also a victim. One year in my business I did 10 trade shows and spent about $100,000 in trade show fees. I thought it would be the answer to increasing my sales. Overall, I did get more sales that year but my expenses skyrocketed.  Walk the show or ask others who have done the show before what to expect. Research all of the costs associated with setting up your booth, traveling out of town and the time away from your business and your family. In general, you need to be making 5-10 times the trade show fees to make it worth the expense.

MISTAKE # 11: THEY DON’T SET GOALS OR HAVE A PLAN

Setting goals is a fundamental MUST in your business. Even if the goal is to sell 5 pairs of earrings this week, set a goal. Then put inspired action behind it. If you need to sell 5 pairs of earrings do everything you need to in order to sell the earrings.

MISTAKE #12: THEY DON’T INVEST IN THEMSELVES!

Yep I waited till the boat was sinking before I actually invested in myself or my business. The good news, I got really clear on what I wanted. The good and the bad news, I had to close my business down. I say good and bad because I wouldn’t be here now if I didn’t lose my business. My business is profitable now and I love teaching designers how to to set their businesses up the right way through jewelry business training.

Take Action Now:

Take a look at this list! Are you making any of these mistake?

You challenge is to start changing these bad habits because that is all they are: habits.

Step 1: Write a list of what you need to change and make some changes baby!

Step 2: Get on our Q&A call because we want to help you. Call in or email us questions. It’s today, September 25th at 5PM EDT.

Step 3: Comment below and tell us how you are breaking these bad habits!

Tweet this

Jewelry Designers, R U making these 12 mistakes? http://bit.ly/UQBS0c

Guest post form Tracy and Robin from flourishthriveacademy.comblog ad1

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

9 comments

  1. Such brilliant advice! I think my biggest problem is lack of a plan and the need for a cohesive collection. Although people tell me they know it is mine when they see it, I just don’t. I feel that I am all over the place with what I do. I can’t stress enough the importance of #4. Too many jewelry designers just do not pay themselves what their time, talent and experience is worth, even those that I admire and who seem quite successful. I knew early on that there was a pricing structure that I needed to use to be fair to me and that allows me to go into potential wholesale situations confidently as well. I am not sure my products deserved that price early on, but it made me strive to be worthy of that price so that today I have no problem with asking what it is worth! I think that those who price themselves just slightly over their materials do themselves a disservice, but they do us all as well. Thank you for this great list. I will be referencing it again! Enjoy the day. Erin

  2. This was like reading my story in a nutshell. I have been making almost every mistake listed. This is a rude awakening to me and I making changes from this minute on. Thank you so much for this vital information. I really needed this..

  3. Great information and just in time for making New Year’s resolutions. I definitely fall into the “no plan” camp. Erin is spot on with her comment on pricing. Early on, one of my instructors pressed the issue of pricing. Pricing too low devalues not only the individual artist’s work but also that of all other artists.

  4. Great article! I’m already starting to implement some of the very tools mentioned here- just opened a separate bank account and will start some serious bookkeeping. Pricing jewelry is always a little bit challenging. And I promote through coupons, Pinterest, and all the usual places. My etsy is young, and has had a good amount of sales in the last few months but I most look forward to repeat customers and more feedback, out of 15 or so sales lately, only two customers left feedback. It’s a little discouraging but I realize that most of my etsy customers are not shop owners, so they don’t know the power do feedback for the seller /:)

  5. Definitely saving this article. Great for new year shop resolutions!

    Haven’t thought of having a separate bank account, my shop is about 2.5 months old and I haven’t transferred any of the sale monies from my paypal account yet. I am guessing the business account should not only be for the sale monies but money for purchasing materials too.

    I am also going to invest more in my product photography, as my shop photos are generally dull.

  6. Wow! It is superb looking jewellery. Sylish and trendy.

  7. I’m guilty of most of these at some point, but the one that eludes me the most is picturing my ideal client. I just can’t seem to pin this down.

    Thanks for some really great insights!

  8. This is very useful information! Especially points 4 & 12. Thanks :).
    One thing I do notice is that lots of blogs or books talk about how to price your product but what happens after you get the right price and sales have been made? It is one thing to have the right price but it is also another to manage that revenue well. If you are someone without a business background, it can be hard to figure out how to have good bookkeeping, knowing your cash flow or even how much you are growing.
    Could you please write a post that talks about these things?

    Thank You

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

%d bloggers like this: