The jewelry industry is thriving, with sales expected to climb by the billions in the coming year. Making and selling jewelry on the side is a lucrative hobby, with many people interested in leaping from hobbyist to full-time producer. When hobby and career meet in the same place, the result is typically a happier entrepreneur. However, knowing exactly when to hand in that two week notice and have a go at a personal business requires some background information. Often, this information must be researched simultaneously to understand if the time is right.
Check the Finances First
Are your finances in order? Is there a significant savings set aside for times of low sales, or downtimes in the jewelry business, such as January or late summer? Do you have specific financial goals in mind, and do you have a realistic budget? List expenses for the hobby, compared to the amount of jewelry sold regularly. If the income is higher than the outcome at a healthy profit, the jewelry business is ready to be financially independent of any other type of work.
Research Marketing and Prepare Avenues
Simultaneous to financing the business is understanding where to advertise. Read about small business marketing and review samples from others in the jewelry making genre. Purchase a website or build one for free on a web-hosting platform, and get to know social media. Take lots of pictures, and consider hosting short how-to videos to attract new customers. Sharing knowledge with customers helps build a connection that results in sales. Further, marketing experts have discovered that nearly half of all consumers want their information in the form of videos. Corner this market to increase attention to the brand.
Create and Nurture a Brand
The brand is what customers remember about a company. Logos, pictures, jingles, and catchy names are all part of it. Ask friends and family for brand ideas by asking what comes to mind when they think about your jewelry, from the fashionable lab grown diamond earrings, to the handmade necklaces. Verbs such as beautiful, endearing, charming, and fun can be used to create a catchy tune for video advertisements. A logo will represent the new company, so create one that captures the essence of the business. Again, brainstorm with close connections for a unique brand that represents the budding business. Use it on everything from cards attached to pieces, to videos, websites, and more. Remember, however, that a brand is forever, so choose carefully.
Create a Business Plan
This covers everything listed above, only on paper. It is a visual map of the business from the beginning. It covers the business goals, analyzes the current market, and reveals the actual amount of capital necessary to begin. It will be the final proof that the business is ready to begin, and that it’s finally time to turn in that two week notice. Rewrite this plan often, as it will change as the business expands. Revisit it to make sure the goals are being met, while staying as realistic as possible about the outcomes.
Many people practice making jewelry on the side before starting a full-time business, attending weekend festivals and testing various marketing techniques. While it is exciting and enticing to start a jewelry making business, it is also essential to be realistic. Prepare the business plan, marketing technique, financial plan and backup plan before making the leap away from that day job.