Why My Jewellery Biz Revenue Doubled from 2013 to 2014

 

 

 

 

Why my jewellery biz revenue doubled

We all struggle with choosing – and sticking to – a direction for our business.

In the beginning, you probably didn’t even have a direction in mind. You just had something you loved to make, and you wanted to start selling it.

Things like finding your ideal customer, marketing, goal-setting, long-term planning, and conscious product development were likely not even on your radar. You might not have even planned on having a ‘business’.

But now you’re here. You’ve realised that you not only love making things – you love being able to share them with the world, and make money doing so. You’ve crafted yourself a business.

But are you clear on where you want to drive your business to?

Or is it driving you?

Camila Prada – one of the successful makers I profile in the SHIFT Gold Member Case Studies, has this to say about finding direction.

 

[Struggling with direction is] a constant for me. I think it is for most entrepreneurs, simply because of the fact you have to switch back and forth from CEO mode to worker bee mode. As the creator of a business you are always second guessing yourself, questioning, thinking of how to make things better.This makes it hard to execute plans in a focused manner, and of course YOU have to execute these ideas and plans yourself at the beginning, as there is no one else to do it.

 

Another of our Case Studies, Tracey Matthews (you might know her from Flourish & Thrive Academy) actually grew her first jewellery business to a huge level of success over 10 years… then let all of that go to re-start with a completely different business model for her jewellery.

 

She says: “Struggling to find direction is just part of life. The difference between those who succeed and those who stay stuck in the struggle is the direct correlation between your ability to make a choice and to take action.”

 

I totally agree with Tracey. I wrote about this on the blog recently – the terrible habit of not taking action because we’re waiting for something… whether that something is more time to think through a decision (hint, there will never be a point where you are 100% confident… about anything) waiting for perfection, waiting for the ‘right time’… or any of the other myriad excuses we make to ourselves about why we haven’t taken action.

The 4 makers I profile in the SHIFT Gold Case Studies all have this one thing in common. They have made decisions (sometimes, really tough decisions) and then enacted them.

Another thing they have in common is a clear direction.

They know who their customer is – and who their customer is not. They are not trying to be everything to everyone. They know what they want, and every decision they make drives them closer to their chosen destination.

Do you have this clarity?

Or are you still floundering, lurching from task to task, always feeling like you’re behind the game?

If you’re driving your business aimlessly, it’s time to make a shift.

I created SHIFT – my e-course for makers and creatives – to help you do exactly that.

Why did I create this course?

Because I’ve been in your shoes. It took me years to get clear on what I wanted my jewellery business – Epheriell – to be, and the direction I wanted to drive it. From when I started it as a hobby in 2008, it took me 5 years before I finally got really clear and focussed as to what direction to take my biz.

5 years.

Sure, I had attained some level of success – I was making regular sales, and making money. But things were growing slowly, and it wasn’t until I consciously chose a specific, defined direction that things really took off.

Once I got that clarity, and committed myself to one micro-niche, my business exploded. In fact, my jewellery business revenue in 2014 was double my revenue in 2013.

And that was after culling over half my product line!

Attaining this clarity and direction makes everything so much easier. Your marketing, product development, time management, heck, even the amount of supplies you need to keep on hand.

It makes things simpler, more straightforward, and you clear so much mental space because you’re not wasting time constantly asking ‘this or that’?

You know your Core Values, you know what part you want your biz to play in your life, and you know your WHY.

If you need help finding this clarity and direction for your business, join me and a passionate group of fellow creatives for SHIFT.

To register for the March class, click here.

The course kicks off March 9th and runs for 30 days. Registration closes Sunday morning, AEST.

As with all of my courses, you get lifetime access to both the content and the private course forum.

 

I hope you’ll join us and #SHIFTyourbiz in 2015!

Jess xx

 

P.S. Don’t just take my word for it. SHIFT Alumni, Carolyn Kospender, says of the course: “I feel like I’ve read so many books and essays on information that never really hit the point. But your course not only gave me concrete steps and plans to get me going but more importantly, opened my eyes to the true purpose behind what I do.”

P.P.S. If you have any questions about the course after reading the course page and FAQs, just leave a comment below or email me and I’ll get back to you asap.

Join Clare Bowditch and Me for #EtsyResolution

 

 

 

 

etsyresolution clare jess

Hey Thriver,

So, remember a while back I mentioned a free bootcamp that was coming your way in 2015? This is it!

I was honoured to be invited by Etsy to co-teach their #EtsyResolution bootcamp for new Australian Etsy sellers alongside the fabulous Clare Bowditch.

It’s a free, 4-week program that will help you open your first Etsy shop – or help you spruce up the shop you already have.

It is aimed and written specifically for Australian sellers, BUT anyone is welcome to join, so my lovely international peeps, don’t hesitate to come on board! The majority of content will be perfectly applicable to you, too.

Each week there is a video with me and Clare, as well as two written lessons. There’s also a Facebook group for participants, where Clare and I (and a number of awesome Etsy admin) will be hanging out during the bootcamp, answering questions and generally helping you out.

 

Here’s the class schedule:

 

January 27 – Telling Your Brand Story

January 29 – Find Your Target Market

February 2 – Photography: Telling Your Shop’s Visual Story

February 5 – Shipping Tips & Tricks

February 9 – Search Engine Optimisation: Getting Found Online

February 12 – Get to Know (and love!) Your ‘Shop Stats’

February 16 – Marketing 101 (for creative types!)

February 19 – Creating Happy Customers (and nailing the art of repeat business)

February 25 – Live online Q&A with Clare and Jess

 

If you’ve done my course Set Up Shop, this will be a great refresher. We’ve tried hard to cover a lot of practical topics that will help you understand the details you need to know to get your shop up and running. Obviously we’ve done so in an Etsy-specific way, (unlike SUS which applies no matter where you want to sell online).

If you haven’t done SUS, but have been thinking about it and want to sell on Etsy, definitely sign up and give #EtsyResolution a go. It will definitely be a fab kick-starter, and will give you a feel for my teaching style, too 🙂

(In case you’ve been holding out for the next session of Set Up Shop, it will run in mid-March.)

 

To join #EtsyResolution, and find out more details, head on over to the announcement post on Etsy here.

 

I hope you can join us – as I write this, there are already over 1,500 people signed up – wowsers!

Jess x

The 15 Must-Read Posts of 2014

 

 

 

The 15 Must-Read Posts of 2014

Hey Thriver,

The end of 2014 is almost upon us, and hopefully you’ve carved out a bit of down-time over the Christmas/New Year period. If so, you might be in need of a bit of holiday reading to get you geared up for 2015… so I’ve put together this round-up of the best posts that we’ve published this year!

 

In no particular order, here are the 15 must-read posts on the blog from 2014

Enjoy… and I’d love to know your fave for the year (whether it’s on this list or not).

 

Stop Trying to Do Everything

Do you fall into the trap of trying to do everything all at once? Here is why you need to stop.

 

Should You Sell Your Craft Online?

Is selling online really right for you and your handmade business? This post will guide you through the process of deciding.

 

5 Things You Need Before You’re Ready to Sell Your Craft Online

So, you’ve decided that selling online is the way forward for you. Before you get started, you need these 5 things.

 

My 12 Favourite Apps + Tools for Managing Instagram for Creative Businesses

If you want to rock Instagram, here are my recommendations for the best apps and tools for you to use.

 

4 Ways to Share Someone Else’s Instagram Post on your own Instagram Feed (or Elsewhere!)

Want to share someone else’s IG post on your feed, but don’t know how? Here are 4 ways to do it.

 

5 Mistakes You’re Making With Your Etsy Shop – and How to Fix Them

Mistakes are an inevitable part of doing business… but if we don’t realise we’re making them, how can we fix them? Make sure you’re not making these 5 mistakes with your Etsy shop.

 

Why Pay for an E-Course When You Can Google the Information for Free?

Sure, you can pretty much learn anything you want by googling it these days… but is that the BEST way to learn? Find out why and when you should invest money in an e-course rather than muddling along on your own.

 

When You’re Selling, Always Ask Yourself These 2 Questions

If you can answer ‘yes’ to both of these questions when you’re considering the interaction between you and your customer, then you’re doing it right.

 

5 Ways You’re Sabotaging Your Own Success

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy – our own roadblock. Are you sabotaging your own success in any of these 5 ways?

 

Stop Focussing on How Many Sales You’ve Made & Start Focussing on What Actually Matters

If you’re measuring the success of your business by the number of sales you’re making… you’re focussing on the wrong thing. Find out what you should be focussing on instead.

 

3 Ways To Grow a Healthy Business With Leaps and Boundaries

Do you find yourself overwhelmed, pulled in too many directions, and lacking boundaries? You need to read this.

 

The 7 Qualities that ALL Successful Jewellery Brands Have in Common

In this post, Tracey Matthews outlines 7 qualities you need to grow a successful jewellery brand (and if you make something other than jewellery, this is definitely still worth a read!).

 

5 Things You Must Get Right to Take Stellar Product Photos

Awesome photos are absolutely essential to successfully selling your craft online. Get these 5 things right and you’ll be ahead of the game.

 

#CTWordsofWisdom: What YOU Want to Tell People Starting a Handmade Business

Earlier this year I asked YOU a question: what do you wish you had known when you started out? This post shares all of your answers so we can learn from each other.

 

How to Create a Simple + Streamlined Order Processing System

In this post, I break down, step-by-step, how Nick and I process our orders – from when it hits our inbox until it goes out the door. Systems are crucial to your business running smoothly, and I hope this post helps you streamline and organise your own order processing.

 


If you follow C&T on Instagram and Facebook, you might have seen a little teaser for something awesome I’m bringing your way in January to help you have your best year in biz yet. Keep an eye on your email to be the first to know when I announce the challenge!


Have you helped me help you by filling out the (super-quick and anonymous!) C&T 2014 Questionnaire yet?

Click here to help me give you the most useful, relevant content to help you grow your biz and thrive in 2015.

Should You Sell Your Craft Online?

 

 

 

 

Should You Sell Your Craft Online-

Is selling your craft online right for you? Or would you be better off selling it via markets, shows, or to shops via wholesale and/or consignment? Or should you do a combination?

I think it is pretty clear these days that you at the very least need to have a presence online. That means a basic website and blog, as well as a few social media channels. No matter how you actually sell your craft, you still need an online presence so people can find you, connect with you, and become (hopefully) raving fans of your work.

But does that mean you have to sell online? Not necessarily…

The decision as to whether to sell your craft online or focus on offline sales is a personal one, but there are a number of factors to consider when you’re trying to make the decision. I’ve put together a list for you to consider below.

 

1. It will take longer to make money

No doubt about it – if you decide to focus on selling your craft online, it will take longer to make decent money. Markets allow you to make money on-the-spot much faster (provided they are successful), and selling to shops via wholesale means you get a nice chunk of cash straight up.

That said – once you’re established, you’ll be making money every day – even while you sleep! I love waking up in the morning and checking my sales from overnight. By selling online you will get smaller bursts of money more regularly – whereas markets and wholesale will give you larger chunks of money less frequently.

 

2. Is your item easily shipped?

If you make small items and/or light items, selling online is pretty straightforward. Shipping costs can be kept relatively low (especially in Australia if you can ship via a large letter size rather than a parcel) and it’s not too hard to carry a bunch of parcels to the post office.

However, if you make large or heavy items, shipping – especially internationally – can get pretty darn expensive. You might be better off selling at markets or to shops in your town/city to eliminate this problem.

Expensive shipping can definitely put off some customers – however, you’ll be surprised what some people are willing to pay for shipping if they REALLY LOVE what you are selling.

That brings me to…

 

3. Are you happy to sell internationally?

If you’re selling online, you’ll grow your business faster and make more money if you’re willing to ship all around the world. Don’t be put off by slightly higher shipping costs, or any other fears – it’s well worth the effort of working out a range of shipping costs up-front to get those international sales.

Around 75% of my jewellery sales are international – mostly to the US, Canada, and the UK, but I’ve also sold to Russia, Italy, Singapore, and many, many other countries.

If you’re worried about parcels going missing – don’t. I usually have around 4 parcels go missing each year (out of thousands) and they are just as likely to be within Australia as overseas! For me, lost parcels are just another one of my costs – I write them off as expenses and send a replacement piece.

The language barrier is also no longer a barrier thanks to Google Translate. I love being able to write a message in English, pop it in GT, and send it to my customer in their native language (with a disclaimer that I’ve used GT in the case that I’ve said something awkward, of course!).

 

4. Is your work easily reproducible?

This is big one. If you want to have a successful online craft business, at least some of your products must be reproducible. Why? Because when you sell online you not only have to do the work of making your piece, you also have to photograph it, edit the photos, upload them, write a description, calculate shipping costs, choose keywords… and the list goes on. If you’re doing this for OOAK products (unless they are very expensive – like high-end jewellery) you’re going to hit a wall and not have enough time to make products and do all of this work AND make a decent profit while actually enjoying life rather than being a slave to your work.

By having reproducible products, you do all this secondary work just once – then you can sit back and sell the same design over and over again. Each one can be and is unique and handmade, but you do have to have a design that you can reproduce to be almost identical to your online display item.

 

5. Do you value face-to-face interaction over online interaction?

If you’re an introvert, then selling online is perfect for you. You can interact with customers and potential customers on your own time, at your own pace. You don’t need a phone number (I don’t make my number available – I work exclusively via email and in the 6 years I’ve been in business this has never ONCE been a problem).

However, if you’re an extrovert, and you adore face-to-face contact with your customers, then you might find selling online a little disheartening. Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from selling primarily online and still attending a market here and there to get your ‘customer fix’.

And, you can still interact with your customers via email and social media – I do this every day and it’s part of my job that I love.

 

6. Do you have the products to do markets?

Because I have focussed on online business – and reproducible designs – I no longer do markets. Why? Simply because I don’t have stock to sell at them! When I make a new prototype design, I make it, photograph it, and then, more often than not, keep it for myself or Nick. It means we have a nice bank of our own jewellery to wear when we’re out and about – which is of course one great way to market your work.

So, for me, markets don’t make financial or time sense – I can make as much online in a day as I make at most standard markets, and I spend way less time and effort to do it.

If, however, you make the sort of thing where you’ve always got stock laying around, or you can make lots of stock quickly, then markets are a great idea!

 

7. Do you like having your weekends free?

This is another reason I don’t like doing markets, personally. I know I’m self-employed, so I can set the hours and days I want to work… but most of my friends aren’t! So, if I want to hang out with them, I have to do it on the days they have free – and that’s generally the weekend. I don’t like having to get up super-early on a Saturday or Sunday morning and schlep myself and a car full of stuff to a market, then stand around all day in the hope I make a few sales.

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve done many a market, and there are lots of fun things about it: interacting with customers, hanging out with my crafty peeps, seeing how people respond to my work in-person… but I can do most of this by just attending a market (and spending lots of money on other people’s stuff… ahem…) so that’s my preferred thing to do.

Some folks, however, adore markets and everything about them! If that’s you, then go for it.

 

8. Are you willing to invest the time to learn how to take and edit stellar product photos?

When you sell online, you’re not selling the product, you’re selling the photo. If you’re not willing to invest the time (or money) in getting stellar photos of your work – don’t bother starting. I know that sounds harsh, but with SO much high-quality competition out there, you have to be willing to step up and get your photos right. Nothing else matters until you get this sorted – truly.

That said – if your photos aren’t stellar just yet, don’t let that stop you from at least getting going. Start where you are. Do what you can. Then LEARN and experiment until you end up with high-quality photos. This may take a week – or a few months – or even a few years. I don’t think anyone is ever 100% satisfied with their photos, but once you can put them side-by-side with the best in the business and compete, you’re doing okay.

 

9. Do you enjoy the process of selling and marketing?

There’s no way around it – if you start your own business, you are now a salesperson and a marketer. No matter if you decide just to sell to shops in order to avoid having to sell and market your work direct to customers… you still have to sell and market your work to retailers. There’s no way around this fact.

So – do you enjoy telling your story? Because really, that’s all marketing is – storytelling. If you can change your mindset and come from a place of telling the story of you and what you do, then marketing becomes much easier, authentic, and less ‘icky’ feeling. You might even end up enjoying it…

 

10. Are you happy to make less money selling to shops?

When you sell online or at markets, you of course get the full retail price for your goods. Wholesale and consignment are a different story. For wholesale, you should expect to be paid 50% of the retail price of your work (of course, you set the minimum volume/minimum value that the retailer has to order to make it worth your while). For consignment, you can expect to get a little more – maybe 60-70% of the retail price – but of course you don’t get paid upfront, you only get paid when your work sells.

Consignment is a good way to get the foot in the door when you’re just starting out, OR to get into a specific shop or gallery that don’t work on wholesale. However, consignment isn’t really a viable way to make a living long-term, because the money is just too iffy. If you want to focus on selling to shops, you want to focus on gaining wholesale customers who end up being repeat buyers – that’s the way to grow a sustainable wholesale business.

Of course – you should be pricing your products so you make a profit on the wholesale price – not just the retail price. If you’re not doing this, then don’t start selling to shops, because you’ll end up running your business into the ground through not making enough money to support its growth.

 

11. Do you have the time/skills to set up an online shop?

I included this one because it’s often the excuse I hear from people as to why they’re not selling online. Look – no matter what avenue you take, it will take time to get and keep your business going. If you do markets, you need to invest time in creating displays, sourcing markets, applying, getting to-and-fro, actually attending etc. If you sell to shops, you need to research possible buyers, contact them, follow-up, do trade shows, etc. If you sell online, your time will be spent working on product photos, building/tweaking your website, sourcing new venues to sell on. No matter which path you choose, it will take a good chunk of time to run and grow your business.

As for skills? Photography is really the main thing. You can set up shop online SO easily these days, especially if you start out somewhere like Etsy, where all you have to do is upload pictures and words, and they do all the techy stuff for you. Don’t let a current lack of technical know-how stop you from going the online route. You’ll probably find it’s easier than you thought it was to get started!

 

In the end, this decision will come down to your products, your personality, and your business goals. No-one can tell you the ‘right’ way to sell your craft – it’s something you have to work out for yourself. Of course, once you do, you can find folks who’ve done it before you who can help you figure out the ‘how’ a whole lot sooner!

 

Do you have any questions, or other things that you think need to be considered when it comes to deciding to sell online? Share them with us in the comments.

 


Do you want to learn how to set up your own online craft shop and get it right, first time? Join us for Set Up Shop – a 30-day e-course that teaches you just that. I learnt the hard way, but you don’t have to – join over 400 crafty entrepreneurs who’ve already taken the course and get your own online shop up and running!

Click here to find out more…

 

#CTWordsofWisdom: What YOU Want to Tell People Starting a Handmade Business

 

 

 

What YOU Want to Tell People Starting a (1)

A while back, I put out a call.

The other contributors and I share our own thoughts, experiences, and lessons learnt here on the blog every week. It’s all hard-won knowledge, because you know what?

We’re JUST like you.

We’re all indie makers. Solopreneurs. Learning as we go. Risk-takers. Dreamers. Do-ers. We don’t have all the answers. We haven’t figured it all out yet. We’re just sharing what we HAVE learnt, what we DO know to work – at least for us – because we want you to figure it out sooner than we did.

There is nothing extra-special or super-important about us that sets us apart from you. We’re all in the same boat.

With that in mind, I wanted to tap into the wealth of wisdom that exists here in the Create & Thrive community. So, a few weeks ago, I asked you:

What would YOU tell people just starting out in handmade husiness?

And you answered!

Below is a compendium of those answers – which I’ve dubbed the #CTWordsOfWisdom.

Look out for many of these on our Instagram and Facebook page over the coming months – Megan E’s been hard at work turning your words of wisdom into inspiring and motivating shareable quotes! I’ve taken your comments from the previous post and broken them up into concise snippets of advice. Feel free to tweet and share these – just use the hashtag #CTWordsOfWisdom and link back to this post if you can!

Before we immerse ourselves in your wisdom, though, I wanted to extend an invitation.

This is not a static document.

I want YOU to share your tips, ideas, lessons learnt, aha moments with us in the comments. Let’s keep the bank of wisdom growing and flowing and help each other figure things out!

Now, it’s over to you.

What would YOU tell people just starting out in handmade business?

Making clear times to do your craft (especially if you’re doing it around work) will help ensure that it doesn’t take over your life. Make sure that you include pack up time into that too! ~ Macramake

Believe in yourself and your craft. After I quit my day job to follow my dream, people say to me, “What are you doing now that you don’t work?” Well actually, I do work. More than I ever did. Now I can proudly answer that question. “I’m a jewelry designer”. Don’t let people trivialize your work! Believe in who you are, your talent and your creations. Because no one else will believe it until you do. ~ Tracey Atkinson

Always have your “end game” in mind. Is what I’m doing today in line with how I envision my business down the road? Is the way I’m running my business scalable and sustainable long term and at a higher level? Can I make enough money doing my handmade business full time? ~ Cortney Nichols

Don’t stock up wanting to “save money” on items that you visualize you are going to need when your product “takes off”. Get the information you need to order, what you need in bulk, so that way when the time comes you can have it when you need it. Otherwise you will end up with a whole bunch of “stuff” that you may or may not use within your lifetime, because you are so over the product you were creating when you stocked up on that item. You tie up your money thinking you “save” and then you don’t have the working capital when you need it. ~ Miska Black

One thing I found I missed out on was as soon as I had a business name was not getting it set up in all the different social media options. Even if you aren’t using them to begin with, get registered and be consistent with your name. It will help with branding and customers being able to identify. Don’t do what I did and be ‘frightened’ of all the options out there. People use social media differently so you need to cover all the bases even if you don’t like them yourself! ~ Tricia

Just keep going but go like water in a stream. If you can’t move the rocks in your way, you have to be flexible to go around them. ~ Allison Dey Malacaria

Unless you are one of the very fortunate few to suddenly be “discovered” after making and listing a few items for sale, you have to really work hard to figure out who your customers are and then find them. Who you are, how you dance with the music of business is more telling of your future success than anything else. ~ Allison Dey Malacaria

Temper the initial passion for your biz. When I started I thought everyone would love it so I overbought and money I could have used for other things got tied up in inventory for years. ~ Wendi Unrein

Be careful who you get ideas from and pay attention to what you are needing/asking. When I started I got inundated with the “You should..” people with good ideas but not the ones I needed. That is very important. ~ Wendi Unrein

Show up, each and every day. Do something for your business every single day. ~ Barb Lieberman

Bookkeeping from day one. Real cost of each item, inventory, sales tax, sales, shipping, everything. If you don’t have the time to do it right now, today, you won’t ever find the time. The task grows exponentially if you do not do it as you go along. ~ Barb Lieberman

Research events before you do them. Not all handmade? Might not be a good fit. Talk to others who are vending about the event. Most are happy to share their opinions. ~ Barb Lieberman

Network! Find other handmade businesspeople and get together to commiserate and celebrate. ~ Barb Lieberman

Celebrate! Every sale. Every new lead. Every new product. ~ Barb Lieberman

Organize your workflow. Organize your packaging flow. Organize for events. Organize inventory. Don’t waste time looking for things. ~ Barb Lieberman

Ask questions. Try new things. ~ Barb Lieberman

Look for inspiration. Add new products or twists/improvements of your regular items now and then. Give customers a reason to come back. ~ Barb Lieberman

Say “I” when you talk about your business. Be your brand. ~ Barb Lieberman

Do not give away your products. Do not discount their value. Charge what they are worth. Place value on “handmade” and all it offers. ~ Barb Lieberman

Enjoy what you do. LOVE what you do. If you don’t, it’s a job. If you do, it’s a blessing. ~ Barb Lieberman

PLAN!!! What your long term plans are, what do you want out of this? When you are going to make, market, book keep, supply shop- organise your time. ~ Sue Bertozzo

Trust yourself to be capable of learning the skills you need as you go along.  ~ Alison Comfort

Don’t be afraid of the many hats you will end up wearing as you grow your handmade business! ~ Alison Comfort

Start where you are, do your best, and don’t be afraid of stepping up to learn each new skill as you go. Your handmade business will grow organically, and you can grow along with it. ~ Alison Comfort

Make peace with the seasonality of your business. Your year will likely be dominated by the busy season and the slower season, so take advantage of each while not getting too attached. ~ Alison Comfort

Have what I call a ‘complete concept’ – a confirmed aesthetic, unique selling point, ideal customer profile and keyword collection. ~ Penny- Elizabeth Neil

Treat it like a real business with intent to profit, and to get used to that idea. And get used to the idea of doing it 24/7 for the first…. 10 years. ~ Penny- Elizabeth Neil

Having a set visual concept (brand) is incredibly important – it helps you figure out what to call yourself, how to design your calling cards and social media graphics, who your customer is, where to find them, how to sell to them, what kind of photos to have and how to make sure the stuff they’ll make is something that will actually sell. When you figure out those three facets, half the work is done for you. ~ Penny- Elizabeth Neil

You really need to love what you do. Not only because you will be doing it, taking about it, living it and breathing it for the rest of your days…but because your love for what you do needs to show in your product and also in how you present it to the world, to make it special. ~ Margeaux

Create systems that you can replicate & stick to them. Alter if needed but if you have to do it more than once: determine a way to make it consistent & efficient each time. ~ Robin Ritz

Enjoy the Process. “When we take care of the Process, the Product takes care of itself.” ~ Robin Ritz

Learn from ‘trials & errors’ and be persistence, tenacious & determined. Keep trying. ~ Robin Ritz

Be kind to yourself & give yourself credit for all your bravery, courage, effort and hutzpa. ~ Robin Ritz

Listen & Observe. Ask customers for feedback, find out what’s working & do more of that. ~ Robin Ritz

Trust your Intuition. Stay True to Yourself & remember the reason you began creating to begin with. ~ Robin Ritz

Really nut out whether you’re doing it as a hobby or business. ~ Jewel Divas Style

Decide if you have the time or energy to put into a business and the hours it will take and the energy it will suck out of you. ~ Jewel Divas Style

Do you have the ability to sell at markets, or don’t have any near you at all? ~ Jewel Divas Style

Is social media something you are already into or want to go into? Because you will need to, and then spend time updating and using it. ~ Jewel Divas Style

Embrace social media, if used correctly it will be a great friend. ~ Tania

Do you want to set up a website straight away, or start selling on shops like Madeit or Etsy? ~ Jewel Divas Style

Do you have the money for set up costs or will you have to hassle with bank loans? ~ Jewel Divas Style

Do you need to do short courses to learn about the aspects of running a business, or perfecting your craft? ~ Jewel Divas Style

Do you have any support system around you or are you doing it all yourself? ~ Jewel Divas Style

Maybe start of as a hobby for a year or two until you fully understand how it’s going to work… and then decide whether you want to turn it, (or it’s become successful enough to turn), into a business. ~ Jewel Divas Style

If you start a business you will need to register the name and get an ABN (or equivalent in your country) and make sure you put in a tax return even if you make NO money (something I was not told and did not know). ~ Jewel Divas Style

When you make a sale note it down in your ledger/ excel doc… and make sure you have a day set aside once a week, or once a month to jot down all your expenses for that period. It seems like hard work in the first couple of months but soon it will be second nature, and come tax time it will make life SO much easier. You may need to write down all the steps you need to take (and frequency you are going to do them, daily, weekly, monthly etc) and refer back to it until you get used to it… but you won’t regret it! ~ Imogen Wilson Jewellery

It’s bloody hard work!! ~ Tania

Good photos are everything. Take the time to ensure your products are photographed in the best way possible. This doesn’t have to mean spending money on professional photos. There are lots of great photo taking tips out there so read up on them and also make sure you edit photos after taking them. ~ Tania

In the beginning, there is so much work, so many new learning experiences, so many first offs and much time spent working out how its done… but once you do these all once, the second and third are easier and take less time. ~ Fluid Ink

Try not to judge your business by looking at others and competing with others that are in the middle (time wise) of theirs. Things take twice as long at the start and it feels like you are a mouse on a treadmill, but gradually things take less time once you have worked out systems. Feeling competitive or trying to compete with others in the same industry is heartbreaking and mentally exhausting. ~ Fluid Ink

Do your own thing and stick to it. If you get a random request for ‘do you do this’ if its out of your range and its going to take more time effort resources than you have, say no. In saying that, sometimes, accepting a customer directed request, can force you to experiment with something you hadn’t though of and can be refreshing (although often un-profitable!) ~ Fluid Ink

Pay yourself!!! Just because someone else is selling a similar product for cheap, doesn’t mean you have to! When I compared my sales to others that were selling cheaper, I found that I had MORE sales for HIGHER prices! Don’t short yourself. ~ Yarned Together

Don’t procrastinate! Just list your items on whichever platform you have chosen and let the buyers out there be the judge. Don’t go by what your family and friends say, just get it out into the marketplace and gauge the response. And if the marketplace does not respond well then what have you lost? A few listing fees and a bit of time and material. What have you gained? The knowledge to alter your product so it better suits your buyers ~ Leanne Hewens

Create a brand and carry it through all you do. ~ Barb Lieberman

 

Now it’s YOUR turn…