It takes forethought to start a jewellery business, but it’s easier than many other sorts of businesses.
Sharing your work with the public is one of the most rewarding aspects of being an artist. Jewelry designers, in particular, are aware of this, as jewellery may hold a special place in the hearts of their consumers. The easiest approach to get your work out there and make new connections with grateful clientele is to start a jewellery business.
If you consider yourself an entrepreneur at all, it’s likely that you consider yourself a jewellery designer first and an entrepreneur second. But, contrary to popular belief, starting a jewellery business is not as difficult as it appears: It’s largely a question of time, work, and determination (and a few technicalities, too). The process of beginning a jewellery business has been broken down into seven fundamental parts.
1. Define your boundary
Before you get down to the nitty gritty (or beads and clasps) of making jewellery and launching a business, you must first define what your jewelry business is. The easiest way to do this is to put it in writing – particularly, a business plan.
You might be put off by the notion of preparing a business plan, but it doesn’t have to be as complicated or jargon-filled as you imagine. A business plan is, at its core, a chance for entrepreneurs to organise their thoughts about their company, take stock of their finances and resources, begin to develop a marketing strategy, establish their business goals, and devise a short-term strategy for achieving those goals.
Begin by answering at least the following questions in your business plan:
Are you specialising in exquisite jewellery or fashion accessories?
Are your products manufactured by hand or by a high-end manufacturer?
Will you be able to work from home or will you have to rent office space?
Do you want to go it alone or do you need to recruit help now or in the near future?
What will you charge for your goods?
What distinguishes your jewellery from that of your competitors?
Who do you want to reach out to?
How much money will you require to get your business off the ground?
How do you want to promote your company?
Where are you going to sell your wares?
Remember that your business plan is an ever-evolving document. You may fill in any gaps in your preliminary plan — or build a new one entirely — once you’ve launched your business, gained hands-on experience as a jewelry business owner, and gained a greater understanding of the costs associated with running a business and your audience’s buying behaviours.
Establish a business budget
You should be sketching up a business budget alongside your business plan. Make a precise inventory of your initial launch costs, such as tools and equipment, marketing materials, licences, permits, or educational courses; office or coworking space; wages for any employees you may hire; and your estimated daily expenses.
Then assess how much cash you have on hand and how much further money (if any) you’ll require to establish and operate your business in the coming months. Also, if you require additional assistance, there are numerous small-business budget templates accessible.
Take notes from your competitors
It’s a good idea to conduct some market research during the pre-launch phase. Examine the following examples of successful jewellery firms that you admire and want to mimic in some way: What is their point of view, and why is it so effective? What is their target market, and what is their marketing strategy? Do they sell their goods primarily through their website or through another selling platform (such as eBay or Amazon), or do they also sell in physical stores? Market research is also essential for establishing how to price your jewellery for your target market.
2. Make your company legal
Then, to ensure that you’re operating your jewelry business legally, you’ll need to cover all legal bases. To begin, check with your local clerk’s office about licencing and permit requirements for home companies if you plan to operate your business from your house.
After you’ve picked a business name, you’ll need to choose a business entity and register your company with your secretary of state (if your chosen name is already being used by another company in your state, you’ll have to start over). The simplest option is to start a business as a sole proprietorship, which doesn’t need you to register with your state; instead, you’ll need to file your business name as a “doing business as,” or DBA, unless you’re using your legal name. A sole proprietorship, on the other hand, will not shield you if your organisation encounters legal challenges.
Registering your company as an LLC is the safest option. Registering as an LLC is a simple process that can be completed in a matter of minutes online; for more information, see the SBA’s step-by-step guide to registering your firm. Furthermore, LLCs not only safeguard your personal assets from business-related legal difficulties, but they also make tax filing easier.
You should also think about getting company insurance at this stage to protect yourself even more. Start by looking at product liability insurance, which protects firms from legal ramifications if their product injures a consumer or other third party, and general liability insurance, which covers a variety of legal claims. If you hire people, you’ll need to check into things like workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, and state disability insurance.
Finally, you may choose to register a trademark for your company name, logo, or designs with the US Patent and Trademark Office, which can be done quickly and easily online.
3. Keeping your business expenses separate
It’s a smart idea to start separating your business and personal finances now that you’re a legally operating business. This is essential for a variety of reasons. To begin with, this separation will protect your personal finances from business-related legal difficulties, as well as streamline your tax-filing operations.
Open a business bank account (most new businesses only need a business checking account to get started), and exclusively deposit business earnings into it. You might also want to consider getting a business credit card to utilise for your company’s minor, daily costs. You can also receive important points, prizes, or cash back depending on the card you sign up for, which you can redeem and put straight back into your business.
4. Obtain starting capital
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to understand that establishing a business costs money, and you’re surely aware that getting a business loan, whether from a local bank or an online lender, is difficult for new business owners. Lenders have no data on which to base a new business’s risk rating without a financial history, which means they can’t make an informed credit decision.
As a result, the majority of startup capital originates from your own money. Many new entrepreneurs develop their firms from the ground up, using personal savings, personal loans from friends and family, or personal loans from banks or online lenders. Another alternative is to try your hand at crowdfunding, which involves enlisting the help of strangers who believe in your project and contributing tiny amounts of money to it.
5. Locate suppliers and begin making your jewellery
You can start making jewellery with the intention of selling it now that you’ve established the right legal and financial underpinnings for your company.
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to buy wholesale jewelry-making tools and equipment, as well as the materials to make your jewellery, if you haven’t previously. Asking other jewellery designers for recommendations on reputable wholesale suppliers can be helpful; otherwise, put in some effort and research, research, research. Getting a reseller licence can also help you avoid paying local sales taxes when you buy in bulk.
6. You should sell your jewellery
You’ll need to find a place to sell your merchandise once you’ve built it up. Your principal sales channel will almost certainly be an internet store.
You might want to explore using a service like Shopify, which makes it simple for businesses to launch and manage their online storefronts. Custom sales reporting and analytics, customer relationship management systems, and built-in marketing tools are all common components of these services.
You can sell your products on e-commerce sites like Amazon, Etsy, or eBay before or after you open a dedicated online store (or a combination of the three). Because millions of buyers are combing these sites every day for products like yours, these platforms are extremely beneficial for young entrepreneurs. Take advantage of their built-in traffic. These sites can also be used to see which of your products sell better than others and at what price points.
Invest in a professional photographer (or a nice camera if you can use one yourself) to photograph your jewellery in good light, from various perspectives, and on and off a model, regardless of whatever platforms you’re utilising to sell your jewellery online. Because product photography can frequently make or break a sale, having high-quality images is crucial to building a trustworthy brand.
You should also sell your valuables in this manner. Begin by selling to your friends and family, and allow word of mouth spread your brand. You can also set up shop at flea markets and craft fairs, or approach local businesses and ask if you can set up a pop-up shop or sell your jewellery on consignment. Make sure you have business cards ready to hand out at the register that include connections to your online store and social media outlets.
7. Create a brand and start marketing it
You should begin to build your brand identification and adopt a small-business marketing strategy as you establish your sales channels. Making a logo is a good place to start, and it’s essential for establishing your company’s aesthetic. If you can’t locate a graphic designer in your network, there are many of logo-creation services available online.
As your business grows, you can begin to use paid marketing tactics such as Google Ads. However, when you’re just starting out, it’s a good idea to use all of the free marketing tactics available to you, and social media marketing is a requirement. Which platforms will be more successful for your company is partly determined by which platforms your target audience uses the most. But first, create a company Facebook page, Instagram account, and Pinterest board, and make sure to include links to your online store (or the address of your physical location) in your bio.
Your website and blog (if you have one) must be optimised for SEO in order for potential customers to locate it via search engines. Although Shopify stores include SEO best practises, whether you’re using another e-commerce or blogging platform, it’s good brushing up on some basic SEO strategies that you can use every time you generate material online.
Remember that developing a social media following — and, on a bigger scale, constructing a brand identity — takes time. The important thing is to be active and involved. Try to publish on your social media accounts at least once a day, answer to any comments on your postings promptly (and gently), and mix up the sorts of information you share.
Last but not least
The job doesn’t end after your jewelry business is up and running; in fact, it’s only getting started. But don’t get so caught up in the business side of things that you forget why you started your jewellery business in the first place: your passion for the craft, which the most successful artists never stop honing. Consider furthering your education with online or in-store classes, even if you’re a skilled jeweller. If you don’t want to spend money on education, you may discover good jewelry-making tutorials for free on YouTube.
Keep in mind that beginning a business, even if it’s simply a side hustle, is a time-consuming endeavour. Make it a priority to carve out time in your schedule to devote to launching and managing your business, even if it’s just an hour at the end of the day to work on a piece of jewellery.