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Jewelry making can be a fun and lucrative business venture – if you follow the right steps. Starting any new business can be overwhelming. A business is not simply an exchange of goods for money. There are laws to follow, and many other elements to consider. Even if you do decide to start your own jewelry-making business, there is no guarantee of success.
Fortunately, however, there are some steps you can take to make your business more likely to succeed. Many jewelry makers have stores on Etsy, an online marketplace for individuals to sell their creations. Think you have what it takes to succeed on Etsy? Follow these seven secrets and see how you can get paid for creating rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and more.
Plan and gather the required information. A business requires a lot of planning. Successful businesses do not suddenly open one day without any prior planning. It may take months or even years to get to the point where your business is up and running. Jewelry making is extremely popular, which means you will have a lot of competition.
Selling basic, run of the mill jewelry isn’t going to cut it. You’ll need to develop a niche – an area of business with much less competition. Think about current trends or styles that are unique. Think of uncommon materials and jewelry techniques that will set your store apart from the others.
This Etsy checklist gives you the information you need to open your store. Opening a store on Etsy is free, but you do need to get signed up and provide financial information so you can get paid – very important! You’ll need a username and password, along with items to sell and pricing information.
Pricing is very important since prices that are too high will deter customers. Prices that are too low can also give customers a negative impression. It is recommended to do some research online to see what similar items are selling for. Jewelry pricing guides may also be helpful.
Come up with the perfect name. This can be one of the most difficult steps for some aspiring business owners, but it’s very important because it’s one of the first things customers will see. Think of a name that describes you or your products but at the same time is memorable. If your name sounds too weird, is hard to pronounce, or is in another language, customers may choose a shop that they can better identify with.
Come up with several ideas in case your first choice is already taken. If your first choice is taken, you can always add “shop” or “boutique” to the end of your name, but, ideally, you should differentiate your name from other shops to avoid confusion.
If you decide you don’t like the name, you can change it before you open your store. Once you open your store, you can change it only once, so make sure you choose a name that fits your business perfectly. After all, you’ll have to live with it throughout the life of your business.
Set realistic goals. Of course, every business owner wants to become a millionaire. While this is possible for some companies, it’s a little more difficult for jewelry makers, since you’re creating every piece yourself. It can take some time for your new shop to develop a following on Etsy, so don’t expect to sell anything overnight. In fact, it may take weeks or even months, so don’t set your hopes too high. It’s good to be confident, but, at the same time, be realistic.
Ideally, you should create a plan that includes realistic, specific goals so you don’t get discouraged. Add timeframes to these goals so you can measure progress. For example, selling 10 pieces each week is a measurable goal. You’ll also want to come up with strategies to meet these goals.
For example, you may want to advertise your store on social media on a daily basis. You may also want to keep adding new jewelry pieces on a weekly basis to keep your inventory fresh and relevant.
Use the right keywords. Creating the perfect jewelry piece isn’t enough. You need the right content to draw customers to your shop – otherwise, nobody will know that your dazzling pendant or sparkly gemstone ring exists.
Many customers search Etsy by using specific keywords, so put some thought into how you’re naming your products. You’ll want to describe your pieces by using common search terms, so be descriptive and creative. Take some time to brainstorm all the possible words and phrases that can be used to describe each piece and use them in your product’s title, tags, and descriptions.
Etsy offers statistics that show you which keywords are working, so you can keep the ones that are working and get rid of the ones that aren’t producing enough results.
Product photos are key. Taking photos may be another challenge for jewelry makers but having clear, high-quality photos of your products is essential. That’s because your customers won’t be able to see the jewelry in person, so the quality of your photos will determine how much you will sell. If your photos are blurry and contain little detail, then potential customers will go elsewhere.
Because of this, jewelry maker and Etsy shop owner Melissa Hile recommends putting photography education at the top of your list when deciding to start a business. Take some classes or look for tutorials online. Invest in a high-quality camera – the couple hundred dollars you spend will be well worth it.
The camera on your smartphone may have some cool features, but you want professional-looking photos, not snapshots. Also, practice makes perfect. Take multiple photos of your creations until you find the camera setting, angle, background and lighting that works best.
Chron.com recommends having a model wear your creations so that customers can imagine how a ring, necklace or earrings will look on them when they wear them.
Think like a brick and mortar store. Research which types of jewelry are popular and trendy and create products that fit these trends. For example, pearls are commonly worn by celebrities, particularly young, modern women. Create some bracelets, necklaces, and rings made of pearls to appeal to a wide range of customers. Create similar styles in different colors and with different materials so you have a wide range of inventory. You want to attract a wide range of customers, so don’t limit yourself.
Organization is key. Sometimes certain products can be bought together to complete a set or complement an outfit, so curate these products to create upsell opportunities. You don’t want customers to check out with just one item in their carts.
Look for ways to sell even more. Perhaps create different categories and add articles and guides for gift givers so they can choose the perfect present. Add banners and other marketing tools to help create your own unique brand.
Don’t be a perfectionist. Sure, you want your jewelry piece to be detailed and made of the highest quality materials, but, when it comes to your new Etsy store, you can’t delay everything just because it’s not perfect. As with any new venture, you will make mistakes along the way. Every businessperson does. It’s called trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Just be sure to learn from them so you don’t keep making the same mistakes. Learn to broaden your horizons and always have an innovative mind.
Sometimes you don’t know what will work until you try it. Sometimes the things you think will work end up not working at all. Think of your business as an education. You will always be learning, so don’t think you have to have everything perfect before you open your Etsy shop. You have to start somewhere, so just start, already! Once you have your items listed in your shop, just go for it.
Note that this is not a comprehensive list of to-dos for starting a business. Each state has its own set of laws. In addition, there are tax forms and other paperwork that must be completed. If you plan to have employees, there are insurance and tax issues to deal with. Check with your county offices for the steps that need to be taken. An account or financial advisor can help as well.
Once you open your business, you’ll always be finding ways to earn more profit. That’s what successful businesses do. They are always innovating, finding ways to capitalize on trends, and cutting costs.
Some people make a lot of money in their careers, but they don’t enjoy their work. They may find it boring, they may not agree with the company’s values, or they may not have the best relationships with their co-workers. Many people long for a job they are passionate about.
Jewelry making offers the opportunity to make money doing what you love. If you live and breathe jewelry making, then opening a business is a natural next step. You might as well get paid for making jewelry if you enjoy it so much and can devote a lot of time to perfecting this craft.
Running your own jewelry-making business will no doubt take a lot of hard work and time. There are many steps involved to set up your business and keep it profitable. However, if you’ve always wanted to work for yourself, on your own schedule, then a jewelry store on Etsy could very well be your next career move.
Now that you know the secrets to operating a jewelry store on Etsy, your business will be poised for success. Good luck!