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The Four Most Important Steps for Starting Your Jewelry Business

May 2, 2014

Do you ever wonder why some designers are a huge success and able to seamlessly grow while others struggle to scale their business? Or maybe you’ve worked really hard to get a big sale, but have no plan for production? Creating a road map for business success can sometimes be a challenge for creative people. That’s why it’s even more important to set up and build your jewelry business (or any creative business) the right way from the get go.

Building a strong business platform, especially for a jewelry or product based business, is essential in helping you multiply your profits and scale up. There is a big difference between the companies that easily scale and grow and those that implode when they get their first big order. Those that succeed have used these 4 steps below to build their business.

Jewelry Business Advice | UncommonGoods

Step #1: Step into the Role of CEO
Successful designers who know how to grow their business discover early on that it is important to run their business like a CEO and ditch the “maker” mindset. You may have started your business as a designer or a maker. That’s all fine and dandy. However, if you are serious about growing your brand, you need to work on your business rather than in your business.

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Step #2: Create Systems for Freedom
The second step successful designers do is create systems for freedom in their business. Every aspect of your business should be systematized including the sales process, production process, HR process, marketing process and everything in between. Effectively systematizing your business allows for more freedom because you can bring just about anyone in to take on any position in your business. When you have well documented systems, you can be flexible with scalability and your staffing needs. This holds true even it you are a one-person show currently. Take the time to document!

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Step #3: Set Up Production that Can Scale
Having production that can scale is directly related to Step # 2. You must systematize your production so that anyone can step in and make your product. For jewelry designers who are making everything themselves, it is important to eventually be stepping out of the maker role. The only way you can do that effectively is to either hire a team to do this for you, find a factory or hire piece workers or contractors who work outside of your office. When you are just starting out, it’s ideal to have local production outsourcing capabilities so if you do get a large order you can produce it on time. Using contractors and piece workers also allows for the flexibility of hiring production help on an “as needed basis.”

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Step #4: Understand How Cash is Flowing
Cash flow is the one aspect of a business that is key to keeping it afloat. Having a strong grasp on how your cash is flowing is essential to growing your business and staying healthy financially. Managing your cash flow cycle will help you keep your business going so you can snap out of the feast or famine cycle that many designers experience in business. Paying attention to where the cash is coming into your business also allows for further clarity on business modeling and direction. You can cut offerings that are dead weight and expand on those that are bringing home the bacon. Abundant cash flow or lack thereof will make or break your jewelry business.

Flourish & Thrive

Acting like a CEO, creating solid systems, setting up your production for scale and managing your cash flow are key to success in biz. By starting with these 4 Steps, you’ll build a business with a strong foundation to multiply your profits. We want to hear from you! In the comments below, answer the following:

 1. How are you building a strong business platform and stepping into the role of CEO?

2. What do you struggle with the most on the “business” end of things?

If you haven’t checked it out yet, make sure you enroll on our free training series called The FREEDOM Method. Learn how to create more cash, clarity and FREEDOM in your business.

Design

What To Do When Your Design Isn’t Accepted

February 28, 2014

What To Do When Your Design Isn't Accepted | UncommonGoods

Was your design not accepted by a buyer? Or were you not the winner for an UncommonGoods Design Challenge that you thought was in the bag? Yeah it sucks, but it happens to the best of us. Being rejected is part of growing as a designer. I once heard a story about a salesman who got excited every time he was rejected because he had figured out that for every 9 no’s he would get one yes. So how can you use the no’s as an opportunity to get more yes’s? And how do you know whether to move on and contact different companies rather than pushing your designs to the same seller?  Here are a few tips to use post-rejection to become a better designer.

Don’t take it personally. The most important thing you can do for yourself is to not take anything personally. You really don’t know why they said no unless they tell you.It could be a variety of factors, even that it’s just not the right time, that they have strong relationships with the ties they already carry or they don’t have the budget to pick up a new line. If you lost a competition, it just may have been that there were a lot of entries or similar submissions to yours. This gives you an opportunity to become more individualized in your design and your style!

Do something nice for yourself. Post rejection, it’s really important to keep your energy level up. Go for a walk, buy yourself a treat or do something else that makes you happy and feel good.The key to keeping your energy up and staying on track is to stay positive. Treating yourself well always helps.

Ask for and listen to feedback. You may or may not get the opportunity for feedback, but it’s a great idea to ask for it. Even if it makes you feel uncomfortable, understanding why a buyer said no is a great way to improve your brand. Try to listen to the feedback from an objective manner. Think: “How can I become a better designer?” Remember a no may not be a no forever, but just a no for right now.

Send a thank you note. An unexpected touch for a buyer is to receive a thank you note when they have turned down your line. This is key to staying top of mind even if they didn’t buy. It also opens you up to referrals and creates opportunity for potential down the road.

Keep in touch. Keeping in touch is important! If your assortment changes or something changes in the store assortment, you may have a chance to work together down the road. There is a statistic that it can take up to 7 times before a buyer notices and actually purchases a line. Keep that in mind.

Consider: Am I right for this store? Buyers and curators consider many factors when looking for designers. They are looking at budgets, current product assortments, price points, and their clients as well as many other factors. If they passed on your design, take an honest look at your collection as it is now. Is it really right for this account/store/contest/person? Sometimes, your energy is freed up if you aren’t wasting time barking up the wrong tree. Invest your time on the right types of stores where your dream clients are hanging out and shopping. Rejection isn’t always a bad thing. When you can use the information you receive to improve your line and grow, you are always in the right place.

It’s your turn! We want to hear from you! In the comments below, tell us the following:

1. What have you done in the past when you have been rejected?

2. How have you overcome rejection and turned an awkward situation into an awesome situation?

This post was written by the creators of Flourish & Thrive Academy, Robin Kramer and Tracy Matthews. For specific sales & marketing advice to get your jewelry into the hands of your dream clients, head on over to Flourish & Thrive Academy.

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