Jewellery may well be a very competitive industry but it’s also one that is enormously popular. It might be that it appeals to you because you love jewellery, or maybe making jewellery has always been a hobby that you would now like to turn into something bigger. Regardless of how you get your start in the industry, there are some common mistakes that many businesses have fallen foul of.
Avoid these 8 crucial errors if you want to make your jewellery start-up a success.
Trying to please everyone
Too many inexperienced dealers attempt to carry stock that is all things to all people – perhaps this feels like the natural thing to do for a startup that is looking to turn a profit as soon as possible. But when you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no-one. That means you need to focus and understand that it is fine if some people take a look at your stock and find that it’s completely the wrong style or the wrong price bracket.
This is a natural part of refining your customer – you need to understand exactly who you are trying to sell jewellery to. Is your main market going to come from young women looking to buy fashionable jewellery? Note that you might also be targeting men who are looking to buy jewellery for their wives and girlfriends – believe it or not, the stock will need to be very different.
Thinking of your business as a hobby
Many people go into the jewellery business because they love jewellery. But remember that this is a business and not a hobby. That means that you need to take it seriously – make appropriate records even if it just started out as a bit of fun. It’s a business as soon as it becomes something that legitimately earns you money.
If you have a store it can be very tempting to assume that you can charge a premium for items that might go for less money online or at markets; after all, you have the overhead of premises costs. Unfortunately, customers won’t see it that way – if they can find the same jewellery at lower prices elsewhere, you can bet that they aren’t going to fork out more for the privilege of buying it from a shop. Overpricing jewellery is not a good way to increase your profit margins, it will just mean that those items will stay on the shelf.
But let’s not forget that you can cause yourself real problems by underpricing as well. Firstly, you need to be clear that this is a business, and your business needs to make money or it will no longer be able to function. This is a clear area where you need to understand the market that you are attempting to appeal to. Don’t forget that a higher price can be indicative of quality, which can be reassuring to a customer. So first, make sure you understand exactly what an item has cost you, then apply a sensible mark-up that is sustainable for both your business and your customers.
Not investing in displays
You need to take the presentation of your jewellery very seriously. Even very beautiful and highly expensive jewellery can be made to look cheap or tacky in the wrong setting. Invest in cabinets with lighting that shows off your stock at its best.
Relying on personal taste to guide buying decisions
Once again we need to remind ourselves that your taste is not necessarily the same as your customers’. Even if you are a woman who sells fashionable, contemporary jewellery, you need to be aware that the taste of other women who enjoy fashionable, contemporary jewellery can vary wildly from yours. Remember that it’s impossible to sell the jewellery that you want to sell, you can only sell the jewellery that other people want to buy.
Ignoring the online marketplace
There is a perception that the only important aspect of jewellery is seeing it in person. This can lead to many jewellers focussing entirely on their store and dealing with the customers in front of them. However, it’s vital that you shouldn’t ignore the benefits of a strong online presence. This firstly means that you need to have an up-to-date website but also that you should maintain updated social media profiles on Twitter and Facebook so that you can easily reply to potential customers.
Not understanding the costs involved
You need to understand the true cost involved in the products that you sell – not simply how much you pay for them and how much they sell for. Think about the shipping costs and the packing costs; these can significantly eat into your profit margin.
Article provided by Mike James, an independent content writer working together with online jewellery superstore Nirvana Wholesale.