Penny Pinching Tips for Jewellery Makers : By Rossi Ignatova – SilverSense
Times are hard! Most small businesses will wholeheartedly agree – people buy less, competition is tough and every day there seem to be news of more economic challenges to come. So, how do you ensure the financial health of your jewellery making business? Expenses for tools and supplies soon add up, fees for online listings and craft fairs need to be paid and sometimes sales can suddenly dip down and not come up for a monetary breath for a long period of time.
Here come our 10 tips for penny pinching – some common sense advice to help you make the most of each pound you invest in your handmade jewellery brand.
- Think as a business – everything you buy to use in your jewellery making is an investment which should yield a return. So, before parting with your cash on a whim, ask yourself if you really need it, how much you are going to use it and would you be able to turn it into sales. If you really can’t resist the tempting call of a new tool or a new strand of exquisite beads, then engage in some delayed gratification tactics – sleep on your decision or decide to make the purchase only after you have achieved a particular business goal.
- Buy things in bulk – even if you are a one-person business, you can still obtain some great rebates on sundry supplies. For example, padded envelopes can cost as much as a pound when you buy them one by one and as little as a few pennies, when you get a box of 100 of them. Apply the same approach to jewellery boxes, wrapping materials, printing paper, labels and so on.
- One size fits all – don’t go spending cash on several options of the same thing. For example, when you buy jewellery boxes, don’t go wild and order one especially for earrings, one just for rings, one exclusively for pendants and so on. Instead pick two universal size boxes – one to take in either a pair of small earrings or a ring, and another to be used for long earrings, a bracelet, a pendant or a matching set of a pendant and earrings. This way you will be able to buy a larger number of just two types of boxes and potentially get them at a discounted rate, instead of spending a fortune on a small number each of five or six differently sized boxes.
- Identify the hidden spenders of your cash. For example, printer ink is not cheap, but you still need to print – invoices and receipts for items bought and sold online, application forms and driving instructions to craft and bead fairs and so on. Well, try printing in draft (economic) mode – the difference in the quality is often hard to tell but a single cartridge is now lasting a much longer time. Ah, and always print on both sides!
- Subscribe for jewellery making magazines. You end up buying at least a couple each month, anyway, so making an investment and taking a subscription for the 6 or 12 months ahead will earn you a discount off the retail price, sometimes a free gift and the knowledge that you will be getting the new issue with all of its exciting projects to try on, a whole few days before it hits the newsstands.
- Use discount codes. Actively seek discount codes and special offers for your favourite supply shops on their websites, social networking pages and in the advertising sections of jewellery making magazines. Make a note of them and when you place your order, don’t forget to insert the code in the respective box. This will save you some pounds to put towards something else.
- Buy storage boxes cheaply. Hardware and pound shops offer a large selection of plastic organisers and boxes at a much more palatable price. Organise your beads and supplies in them, so that you can see at a glance what you have in your stash. This will help you avoid buying the same stuff again and again.
- Collect and recycle metal scrap, leftover beads and other odds and ends. They can help you create a stunning one-off piece or you can get some cash for your silver and gold scrap. If you want to be really thrifty, keep an eye on the price of scrap and choose to recycle it on a day when it has hit a seasonal high. You can also take apart old pieces of jewellery that didn’t sell that well and use the reclaimed materials in much better ways.
- Don’t buy highly specialised equipment – now this may sound scandalous, but hear me out first. Don’t buy expensive specialised equipment until you are sure that you will indeed use it on a regular basis to justify the investment. Instead, rent a bench at a reputable and well equipped studio for a day or a few hours a week. Use the respective piece of equipment as much as possible and after a few sessions you will be better equipped to decide if this is something you really need on a daily basis or is it just a desire to own as many jewellery tools as possible under the sun.
- Join an industry organisation – in exchange for a small annual fee, you will get access to industry resources, networking contacts and special discounts. For example, joining the London Jewellery School’s newly launched Membership Scheme will give you exclusive access to a 10% off code for SilverSense’s whole range of beautiful beads.
Being thrifty and resourceful is a business model we all need to embrace. Splash the cash on the best quality jewellery making materials you can get, but be cautious and do your research on anything else. Thank you for reading and we hope to have been of some help. Do share with us your own suggestions for a thrifty business health.
SilverSense is a dynamic jewelry making supplies company providing you with gorgeous gemstones, freshwater pearls and Czech glass beads. Please connect with us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SilverSenseLondon, Twitter @silversense1 and on Google+
Until next time
Happy Making from SilverSense and LJS x