Tag Archives: Distance Learning

TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT SHORT COURSE FOR YOU!

Our lives seem to get busier by the day, but every now and again it is worth taking some time out to invest in yourself. Short courses not only give you the opportunity to do something totally different, but they can energise other areas of your life, and even in some cases lead to a new career!

With so many choices available, how do you make sure that you choose the right short course before handing over your hard-earned cash? We’ve pulled together our Top 10 tips for choosing your perfect course.

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#1 WHY DO YOU WANT TO LEARN?

Understanding what you want to get out of the course is absolutely vital in helping you choose the right one. Are you wanting to try something that is totally different to your day job? Is it time to take up a new hobby? Are you looking to further your career by extending your skill set? Do you want to change career altogether? Understanding why you want to learn will help you achieve your goals.

#2 WHAT ARE YOU INTERESTED IN?

It’s important to think about what you are really interested in when choosing a course. When investing financially in something, you ultimately want to make sure you finish it which is less likely if the subject leaves you bored stiff. Try and pick a subject that inspires you.

#3 WHERE AND WHEN WOULD YOU LIKE TO STUDY?

Do you like learning in the comfort of your own home? Are you happy to travel short distances to classes, or would you prefer to incorporate travel to more far flung destinations into the experience. Do you learn best during the day, evenings or weekends? Would you prefer to do a short course, or a more in-depth class over many days and weeks?

#4 HOW DO YOU LIKE TO LEARN?

This one is a biggie. Do you flourish in a classroom where you interact with the tutor and fellow classmates? Or, would you prefer to learn at your own pace around other commitments and use technology to help you get there? There is a fantastic choice of both classroom-based courses, as well as an increasing number of innovative online courses that gives you great flexibility in terms of how, where and when to learn.

#5 WHO IS THE TEACHER?

A great teacher can lift a course to a whole new level. Check how experienced the teacher is, and whether they have taught the course before.

#6 CAN I AFFORD IT?

Unless money is no object, you will have to decide whether you can afford the course you want. Remember to consider other expenses such as travel and accommodation. If it is going to be tight financially, are you able to pay in instalments to help you spread the cost?

#7 WHAT DO YOU WANT TO DO NEXT?

Consider what you want to achieve after the course has finished. Do you simply want to spend time practicing your new skills, or do you intend to progress onto a more advanced level or qualification? Will your preferred course enable you to do what you want to do next?

#8 DO YOUR HOMEWORK

Now you have a good understanding of what you are looking for, it’s time to do your homework and find out more about the options available. You can do a lot of your research online, and do check if there are any taster workshops or open days coming up to help you get an insight into what a course provider offers.

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#9 CREATE YOUR SHORTLIST

Once you have done all your homework, it is time to create your shortlist. We recommend having no more than 5 courses on your shortlist otherwise it is hard to come to a final decision. Use all of your research to help you decide which option is best overall for your needs.

#10 TAKE THE PLUNGE

Then be brave! Take the plunge, and look forward to getting started. You never know where it might lead!

The London Jewellery School provides a range of professional jewellery making courses for all levels at our London Studio. For more details about our classroom-based courses, go to http://www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk. Alternatively, we now offer our most popular classes as online workshops at http://www.jewelleryschoolonline.com.

Building a Jewellery Business – Top 10 Tips

(This is an updated version of a previous post that we liked so much we wanted to share again).

LJS Director, Jessica Rose has run her own jewellery business for 4 years, a fingerprint jewellery business for 2 years and now runs the hugely successful London Jewellery School, which is in its third year. Over time she has made plenty of mistakes and learnt a lot about what it takes to run a jewellery business.

Check out her top tips for anyone considering setting up and taking the plunge into the wonderful world of doing what you love for a living…

1. Make a plan

You wouldn’t go on holiday without packing a suitcase so don’t go into business without a plan. It doesn’t have to be big and fancy, just a breakdown of what you are going to do and how you plan to do it. You will be surprised how useful they are at helping you to think things through.

2. Look after the pennies…

Probably the single most important lesson that I have learnt from running various jewellery businesses is to watch what you are spending and only buy something if you absolutely need it. If you make jewellery for a hobby it is fine to treat yourself to lovely beads whenever you fancy, but, with a business you need to consider if you can make something that you think will sell from them.

3. If one things certain in life its taxes

Like it or not we all have to pay them and the best way is to get organised, submit everything in time and avoid any unwanted penalties. To set up in business you will need to register as self employed with HMRC and submit an annual return of all your income and expenditure. It’s easier than it sounds and there is plenty of info on how to do this. HMRC are also usually very helpful in offering advice on how to go about setting up – http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/businesses/tmastarting-up-in-business.shtml

4. Network your social socks off

These days you need to have a facebook, and a twitter too if you can bear both. It’s a great way to let potential customers, family and friends know about what you are up to. Make sure you post regularly and vary your content so that its exciting and people want to read it and look at pictures of your work. Don’t forget to link it to your website or etsy shop so they know where to buy!

(oh and join our facebook and twitter, we are always happy to promote budding jewellers and students by ‘liking’ you and re-tweeting posts etc…)

5. A word about the day Job

Many people want to set up a business but have a full time job so finding time to fit it in seems impossible. My advice would be not to throw it in straight away but put aside a realistic amount of time each week (5 hours?) to spend on building up your business, promotion and making. After a 5-6 months of this if you have the option to go part time, do this first so that you can grow the business slowly and steadily before taking the plunge and leaving altogether.

6. Do a business course at the amazing London Jewellery School (plug!!!)

Well you knew it was coming but this really is great advice. If there was a course like this when I was starting out it would have saved me thousands of pounds! There is nothing more valuable than hearing advice straight from an expert who has gone through the process of setting up and business in your field and the 1-day jewellery business class at the London Jewellery School or the new distance learning course jewellery business course available to order online, both do just that. Covering all areas of setting up including: marketing, finance, PR, pricing your jewellery, photography, getting into shops and galleries, packaging, insurance and legal obligations, craft fairs, budgeting, copyright and more. These courses are not only intensive for the busy budding business owner but also excellent value for money and sure to save you more than you spend. Take a look,

Jewellery Business Day Course– http://www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/jewellery-business/jewellery-business-day/

Distance Learning Jewellery Business Course – http://www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/jewellery-business/online-jewellery-business-course/

7. Collections make the world go round

Shops and galleries love to see your jewellery grouped in collections. Collections consist of groups of jewellery with a common theme, this maybe all using the same materials, colours, shapes or styles and usually include a selection of necklaces, bracelets, earrings and rings. Grouping your jewellery in collections avoids the jumble sale effect and gives your work clarity and professionalism.

8. Blow your own trumpet and get others to blow it too!

Most of us are far too modest and find it hard to promote our work, especially if it is something you have made, as it feels so personal. But when running a business you need to tell everyone about what you do any why you are good at it (without coming across as arrogant). Wear your jewellery wherever you go, get friends and family to wear it to and tell others about it, before you now it the orders will be flowing in.

8. An investment in yourself is an investment for life

Don’t forget to invest in your training, this is the single most important spend in your business as your making skills need to be up to scratch to allow you to make high-quality jewellery that you can be confident in. Money spent on jewellery courses and training is never a waste as these skills will be with you for life, allow you to grow as a designer and keep up-to-date with current trends and techniques in the jewellery industry. For 100’s of fun and professional jewellery courses all year round come and visit us at www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk of if you are unable to come to London there are training centers all over the world which run courses open to the general public. Utilize Google

10. Have faith – If I can do it anyone can!

I set out on my jewellery career with absolutely no jewellery making experience, no business skills and not a clue in the world to be honest. Nothing but a passion for jewellery and strong will to avoid the 9-5. Looking back perhaps I was a little naive but despite the silly mistakes, I have managed to make a living out of what I love and wake up every day knowing have the best job in the world. It takes time and hard work but there is nothing quite like working for yourself in a creative environment surrounded by others who share your passion.

I will leave it there for today but if you have any comments please leave them for us below.

Good luck in your ventures and don’t forget to sign up to our blog for more tips and info

Happy Making

Jessica @ LJS x

Jewellery Business Distance Learning Course – Pre-order Now!

After a long awaited release, our ‘Set up your own Jewellery Business’ Distance Learning Course is now available to pre-order before the official release date on Friday 9th December 2011. And for a limited time only, we are offering a special introductory price of just £99.00

This is a comprehensive course for anyone interested in setting up their own jewellery business…

Pre-order your course now – all orders made by Thursday 8th December will be posted on Friday 9th December 2011.
This course is aimed at jewellers or soon to be jewellers who would like information and advice as well as a kick-start in setting up their own jewellery business. Through the course material you will be guided by jewellery business expert Jessica Rose, on a whole range of topics in relation to running a jewellery business.

What is included:

1. CD/DVD containing videos on each aspect of running a jewellery business. 13 videos totaling 80mins of expert advice in all areas from marketing and promoting your business to pricing and selling your jewellery.
2. Comprehensive 50 page, glossy, full-colour workbook, full of information on how to set up and run your own jewellery business including; a full list of useful contacts and suppliers for jewellers based in the UK, tips on each aspect of setting up your own jewellery business and information on the common pitfalls and mistakes to avoid.
3. A supplementary case study booklet detailing 3 current businesses, what they have done and tips and advice for running your business.
(Please note that no actual jewellery making will be covered).

Topics covered include:

  • Marketing – How to market yourself and your work, different approaches to marketing, branding and brainstorming ideas.
  • Advertising – How to use it successfully for your jewellery business.
  • Press – Ideas about getting noticed by the press, writing press releases and using other methods such as networking to promote your business.
  • Websites and e-commerce – You will be encouraged to think about how websites and IT are used in the running of your business. Covering topics such as building your website, using a designer or DIY, selling on third-party websites, getting good rankings on Google and much more.
  • Social networking and blogs – Using social networking to expand your business and get new customers/ sales.
  • Photography – Getting good pictures of your jewellery is one of the most important things. This course will look at the basics of how to go about taking your own pictures or how to choose a jewellery photographer.
  • Finance and budgeting – A look a finances, how to record details, maintain accounts, using and accountant and keeping to budgets.
  • Pricing and selling your jewellery – Getting your pricing right is crucial, make sure you think of all aspects of pricing for selling.
  • Getting into galleries and shops – Practical ideas and advice on how to approach shops and galleries and etiquette for selling in outlets.
  • Packaging for your jewellery and hallmarking.
  • Insurance and the legal requirements of running a jewellery business.
And much more.

Here is what some of our students who have tried the course had to say…

‘An excellent course! It surpassed all my expectations and has been an invaluable resource in setting up my business’ Gill Jenkins
‘This course has given me such a wealth of knowledge about setting up in business that would have taken me years to learn on my own. It is clear to read and easy to understand – I just can’t wait to get started running my business.’ Alex Zacher

For full information and to pre-order your copy now click on the following link – www.londonjewelleryschool.co.uk/jewellery-business/online-jewellery-business-course/

Happy making

LJS x