Over the last few months I have had many close friends and people I know through the wonderful world of crafting close their shops, or throw in the towel on their small business venture. It’s disheartening to see them walk away from all their efforts, their hard work, dedication because they simply can no longer invest in their dream or the feeling of failure has become too overwhelming for them. As a small business owner myself, I too have had days where the pressures of keeping my dream alive seem to be outweighed by the frustrations of little income coming in but then I have to have a sit down with myself and remember why I am in the business of what I am doing. My passion for creating jewelry and wanting to share them with people will never change, and that’s why I am in this business. I have a long road to go, but I am in the long haul. I know sometimes people must scale back because of the restraints of money — but if you are one of those crafters who are in it for the long run what can you do to drive more sales to you?
1. Marketing. I can not stress this enough. Somedays I know it can feel like all you are doing is marketing but in the long run this is what is going to bring people to you. No one is going to know you are in the virtual world (or outside of it) if you don’t say hello to the world! I would google possible ways to market yourself on-line depending on what you sale.
2. Update, Update, Update. Make a goal to yourself and to your business to consistently add new products, new lines, fresh colors because often times potential customers like your work but just haven’t seen a piece that talks to them, says “I’m Yours.”
3. Network. Networking can be a great way to get yourself out there, and find other businesses with the same interests as you. Often times the word of mouth through networking can be powerful, and drive new customers you would never of had. I would try places like Flickr, Myspace, Facebook.
4. Promotions. Often times customers are looking for a good deal. Perhaps they would love to buy that second piece but can;t afford both, but a simple 15% off of the second item promotion may be the key to the additional item on their order.
5. Keep On Keeping On. Sometimes new ideas, concepts, pieces aren’t going to work out the way you want them and all you can do is go back to the drawing board and come up with new ways to drive more sales.
If you would like to see more of my jewelry work, please come see my shop NaturalAmber Designs at http://naturalamber.etsy.com