Coping with jewelry business changes is an important part of daily life.
One of the things you will have to learn as a small business owner is managing change in business.
Sometimes your business plans won’t work out the way you had hoped they’d work out.
Things will change with your home business: your design aesthetic, your materials, design and making skills, customer profiles, sales, and of course, the economy.
Pay attention to these jewelry business changes and don’t be afraid to make adjustments to your business plan and design style as you develop your home based company.
I remember when I first started my home business, I had positioned myself as a trendy fashion jewelry designer. It worked wonderfully for the first year, but as the economy changed (dot com bust in San Francisco), my customer profile changed, sales started tapering, and I entered into a period of artistic identity crisis!
Here are some simple things I did to manage change in business:
- I tried to remember to breath. Having hourly panic attacks and pacing was just wearing down the carpets and giving me headaches.
- I divided a piece of paper into three columns and labeled them “PAST,” “PRESENT,” and “FUTURE.” Then I assessed my situation, writing in the appropriate columns where my company was, the current situation, and the direction I wanted it to go.
- On another piece of paper I wrote down the things that I had or could use such as inventory, my odd talents, a pulse, etc.
- I compared the two pieces of paper and came up with a list of things I could try to improve my home based business.
What started off as a panic attack quickly became a time of experimentation and design ideas: gemstone beads, sterling silver findings and wire, and (gasp) freshwater pearls. I had always considered pearls as old fogey, and when my mother (who is a jewelry designer herself) not only suggested using some in my designs, but sent me a pile as well, I was…horrified.
Change Leads to Innovation
But I tried those pearls and gemstones anyway and guess what? I created a whole new line of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings that attracted a different type of customer! I went from the artisan known for fast and fun designs to the guy giving handmade gemstone necklaces a modern twist.
That experimentation and change brought upon the discovery of a different type of market niche: the 35+ woman. These were women who had come into their own and were so secure of who they were that they didn’t care about things such as keeping up with the latest fashion trends.
They comfortable with themselves and knew what made them looked good, what their styles and colors were, and they weren’t afraid to share their opinions with me.
And they were more than willing to pay a little extra for their handcrafted gemstone necklaces, bracelets, and earrings as long as they got EXACTLY what they wanted.
The thing is, these women were always around me, walking past my booth when I was selling. But when I started to bring out designs that appealed to them, they started to stop. And Buy.
When your business takes an unexpected turn, sometimes the best thing to do when managing jewelry business changes is to take small thoughtful steps: assessing what you have, and the situation around you before taking action.~Oran
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