Nunn Design has provided me the opportunity to make connections with a lot of interesting business owners. During these past few years, I have leaned into my friendships to navigate the constant changes to the business landscape.
I hope that I can be of service to you by covering 8 tips that I have found to be helpful for Nunn Design to streamline our company and boost our profit.
1. Own Your Own Real Estate
Out of all of these tips, I would vote for this one to be the most essential.
Many small business owners build their marketing solely on social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube) and sell solely on other companies selling platforms (Etsy, Faire). These are all very important platforms for doing business, but it doesn’t lead to a solid foundation.
Tip 1 is to own your own real estate. Your own website, mailing list and community. All of those other marketing and selling platforms will feed into your website, allowing you to capturing and own your relationship with your customer.
2. Diversify Your Marketplace
The thing that I know to be true is that things never stay the same. When sales online were booming because our customers couldn’t leave their homes, makers who only did in person sales suffered. Now that our customers are out and about, they want to purchase items that they can touch and from the makers they can connect with. As a result, online sales are slowing.
The goal in Tip 2 is to keep a steady flow of sales coming in from multiple channels.
If sales are slow in one area, try another. Some will work, some won’t. It is constantly changing. Thank goodness you are creative, because it takes looking at things from all angles!
3. Study the Marketplace
Many of the decisions, on the direction that we have taken Nunn Design, has been based off of what our customers or potential customers have asked for. With each request, we document and take note of what the marketplace is asking of us.
Understanding and studying the marketplace is a critical part of knowing what to move forward with and what not to. Through your research, you will know where there is an opportunity to compete in a very competitive market before you venture into it.
4. Study Other Industries
There is no need to continually be reinventing the wheel. Study what is going on in other industries and how they market. Maybe there is an idea that will translate over into jewelry.
An example of this is with my friend Jessica of Jessica Long Embroidery. She spotted a card deck selling in a different industry. She ended up testing a Hand Embroidery Companion: Foundation Deck and is having a great response to it.
5. Diversify Your Product Line
I don’t subscribe to the belief that we can be everything to everyone. In fact, I know we can’t. What we can do is diversify our product offerings to meet many different types of maker’s needs as well as styles.
Maybe you naturally design jewelry in a certain style. Is there a way that you can simplify it if it is really bold to attract a different type of buyer?
If you are known for only doing earrings, maybe you could start to offer other jewelry items?
6. Design Smartly
For many of us, the buying of new findings and designing are our favorite aspects of being in business. It is an important part of feeding our creativity.
When it comes to designing jewelry, it is important to set aside your “need to create for fun” with your “need to create to resell.” Designing smartly requires thinking about inventory, costs per unit and assembly time.
Designing smartly also takes into consideration why the person is buying the jewelry and when. Hearts sell year round, but a Christmas themed item will have a very short selling window.
If being analytic during the design process isn’t for you, create away. Then go back in and see which findings could be substituted out to streamline the amount of findings.
7. Streamline your buying
Tip 6 and 7 really go hand in hand. If you are designing smartly you are thinking about ways to streamline your buying. Time is energy. By streamlining your buying you reduce purchasing time, shipping costs, inventory management and customer service emails if product isn’t shipped correctly (ahhh… if I was the cause of that email because I messed up on pulling your order, I’m so sorry!)
If you have items that you use throughout your product line, this will allow you to purchase product in bulk, reducing your order frequency, receiving and shipping costs.
8. Choose Quality
When building a business, you have to be thinking long term. Referrals and repeat sales are going to be a critical part of staying in business over the many years. Let your customers know what your jewelry is created with and where it is made.
We are in uncertain times. Different economists predict different outcomes for our future. What I do know for certain is that we can do hard things together.
Thanks you for reading (you are still reading…right?). Please reply and let me know what you thought of this post. I’d love to hear about your experience.
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