Running a small business

I thought of writing a post on how I’m finding running a small business a while ago, and was undecided for a long time about whether to actually write it or not. But I wanted to be honest with you all, so here it is. I hope you’ll forgive the slightly negative tone.

Negative tone? So things aren’t going well? Well, to be honest, I really shouldn’t complain. After doing my taxes a couple of months ago, I realised that I made a small profit in the last financial year (despite having spent a small fortune on supplies). I get a slow but steady stream of views on my Etsy shop and a few people favourite my designs. I have some lovely friends who keep buying my jewellery and I’ve made a few sales from people I’ve met through this blog.

Thank you to everyone who reads this blog and looks at my Etsy shop by the way. Thank you even more to all the lovely people who actually buy my jewellery!

Little Koo - Cushion style earrings

I just got a bit downhearted after making very little (if any) profit from the last few craft shows I’ve done. Although, to be fair, the weather at two of them was horrendous. So I’m having a little break from craft fairs for a while. I just don’t know if I’m doing something wrong or if it’s just that the people at the craft fairs weren’t looking for my style of jewellery. Is my style of jewellery the problem? Is it my display style? My prices? My own demeanour? (I find it very hard to know how to interact with people at these things!)

Little Koo craft fair stall

And then in between the craft fairs it’s not a lot better. And I think a lot of it is the fact that I just have very little time for the business these days. I’m lucky if I spend a couple of hours on it a week. I read all these articles about setting goals and how to improve certain areas of my business, but I just don’t have time to do the work required.

I do worry that the jewellery itself isn’t good enough either. One thing a lot of these articles tell me is that I need to have a target audience in mind when designing and marketing, and to be honest, I don’t really know what that is. Women with similar taste in jewellery to me? Is that good enough?! I just make things that I think look pretty, but I don’t know how to reach people with the same taste as me. Or should I try and follow more of the fashion trends?

handmade sterling silver charm bracelet - shell

To be honest, I thought about jacking it all in and making something completely different. Mobiles for children’s bedrooms! I really like the one I made before and I have some ideas of what I could do for different designs. But then I get real and realise the amount of work it would take to even just get ready to launch a new business, and remember that I just don’t have the time.

Moravian star mobile

So anyway, running a small business is hard and I’m certainly not going to make a living off mine any time soon. But I’ll keep going with it and have fun making new jewellery designs. I’d love to hear from anyone else who runs a small business and how they are finding it. And also any tips on how I can improve mine!

Thanks for reading!

Rachel

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2 thoughts on “Running a small business

  1. I enjoyed reading your post and agree with you. I can’t imagine how it must be with twins. It is the same for me. I have been in business almost 3 years now and although I have made some profit the 2nd year, all the money gets reinvested back into the business to make improvements, buy supplies, etc. If you really enjoy doing it then keep at it! it is difficult with jewelry because it is the most competitive area for accessories, but starting again with something new you need alot of time. Your jewelry is simple and classic so you don’t need to follow trends! Have you thought to make children’s (little girls) keepsake jewelry? I think your beads and the delicateness of your prices would be appropriate for something like that! -Melissa

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