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Beading for Profit
Learn the business of beading! Pricing your work, craft fairs, home parties or wholesale to stores.
Ten Tips for Success
Bead Mecca has come up with our 10 tips that we feel will help you become successful in your creative business endeavors.
  1. Develop a vision. Think about where you want to go with your jewelry
    line or creative endeavor.
  2. Take action Choose your future & take steps each day toward your
    goal. Make a commitment.
  3. Express yourself Develop your own style & express it through your work.
  4. Get involved Be proactive. Believe in yourself and your dreams;
    network with others in your industry. Be honest and follow through with
  5. Understand your market Choosing the right venue for your
    work is key to successful selling.
  6. Build a support system You can?t do it all? all the time. Identify who
    you can rely on for help. These could be friends & relatives who believe
    in you. You should also seek out a team of professionals such as a graphic
    designer, lawyer, accountant, photographer and sales rep.
  7. Try to find a recession proof line Even when times are tough you can
    depend on the basics to sell.
  8. Get inspired Look around you to find inspiration, the colors of
    nature, the lines of a beautiful building, the hardware store. You never
    know when or where something will click, look for the beauty in the
  9. Put yourself out there Wear what you make & show your enthusiasm &
    passion for what you do. Carry your card & let people know how or where
    they can buy your product. Have fun!
  10. Be grateful Celebrate your success. It rarely happens overnight,
    don?t give up! Acknowledge your achievements as you move toward your
Pricing Your Work
This is one of the hardest descisions to make when you are starting out in your business of selling your jewelry or crafts.
Here is a list of things to consider:
  1. What is the hourly rate of pay you would like?
  2. How much did you spend on the materials?
  3. How much are you spending on overhead?
  4. Craft fair entry fees
    Booth set-up & display
    Space & utilities
    Advertising & promotion
  5. Do you want to sell direct to the public, or do you want the option of selling to stores?
If you want to sell to stores, you will have to determine wholesale pricing & retail pricing. When you sell direct to the public you will be selling at retail. When you sell to a store you will be selling at wholesale, which is usually half of retail.

Now that you?ve given some thought to these considerations let?s put it all together. You made a necklace & would like to get paid .00 per hour. It took 45 minutes to make, or .00 in labor. The materials cost .40. You have decided to add on .00 to each item for packaging & overhead. This would mean your wholesale price is .40. Double that & your retail price is .80. You may want to round up the price to .00 wholesale & .00 retail.

The last consideration is what will the market bear? You can usually ask yourself if you would pay that much for a necklace like the one you made? Is it competitively priced? Are you in the right market to sell? Is the design unique?

If you only want to sell direct to the public you can reduce the price, however, once you have made this decision it may be hard to sell to a store should you change your mind. Most stores will not buy from you if you sell to people for less than the store will have to charge.

The most important thing is are you still having fun? Sometimes a hobby becomes a business opportunity and if you have a passion & are able to make money doing what you love ? go for it! But, beware - often once you are creating for profit you may find that the pressure of covering your expenses takes the fun out of it.

Tips for Website Marketing
Put your URL on everything!
If you do not let people know you have a website they will not find you. Add your web address to business cards, promotional materials including the hang tags attached to your jewelry, bags and boxes, receipts, even your car! Sign all your emails with the URL as part of the signature and when you are at shows mention to people that you have a website.

Build Your Link Structure!
Find compatible sites and ask them to exchange links with you. The more traffic that is directed to your site the more popular you will become with the search engines. Although this may be time consuming it is worth the effort.

Add Content Rich Articles!
Think of the questions people ask you about your product and answer them as an informative article on your website. Here are some ideas: Caring for Jewelry, What the stones mean, The history of jewelry design, or about the materials you use. Are you using the best keywords to drive traffic to your site? Think about what search terms they will use when seeking information. If you use the terms strategically in you wording you have a better chance of directing traffic to your site when someone is seeking that information.

Submit your site to the search engines!

This is a simple, but often overlooked step. If you never ask the search engines to look for you they probably wont.

Update your site regularly!
Keep the content fresh. Add new designs, new information and update your show schedule regularly. If someone is looking to see where you will be selling next don't list outdated information or you may lose a customer.

Use testimonials!
Potential customers will have more confidence in a site that shows numerous happy customers. When you get feedback share it with others who may be on the fence about making a purchase.

Network with others!
There are many people out there that are willing to share their experience with you. Use Forums to network with other artists and get your website out there. If you have a question or know the answer to someone else's question jump in and participate, and always sign your comment with a link to your site.

List your products on popular sites!
Use sites that represent independent artists to help you build a client?le. You may pay a nominal fee, but if you find a well traveled site you will not only sell your wares, but you will direct people to your website to see more.

Email Marketing!
Capture peoples email address with an Opt-in list. Let them know they will be notified of sales, events and new work. Do not abuse their generosity by over using their email and never share it with others. We find that a monthly update is enough.

These online journals are a great way to let your friends family and customers know what you are up to and are proven to drive additional traffic to your site. Share your inspiration and travels, or just what is on your mind. Be positive and remember the whole world can see what you say. If you decide to use a blog, remember to add to it on a regular basis.

Keep evaluating your site!
Is your site user friendly and are you doing everything you can to make your customers experience a positive one? Are your pictures clear and detailed? Is the color true? Is the content current? Do you have annoying pop-ups or moving banners that will deter people from spending time on your site? Is your site easy to navigate with links that will bring the customer back if they go to read to another page for information?

Evaluate your Traffic Reports!
This often overlooked tool holds powerful information about your customers. You can learn how many people visit you, what they looked at while visiting your site and how long they stayed. You can see which links work and what search engines and keywords are sending traffic to your site. This information will help guide you as you grow and develop.

Be in Control!
Learn as much as you can about how your website works and how content is managed. Do not depend completely on others to do it for you. You should be able to do simple maintenance, make corrections, add basic information and evaluate traffic. The more information you have the easier it will be to explain to your webmaster what your vision is for your site.

Promote yourself!
Assemble a press kit, write a press release, submit your work to the magazines, present a professional image with branding by creating promotional material that works together.

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