Starting a Business

If you are thinking of starting a business the details of establishing your own jewelry making business and setting the gears in motion need not be tedious.

Starting a home business is very rewarding when you fuel yourself with the passion and the drive for your new venture. First, you must ask yourself some important questions:

How many hours do I plan to spend on my business?

This will be determined by factors such as whether you are currently employed, you are a stay at home mom, you have capital, you have little or no capital, you plan to keep it as a side business or whether you want to turn it into a full time business.

What kind investment do I need to make when starting a business?

First, you will take into account what kind of jewelry making tools and materials you'll need as well as the basic costs of starting a business such as obtaining business licenses and permits.

If you are planning to sell jewelry at craft shows or festivals you will also need to budget for jewelry displays, craft show fees, business insurance, jewelry packaging, business cards etc.

How much of an investment you will need to make when starting a business depends entirely how quickly you want to launch your collection and grow your business, where and how your plan to sell your jewelry as well as what type of materials and tools your will use.

There are many ways of starting a business on a shoestring by building a small inventory and starting with small venues such as home jewelry parties, selling on Etsy or selling at small craft shows or street festivals.

What are my short term goals?

Take pen to paper and create a vision for where or how you want to make money selling jewelry.

Do you want to sell jewelry online, to stores or at craft shows and the like? By making a list of where and when you would like to sell your jewelry, you can start to plan what kind and how much jewelry you will need to make.

When starting a business perhaps you will begin with a small budget for a jewelry party business and work your way up to selling at craft shows. Jewelry parties can be very lucrative and a great way of building capital for your jewelry making business.

The following are some steps to take to get your business off and running:

Starting a Business

Learning the Basics of Jewelry Making

If you are unsure about starting a jewelry making business experiment with a few basic jewelry making instructions in order to determine if you feel the pull towards taking the next step and registering a business.

With a small investment in some jewelry making tools and supplies and some simple instructions, you can get a feel for making jewelry to see if you have the jewelry making bug.

From there you can get a sense whether making jewelry will be for hobby or profession. I am sure you have often heard people say "I should have kept it as a hobby" and there is nothing wrong with that. Before starting a business it is important to establish whether it's the right business for you.

Many people enjoy knitting, but would quickly grow to hate it if they felt they had to pump out sweater after sweater. By the same token sometimes what starts off as a hobby naturally grows into a happy business.

To learn the basics about making jewelry go to basic jewelry making instructions and get a little experience under your belt before deciding whether to start a business.

The more you learn about jewelry making, the more confident you will feel. To learn how to make jewelry click on the picture below.

Beginner jewelry making basics...

Defining Your Style

While it's not absolutely necessary to know what your style will be before registering a business, it may assist you in choosing a business name.

For some jewelry designers, arriving at a particular style comes directly from the experience of experimenting while for others, their style is defined long before they start to create.

We are all different and that is the beauty of the creative process. To learn more about designing jewelry and defining your style, visit sites such as Etsy or Pinterest for inspiration. Pinterest and YouTube are great places to find jewelry making tips, inspiration and tutorials. This will help you zero in on your own unique expression in jewelry designing.

Fashion history and fashion trends are great places to look for design inspiration. In the clothing industry many famous designers became well known for jewelry making and design. Some of the greats include Coco Chanel and Christian Dior.

Licenses and Permits

Feeling more confident about starting a business? Do you need help finding that perfect name before you register a business? If so, go to choosing a business name and for even more inspiration visit the catchy business names page.

Once you choose a business name it's time to register your business. Make sure you have read the top ten considerations in the choosing a business name section and then go to registering a business.

When starting a business it's important to get all the facts and legalities involved in operating a business. Depending on where you live, you may have to obtain specific licenses or permits when starting a home business.

When starting a business (in most provinces) in Canada you will need to register a business name if the name is anything other than your given legal name. Please check with your local government to see if this applies to your province.

You will also have to obtain a vendor's permit or a retail sales tax permit. Check with your local sales tax office to find out how to get a permit.

Businesses in Canada that earn more than $30,000 per year must register for GST/HST (Goods and Services Tax/Harmonized Sales Tax.) For those earning less than $30,000 it's still a good idea when starting out to register for GST/HST as you will be able to claim any GST/HST paid on business expenses.

When starting a business in the United States you will need to register your business if the name is anything other than your given legal name and obtain a sales tax permit or vendor's license for every state in which you plan to exhibit your work.

Check with your local sales tax department to find out how to obtain your permits.

Make sure to check with Federal, state/provincial and local tax tax offices to ensure you have all the licenses and permits required by your government.

When selling jewelry across the border or in other states or provinces, you will need to obtain sales tax permits for each territory in which you plan to sell your collection.

This applies to exhibiting within other provinces or states and not to online, email or telephone orders that you receive where you are shipping out from the location in which you reside.

Some tax offices issue an annual permit, a permanent license or a temporary license. Every tax department has a different way of operating and filing requirements vary for each locale.

Opening a Business Account

Once you have a registered business, you can open a business account. In Canada you will need to present your business license in order to open a business banking account.

If you are running a business under your given legal name and have not registered it as a business, you can open a personal account, but at some point, you will likely need a business bank account to run your business successfully.

Either way it is recommended to keep business and non business accounts separate both for ease of management and, in some cases, as per government requirement.

If you live in the United States it is important that you inquire about the legalities involved in terms of your banking decisions.

Before starting a business, get some legal advice and check with your Federal Government to determine whether you need to have a business account for all your transactions or if a separate personal account will suffice.

Personal accounts tend to be far less expensive than business accounts, but will more than likely pose a problem if you open a merchant account for accepting credit card transactions in your business.

Business Cards and Jewelry Cards

Once you have chosen a name and registered a business it's time to get your image in print!

If you don't feel confident that you can design a fabulous logo or business card, there are many places that will offer pre-made templates to choose from or will design your card for you.

Having a clear image of what you want will help in conveying your vision to a graphic artist.

If you are one of those handy creative people who knows your way around computer programs such as Photoshop, Powerpoint or Publisher, then you can design a business card on a shoestring budget. The great thing about designing your own card is that you can change that design whenever you feel the urge.

There are easy to use programs such as Microsoft Publisher and Corel Draw that make it super simple to design creative business cards. Publisher offers some good business card ideas that allow great flexibility with design and color.

Make sure to scan an excellent shot of one of your pieces and put it right on the card? I always have a photo of one of my favorite designs on my cards. This helps customers to remember what the card is for!

Many office supply stores offer simple programs to design flyers and cards. Once you have a design you like, it's easy to photocopy onto card stock or even print out from your own computer on photo paper and crop your cards using an office paper cutter.

This is helpful while you are testing designs and once you have solidified your design style, there are plenty of online printers to order professionally printed cards for $15 to $20.

After you have a card you may also want to design earring cards and necklace cards with the same theme. In fact, your your jewelry card can double as your business card if you so choose.

Another great idea for starter business cards on a shoestring is to design a logo with all your pertinent information and have it made into a rubber stamp. That stamp can then be used to make business cards, jewelry cards and for stamping onto paper bags and jewelry gift boxes.

I love the rustic look and feel of brown paper bags, kraft jewelry boxes and parchment cards. With a great logo in vintage brown stamped on them, the feel is casual and old world.

In terms of packaging, I don't know how the situation is in your neck of the woods regarding plastic bags, but in my province it's now shunned upon to use plastic and often we pay five cents for a plastic bag when making purchases.

Paper is great and paper is politically correct. I am surprised in these times that they don't slap the sliced ham into your hand at the deli counter and ask..."oh did you want to buy a bag for that?"

Making creative business cards that will be in keeping with all your packaging designs is a great way to keep the continuity in the image you present. It's also a highly effective way of marketing your jewelry.

Whether you are starting a website, selling through online craft sites, starting a home jewelry party business, selling to shops or selling at craft shows, having a professional presentation is key to your brand image.

With creative business cards in hand you are on your way to starting a business!

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