Friday, January 29, 2010

The Business Side of Things

The past week I've been spending tons of time working on my jewelry business instead of playing with my sticks and string.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to play with jewelry either.

I've been trying to get a lot more serious about photographing all the items, alter them and get them entered into Etsy.  I mean, if it's not up there for someone to buy, it won't get sold will it?  Money is still very, very tight here in my household and it's stupid not to be getting everything up and out there for the public to purchase.

I never realized how much time went into the back end of things though.  Yes, it's fun to make jewelry and it's quick, instant gratification.  What's not fun is the time the rest of it takes.  Photography is so important when selling products online.  Since the customer can't touch the item they're looking at purchasing, they need to see tons of pics.  Etsy has five slots for photos of the items to go in and I intend to use all of them.  So I've been taking like 20 shots of each item, moving them over to my Flickr account, altering the exposure, color and sharpness.  Then I have to narrow it back down to five again.  Folks, that is incredibly time consuming!  Written that way, of course, it doesn't really sound that way at all, but it is.   I'm trying my best not to get lazy.  I need to have someone standing behind me with a whip.

Here's an example of how I'm using the Flickr/Picnic account to adjust my pics.   I took about 114 photos one day and got only a handful that I could ultimately use.  But look at the before and after difference on one of the pairs of earrings that I've got up for sale:



See the difference it's made?  Well worth the time, I'd say.

Another issue is that my Mom and I have joined up together in this business (which means way more inventory to photograph).  My store front name will be changing soon and I'm going to have to create a new banner/logo for it.  I don't have a clue what we'll go with yet and my brain hurts just thinking about it.  We're also going to start doing some craft shows together starting in the spring and we've lots to do for that as well.

One good note that happened this week with the new jewelry business is that we've found a temporary supplier of beads that is incredible.  I'm so excited about the prices we've managed to get from this source, but it will only last until the inventory dries up.  Even so, paying this much less for the product means so much more profit, if the stuff sells.

I've also been working on the marketing side of things as well.  I totally suck at this, but I'm working on it.  :)

So, that's what I've been doing.  Spending way too much time in front of my computer screen instead of clicking away with the knitting needles.  I'm hoping to get some free time this weekend though, my fingers are starting to get itchy for the wool!