Selling Jewelry in Tough Economic Times
by Judy Ellis
When families struggle to make ends meet or react to the loss of income, suppliers of goods and services must respond to keep an even keel in their business. But, saying so is not as easy as doing so. Erecting sales signs or spending more money to land fewer customers is a "knee-jerk" reaction and not the only thing businesses can do. For jewelry makers, it's easy to consider their product a "luxury item" which feels as if it will be hit the hardest by the downturn. However, thinking so is counterproductive as you probably already know. So, how can you insulate yourself from declining sales, turn the loss of sales around, and increase business? Following are some specific things you can do that will work for you!
Work harder. If you worked 40 hours a week when the economy was strong, it'll take 50 or 60 hours to get the job done now.
Assess & Analyze. What has been working for your business? What has sold the most and what produces repeat customers? Once you analyze exactly what it is that has worked, focus all of your energy on it and ignore and shelve those things you did that maybe were more fun, but didn't give you the return on investment that you wanted.
Create new jewelry pieces. What you say - start something new? Yes! Sit with friends and family and brainstorm jewelry ideas that WILL be in higher demand in an economic downturn than other pieces and develop your go-to-market strategy to get them in front of your buying audience.

Keep Marketing. It is so tempting to scale back on marketing and advertising in a downturn because marketing expenses don't have a direct and immediate impact on sales. However, you are in a fight for market share and if you don't want to lose more than your competitor you have to stay in the game. If people don't know who you are or why they should care, you'll not only lose opportunities, you'll lose the customers you have because someone else with a voice will take them.

Take a look at some of the tips on our Wire Jewelry Business Resources Page for great ideas! Why not pick up a copy of our Definitive Guide to give you some great guidelines?
Judy Ellis's Selling Jewelry in Tough Economic Times - , Selling, Selling, , Definitive Guide to Selling
Put resources into sales. Companies are loath to add cost when business slows, even in the sales department. Yet for the reasons stated above, expanding the sales force enables you to outperform the downturn, while contracting pretty much guarantees you'll do worse.
Do whatever you can to be remembered by your customers. When business is booming, customers often overlook the nice things you do for them. But when customers are struggling, they never forget even the smallest gesture. Recessions are opportunities to build long lasting relationships. The reverse is equally true. Treat a customer roughly in tough times and they'll drop you the first chance they get.

Innovate. Now is the time to squeeze more performance out of all your efforts by streamlining and lowering the cost of doing business. Look at areas where you can reduce cost of goods sold, rent, energy, and the efficacy of your policies, procedures and information management.
Keep spirits high and instill confidence in those around you. Show appreciation for the extra hours and extra effort by those around you. Give people a chance to blow off steam. Force yourself to take a break. Nobody works well when they lack motivation, and this is especially true in tough economic times. In a recession, strategy and tactics become more important than ever, but the human element - more important still.
Ask your customers. Don't be afraid to reach out to your best customers and ask them what ideas they have to increase your business. Is it really price and if prices could be lowered, would that stimulate a purchase? Is offering a lower cost alternative the answer? Do your customers require financing? Whatever it is that will stimulate a purchase is what you need to figure out and then keep repeating it.
In closing, sometimes in an economic downturn it feels like the ceiling is going to come down on you and your business but in fact, these times are when the best opportunities present themselves to those that are positive, eager, and prepared to see them. Are you one of those business people?

For more ideas on positioning your jewelry during tough economic times make sure to check out our incredible wire jewelry sales and marketing books!


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The Definitive Guide to Selling Handcrafted Jewelry
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Wire Java: Your Hot Workbook Guide To Selling Your Jewelry!
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Jewelry Show Checklist - Everything You Need to Have a Successful Show PDF
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Jewelry Homeshow Kit- Everything You Need to Have a Successful Show
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  • Category: Selling
  • Technique(s): Selling, General Education