Challenges of running my own business

The crazy thing for me is that running my own business is all I have ever done. After I graduated and won my award I set up straight away in business. I had a small amount of money from my prize and that was it. In hindsight this may have not been the best way to do it, but I had nothing to lose and a lot of ideas and enthusiasm.

So how have the last 12 years been?

Well the last 12 years have been a challenge. They have been rewarding, exciting, infuriating, upsetting and fun, and not always in equal measure. When you run your own business, and it is only you, it’s a hard battle sometimes. It’s only you who can do the work, only you who can strive forward, and only you that can make the mistakes. And over the years I have made mistakes, but you have to forget the mistakes and remember the lesson. It is the only way to learn and strive ahead. Some are harder to take than others, but as it is only me who can power on, I have to dust myself off and get going again.

Other people’s perceptions

One of the hardest challenges I find is other people’s perception of what I do. I love this illustration as it sums it up really.

Other people’s perceptions of jewellery design #lifeofajeweller

Its difficult to say all the things I have to do in a day to keep my business going, but making jewellery is probably only about 10% of the time. So much time is spent doing the paperwork, invoices and emails; but there’s also the marketing, social media, website updates and selling to do. None of these things have I been trained in and I have had to teach myself and learn along the way.

People always think jewelers have lots of money, but the raw materials and tools cost so much, so does the getting to market i.e. large exhibitions and websites. And designing and making jewellery takes time, which in itself costs. So in reality the goods are expensive but the profit margin is low.

When you work for yourself you don’t have the support of a large company. I love this quote by small business rocks

“When you are buying from a small business you are not helping a CEO buy his 3rd house or fast car. You are helping a little girl take dance lessons, a young boy get his teams football shirt, a Mum and Dad put food on the table, and pay the mortgage, or a student pay their way through university.”