Thursday, April 18, 2013

Q: How Do I Make It Pay?

As this is a question I am asked a lot, how to make a living from beading, I thought I'd address it here.

The most important thing about any business is the product, if you don't have a good product no amount of 'business tips' will help. Whatever it is you make/sell be sure it's original and well put together/crafted. that's out of the way....

When someone asks me how they can make more sales/money from their business these are the questions I ask

What's your daily/weekly/monthly goal?
How far short of it are you falling?

Imagine you're going on a road trip, do you know where you're leaving from...A? Know where you're going....B? Plan a route to get there...A to B?
We all answer those questions just to go to the grocery store and yet, when it comes to our business they tend to not be thought about by many.

What are you making now?

How much are you making right now?  How many sales?  You need a starting point and what you're making right now is your A.

How much money do you really need to live and do this?

You need to start by figuring this out, be realistic, allow some $ for the unexpected and some for savings and don't forget a tax fund, because paying taxes should not be unexpected.

Once you know what you need you have a goal....your B.

Plan your route!

Let's say your sales are $1000 a month and you need $2000 a month, that means you have to double your income!!!  And it may seem impossible when you look at it in that big lump.
You're probably not going to make that increase in a month....but how about in a year?
Get your sales make that $1000 a month solid.
Once you are regularly making that start increasing your goal.
Add $100 to your goal for next month. If you meet it, add another $100 the next month, and every time you meet the goal add $100 for the next month.

If you make more than your goal one month....then you have a head start for the next.

"Ahh....but how do I do that?" you ask.

Well...that depends on you product. What's the average price of what you sell?  If it's $100 then you need to make an extra piece a month to be able to sell it.....or if you have lots of stock you need to make that extra sale.

A tip here is that not everyone has $100 to spend so can you develop something that can be sold at, say, $25? It can be easier to sell four $25 pieces than one $100 piece because more people can afford to buy.

Maybe you can't make anything small like how about investing in a bulk buy of a special bead or fabric you use? And sell that in your store, it might just push you over that goal.

Another tip is to do new photos, use different props and switch them out so your piece looks fresh and maybe catches the eye of someone who overlooked it before.

If you do what I do, write tutorials, then it might be as simple as making a sample in a new, on trend colorway.

Customer Service doesn't matter how great your product is if you don't fulfill orders quickly, answer customer contacts promptly or are too full of yourself it will effect your sales.  It truly does not pay to be an asshole :)

Break it down

That extra $100 a month breaks down to about $3.33 a day, now...does that look more doable?  Have a daily goal and be determined to meet it.

If you miss it one day....maybe an extra posting on Facebook or Pintrest will bring you back up to speed.  Miss it for a few days straight? How about a 'flash sale'?  For those of you thinking "What's a flash sale?"
A "flash sale" is a sale like '20% off the next item or say five' items sold or 'buy one get 50% off one on the next five orders'. 
It can bring you back on track just like that!
Now, that's not to say you want to be doing them every day or even every week, because if you do that you will train people to wait for the sale, in effect devaluing your product.
You also might try e-mailing your previous month's customers with a discount code.


I am a firm believer in visualization, I do think it helps.
See your sales grow in your mind....but, once again, do it in baby steps.
Don't go imagining your next day being double your last because you'd be setting yourself up for defeat.  Breaking things down to a daily goal makes the increases small and achievable. Small steps to a big goal.


Plateauing is a good thing, it is what will keep your business growing and earning. After you meet a big goal, don't go setting another one right away, give it time.  Make it consistent. Have the same goal for a few months.
After that, don't make your goals as big......if you have grown $1000 a month to make what you need then maybe set the next goal as an extra $200 a month....which at the end of the year would pay for a vacation....or a new wardrobe :)


Rewarding yourself is important.
So, you managed to double your income, YAY you!
Reward yourself...just don't go overboard.....maybe 5% a month can be allotted to your shoe fund or dinner out....or maybe just that bead storage system you've been dying to get :)

Anyway...these are my tips, I hope they help you, and if you follow me you'll see me use them, no doubt :)  


  1. I am trying to get there and this is great advice thank you Mikki!

  2. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this! It's the perfect advice I need to go forward.

  3. Thanks everyone :) Didn't know if it would help to share but as I'm often asked figured it couldn't hurt :)


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