Understanding The Importance of Diversification In Your Business

Written By: Suzanne Colucci, owner and creative director of Belandaria Designs, Inc.

I’ve had the pleasure of operating my jewelry design business since 2002 and what else can I say about it other than it has been an amazing learning experience! When I originally started, I was hopefully optimistic and full of zeal! I thought I had it all figured out, simply because of my desire to succeed. Of course, desire is not the only thing needed to bring to fruition a viable and lucrative creative business. I sat down long and hard, to place focus on my ultimate goal of making jewelry design my Real day job. The answer to this was one thing: Diversification. I always remember my father stating this ever important phrase, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!”. At the time of my wasteful and lawless youth, I let that somewhat peculiar phrase flow through me, like the summer air. Now I understand it completely and embrace its meaning, as a driving force behind my business. In these present times of financial difficulty throughout the world, it can be easy to get discouraged and frustrated when you experience lower sales numbers or less traffic to your store.. In these times, it is most important for you to take notice of your accomplishments, as well as consider any possible adjustments to your operations, that may help you in improving your overall performance. Diversification in your business strategy is a way for you to grow your business, through one or more of the following actions:



1. Increasing the volume of your own product sales, through increased exposure


It’s easier said than done, right? In these times of technological advancement, it really is easier than you may think. There are many cost effective ways of increasing your exposure, in order to increase sales. With the integration of forums such as Etsy , Artfire, and many more creatively focused shopping sites, the possibilities are endless. In addition, there is the ever important use of social networking sites, such as face book, twitter, and myspace, which are FREE of any charge and a useful way of reminding all of your family and friends about your business. Don’t be afraid to put your name and face out there and make sure you use every possible tool available to you, in order to cross promote all of your marketing efforts! Your creating is your passion and the more people know about it, the more they will understand how important it is for you to succeed. Also, ask your friends, family, and local related businesses if you can host a trunk show or a private showing of your work. The law of averages states that you will get some of them to agree and every show is more exposure, with very little(if any) cost. Also, consider creating a blog, where you’ll get an opportunity to interact with people who follow your work and want to know more about what you do. You’ll be surprised at the community of fantastic people that you will meet through this key communication and marketing tool! Remember Exposure equals Success!




2. Selling or distributing a line of products from a related industry or business


In our case, we drew from our own personal needs, as we were growing our business. When I started out, I had a difficult time finding proper jewelry packaging and displays. When I did find those items, I realized that I wasn’t the only person that was facing that challenge, in my specific industry. I started a small e-commerce business to sell packaging and display items soon thereafter. It took off quicker than I could’ve imagined. We benefit in more than one way, by offering these products to other people in our industry. Due to the fact that we had to purchase these items anyway, we were able to take advantage of volume discounts by purchasing more inventory and offering the items for sale to others. This also helped us keep our prices competitive and it helped us understand the best possible uses of the products that we offered. That knowledge was key to our own jewelry selling success, as well as our customers’ success. It also helped us add a bit more value to our business, by allowing us to compile a useful resource of information, regarding the uses these products.



3. Development of useful new products, through internal means(within your own business)



We also took this step and started creating our own line of jewelry displays, to fill a gap in the products our discerning and creative customers wanted and what we used to be limited to offering them. When you are able to create a rapport, as well as a solid business relationship with your clients, their feedback and input is key to the possibilities of expansion to your business. I’ve had the pleasure of getting some AMAZING feedback from great communities, such as Etsy. That has helped me learn and integrate the balance of business and creativity in such an exciting way!




4. Lower operating costs through meeting the needs of your specific industry



Let’s face it, we could all use help in lowering our operating costs. When you are able to purchase necessary supplies for less, it helps keep your overhead lower, which allows you to operate at a possibly higher profit margin. A lot of Etsy store owners will “destash” unused supplies and items , to make room for new items. Why wouldn’t you consider selling supplies for your specific industry, on a more permanent basis? It will give you a perfect opportunity to familiarize yourself with supplies and products that you use in your business, as well as add value to your business, by giving your customers a more broad spectrum of choices. It is a perfect formulation to grow your creative business by leaps and bounds.



I realize that what I am proposing for consideration is a bit of an undertaking. It’s very important that you do your research, and constantly refresh your education and knowledge. Diversification is a key part of an ongoing transformation for you and your business. Obviously, it is important to really focus in on your specific industry, but diversifying your offerings allows you to keep a fresh eye on your industry and wards off complacency. When you are constantly evolving, you are constantly expanding your creative abilities. Don’t ever be afraid of trying something new or taking a bit of risk. The payoff could be greater than you could ever imagine!


Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have at Belandaria@yahoo.com or visit us at



http://www.belandariadesigns.etsy.com/



http://www.notablenotions.etsy.com/





http://www.elementalearth.etsy.com/


kMT note: Belandaria has combined sales of nearly 1400! Thanks again for contributing Suzanne!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the great information, Suzanne!

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  2. Diversification is a good idea as long as a person could provide different products and/or services. Good advice.

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  3. You are so right! Diversification is key! I am just learning that myself. Thanks for sharing! You are also right about the online beading/crafting community. Everyone is surprisingly supportive!

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  4. Thanks so much for this post. There are some interesting thoughts/ideas here to think about for my shop.
    http://KayzKreationz.blogspot.com
    http://Kayzkreationz.etsy.com

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