Thursday, 12 February 2015

Ignoring business advice ...

There are many - many! - of us small (micro) businesses, trying to sell our work, both online and face to face.  We are competing in a huge marketplace, and often it's the little tips that help.  That said, I've seen it stated many times that we should find the one thing we're good at and stick to it.  Well, I'm going to fly in the face of that little piece of advice and state that, while this may work for some people, it's not set in stone.

Those of you who follow my work will know that I create both traditional jewellery (mainly earrings) and more unique wirework.  I started with the jewellery (as many do) and progressed to working with wire, which includes making my own findings, as well as the little wearable wire pictures.  I would say that if I'm known at all, it's the wirework that I'm known for, as I have developed my own style over the years, which is often (I hope!) instantly recognisable.

But last year when I was considering which direction I needed my business to go in, I considered that little piece of advice and ultimately ignored it.  Instead of shelving the regular jewellery work and focusing purely on the wirework pieces, I continued to create earrings.  It was not a failure.  People didn't sneer at the fact that I was trying to do two quite different things, and I sold almost as many pairs of earrings as I did wire pendants.  My earrings may not have a recognisable 'style' like my wirework, but does that mean I have to stop making them, just because they don't fit with my brand?  (Whatever that is - I have to confess that to me it's one of those techy marketing terms that eludes my limited comprehension ... )

I'm not suggesting it would be sound business sense to blithely continuing making a diverse range of items that just don't sell - it's important to keep track of what's actually successful for you - but neither is it particularly sound business sense to stick to just one thing when two (or maybe more) work.  It is of course impossible to be all things to all people, but as they say, variety is the spice of life.

Do you sell your work?  Have you found that it suits you to concentrate on one thing, or do you have more diverse success?