I’ve thought about something lately. When I started making jewelry I had no (!!!) plans of it growing and being more than a hobby for me, just selling some rings to my friends and family every now and then. I had no vision what so ever. It actually took me a long time to realise that this was what was going to happen, and accepting it. The reason for that was that I once had a plan to become a photographer, a professional one. I totally failed and my passion for photography died after feeling so much shame over not being as good as I promised my customers I would be. I really regret that I tried too hard, too early. Because of this, I felt like I didn’t want to push my jewelry making as I already had done with the photography so I held it back for a long time, refusing to admit that I wanted to try to make it to my full time job. I didn’t quit school and my extra jobs until I really had to because I didn’t have time for it all.
Naturally, because of this, I never had a vision. I never thought about what Caroline Hjerpe as a jewelry brand actually could become. I still have a hard time when it comes to defining my brand and I have never sat down and thought about stuff like – what do I really want with this? How far can I take before I need help with stuff like economics and marketing? How long can I sit in the studio I’m in now? And so on. If you have a small business – it might be really good to take some time to sort some things out.
Make a list!
Try to make a list, a mind map or whatever you want to call it, maybe for the next two years or so. What are your main 5 goals with your business? How will you get there? How will you have to change the way you do things now to get there?
As you can see in my mind map, I have come up with 5 main goals – one of them with just a big question mark next to it, cause it’s kind of hard to know the answer to it. This is not easy, it’s actually very hard. I know a few things that I want – I want to get international, but my main focus is Sweden. How will I get there? Well – as far as I know right now there are a few ways for me to do this. Shops – get them to buy and sell my products, Stylists – get them to borrow my products for fashion shoots and fashion shows, Pop-up shops – create my own pop up shop or participate in an existing one, Magazines – try to get my products in different kind of fashion and style magazines all over the world, but mainly – as I’ve told you before – Ambassadors! Well. You got to think large right? Second, I so so badly want my own place – my own studio, store and all that. I really want to buy my own shop somewhere, but I know I have to wait a little while. Third, I know I will have to get some help soon. I cannot make all the jewelry myself, do all the accounting, all the PR and marketing, sell to different stores, grow internationally as well as in Sweden, and create new designs. It’s hard enough today – and I want to grow, right? So if that will ever be possible I need to get help with a few things. And fourth – I want to have a steady income every month, with no worries ever again. Well, enough said about that one. Last but not at all least – I always want my brand to be defined with handmade and unique jewelry, made with lots of love. Even if I hire someone who can help me – this is super important. I never want to loose this – this is how I define my brand.
So sit down and think about a few things, like the following
What are your goal with your business?
- Do you want to do it full time or maybe just on the side?
- How big do you want it to become? Enough to be able to support your self and your family or do you want to become the richest person alive?
- International or national?
- Do you want to set up a physical shop or online?
How will you reach your goals?
- What do you have to do to reach your main goals? How will you get there?
- Do you have any contacts in places you haven’t thought about?
- What are your main ways to get your product out there for more people to find it?
There are so many things to think about – but take your time. Define your brand, who you want to be and where you want to take your business.