Young entrepreneur and Jewellery business guru Jessica Rose, Director of the London Jewellery Schoolshares her top tips on setting up in business with a focus on when your beloved hobby or new-found skill becomes a business…
Many budding jewellers start making because they have a passion for jewellery, enjoy it as a hobby and consider that it would be amazing if they could make a business out of it but feel unsure if its possible for them. Will I be good enough? And how will I know what to do? So we are bumbling on making pieces selling a few here and there, doing commissions for friends and family and suddenly consider we may have a growing business on our hands. How do we identify that point when it actually becomes a business? And what do we do about it?
I think there are two main answers to the first question; it becomes a business either when (a) you decide it will be one or (b) you are selling more then just one or two pieces here and there.
(a) If you make the decision to set up a jewellery business there are a number of things that you will be required to do such as; register, start recording your accounts and in many cases think about the structure and how you are operating in order to maximize the chances of the business being a success.
(b) For some, they never plan to run a business but just enjoy what they are doing and keep getting the orders in for more. This is where you have to be a bit careful. Selling a necklace here and there to family and friends is fine but if you are regularly exchanging your jewellery for money then it is effectively a type of business, in which case it is very important that you keep account of everything and let the lovely taxman know, as it is taxable income that must be declared.
So now that we have established the basics of how to know it is a business, the big question is what to do about it. Here are some of the basics;
Register as a sole trader with HMRC. This is simple and quick to do just give them a call or check their website for further details. www.hmrc.gov.uk
All businesses need insurance. Shop around for a good price on your insurance and if you want someone used to business like yours I would recommend using a specific craft insurance company.
Make sure you are happy with your prices and that you will be making enough profit, (easier said that done I know).
I know it can sound daunting setting up in business but with a little help and support from those that have done if before by attending training and reading up on the basics you can run businesses of any size from small pocket-money types to full-time jeweller.
If you run your own jewellery business or are considering setting one up and would like to find out more, London Jewellery Schooloffer regular classes and workshops in business skills relating specifically to running a jewellery business. They also offer an excellent Distance Learning Jewellery Business Course which can be completed anywhere in the world from the privacy of your own home. For more information please click here.