I'm not a robot!


Imagine the scenario. Things begin to take off and that trickle of email enquiries starts to gain momentum due to increased traffic from your website. Orders pile in, enquiries, more enquiries, somebody requests this, somebody requests that - it can be easy to find yourself swamped under the weight of everything managing all these extra duties.


If the idea is to see your business grow, time spent peering at a computer screen and tapping away at a keyboard working on repetitive tasks is time that you can ill afford.

By taking the time to think about how you can automate the mundane tasks early on, you can free up a lot of your time to concentrate on more important aspects of running your business.

For example, do you find that you are answering the same questions over and over? Set up an FAQs section on your website to cover the obvious ones and direct enquiries to the relevant answer using a pre-prepared email template. Simply edit and send.

Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and (ahem!) your pages on the Guild of Jewellery Designers community site, they all need updating but you can update them all with virtually a single post by linking your accounts.

Many modern e-commerce website packages provide automatic order updates to customers throughout the ordering and despatch process by emailing the customer with order acceptance, payment confirmation and despatch details at the tick of a box.

If you can find ways to automate your daily ecommerce tasks in the early stages of your growth, you will be well placed to handle it when you get really busy and you can concentrate on growing.


Are all of your eggs in one basket?


Things begin to take off - sales are flowing in and you're beginning to see the fruits of your labour. Hey! You're the next big thing. But hold on a minute, times change, fashions change. You may be doing well now but in the future sales could dry up. This is now the time to consider different markets and adding new products to fall back on if the tide turns. There are many aspects to jewellery making and either expanding your product range or setting up completely new online businesses that complement each other helps to cushion you should there be a significant change in the requirements of the consumer.

Consider selling work from other designers on your website and choose products that work well with yours without competing too much. In time you will build a business that can withstand the slow periods in the year and still provide you with a steady income.


Now we're rolling!


Right - it's all systems go. Your business is flourishing so where do you go from here and what else can you do? Loads! 

The internet is evolving at a tremendous pace and new tools are being developed all the time to attract traffic to your site and help convert those visitors to sales. Videos, blogs, email marketing tools, mobile internet, the list goes on and it's important to keep on top of them all if you want to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Apart from link building to improve your position in the natural search engine rankings your mailing lists of email addresses of past customers and anybody who has made an enquiry with you is high up in the list of priorities as a tool for promoting your business. Encouraging people to sign up to your newsletter is a major leap forward in selling to the right market. After all, they already like what you do enough to want more information about it, so for them to sign up to your newsletter is a surefire acceptance that they are agreeable to you sending out your advertising messages. Just don't bombard them with endless promotions though - you'll scare them off :-)

Flashy gimmickry - nobody really likes it on a website - search engines most of all. Try to provide information about your products and business without the faff. If your customer understands how your business and website works they are more likely to buy from you. Videos should complement your products and support your website copy, not distract.


......... and finally, before we begin...........


......... please remember to make notes as you go along through the following articles and to jot down any of your own thoughts and ideas to refer to, think about how you can incorporate what you read into your own business. This way you will retain more of the information and begin to create your own strategy.



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