Tips on How To Set up Your Own Home Based Business-selling Wire Jewelry
by Preston Reuther
So you’re thinking about opening up a home-based wire jewelry businessand naturally you are terrified about what to do next. Well, worry no more! This business is a breeze to set up and I will show you how to do it for peanuts. With this easy guide for setting up your new home business and all the trade secrets, tricks, and tips you’ll get from my videos you can’t go wrong. You will get lots of information on how to start and run a profitable wire jewelry business.
Advantages of a home-based wire jewelry business
Well, clearly there is LOW risk. WHY?
1. No expensive lease or commercial rent - work right from the room that no one ever uses.
2. No costly telephone installation, deposits, monthly bills. Home biz phones are quite reasonable.
3. No expensive equipment to buy, just a few hand tools, some gold filled or silver wire and a few gemstones and you're in business.
4. No employee payroll to meet. According to the IRS, you can actually hire your kids and use them as a deduction.
5. No accountants needed or bookkeepers. Do your own bookkeeping with a simple piece of software called Quicken or Quick Books .Unless you really start raking it in and then it might be advisable to get one of those fancy accounts! At that point you may want to look into expense management solutions and software to better serve your needs."
6. No commuting 5 or 6 hours a week. With all this extra time you could spend more time with your family or even get a new hobby.
7. No more keeping up with the high fashion rat race- just dress casual. Or even work in your underwear! Hey, you're the boss!
8. More flexible lifestyle-work your own hours, day, or night
9. More time to do all the things you always wanted to do!
10. Great tax advantages for home-based businesses. You can write off your tools, videos, supplies, gold wire, bench, gems, a portion of your shop area, road and telephone expenses. Plus if you go for a weekend to Las Vegas and stop by several stores to see if they want to buy your jewelry-it looks like a sales trip to me.
A FEW HOME BUSINESS FACTS
1. Apple computer started out as a home biz
2. Domino’s Pizza started right out of the house
3. Would you believe Walt Disney started out as a small home biz!
MORE FACTS on the home based business
Did you know that the Home Based Business Market in the U.S. now includes 35 million households? (Link resources, January 1993)
Did you know that women operating home based businesses were found to have 22% more family assets than did their counterparts who did not work at home? (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Did you know that 4 out of every 10 households have some kind of income-generating or after-hours home-based business?
Did you know 95% of home-based businesses succeed in their first year.
Did you know that home-based businesses in America today are generating over $427 billion a year!!!
YOU CERTAINLY HAVE COME A LONG WAY BABY!!
Woman have taken up wire sculpting by storm and make up about 60% of the wire sculptors in the US today! Wire Sculpting is certainly an equal opportunity employer and the possibilities are endless for a successful home based business. With a few of my videos on wire sculpture, a few inexpensive tools and an old desk for a work bench-You're in business! And guys I've got to admit the ladies seem to do a GREAT job at sculpting because of the soft touch they apply. The guys want to muscle the wire a bit!
Home Business Business Plan
What’s a business plan, you say! Well, frankly I personally feel that 90% of the successful home businesses today would never have made it if it were up to the business plan. I started my home based wire jewelry business with a $5 bill and a strong desire to do what I wanted to do-not what some manager wanted me to do.
PLUS-if the business plan is too difficult and technical, it can squash the entrepreneurial spirit. I work 15 to 16 hours a day at my home jewelry biz. Why? Because I love what I'm doing! If you don't, it becomes too much like work. So if you don't like what you're doing, no business plan is going to help you be successful.
Let’s just say it would be wise to lay out a simple comprehensive plan on how you’re going to start, finance, and run your business. Then after your up and running and making some jewelry, go into your biz and take a good look at it. Figure out where you're at and where you want to be. This is a good time to do it in writing. When you start writing down your hopes, dreams, and plans, they become reality. After all, this ain’t Rocket Science.
Business Permits for Home Based businesses
This is a permit issued by your city, county or state to operate a home business. Many times these permits are free but sometime there is a charge, so let’s say $10. Now a word about this permit. Remember, when you get this permit you’re in the real world of business. In other words, you’re phone is now a Business phone! You’re expected to pay a much larger deposit on a business phone. Plus the city, may have other business requirements that your home business may have to abide by. There may be zoning regulations or whatever else your local government wants.
NOW! I’m not saying to circumvent your local government. OH, NO! I would never tell you to do that!!! What I’m telling you is YOU are the boss now and you will have to think things through. So before you turn your hobby into a full time home business you might be sure that you’re making some dough!
Choose a Legal Category for your Home Based Business
There are three ways to structure your home business
#1. Sole Proprietorship
I have always said the easiest way is usually the best. Make your own choice but for me a single proprietorship structured home business is best. I won’t go into why-just trust me on this one!!! I am not a lawyer so I can’t give legal advice but don’t spend money on a lawyer figuring this one out. Just get these simple forms.
IRS FORM Schedule SE-compensation of Social Security Self Employment Tax
IRS FORM 1040 E’S-Estimated tax for individuals
Open a Small Home Business Checking Account
*Bank charges vary. Shop around for the best deal. These are some of the questions you should ask: If you have a minimum balance, are your checks free? Is there a service charge? Will they issue you or your business a credit card? If not, you might go to another bank. Savings and loans can save you hundreds of dollars a year. They give you interest on your balance and there are no service charges on checks. This one tip can save you lots of dough at the end of the year. (If you devote 1 credit card just for your home based business, life will be a lot easier.)
*If you open your home business and the bank asks you for all that federal tax id stuff, just use your social security number. It’s easy, it’s legal and it’s FREE in most states.
*Forget all those fancy overpriced checks for your home based jewelry business-with dolphins and whatever on them. Get a basic check with your name, address, and city and state. I don’t like the idea of a social security # on a check because if someone gets hold of it with all the other information on it, they can really play hell. Like stealing your identity-Hey, it happens.
Choosing a name for your home based Business
People take this lightly but remember the name of your home business is important for lots of reasons. I will give you an idea of what I'm talking about. The name of my home business was originally BODY SCULPTURE. Sounds great, hey! You know wire, jewelry, body. Well, every time I answered the phone BODY SCULPTURE, I literally had to explain what I do for a living to the person on the other end of the phone. AND I got nothing against anyone who wants to put nails in their genitals but it’s not the image I wanted to project.
Let’s talk about naming your business after yourself or in other words, using your own name like Joe Smith Jewelry. There is nothing wrong with this if that’s what you want to do. Usually in this business your business is known by your first name. 99% of the people who know me know me as Preston and couldn’t tell you my last name to save their life. But remember, if you name your home business with your own name, you get all the rewards and fame BUT if you screw up big time, your name goes down with your business. That’s why very few corporations are named Bonne Sue Smith Corp. Do you remember the Edsel? And yes, it is his real name.
There is always a chance you might have taken someone else’s name. Go to the Internet there are lots of search engines for this. BUT if your name is Betty Mc Donald and you want to open up a burger place and name it after your last name, well, all I can say is: HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. The company with the most $$$$$$$$$$$ wins in this case. Choose the name of your home business, whatever you call it, register the name with the state. And whatever you do, don’t name it locally, in other words, if you live in Tennessee, don’t name it Smokey Mountain Jewelers cause you never know when you’re gonna move to Florida!!!
Retail storefront on the world wide web means $$$$$$$$$$$
Why? Because that’s where you and your business will end up whether you like it or not. Plus there is a race to get the really good names. Like Diamonds.com-That name could probably be sold for $1,000,000 as we speak. PLUS if you don’t have your domain name picked out yet you better get one! What you say- you don't even have a computer! So what. Get the name and hold on to it. It only costs you $35 a year and I’m betting that you’ll probably make more money on that deal than stock in Yahoo! I own 25 of them and that includes -wire-sculpture, wire sculpture and cameo jewelry. Every business in America will be online in the next three years or they will be out of business. So where do you wanna be?
OK you got very little money, no computer experience, no domain name, but you would like to start your own small web site to sell some of your sculpted jewelry! NO PROBLEM-lots of companies are giving away FREE 5 mgs (space) sites with free e mail and all the other goodies for FREE! What this does is get your feet wet so to say at the website game, it gives you a website to put on your cards and hopefully bring your customers to after the craft show is over and prepares you for BIG BIZ down the road. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a website (ANY KIND) and show off all the jewelry you're going to make!!! -
NOW -Marketing that's something else!!! When you get into the website game you have got to get involved. Somewhere along the line you have got to learn a little about marketing or your jewelry website will be no more then an empty room full of pictures. You can't expect someone else to do the marketing, e mailing, etc etc. I get about 25 different newsletters a week. That way I stay up on all the different marketing techniques, tips, and anything else I need to make my website work. I have spent thousands on marketing this site and my retail jewelry site -most of it was wasted. Get some good advice from a web guru and save yourself lots of dough by trial and error. Most internet marketing books in hardback are out of date the day you buy them!
If you got your heart set on getting a website and showing off all that jewelry you might consider getting a digital camera. In this business it's all about great PICTURES and naturally great jewelry. Digital cameras can cost from $30 to several thousand dollars. A $30 camera might work great for pictures of your grand-daughter but if you're going to take pictures of your jewelry, you have to have a macro lens. With this in mind, you're probably looking at $300 to $500 for a professional digital camera capable of taking close up pictures of your jewelry. There's lots of brand names that I could mention and they're all pretty close in performance but you should be the judge of what camera is right for you. There are great camera reviews on the internet that will help you choose the best camera for the job and one that will fit your pocket book! Just remember, you're in the jewelry business so let the camera fit your needs.-If you cannot get a good picture for your gallery, site etc it will hurt your sales if not kill it all together so if at all possible get a digital camera if you're thinking about marketing on the internet.
Check Your Zoning or Condo Rules for your home-based business
Here’s a real touchy situation. With rules everywhere-city, state, federal, somebody someone could probably find a little ordinance to shut you down especially if you’re selling more jewelry than MR. BIG down the street. But with your home based business, your production is done at home but most of your sales will be done at craft shows, jewelry shows, malls, etc. If you do have customers come to your home, it should be by appointments only. But don’t worry about all this. Plus, how many Mary Kay girls have been ousted because of their in-home business? Not Many.
Sales Tax Permits-and home businesses
NOW, technically, you don’t need a business permit to get into a craft show. You may be making a transition from hobbyist to businessman and during this time it is not technically required but if you are collecting sales tax, you better have a sales tax license from 0-$30, average price about $15, and be turning it in. DO NOT OPERATE WITHOUT A SALES TAX PERMIT. IF YOU COLLECT IT, PAY IT -IF YOU’RE NOT PAYING SALES TAX THAT YOU COLLECTED, YOU’RE PLAYING WITH FIRE AND GONNA GET BURNT-NUF SAID.
When you work a craft show or whatever, you will be required to file a sales tax return. Usually you pay the city and sometimes the state right on the spot.
TAXES AND YOUR HOME BUSINESS
Death and taxes are two things that are certain. With so many deductions available to a home BUSINESS there is no need to cheat! Oh, you know what I mean-The sole proprietorship is best for good tax benefits and don’t mix your funds. Keep a business checking account. There is no boss to withhold the IRS’s money so you gotta do it. Take care of your books. Get all deductions you can get but give Uncle Sam his share and you’ll be able to sleep at night. I mean, hey, look, what they did to Al Capone! Get IRS Publication #334. It’s free-"Tax Guide for Small Businesses" And don’t forget to save 10% of revenues in a savings account-no matter what. You’ll be glad you did.
Business Cards, Stationery, Brochures FOR YOUR HOME JEWELRY BUSINESS
Just starting out-If you have the capital to get started out you might check out some of the on line office supply stores. Most are fairly reasonable. BUT if you just spent your last dollar on some tools, print out some very simple ones or some small flyers, like an 11 by 8 ½ and cut them into 4's and hand them out at shows, gatherings, etc. You can even go to offices and get used paper and make a flyer on the back and cut them into four, six or eight sections. When you work a show, you will give out 100s of cards and flyers and if it’s a big show, you could give out thousands!!! Don't worry about that UNPROFESSIONAL LOOK despite what they say, people love the small business person that is just starting out and is really struggling. Americans love the UNDER DOG! -Now if you're selling some jewelry and things are rolling along, you might think about a one page color flyer (brochure) with just 4 or 5 items that you can produce WELL and produce them FAST- that's the name of the game here. So it must be a sculpted wire setting that is completed quickly, efficiently and with HIGH PROFIT!
NOTE-Giving out cards usually don't work very well but a one page color flyer of 5 simple pieces of sculpted jewelry would work well especially if you gave them a $10 coupon that expired in one week with it!!!.
BE VERY CAREFUL AS TO WHO YOU INVITE INTO YOUR HOME OR GIVE YOUR ADDRESS TO-REMEMBER you're in the jewelry business and many people think your house is piled up to the ceiling with gold and silver. I'm not trying to scare you but you must ALWAYS be aware of this.
While we are on the subject, you are also probably going to need many legal forms as far as work forms, invoices, order forms, commission agreements and more.
Mailing lists for your home based jewelry business
Keep your customers addresses and Email if you can and when you do a show in their area, you might send them a color postcard. Letters are a little pricey but a postcard is VERY EFFECTIVE and inexpensive. A mailing list will be your road map to success. Build them, keep them and use them. You will be glad you did.-I have worked many very good shows where 70% of all my sales were from my mailing list. If you don't keep a mailing list you are throwing away your customers!!!
Need more information on beginning a home based jewelry making business? Check out some of our greathome based business jewelry making courses!