Starting any business can feel like a daunting task for a newbie because of the many unknowns. The best bet one has in succeeding is looking for information online that can act as a guide.
In this article, we will give you tips on how to become a fashion jewelry distributor. It looks at various aspects of the business and what you can do to ensure success.
How to become a fashion jewelry distributor
Let’s take a deep dive into tips you should consider when starting a fashion jewelry distribution business. Many of these ideas apply to other fields as well, so there’s much to be gained.
1. Choose your demographic
Before you begin, you must pick a target market. For example, do you want to sell kids’ earrings, or do you prefer distributing high-end watches? Choosing your demographic, or more gives your business focus. As you get started, it’s generally good to start off with niche products and then branch from there as the business grows. If you’re unsure who to target, it typically helps to opt for people you have a lot in common with. Thus, a mother with toddlers might find it easier to start selling jewelry that her toddler might wear.
Another way of finding out what demographic to focus on is by looking at your own pain story. An example could be that you were never able to afford gold jewelry. Therefore, the pain is being unable to get something made from gold. However, you came across gold-plated jewelry that looks like the real thing. The solution your business is offering is gold plated jewelry for a fraction of the price of real gold. After, perform additional searches to see what the people you’re targeting want and need.
2. Select the jewelry to distribute
When getting into jewelry distribution, it helps to know what kind of jewelry you’ll be selling. There’s fine jewelry, which requires a significant initial investment, and there’s costume jewelry, which is a lot cheaper. You can have both, but it’s better to begin with one avenue before diversifying. Starting any business can be overwhelming, so it helps to start small and grow from there.
Check on what your competitors are distributing to give you an idea of which direction to take and what to avoid. In your research process, look at what people are complaining about when it comes to certain jewelry and look for items that offer solutions. For example, women with smaller wrists have a hard time getting bracelets that do fit well. Why not target these people and provide bracelets that do fit them and won’t fall off their hands? Thinking of your business as a solution helps you make smarter decisions. Remember, being unique is a selling point for any business.
3. Settle on a business model
There are two approaches that you can take when becoming a distributor. You can either adopt B2B or B2C, business to business or business to customer. There are benefits for each, and thus worth considering. B2B models tend to be easier since you’re dealing with another company that purchases in bulk. As a result, you tend to offer discounted prices but still make a profit from the sales. A B2C model means that you’re dealing with individuals instead. For that reason, the customer pays the full cost of an item, and in the long run, it means more profits for you. Alternatively, you can adopt both models since each does have its own merits.
4. Source for jewelry wisely
Among the business values you should adopt, one of them needs to be authenticity. Whether it is a costume or fine jewelry, they must be of good quality. That requires you to only source for and work with companies that make or distribute authentic jewelry. Selling substandard jewelry is a quick way to put yourself out of business. Therefore, if you want your business to thrive and last a long time, ensure that you’re getting and selling legit products.
Finding the right companies to source jewelry takes time, but it’s essential to follow the due process. Check the company’s online presence, including reviews from others. For example, if the company is on Amazon, you can look into their products’ customer ratings and what people have to say about them. Once you are content with that, you gather, reach out to the company directly, showing interest in working with them. Ask any questions you may have, including for their accreditation as jewelers. Where possible, ask for samples. If they respond promptly, are helpful, and show equal interest in working with you, it’s safe to say they are a good fit. Not everyone is lucky the first time, but it’s a worthwhile task.
5. Offer niche products
What makes your business stand out from the rest? Take a look at what your competitors are selling and figure out what’s missing. You can also choose materials that you love and focus on those instead. For example, if you’re a fan of sterling silver, then focus on selling jewelry made from this material. If you’re a fan of pendants, offer such a wide variety that customers will be spoilt for choice. Let yourself be known for doing something unique or different from what others in the same industry are doing. Placing one’s business in this light is an ideal branding strategy.
Jewelry that stands out can be challenging to find; that’s why you need to spend plenty of time in the research phase. Finding a particular company offering all the products you need is not commonplace, and thus, you’ll have to settle for two or more other companies to get items from. Once you get the shipment schedule in order, things should move smoothly on your end.
6. Create a basic business plan
Once you’ve settled on the demographic, the kind of jewelry to sell, and get the right companies to work with, put everything down on paper. The purpose of a business plan is to keep your company focused on its goals. Therefore, in this formal written document, place down the goals and how you intend to meet the goals. Include a time-frame for when you want to achieve the goals.
A basic business plan is essential not only for oneself but also for the people you’ll be working with. It’s essential to provide this document to everyone who comes on board so they, too, can work with you to make your vision a reality. Every three to six months, you ought to check on the business plan again. That way, you’ll know if you’re on track or if goals have shifted. Update the plan to reflect what’s currently happening and use it as an evaluation tool.
7. Establish an online presence
Over the years, businesses have come to see the power of having an online presence. The first thing most people do when interacting with a brand they’ve never heard of is taking to google and looking for the company’s social media handles or website. When starting the distributor business, ensure that you’ve spent a significant amount of time and investment on the company website and social media channels.
This part of the business is not a one-time investment. You have to keep current, and that’s possible thanks to scheduling tools, most of which are free. That means you don’t have to post things on your socials daily; at the beginning of the week, you can schedule the week’s content and move on to other things. Even so, ensure that you interact with anyone commenting or asking questions on your socials. High engagement is a sign of excellent customer service, something that everyone values.
8. Be authentic in your marketing
Some fraudulent companies are in the habit of mislabeling their products- don’t do the same. For example, if you’re selling gold-plated jewelry, don’t label it as real gold merely because the top layer is actual gold. When marketing your products, call a spade a spade and not a big spoon. It would be best if you delivered on your word; people want to get what they paid for with their hard-earned cash.
For your marketing to be authentic, you need to have original jewelry as well. That’s why it’s essential to only work with the best brands you can find. When something is of good quality, it speaks for itself. What’s more, it means spending significantly less on marketing since you won’t have to result in antics to move products. Another benefit of good marketing is that once you make a client happy, they’ll be more than happy to market your products for you. If someone compliments their jewelry, their reaction will likely be, “Thanks, I got it from [your business name].” Word-of-mouth remains king when it comes to marketing strategies.
9. Figure out the distribution process
There are two approaches when it comes to shipping products to your customers. The first is you can purchase inventory and keep it in a warehouse or shop. That requires investing in a physical location, which significantly drives up your initial and overall operating cost. People prefer this kind of model because they can keep track of what’s going in, what’s going out, and what jewelry needs restocking.
The other approach is to drop shipping. This is a model where you don’t store any of the products as the seller but still, accept money from customers. Here, you forward the billed items and shipping address to the company that stocks the product asked for. The company is then tasked with getting the order to the intended person. In this framework, you have to pay the company you’re working with shipment costs since they are doing all the deliveries for you.
There’s less risk with drop shipping since you don’t have money tied up in stock. It means that you’re only selling what people want, and you won’t end up with dead stock once a fashion trend goes out of style. There’s also the fact that you don’t need to rent a warehouse to keep the goods. However, while this might sound convenient, it’s not for everyone. It is tricky to control since you’re not in charge of a lot of factors. If the company you’ve partnered with increases their costs abruptly, you’ll have to do the same. You also have less control in quality control and customer satisfaction.
Weight the pros and cons of each approach so you can decide what’s best for you.
10. Hire the right team
Human resource plays a significantly large role in the success of a business. The type of people you hire can dramatically affect the success of your business. It is best to hire people with the knowledge to require in running a business. That means that it is best to hire an accountant to run the money side of things and a salesperson to do the marketing for you.
When hiring staff, ensure that you’ve done sufficient screening for each person. You might be a startup, but they too can affect the direction your company takes. That means not hiring that relative with a history of picking up things that don’t belong to them and instead hire someone who has studied and practiced accounting. Apart from the papers, it’s even better to get people passionate about what they do. They are the best people to help your vision come to life.
There are many moving parts when it comes to running a business, and that’s why it’s essential to do adequate research into the field you wish to get into. This article has covered most of the basics, but there is more to be learned. Take time to map out a business plan of how you’ll become a jewelry distributor so that you can avoid the pitfalls that come with rushing to start a business. Be it a few days, weeks, or months, opt to start your business when you have everything under control.