Sunday, 22 February 2015

Five ways to streamline your jewellery business

It is Business Week at the London Jewellery School and I have written a few blog posts. Here is a reblog of one.

Running your own jewellery business is rewarding but you often have to be a jack of all trades. Here is some advice from tutor and jewellery business owner Anna Campbell on how to streamline your efforts


  1. Schedule your time so you focus on one thing a day
This advice comes from business writer Robin Sharma and helped transform the way that I run my business.
Firstly, spend some time planning your week in advance. I tend to do this on a Sunday. Use a diary or calendar to fill in everything you have to do during the week. For example, as a tutor I will sometimes have classes I need to teach so I will add them into my weekly planner.
Then structure the rest of your week so you try to focus on one thing per day.
For example, one day for
  • making new stock
  • designing new ranges
  • working on your social media
  • packing and going to the post office (if you guarantee delivery within 5 working days you can go to the post office once a week)
  • paperwork, administration and ordering new stock


If you try to do everything every day your concentration gets scattered and you get less done but if you focus on one main task per day you can achieve so much more. If an idea comes up that would be best done on a different day simply write it down and get back to what you were doing.





2. Daily to do lists
If your to do list is so long and daunting you find it difficult to even look at it then try this.
By all means keep the long master to do list but then break this down into daily tasks. This way you know what you need to accomplish on any given day (because you have planned your time at the start of the week) and you don’t get overwhelmed about where to start. You also get a sense of achievement when you are able to do what you’ve planned for the day that you don’t get with a master to do list as it’s never all done!  
I started using bullet journalling (a paper-based method of structuring to do lists and notes) and I’ve found it very helpful.


3. Hire around your weaknesses
If you’re not good at something chances are you are either avoiding it or you take longer to do it than someone else could. Consider hiring someone to do the things you’re not good at or bartering with someone that you know could help you out. Have a look at people per hour, a site where you can post a job and choose from bids for the work from all over the world.
Also consider the ethos of Tim Ferriss author of ‘The four hour work week’. The premise is that our time is worth a certain amount of money per hour. If you can pay someone less to do certain tasks that need to be done it frees you up to do the work that earns you your best hourly rate. For example, if you do the cleaning in your house could you pay someone else to do that for you? It would free you up for that time to do the work that is more lucrative.


4. Utilise free online services
There are a number of free online services that you could utilise to help save you time, particularly when working on your social media presence.
Try bufferapp, a free service that allows you to schedule messages in advance to go on twitter, facebook, google plus and linkedin.
If you write a blog, spend a day writing some blog posts and schedule them to publish periodically.


5. Keep paperwork up to date
Whether you’re a sole trader or have a limited company, you will need to ensure you keep your paperwork up to date for your tax return. If you leave it to the last minute there’s a big panic about getting your return in on time and I’m sure you will end up paying more as you will not log everything.
Schedule a day a week to keep on top of your administration. Work out a system that works for you. I bought a lovely small filing cabinet drawer (it’s a gorgeous teal colour!). All receipts to be logged go in there. I log everything on Go Simple Tax (I adore this service. It’s so straightforward to use and when you’re ready to submit your tax return the information is automatically put into the correct format and uploaded to the gateway). I put a felt tip dot on all receipts that I have already logged online and file them away in case they’re needed.



Anna Campbell is a tutor at the London Jewellery School and runs her own jewellery business Campbell Hall Designs. She sells online from her website and at the Things British shop in Greenwich, London.

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