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6. Creating too much stock without having a market. Market research for your products is essential and can be tricky. It’s tempting to make lots of a design and then try and sell it. However, this way, you risk sitting on unsold stock. To avoid this, it’s best to just make one or two items and ‘road test’ them before you start to produce more of them. With stock that doesn’t sell, there’s still the option of either dismantling the piece (which depends on the craft and the item) or donating it to charity.


7. Copying other people’s work . Not only is it highly unimaginative to copy other people’s work, it is also illegal. So don’t do it. For more information on copyright for art work, visit DACS’ website: www.dacs. org.uk For designers, visit ACID’s website: www.acid.uk.com


8. Jumping on trends. The latest craze in jewellery making has been the ubiquitous Shamballa bracelets. Supplies can be bought


16 | ukhandmade | Autumn 2012


fairly cheaply and they are not too difficult to make. At the start of such a trend, you might sell a lot of these bracelets but you may also end up with a lot of unsold stock if you catch the trend nearer the end. How can you avoid this? Simply by being original and setting a trend yourself.


9. Making things you don’t want to make or particularly like. When I started out, a friend of mine suggested I make foot thongs and sell them at a belly dancing event. I tried to create stock in a short time to prepare for the event and made lots of foot thongs. I didn’t enjoy making them and wasn’t convinced that they would sell. The event proved my doubts to be right. Other vendors sold cheaply made stuff from India and Turkey and I simply could not compete with them. In the end, I only sold two items; neither of them foot thongs. I was left sitting on a lot of stock that I didn’t like. I dismantled them all and managed to sell a foot thong tutorial to “Making Jewellery”. Now I only make things I like and am


comfortable with.


10. Don’t do it all alone. Owning a small business means that you often try to do everything yourself: designing the item, pricing it, sorting your accounts, taking photos, uploading your items on your website or shopping portal, marketing and PR. Sometimes it becomes overwhelming to do it all yourself and things start to fall apart. So why not learn the art of delegating? I recently decided to hire a small business to help me improve my SEO because my website wasn’t attracting


many visitors. While


this work (that I would struggle to complete) is being dealt with, I can concentrate on other areas of the business that I want to improve.


For more business advice, visit: Business Link - www.businesslink.gov.uk and Business In Focus (Wales) - www.businessinfocus.co.uk Images courtesy of Karen Jinks & Bebe Bradley.


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