Looking Ahead, Silver Beehive Studio
One of my mentors, Gary Vanercheck, talks about playing the ‘long game’ and the 3, 5, even 10+ years it takes to become an ‘overnight success’. In thinking about my art and my business from this POV I try to keep looking forward and asking myself, “What do I need to be doing right now to pave the way for long-term success?” The answers seem to change monthly but these are the things I am thinking today:
- I need to play to my strengths which is being creatively prolific at the wax bench. Cranking out lots of ideas, 10-20 a week, experimenting, failing, improving on previous designs and achieving breakthroughs is where my future lies.
- Concentrating on sales/conversions as my primary goal when I only have 1 collection available would bring in short-term revenue but is a long-term dead-end. Once I have released 3-5 new collections (over the next 12-18 months) then I will be ready to ramp up marketing efforts and get serious about targeted advertising. Doing so too early will only take time away from growing new collections.
“Whether you’re 9 or 90, stop trying to fix the things you’re bad at, and focus on the things you’re good at.” – Gary Vaynerchuk
- Focus less on finishing freshly cast rings and more on brainstorming new ideas. Tumble finish as much a possible and only hand finish the best designs that warrant a closer look.
- Continue to include a feedback loop in the design and collection formation process using digital and in-person focus groups.
- Continue to grow a top-quality production and marketing/branding team that can effectively operate without me directing every step of the operation. Treating the team well, valuing their input and appreciating their contributions is essential to the success of SBS.
- Branding of SBS by creating and sharing content on social media is the most important thing I can be doing for marketing right now. This content can be tapped in the future to sell our products to the people most interested in them.
- I need to continue to build and grow the production studio capacity.
- Developing ‘systems’ for every aspect of the business is key to our future success. Although creating these detailed guides is time-consuming, it is absolutely necessary for growth. ‘System sheets’ are image-based step-by-step guides on how to successfully complete a task in the production and marketing process. A new employee with minimal training and skills should be able to follow a system sheet to successfully complete most any task.
- We need to do a better job of staying connected with our fans. We need to build a community of fans and true fans. Talk is cheap, we need to figure out the best way to build a community, any ideas?
- Top-quality photography and hand models are essential for successful online jewelry retail. Continue to strive for image-excellence with each new collection.