Each year, millions of Americans decide to start their own small business. The last few years have seen a significant increase in startups and self-owned stores.
In this guide, we’ll reveal how much money you’ll need to start a jewelry business. Using this information, you can create a foolproof plan of attack to help your new jewelry business thrive!
How Much Does It Cost To Start a Jewelry Business?
Before you start a new retail business, you’ll need to take stock of the costs involved. As with most small businesses, jewelry start-ups incur a handful of standard expenses.
These costs are almost always associated with:
By analyzing each of these factors, you can create an educated estimate of your expected start-up costs.
Naturally, one of the higher costs is real estate. Owning or renting a physical storefront can easily cost several thousands of dollars per month in rent, utilities, and licensing. As such, the first expenditures we’ll examine are location costs.
In business and real estate, location is everything. When starting a new physical business, you’ll need to choose a storefront.
Unless you have plenty of funding, it’s probably best that you choose a virtual storefront if you are building a new business. That said, physical businesses have their advantages, including an expedited sales process because you are interfacing with customers in person.
Still, if you’re opening a jewelry business, you’ll need to select one of the following options:
- A Physical Storefront
- An Online Storefront
- A Mixed Storefront
A Physical Storefront
The cost to rent a physical storefront varies depending on the location of the commercial building. That said, the average monthly rent for such spaces is about $2,300. This cost doesn’t include utilities (electricity, internet, plumbing) or renovations.
The final price to open a physical storefront for a jewelry store is easily over $20,000. Remember, you’ll need proper shelving, lighting, and signage to open a physical retail store. You’ll also want to invest in security cameras and updated point-of-sale operating systems.
An Online Store
Starting an online business is far more accessible and affordable than opening a physical storefront. You don’t need to leave your home to create a virtual storefront, and the only associated costs tend to be associated with website domains and site design.
The cost to open an online storefront varies, though most can expect to spend between $100 and $400. Hiring a web designer to help you design your site and manage your storefront can add to the final cost of opening a virtual store
A Mixed Store
You don’t have to choose either a physical location or an online one. Instead, you can enjoy the best of both worlds by utilizing a mixed storefront approach. That said, this option tends to work best for established businesses that already have virtual storefronts.
Nearly every reputable business has an established online presence. Even small businesses without dedicated websites utilize social media platforms to advertise their products or services.
If you’re hoping to sell jewelry online, you’ll want to either create a website or choose a selling platform. If possible, it’s best to do both. But costs vary depending on which route you decide to take.
Creating a Website
Professional businesses always have professional websites. However, if you’re serious about attracting customers and building trust with your clients, you’re going to need to create a website for your business. Product photography is, above all, one of the best ways to increase sales conversions to your site with minimal overhead.
There are several website-building platforms, host services, and tools that can help you get this done. Some of the best places to start are:
You’ll need to choose a website name and domain name to suit your business and register those names. The cost to secure a domain name varies, but you can generally expect to spend between $10 and $20 for an annual acquisition.
However, hosting services and website building tools are typically more expensive and can easily cost between $200 and $500 per year. But you may only need to pay a monthly fee to get started, bringing the initial website creation cost to about $200.
Setting Up an Online Store
You don’t necessarily need to create a website to enjoy an online presence. There are plenty of commercial platforms available to sellers, including eBay and Etsy. You can choose one of these popular platforms to begin immediately selling high-quality pieces.
However, it’s crucial to note that your inventory will sit alongside the listings of thousands of other sellers if you choose this option. These marketplaces are competitive, and it may take time for shoppers to notice your products.
On the other hand, start-up costs associated with these platforms are exceptionally low. You can join these platforms as a seller, typically for free. However, these marketplace platforms often take a percentage of your sales and charge a fee for each item you list online.
Listing fees and transaction fees vary, so be sure to consult the fee policy associated with your chosen platform before you start selling.
Before you can start earning money selling jewelry, you need jewelry to sell! So naturally, one of the initial costs of starting a jewelry business is acquiring high-quality pieces.
Creating a store inventory can be an expensive process, especially if you’re determined to sell upscale jewelry. Make sure to spend extra attention on taking great professional product photos when setting up an online inventory.
But buying pre-made pieces isn’t the only way to generate an inventory. Artisanal handmade jewelry is a popular alternative to professionally-made or mechanically crafted pieces. There’s a massive market for one-of-a-kind handmade rings, bracelets, and necklaces.
Naturally, you could choose to do a little of both. However, it’s often best to choose one and stick with it. Claiming a niche, whatever that niche might be, is an excellent way to establish and grow your business.
So if you’d like to sell heirloom jewelry rescued from pawn shops and donation stores, be sure to disclude handmade or brand new pieces. Alternatively, if you’re interested in catering to customers with refined tastes, you’ll need to invest in timeless and professional-quality pieces.
Either way, you’re going to incur inventory costs. These can vary from only $500 to well over $50,000 depending on the pieces you choose.
If you choose the handmade route, you may be able to save money initially. After purchasing the equipment and supplies you’ll need to craft handmade pieces, you’ll immediately see savings in inventory costs.
However, those savings will translate into labor. After all, pre-made pieces can be pricey. But you don’t have to put them together!
If no one knows your business exists, it’s going to struggle to survive. Advertising is crucial to the success of any enterprise, including a small jewelry business. Consequently, you’ll need to choose a method of advertising that acknowledges fashion trends that fit your online store’s profile.
Some of the most popular ways that small retail businesses advertise their wares include:
- Local advertising
- Social media advertising
- Newsletter advertising
As you might expect, each of these strategies has a specific average cost associated with it. However, social media advertising tends to be the least expensive of these options, as you can create a free account on nearly any social media platform and scale your investment higher or lower as needed.
You could also choose to advertise via your website’s newsletter function. By sending out regular newsletters, you will alert past and potential customers about upcoming listings, sales, and events. But your reach is also limited by your newsletter subscriber count.
Lastly, there’s local advertising. Advertising locally is an excellent option for those utilizing marketplace platforms like Facebook Marketplace. Local advertising can be as simple as an online post on social media. But it can also mean placing an advertisement in the local paper.
The cost to place an ad in a newspaper varies depending on the publication and the size of the advertisement. The larger the ad and the more notable the paper, the pricier things get. Still, if you choose to advertise your local newspaper, you might only spend about $100 and receive local attention that can turn into sales.
The final cost to consider is transportation. How will you get your products to the customers? How much will you spend to ensure the products make it to them safely and quickly? The way you decide to answer these questions can influence your final start-up costs.
So, let’s take a moment to examine the two distinct expenditures that fall within this category:
- Packaging costs
- Shipping costs
The first cost to consider is the packaging. The boxes, bubble wrap, and other protective supplies you’ll need to ship your items fall into this category. As a small jewelry business owner, you’ll want to invest in plenty of appropriate packaging for your products.
Shipping costs are also worth considering. If you choose only to ship items domestically, you can reduce your shipping costs and utilize specialized small business services. For example, UPS offers small business shipping solutions that might help you keep prices low.
Still, packaging and shipping costs are fluid. They vary depending on sales and customer location. Packaging costs are easiest to control because retailers can choose specific supplies and containers to meet their budget.
The costs of starting a jewelry business may vary depending on your chosen location, online platform, and inventory. Advertising, product photography, and product transportation are also significant factors that can influence costs
Those looking to start a jewelry business with minimal funds may opt for a virtual store instead of a physical location. Using social media as a primary means of advertising can also help small businesses save a little money starting out.
Of course, no matter what location or advertising strategy you choose, it’s crucial to select high quality pieces for your inventory. Lackluster or cheaply made jewelry is a surefire way to lose customers and earn poor reviews.
Glaciera can streamline your inventory selection process, helping both you and your customers discover the perfect pieces. Be sure to book a free service demo today!