February 6, 2009

..... but but it's a RECESSION!

Image from Entrepreneur.com

When times are tough it is time to invest, not cut. This comes from years of research... All show that, if we cut marketing during such times, the impact is damaging and it can take you longer to get back to where you were.

Of course, this is easy to say, but harder to do. The Pavlovian reaction is to cut, but the media industry can learn from someone like Rupert Murdoch, who historically has never done that. You'll see him investing in editorial and products at a time when other people are throwing the baby out with the bath water. The talk to do ratio is high, the doing is low. (Marketoo)


This is what I was told when I started in the jewelry industry 20 years ago but in much simpler English. "We folk buy when things are goin' good and buy even more when we are goin' slow." I had to think about that statement for a few years before it made sense. On one level if I am doing great I need to replenish my stock. If I am not I need to get stock people will buy. When people are a bit more resistant to buying I need to trim costs as much as I can and offer better values. In essence, lower price points and more value.

My experience through a number of recessions is the lower priced items sell faster than the middle tier and the higher tier sell well since many people are more selective where they invest their money. I become more creative when things are slow. I look for avenues, venues, new opportunities. This is not the time to slow down.

The people who back off during slow economies leave room for those of us who are willing to work hard, be flexible, and creative. It is an opportunity to move to the front of the crowd while others are sitting still.

I look for the opportunities in any situation. Behind every apparent problem there is always at least one opportunity if not more. I always come out ahead and feel pretty darned good about doing so and if I can then anyone can.

Selling beads now is no different than selling jewelry etc.... I am buying up great deals when I can and passing the savings on. I have been careful and frugal with my business and my money and now I can offer specials to people during these economic times so we can all get through them and be ahead in the end. I have stayed true to high quality when so many others have started buying lower quality thinking people will lower their standards. They won't. They still want good quality and they want it for less!

Jewelry is an investment. It's an investment in metals, gemstones, and it is also an investment for people in themselves. During a downturn people stay closer to home, they focus on reevaluating their values and priorities. They focus on family and things that make life more beautiful in small ways. They take their family to town outings (festivals and art shows), they want to buy those things that are unique and special which is what hand crafted jewelry is.

Yes, the economy is down yet there are many ways to push ahead with a career in the jewelry industry during times like these. Keep focused on client's and what they desire. Hustle a bit more. Advertise more. Give loyal customers deals and secure your relationships. Keep quality high and they will remember you when things turn around. Lay a strong foundation. Get out there and do it! You will be ahead of the pack when the economy turns around this year.
No, I am not saying that you haven't done these things. I know you have. Now is just the time to do it more rather than sitting back waiting for the economy. We "are" the economy.
Where a friend of mine works the young people who own the business are so upset by the economy that they are sleeping in late and playing on their computers when they do come into work. The slow down of jobs coming in has them waiting for things to improve. Hopefully they will still be around when the economy does switch. How many jobs are they missing by not going out there asking for them?
Many people I know still can not find workers. There are opportunities but only for those that go after them.

Here are a few articles I found to back me up. They say the same thing just much more eloquently and with more credentials behind them . (They were just the first hits from a google search in marketing during a recession yet somehow said exactly what I was going to say.)


  1. Thank you so much for this post! Since I am just starting out, even though I have a lot to learn, I think it is too early in the game for me to get discouraged. After reading your post, I realize that maybe I am getting into this jewelry business at just the right time!

  2. A great article Szarka! I agree completely!

    I'd love to buy more, but with the Aussie dollar down to around 63c to the USD (last September it was almost at parity) it makes it hard. So, for the time being, thank goodness I have a decent stash to use up first (the other good thing about buying up when things are depressed is you always have LOTS!)

  3. Excellent article. And great advice. :)

  4. I am one of them that is going to be out there hussling. Thank you for this article.

  5. Very good! I've been doing a lot of rethinking, retooling -- and even though the economy is down, my sales are doing fine. I think sometimes people just like to have something pretty/colorful/special to make them feel better.