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Software For Running a Jewelry Business

Jul 4, 2008
A lot of people are making jewelry at home now and many of those people are trying their hand at selling the jewelry they make. And while I've seen people spend thousands of dollars setting up a jewelry workshop or room in their home, I rarely see them spend a tenth of that on a few basic business software applications which could make their jewelry business a whole lot easier to run. And if your jewelry business is easier to run that means you can have more time doing what you love best: making jewelry!

Here are a few pieces of software I think every beading business or jewelry making business owner should consider buying:

Bookkeeping Software - I've seen entire bead stores that kept track of their accounting in giant black leather ledger books, but I've also seen those same people spend hours trying to balance the books and often giving up. This is where a basic piece of bookkeeping software will make your life a whole lot easier. Most basic software will allow you to keep track of income from a variety of sources (selling jewelry, selling jewelry repair services, etc.) and allow you track just about every type of expense imaginable. As long as you take the time to enter everything the right way you'll be able to press a button and immediately see where you stand. Depending upon your banking situation you may even be able to have your bookkeeping software automatically synchronize with your bank statement to avoid errors. You can expect to spend $200 - $400 for bookkeeping software, depending upon how much sophistication you need.

Office Software - You will probably need a basic word processing program as well as a basic spreadsheet program. Even if you don't have an immediate need for them right away you may find yourself needing to produce simple letters to vendors or working out a list of supplies with this software very quickly. There are some free versions of office software available and they work pretty well if you're computer savvy enough to install them. If you want to go with name brand software then you might want to budget $200 - $300 to get the latest and greatest versions.

Inventory Software - You might not think this is important at first, but you'll soon be swamped with jewelry pieces, beads and findings of every type and about a million other items that are difficult to keep track of. You may at first only need software to keep track of the jewelry you're creating, but if your business gets large enough you'll probably also want software that keeps track of all the pieces and beads you may be using. There are lots of different options to choose from with some of the more sophisticated bead jewelry being able to tell you exactly how much each piece cost you to make. Depending upon your needs you may want to consider setting aside about $500 for inventory software.

Graphic or Digital Photo Software - If you're going to sell your jewelry online then you'll most likely need to post digital photos on your website for everyone to see. Most digital cameras come with some basic software and there are plenty of free versions of software for graphics editing available. You may want to hold off buying any digital photo editing software at first and trying what you can find for free. If that doesn't work then plan on spending about $100 on software to edit digital photos and make computer graphics.

As your business grows you may find your jewelry business has even more needs beyond these. Most software can be upgraded for a price that is lower than buying new, so once you make the initial investment you may be able to keep up with the current versions for less than you think. The amount of time many of these software applications can save will make them worthwhile.
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