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Business decisions


#1

Hello to all of you out there in Orchid world! I’m rejoining and
delurking after a semester abroad, and I thought I’d introduce
myself. My name is Bekka, I’m a third year dual degree jewelry and
women’s studies student (no, I haven’t slept for three years), and I
run a (tiny) business selling my work. I’ve taken a break from
selling while I’ve been away (student visa), and I’m trying to get
back in the game. I have a few pieces in galleries, but do mostly
craft shows and I’m starting up a website. I have a few questions I’d
love some input on from anyone with more experience (which would be
almost anyone).

1). I have a mix of everyday pieces and narrative, conceptual work,
and I’m not sure how to appropriately present these. Should I keep
them with me to display at shows, even though I know that at several
thousand dollars they are unlikely to be an impulse buy? Should I try
to get them into galleries, knowing that I’ll then pay a 50%
commission? How do others balance the two?

2). I’m just getting the website started, and I’d love feedback from
people who know their stuff about what I could do to improve it, both
in terms of layout and from the business end. I currently mostly have
only sold things posted because they’re older pictures, but that
should be solved in the next few days, as soon as I can set up and
shoot the newer stuff.

3). I registered my business name three years ago in my home state
of CT, at which point there were no other “R Cubed Designs” or “R
Cubed Design” companies. However, I learned when I went to get a
domain name this week that there is a graphic design company in
(Illinois? Florida?) called R Cubed Design, with no s at the end. I
already have business cards, a website, and a (small) brand centered
around my name. Is there anything I can do to distinguish myself from
these people, or make it easier for customers? I really don’t want to
change my name, it’s based on my initials (RRR, haha punny), and it’s
got sentimental value at this point, as it’s been a family joke among
the R Cubed club (there are four of us, currently) for years.

Thanks for your help, and I look forward to getting to know you all
though the computer-machine.

Rebecca Ross Russell, R Cubed Designs
http://www.rcubeddesigns.com


#2

I guess the third question is moot, after talking to business majors
I know, I’ve decided to change the name of the company and all
associated materials to “R Cubed Jewelry” instead. It’s EXPENSIVE,
and I have to get my business cards reprinted, but I think it’s a
smarter plan in the end. Frustrating, though. At any rate, the site
is now up at http://www.rcubedjewelry.com, and I’d still love
feedback on how to improve that. Thanks so much.

Bekka Ross Russell
R Cubed Jewelry


#3

You could always contact the company, let them knw how long you’ve
had the name and it’s value to you, and ask/offer to cross link
websites in case anyone gets lost. They could post a link to your
website and you could post a link to theirs so that if anyone ends
up at the wrong one it won’t be hard to get them where they want to
go. Also it serves as advertisement for both of you.

Just a thought and best of luck,
K. David Woolley
Fredericton, NB
Diversiform Metal Art & Jewellery


#4
I have a mix of everyday pieces and narrative, conceptual work, and
I'm not sure how to appropriately present these. 

I would keep them separate. Try to get gallery shows for the big
pieces. Take an appropriate mix to shows.

For more help with shows, I recommend the blog of Luann Udell.

I'm just getting the website started, and I'd love feedback from
people who know their stuff about what I could do to improve it,
both in terms of layout and from the business end. 

Well, post the address! Another great place to get help with websites
is theswitchboards.com

I registered my business name three years ago in my home state of
CT, at which point there were no other "R Cubed Designs" or "R
Cubed Design" companies. 

Ah, this might be a good time to start over. Give yourself a name
with more room for growth. If you want to keep the name, see someone
at the Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, or speak to student lawyers
at your local legal clinic.

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#5

Our company has always been Tangible Dreams Jewelry, we could not
get the website at the time (8 yr ago) so we went with
silverandgems.net, the.com was taken and I thought no big deal.
Turned out I was sending people to my site, they did not hear
the.net and the lady at the other site was have a great time !

At least with your company being jewelry and not graphic design you
should have no issues with cross over business.

We have since changed to createdwithfire.com and now are looking at
a total name change since many of our customers know us as CWF.com

To distinguish yourself, you might try using a DBA that reflects
your business type and then you can still keep the R Cubed Designs.

Regards
Tina
CreatedWithFire Studio’s
www.createdwithfire.com


#6

Hi Bekka,

I just checked out your site very quickly- lovely pieces. I hope in
your new photo setup you get the lighting and backgrounds little
better, though, to show off the pieces better.

I really just wanted to comment on your website address. For years
mine was designsbylisag.com. I was constantly having to emphasize
the “s” at the end of “designs”, and that was rather tiresome. I also
needed to make sure people knew the “g” was at the very end, as
without it is a different site entirely. I can say that you might
not want to have to worry about always making sure people know
there’s an “s” at the end of your address. Obviously it shouldn’t be
too big of a deal if they are reading your address and they actually
pay attention, but if you’re telling it to someone, particularly
over the phone, that can be tricky. Is there the option of making a
shorter and simpler address, while keeping the same actual company
name? Maybe just rrr.com (if that’s even available), or brrussell.com
or something like that. I think the easier you can make the actual
address, while still having it relate somehow to the company name,
the better it is. You can still have your current one registered, and
then just have it redirect to you active site. At directnic.com you
can register for $15/year, so it doesn’t add a whole lot to the
annual expense to have one or two other domains registered that
direct to the one you actually use. Just a thought.

I certainly hope you had a wonderful time abroad (I think everyone
should do that!) & made very good use of the time. Welcome back! :slight_smile:

Lisa
Designs by Lisa Gallagher
www.lisagallagher.com


#7

Registering a name of a business is done at the state level, not
Federal. You are protected in your state, but not others. Unless of
course you register the name in each of the other states… probably
would have to pay their tax too. I wouldn’t loose any sleep over it.
:slight_smile:

Stanley Bright
A&M Jewelers
Baltimore, MD


#8

That’s a good idea. Since I’m now functioning under a (slightly)
different name - r cubed jewelry as opposed to r cubed designs,
which I’m registered as, do I need to change anything in my tax and
business registration? Should I change the entire thing or just add
a DBA? I’m sorry for being so clueless, I’ve been trying to find
these things out online but most sites are geared towards much larger
businesses than mine. Thanks.


#9
Should I change the entire thing or just add a DBA? I'm sorry for
being so clueless, I've been trying to find these things out online
but most sites are geared towards much larger 

The books by NOLO press are wonderful. Also, CALL your state and ask
questions of a real human. They still have those you know.

Call your local SCORE office, the Service Corps of Retired
Executives, part of the SBA, and make an appt. for counseling. It’s
free and they will hold your hand through all this filing of
paperwork, make sure you do it right, etc.

And they can refer you to other helpful community workshops.

All of this is easily obtained, accurately for free!

Elaine
http://www.CreativeTextureTools.com


#10
Registering a name of a business is done at the state level, "" I
wouldn't loose any sleep over it. 

in Ohio it is done with the secretary of state if you incorporate it
is a good idea to do so even if you dont it may be a good idea to
register the business name w/ secretary of state.

Theoritcally speaking you could go round registering names of
business’ who are not registered and then force them to buy thier
names back from you! or change thier name! which is rather
unscrupulous and unfair but it is legal. great way to kink up the
competiton but very dirty. -

goo


#11
Theoritcally speaking you could go round registering names of
business' who are not registered and then force them to buy thier
names back from you! or change thier name! which is rather
unscrupulous and unfair but it is legal. great way to kink up the
competiton but very dirty. 

It goes on all the time when it comes to internet domain names. In
the early days of domain names “oportunistic entrepnuers” bought up
common domain names and company names with the intent of selling them
to whoever wanted to have a website with a specific domain name. Just
watch when you let a domain name registration lapse. You will more
than likely have to buy it back from someone who snapped it up and
registered it. Also, have you ever miskeyed a common website name and
found yourself in a completely different site? This is the internet
entrepenuers trying to drum up business.

It’s always best when you come up with a company name to go see if
it is a registered domain name first, then register it with the
state, and then file for copyright.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan
Rocky Mountain Wonders
Colorado Springs, Colorado
rockymountainwonders.com