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Smallprint Fingerprint Jewellery

1. Tell us about your business

I make beautiful pieces of jewellery capturing your child’s fingerprint in pure silver. I offer a variety of shape and size combinations on a large range of necklaces, bracelets, key rings, cuff links and much more. We have also just launched 4 new ranges which allow us to capture your child's hand and footprints, mini messages and little drawings and use these images in our beautiful range of jewellery.

2. When and why did you start your business?

Smallprint is a franchise run by a network of individuals all across the world. It first came to Australia in 2007 and now there are 25 of us across the country. I joined because I was looking to return to work after having 4 children and wanted something that would allow me to still be able to be involved in their everyday lives - kindy, school, sports practices, play dates etc and Smallprint was just perfect. I can work when I want to and still take my children to all their different commitments. The biggest bonus is that I get to make beautiful jewellery that makes people happy and enjoy every second of it!

3. On a personal level, what have you achieved with of your business?

Working for myself has allowed me to have a fantastic balance between work, play and the duties of running a busy household. The sense of achievement and fulfilment I get from my work is amazing and to be able to do that while being involved in all the day to day things my children do is truly wonderful.

4. What are some of the challenges you’ve faced in growing your business?

Setting up the business with 2 very young children was challenging (my youngest two kids were only 2 and 3 when I started). I also underestimated the time it would take to do the 'business/paperwork' side of things, however once I had set up some systems it all flowed very well. I think being an organised person has helped me a lot and I believe that working hard and being positive are really important in starting up a new business.

5. What activities have been successful in promoting your business?

Advertising helps a lot, whenever I advertise the phone rings. The best promotion though, has been word of mouth. When people wear my jewellery, they get lots and lots of comments and my clients have always passed on my name and number to their friends and family. Over 50% of my business comes from word of mouth and I'm really happy about that as it means that my clients are happy with their purchase and want to tell everyone about it.

6. What activities were less successful for marketing your business?

Initially I approached businesses that deal with children on a daily basis - play cafes, sports clubs etc and asked to leave some flyers with them. I did expect that this would be a great source of new clients, however it hasn't been that successful, so I only keep my flyers in a few places now.

7. Name your favourite thing about your business

Working with so many different people, both my clients and the other people in our Smallprint network. Being able to make such a personal piece of jewellery is just fantastic - everyone is happy to visit and are thrilled to receive their finished piece.

8. Who or what other businesses or business people inspire you?

So many people inspire me and I read lots of autobiographies and small business success stories. I think we can learn from everyone we come into contact with, their attitudes to certain things, their beliefs and even the way they do certain things. I believe in keeping an open mind and trying new things.

9. What are your plans for the future of your business?

When my youngest child is off to kindy (next year) I plan to use those days to really increase my business and the awareness of our products. I also plan to increase the amount of fundraising I do through schools and kindys so that there is a financial benefit to the people who help me build my business.

10. Share your best business tip with our readers.

Be organised and set aside time to do the 'boring' side of business every week. It is always easier to do a job that only takes 30 minutes every week, than to let it build up so that it takes a couple of hours once a month. Try to increase the amount of business you get from your current customers, rather than always seeking new ones - offer them bonuses for referring friends, or rewards for multiple purchases etc - they don't have to be big expensive bonuses, just something that says 'we appreciate you'.

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