A number of jewelry makers have written to me over the past few weeks asking about how much inventory they should have on hand.

Great question!

There’s no magic formula to that — in fact, the world’s biggest retailers invest tons of money trying to figure out the same thing, and it’s impossible to get right!

Some jewelry makers have a basement full of components (beads, stones, wire, etc.) that they bought, fully intending to convert that immediately into jewelry. Then life intervenes and the stock piles up.

No worries.

In business, it’s a problem when you have orders but no inventory, and when you have inventory but no jewelry.

Because business is “organic” and constantly changing, you’ll probably have a chance to experience both!

Here’s what I do with my information products: When the stock falls below a certain level, I prompt myself to order more.

For jewelry makers, you might look at prior trends and decide the “minimum” number of pieces you feel comfortable having on hand. Because you make something that’s one of a kind, people don’t necessarily expect that when something is “sold out” you just press a button and a machine makes more of them.

So, in that sense, you’re spared one aspect of production. You can make as many or as few as you like of a specific design.

And maybe the best part is this: When things don’t sell, you can always take them apart and put the pieces back in your storage bins.

If you have ideas, methods or processes you use to decide how many pieces to keep “ready to sell,” post a reply!

And go make something great!