Thinking of selling crystals but you're not sure what to do or where to start? In this post, we get to the lowdown of all the things you need to accomplish to launch a crystal business.
From thinking of a clever name for your shop to finding a supplier, this post covers all the bases so you'll gain the confidence to start your own crystal shop!
1. Brainstorm on Your Crystal Business Name
Deciding on the name of your shop is probably one of the exciting parts of planning a business. A good business embodies the values and the overall feel of your brand. It's easy to recall. It's a reminder to your team why you do what you do.
Here are the elements of a catchy business name according to Looka:
- Sounds good
- Evokes a feeling through imaginative and visual words
- Speaks to your intended customers
- Memorable (has rhythm or repetition, may be a bit abstract or quirky, and not too long)
Some tips in coming up with a crystal business name that rocks:
1. Keep it original - Your brand name should stand out from the crowd. Explore keywords that people use to search for your products. You can also use a dictionary, pick 2-3 words related to your business, and mash them up to create an original, clever-sounding name.
2. Make it user-friendly - Even if it's a made-up name, it's important to choose a name that's easy to say, spell, and type into search bars. You want people to find you quickly.
3. Make sure it's available - Once you have your business name idea, do some research to confirm if the name isn't already trademarked. Make a quick search on GoDaddy to check the availability of the domain and on Namechk to see if the name you want is taken in social handles.
2. Decide on Your Legal Business Entity
Officially registering your shop with the local and federal government makes your crystal shop a legit business. This step requires you to classify the type of business you'll have based on these entities:
- Sole proprietorship - The business is owned and controlled by you. This type of business offers no personal liability protection.
- Partnership - Two or more people own the business and share the responsibility of managing the company and the income and losses generated. The owners are protected from the debts and liabilities of the business.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) - In this structure, the owner has more flexibility in operating the business. It offers an added layer of protection to business owners from debts and liabilities.
- Corporate organization - A group of individuals join together to mutually own the business. The stakeholders elect board members to run the business. An annual stakeholders meeting is held every 3 months to discuss business matters.
When making this decision, think of the main goals of your business and liability exposure you want. For example, if you're putting up a small store to sell to your family, friends, and neighbours, a sole proprietorship may be best. If you're planning to expand your business soon and you want more protection, a corporate organization or LLC may be the right choice.
Once you've decided, register your business with the state where you'll be operating your business. File the necessary paperwork with your local business registry office (check out this page if you're from Ontario.
Registering your business is important so you can have the legal safeguards you need to run your business and protect your assets.
3. Explore Your Financing Options
Your capital will depend on the size and scope of your business. A small crystal shop offering a few product varieties will cost less than a bigger shop with a diverse range of products.
The great thing about selling crystals is that you don't need to invest a huge amount of money to get it started ” at least $1,200 should be enough. That said, it's entirely possible to put up your own little shop with your personal savings.
However, the upfront cost for starting a crystal store can go up to $30,000 or more. This is because you'll be spending money on other aspects of the business including:
- Your business name and corporation
- License and permits
- Initial inventory
- Website setup and maintenance
- Packaging materials and other supplies
- Marketing and sales materials (camera, brochures, flyers, LED light, business cards)
- Storefront rental
There are many financing options available out there depending on your location, the size of the business you want to build, and your financial situation. You can apply for a loan in banks, credit unions, or non-profit orgs if you have a good credit score. Another way is to raise funds from your friends and family.
No matter which way you go, make sure it's the suitable option for you and your business.
4. Set Up A Business Bank Account
You need a business bank account so you can smoothly track your finances and business transactions. To do this, you can either open a corporate account (with a separate checking account) or a standard business bank account. You might also need to open a payroll account if you have employees.
5. Set Up Your Taxes and Accounting System
Half of the hard work of managing your business is ironed out when you set up a proper accounting system. This helps you stay on top of your expenses, taxes, revenue, expenses, and more.
There are various ways to to create an accounting system for your crystal shop:
- Use an online accounting software such as Odoo, Xero, or Quickbooks
- Hire an accountant to take care of your bookkeeping
Once your accounting system is up and running, track your income and expenses. Make sure everything is transparent ” from the the money that goes in and out of your business to the expenses you may need to slash off. Track these regularly; set aside time each month to reconcile your accounts and review your records.
6. Secure Permits and Licenses
You'll need to secure different licenses and permits before you could operate your business.
To be clear, you don't need a certain license to sell crystals. But just like every other business, you need to go through the same process of registering your business with your state and obtaining the necessary documents before opening up your shop.
These requirements can vary according to state and industry. To get the full information on licenses and permits, it's best to contact your local business registry office.
Alternatively, you can use BizPal to find the permits and licenses you need to operate your business. Just enter your location, industry, and business activities and the site will show you a list of licenses and permits based on your query.
- 7 Questions to Ask When Planning Your Dream Crystal Business
- How to Set Goals for Your Crystal Business
- Expert Tips in Setting Up a Crystal Business
- How to Pack Crystals & Protect Them From Damage During Transit
7. Buy the Necessary Equipment, Supplies, and Tools
In addition to your collection of crystals, you'll also need a stash of supplies and tools for packaging, measuring, and branding your products.
Have a running budget for purchasing these essential supplies and tools:
- Boxes and envelopes (small, medium, and large ones)
- Paper shreds
- Bubble wrap
- Paper cushioning wrap and packing peanuts - Used as cushion for your crystals and protecting large orders from damage
- Shipping tape - For sealing boxes and wrapping crystals
- Digital caliper and ruler - To accurately measure the sizes of small and large crystals
- Digital scale - For ease of weighing crystals and packages
- Business cards
- Branded stickers and boxes
- Thermal printer - For easy printing of mailing labels
- Store sign (if you have a physical store)
Cleaning supplies (for keeping your crystals clean and shiny)
- Microfibre cloth
- Small brush
8. Create a Unique Brand Identity
Clearly defining your brand will make your crystal business shine bright in a sea of crystal shops. It allows your intended customers to find and distinguish you easily.
Some tips in crafting a brand identity that's remarkable, easy to remember, and draws customers in:
- Define your company's purpose and values. What does your business want to achieve? What do you want your customers to think and feel about your brand? What drives your company to succeed? Nail down your purpose statement and values as these will shape the taglines and visuals that speak to your audience.
- Choose the colours that represent your brand. Colours convey a message and inspire emotions, so choose your colour scheme wisely. Pick the colours associated with the mood, vibe, and feelings you want your customers to remember your brand by.
- Create a logo that represents your brand. Your logo is what sticks in people's minds when they hear the name of your shop, so it's essential to have a unique and memorable one. Tap an experienced designer to craft a logo that's attractive and symbolic of your company values.
- Keep it consistent across all your marketing channels. To reinforce your brand identity, use your logo and brand colours in all your marketing materials. From your business cards to your website, all your offline and online channels should bear your brand identity. This also makes it easier for people to recognize your company.
A captivating brand identity is key to a successful crystal business. It communicates your brand and attracts people to your business. Having a well-defined purpose and values can help you build a brand that will resonate with your customers.
9. Decide on the Place to Sell Your Crystals
There are 5 common ways to set up your retail crystal shop:
- Set up a brick-and-mortar store
- An online store via Shopify and WooCommerce
- Social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok)
- Marketplaces like eBay, Etsy, and Amazon
- Displaying at markets or craft fairs
Again, where you sell your products will depend on the type of products you'll sell. Most retailers go with a physical storefront since this is more accessible to people and it offers customers a more personal shopping experience. Also, many customers prefer to touch their crystals before purchasing them and get firsthand recommendations from a crystal expert.
However, if you want your shop to be accessible to anyone anywhere, then perhaps an online store is a great option.
When deciding where to sell your crystals, ALWAYS keep your customers in mind. Choose a location that's easily accessible to your desired customers.
10. Set Up Your Business Contact Information
Set up a business phone number and email address that your customers can use to contact you easily.
- Buy a business phone number through a telecom provider.
- Register the phone number by creating an account with your telecom provider.
- Create a professional email address using Google Workspace or Microsoft 365.
- Configure your email account to send messages to your business phone.
When starting out, it might be more convenient for you to use your personal contact information. Eventually, as your business grows, consider setting up a business phone number and email address to make things more professional.
11. Plan Your Market Launch
Now that you've got your ducks in a row, it's time to get the word out about your shop and start getting customers!
Here are some marketing strategies to make a buzz:
- Host a launch event at your store/office
- Run a store launch sale and give discounts to your first customers
- Collaborate with social media influencers your customers follow and ask them to spread the news about your business
- Get your friends and family to share your products to their socials
- Tie up with local businesses in your area to share your business
- Reach out to local newspapers or magazines about your launch
Once you've launched your business into the world, keep implementing your marketing strategy, iterating it as needed. Remember that marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Your strategy has to evolve with the needs and interests of your customers.
Double down on what works and improve what doesn't!
12. Find a Reliable Crystal Supplier
Your crystal supplier is your partner in providing value to your customers and sustaining your business. When it comes to sourcing crystals, keep these things in mind:
- Research on your prospect suppliers. Are they legit? Do they have good customer reviews? Do they respond to customers promptly?
- Make sure they sell ethically sourced products and support the rights of small-scale miners. They should also be able to spell out the origin of their products.
- Choose suppliers that offer high-quality products at competitive prices.
- Make sure you're purchasing crystals that are legal in your state.
- If you're ordering from a supplier online, make sure they send clear photos and videos of their products on your request.
Want to see the quality of a supplier's products before going all in with them? Place a small order when trying a new supplier for the first time. This prevents you from risking a lot of money if they don't meet your expectations.
Entrust Your Needs to the Crystal Pros
Building your crystal business from the ground up is a daunting task. Let us take a load off your plate and allow us to take care of your inventory. You can trust Stonebridge Imports for all your rocks, minerals, and gemstones needs. We've helped grow hundreds of small rock shops since 2002.
5. Check if you need licences and permits. (n.d.). ontario.ca. https://www.ontario.ca/page/business/start/check-licences-permits
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newfoundr. (2022, July 12). How to Start a Crystal Business. https://www.newfoundr.com/how-to/start-crystal-business
The Corporate Form Of Organization. (2021, October 20). principlesofaccounting.com. https://www.principlesofaccounting.com/chapter-14/corporate-organization/
What to look for in a wholesale crystal supplier. (2022, April 14). Crystal Boss. Retrieved December 8, 2022, from https://www.crystalboss.co/what-to-look-for-crystal-supplier/