How to Build a Successful Jewellery Business
How to Build a Successful Jewellery Business

With Dan McClen of Solace Jewellery - Episode #4

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In Episode #4 of Visualise You, you’ll hear how Dan McClen went from an Accountant in the Motor trade to the Founder of Solace Jewellery. Born out of the research and the desire to find hypoallergenic jewellery that his then-girlfriend would not have a reaction to.

Dan worked in the motor trade for most of his finance career, an industry known for its questionable sales tactics and customer service.  But Dan has been determined to build a brand that is focused on outstanding customer satisfaction, as well as high-quality jewellery product

We cover subjects like why it’s ok when you leave school, college or university, to not really know for sure what you might end up doing.  How your current side hustle might be the very thing to get you out of your J.O.B.  We also discuss the importance of having the right work-life balance, going that extra mile with your customer service and why you should never stop learning!

As a Visualise You listener or reader, you can get a 15% discount via the Solace Jewellery website for that perfect hypoallergenic gift or treat. Just use the discount code VISUALISE YOU when you visit the Solace Jewellery Website

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Full Show Transcript

Beth: Welcome to episode four of the Visualise You show. In today's episode, you'll hear how Dan McClen went from an accountant in the motor trade; to be the founder of Solace Jewellery. 

His business was born out of the research and desire to find hypoallergenic jewellery, for his then-girlfriend to not have a reaction to regular jewellery.

[00:00:20] Dan worked in the motor trade for most of his finance career. An industry that we all know is questionable for its sales tactics and customer service; but Dan has been determined to build a brand that is focused on outstanding customer satisfaction, as well as a high-quality jewellery product. 

In this episode, we cover subjects like why it's okay when you leave school, college, or university to not really have a clue, what it is that you might end up doing. 

How your current side hustle or hobby might actually be that very thing to get you out of your job or your nine to five. We also discussed the importance of having the right work life balance and going the extra mile with your customer service - but more importantly, why you should never stop learning.

[00:01:09] Stick around the end of this episode, to get a very special Visualise You listener discount rate on all of your future purchases from Solace Jewellery. Check out the show notes for all the details. I hope you enjoy the show.

[00:02:00] Welcome to the Visualise You show. I'm joined today by Daniel McClen. Dan is now running Solace Jewellery, full time. Having worked for 10 years in finance and before finally quitting his job with his knowledge of financial planning and being part of a leadership team in small and medium enterprises and PLCs.

[00:02:26] Dan has bootstrapped his business from side hustle to a six-figure business in just a couple of years. If you want to tell the listeners a little bit about where you were and then how you've come to be doing what it is that you do today.

Daniel: [00:02:38] Yeah, no problem. I guess from the very start, I did quite well at school after not really putting too much effort in, I guess my plan was to go to university. I got to A-levels and realised that I couldn't just coast through them.

Leaving School Not Sure Where You're Heading 

[00:02:52] So I actually ended up dropping out through various reasons. But yeah, I was in a dark place then - working in the warehouse, for Curry's and this isn't how it was meant to go. 

After having really big dreams and big hopes, and I guess, family pushing me and expecting quite a lot for me probably; to then just working part-time in a warehouse was, yeah, put me in a bit of a, not a downward spiral, certainly a bump in the road.

[00:03:19]But luckily, a guy who I worked with, told me about an apprenticeship scheme in accountancy, which is the profession that I really wanted to do. 

So, doing some research on that, I found I actually got a job for a BMW dealership. I think I was quite lucky to get the job and I don't think I was the most qualified person there. I don't think I was the smartest person, but I think my sort of personality. I think I'd put everything that I'd been feeling that for the last sort of six months of dropping out into this interview. And I think that shone through more so than I guess, appearance and whatever.

[00:03:51]Yeah, I considered myself quite lucky that I got that job, but, yeah, I just vowed to never give up on that and drop out again. And it was a big driver for me. So, I worked really hard, in evening classes, all my exams and worked hard and was always pushing, how can I get better?

[00:04:08] What else can I do? I guess for the various leadership team and staff, always asking them questions and, yeah, from there to the end of my career, in finance, in sort of 10 years, I'd got from an apprenticeship and I was a head of finance or finance director level.

[00:04:24]So I achieved everything almost that I wanted to in that time. But. I think I knew a couple of years ago that this isn't for me actually. So, this big dream of being in finance didn't yeah, it wasn't quite giving me the fulfilment that, I thought it would. And I always thought the next progression, the next promotion would give me that.

[00:04:45] And then once I got on the leadership team, then I'll be happy, but it never really materialised. But I still worked. I still tried to learn as much as possible get involved with the business. But yeah, I'd actually started a side hustle in 2015 selling jewellery, which I can get onto why later on, but it's a bit of an odd one finance to jewellery, but yeah. And I just knew that this was like my ticket out of the nine to five.

But I'd almost neglected it because I was just trying, the career was paying my bills, I was getting quite good pay, rises, things like that. And I was like. "Oh, that side hustle was never going to get there" - but that was just me focusing really on my career.

[00:05:22] But yeah, I started to realise [the side hustle] was actually my ticket out of the nine to five. So yeah, last year I made the difficult decision to quit my job and just put everything into the business.

Beth: [00:05:32] Yeah, I had a similar experience. I worked in Staples when I was about 17, 18. And I had got quite good GCSEs. I'd gone to a good school. I also thought "this is not where I'm supposed to end up. How have I ended up here?". But I think actually that work experience is actually valuable.

[00:05:49] So you talk about then going on to get your apprenticeship and actually you probably did stand out because you'd got that work experience. But yeah, it's funny how our lives take..

Daniel: [00:05:59] Yeah. And I did, I didn't move around and be lazy there because I thought, Oh, I'm better than this. I worked, and I tried to be the best that I could be in that role.

Beth: [00:06:07] Okay. so, you started this, you started the jewellery or the side hustle in 2015. Can you just talk about how that actually came about?

Identifying a Business Opportunity 

Daniel: [00:06:14] yeah, so, I was actually looking to buy a present for my girlfriend at the time who, when she'd put earrings in, her ears would flare up and get really not infected, but really red and inflamed. 

And I thought, oh if I can crack this and find something that works, it'd be a really good present.

[00:06:31] So when I was doing my research, I found that actually up to one in seven women suffer from a metal allergy: predominantly to nickel. And yeah, just searching all the different materials that, you can make jewellery out of, I found that stainless steel was this term hypoallergenic, which means its unlikely to cause a reaction.

[00:06:51] It's not a hundred per cent guaranteed, but I found a manufacturer that had quite a low minimum order quantity. So, I decided a hundred pounds was, a lot of money to me then, but I guess. I just knew that I needed to take this chance, on what was the minimum order. 

I ordered a few pairs of earrings, and I found other people who were suffering from it as well.

[00:07:11] Friends and family - I gave them out in a couple of weeks. They came back to me and said, all this really works. And so, they bought up the rest. And so, I knew I was onto something. And yeah, just set up a Shopify store. I wasn't very good at design. I think if I look back to the website now, it would be pretty terrible, but you've got to start somewhere.

[00:07:31] I didn't have any money to pay a designer or a website developer, so I just used YouTube, which wasn't as big then. There's loads of helplines and stuff like that, helpful guides sorry. So yeah, I just learned how to build a store and yeah, just built it from there.

Beth: [00:07:48] So you knew there was a problem in terms of being able to find earrings At what point did that turn into a business? Do you think in terms of your mindset, were you actually looking for a potential business and it just came at the right time?

Daniel: [00:08:04] I've always known I wanted to work for myself and have my own business, and I guess like most people, I just struggled to come up with what that business was. Even now, probably every day I have some sort of thing. 'Oh, that would be a good business to start' but actually knowing what I know now, I think, even then subconsciously I knew like it doesn't work.

If it's just any old business, it needs to stand out in some respect either if that's you, the product or the business. It needs to stand out to actually be successful. And yeah, that just seemed like the really big problems.

Obviously, there's a lot of people who would be potential customers, but

no real competition, which I couldn't really believe. So yeah. I count myself quite lucky in that sense. But yeah, I've built up quite a brand in that space now. So, I think it would be, it would be hard to replicate that now. but yeah, the opportunity just almost came knocking if you believe that sort of thing.

Beth: [00:09:00] So you've got these side hustle going. You're making a little bit of money, friends and family are buying your stock and things like that. At what point did you see like it had legs and potential to grow bigger than that? And how did you transition away from your career?

Daniel: [00:09:14] Yeah, it was, between 2015, when I started it and actually leaving my job last year, obviously four years, I could have a hundred per cent done, that quicker and it was really slow going at first like you said, the friends and family they've bought it, but that sort of dies out.

[00:09:29] And then, I'd dabbled with Google advertising, which was going quite well. I've done it once and then left it. So, it definitely wasn't fulfilling its full potential, but it was just gradually growing referrals, things like that. And it used to just pay for a nice holiday every year or something.

[00:09:47] I would take, just a small dividend each year, and that would pay for something. It suited me at the time. Yeah. And because it was really low maintenance and I was quite lucky actually that, because I'd moved from Newcastle, to near Milton [00:10:00] Keynes now. And I lived in London for a bit.

[00:10:02]I was actually lucky that my mom kept the business, like the orders going and, she was fulfilling them. But that almost took me away from the business when I moved. And it was peaks and troughs of right I'm really going to focus on this. And then, because there wasn't this explosion in orders, you kind of start to actually, I'm just going to focus on my career.

[00:10:21] And so it was really, it was like a, it was like a roller coaster of emotions and of working hard in it and then it stopped. But I think when I realised finance is definitely not for me, which was probably a year before I actually made the decision to quit. That's when I really knuckled down and then transitioned and pivoted into right, I'm going to start putting all of my effort into my job.

[00:10:45] I'm just going to almost do good enough, but I'm going to put all my effort into the business. And that's, like I said before, that was my ticket out. I just didn't know it then. But obviously, as the orders started to build naturally. And you still [00:11:00] think I'm not really putting much effort into this, but the orders are still growing.

[00:11:03] there's definitely something there. Yeah, I guess it's hard to make a name for yourself and especially now when there's a lot of businesses out there, but, if you've got the right product and just keep learning and keep plugging away at it, it will grow.

Whether to Tell your Employer about your Side Hustle 

Beth: [00:11:18] And did you employers know that you've got the side hustle? Because sometimes that's, sometimes you've got really supportive employers, and sometimes we don't. Did they know that you had a kind of long-term plan, or did you keep it on the down-low?

Daniel: [00:11:30] In interviews, I was open and honest, and I almost said that it was a, it was a benefit to me, I'm really good at what I do in my job, but also I've got this side project. And I think I did use to downplay it, I don't think that's ever going to take off, but it gets me in running a business, the sales and marketing side it's added strings to my bow, and I used that almost to my advantage in interviews. But I probably did play down my thoughts. 

Beth: [00:11:57] because at that point you don't know which way it's going to go. And you don't want to damage your reputation.

And in terms you said, so you said your mom was like fulfilling orders for you, but in terms of your girlfriend how supportive were they around this move? Did you have one of those difficult conversations

The importance of Family and Work-Life Balance when Starting a New Business

Daniel: [00:12:12] Yeah, I got asked this the other day, on another podcast. It's really tricky because obviously, I had a very good job. But I wasn't happy. So, she saw that a hundred per cent and we were due to get married in April, and this was in September, October time that I actually quit my job.

[00:12:30] So obviously the months leading up to that. Was where the discussions are taking place. It was less than a year from getting married, we had just had our son. So he was a couple of months old, but that was really the driver because being out of the house from seven until seven, I wouldn't see him and I didn't see him for a couple of days on end, which was really difficult.

[00:12:49]So it's that weighing up the security, but actually with a healthy family life. So obviously with the finance background, I planned all my finances out. I said we've got enough to last six months. And then at that time, we'll make a decision. If it's not working, I was confident that I could get another job.

[00:13:08]And yeah, just took that risk because you're never going to get that six months back for me, with a newborn. I really wanted to spend time with him. And even if I've gone back to a job, I think I would have valued that six months for the rest of my life.

[00:13:24]it was an easy decision for me to make, I think. From Lindsay's point of view, it was tough. Because of all these financial commitments that were hard, we just bought a house in 2017 or 18. So yeah, all these things within a couple of years and then, oh, actually I was going to quit my job!

[00:13:42]Sometimes, you have to make the difficult decisions to otherwise. It would never have been where it was today. And we're really lucky today now that I can spend breakfast time, dinner time from the home and I wouldn't change that for the world.

Learning from Your Past Experiences How You Want to Market Your Business 

Beth: [00:14:41] Okay. so one of the things I want to ask you about, so you've obviously come from the motor trade, and you put in your bio around some of the questionable tactics that salespeople within that industry have. And one of the things that I've really noticed from your own customer service is the family side. Obviously, you've got your son and your wife in a lot of the social media that you do, but [00:15:00] also the nice touches that you do with the love, heart sweets in the boxes and the handwritten notes.

[00:15:05] So did that play a really big part in the brand and how you developed that? Can you just tell us a little bit about why that's so important to you?

Daniel: [00:15:14] Yeah. Obviously, I wasn't customer-facing, but I guess as part of the management team, I used to be in all the meetings and business development, things like that. And one of the things that we used to get pushed from the manufacturer at the time was our customer service, but whenever I would be walking in the showroom and, you hear little snippets from customers or from the sales guys, it almost made me cringe. 

And I think one of the things, obviously, how do you, how did I want to be seen? How did I want my business to be seen, and how did I want my customers to feel? And I think if you take the money aside and stop being so focused on profits, which obviously, I am focused on profit, but in terms of being the most profitable, you can be I think.

[00:15:59][00:16:00] People focus too much on that. And rather than create value, and it's how do you create value other than the jewellery by making. And People don't buy jewellery, they, buy the feeling of wearing jewellery and opening it and receiving it. And it's almost like a gift to yourself. And that's very much how I wanted to see it.

[00:16:15] And so consciously, looking back, it definitely stems from all the lousy sort of habits I've seen the salesman do and whatever. Still, it was never, oh, because of that, I want to do this. It was just, how do I actually like my business to make people feel? And that was the main driver. But yeah, I think that built up because of my experiences in the last 10 years.

[00:16:39]And, when you buy things yourself, you get little sweets and a package and it just, you just open it, you just don't expect it. All these added little things that won't, make a massive difference to me profit-wise, but actually, it's, it grows the business because they're talking points.

[00:16:56]If you were just trying to get the lowest possible packaging cost that you could. We use sustainable packaging, it would be far cheaper for me to just go buy something that wasn't recyclable. But those long-term things, actually, people are more focused on that now. So actually, it can be quite a powerful marketing and strategy, which is invaluable.

[00:17:17] Really? You can't put a figure on that. So yeah, it was definitely half from experiences and a half just from common sense. And how do you want to make people feel?

Beth: [00:17:26] Yeah. I think you're bang on the money with that, I think people can see marketing and sales a mile off now. And I think it is more about the customer experience and how we would make people feel. I think there are no better ways of giving a gift to yourself in terms of jewellery and that emotion that. That evokes. Because I think it's a compelling thing that you're doing.

Why Should You Always Continue to Learn and Have the Right Mindset When Running Your Business? 

So in terms of your skills experiences that you've amassed over this journey and even from your career before that, I really want people who are listening, getting a sense of actually we've all got these skills and experiences. I like to call them superpowers. But is there anything that you would want to blow your own trumpet about today and just say, actually, I'm really good at this. And this is what I think my superpowers are.

Daniel: [00:18:04] Yeah. See, I don't think I'm particularly great at anything, but what I definitely am good at is when I realise that I'm not good at something, is finding a way to do it to the best of my ability. 

So, I guess that is mindset and learning. I would never, you hear people procrastinate, especially when starting businesses cause the don't know what to do.

[00:18:26] So that would drive me more to go and learn about doing it. And actually, at the end of it, you think, wow, look what I've achieved. Even though when I look at the start, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. 

[00:18:51] Wow. Actually, I just go and do it rather than procrastinating and sitting and watching Netflix or whatever I'd much rather be. Reading a business book or listening to an audiobook or a podcast, and learning.

And I think that I continued to learn and because obviously from a finance background, put me in front of a customer 10 years ago and I would just have had a meltdown. Even when I quit my job only last year. And we hadn't had a phone number before because obviously, I was in a nine to five position. Even those first few calls that we got from customers I was really nervous because I've just never done that before now.

[00:19:24] Actually, I quite like ringing customers because I guess they get to speak to me who started the business. Nobody's going to talk about the products and the business better than I am, and why they should buy, what value are they going to get? You can't teach that, but, putting yourself in those situations can be scary, like podcasts.

[00:19:42] And, I'm just talking about my story, something that. I used to hide behind the logo, and people thought it was a big business before. and that's only since we start sharing our story, that we're actually a small family business sale have actually massively increased because people see who they're buying from.

[00:20:00] So I guess that would just be my superpower, like learning and continually improve and these small steps that make big changes in the long run.  

Beth: [00:20:09] I'm all for that superpower. I think learning and not having that mindset is, part of the journey for entrepreneurs. that kind of seaways into the support that you obviously, when you get stuck or, when you're not sure how to do something, you obviously ask for support, and I've seen that you've been part of the NatWest 

entrepreneurial spark And I also think Virgin business, you've had a grant from Virgin as well.

Daniel: [00:20:29] Yes, I did that 

Where to Find Business Support when You're Starting Out in Business? 

Beth: [00:20:30] Its really important for startup businesses or pre-start businesses to appreciate that there's actually a wealth of support available t businesses, especially in the UK. I can't speak for all these other countries. And that's been part of my journey is managing some of these business support programs, and I have worked with the Natwest Accellerator past.

[00:20:49] I actually sat in their offices in the Leeds one. I'm assuming you were in the Newcastle, in the Milton Keynes one, but they're all over the country. So, I think definitely have a look if you're stuck sometimes it's just about being around other entrepreneurs, isn't it? And just picking the brains and just being at that same starting point for people. How was that for you? Are you still part of that community?

Daniel: [00:21:09] yeah, that started just as I was thinking about, making this change to run the business for full time. And I think, I don't think I actually would have made that decision. Had I not been part of that? You talk about the wealth of knowledge around them. Just, it gives you confidence actually that you're not in this alone.

[00:21:27]And I think, yeah, they've just been really fantastic. And yeah. Did the first six months, which was actually tough six months for our. Our business, we lost a supplier and it, around Christmas time couldn't get the stock. And then, yeah, so Christmas wasn't great for us. And, I was almost two months away from getting a job, but then we solved that, and I don't know if I would have, I don't think I would have given up, but they certainly held my hand a little bit and pushed me, just keep going and keep going. And you have gone through the other end of it. And then I absolutely skyrocketed after that, you just never know how close you are to success.

[00:22:03] And I think a lot of people give up maybe a month or two just before. And it always happens like that. You just want to give up and actually something changes, and yeah, that's something that I've learned over the last year I'm speaking to other entrepreneurs and, we do an accountability call.

[00:22:19] Things like that people are just there, they were in the same situation as you, even just to have a rant and to say how bad you're feeling but then that gets you over that day, get over yourself, get over that. And, yeah. That is honestly one of the best things I've done.

Beth: [00:22:33] Yeah, I think having support and just being around people that are going through the same things have been through the same things, or can point you in the same direction, because they've already tackled that particular challenges is so important. 

So in terms of your journey, your career journey, and then starting your business, is there any kind of a life lesson that you would like to pull out of all of that and that you would like to share with the listeners?

Daniel: [00:22:53] definitely, looking after your mind and your body. I mentioned the continual learning. I used to [00:23:00] commute probably three hours a day, and that's, that felt like, such wasted time for me. So, I used to listen to audiobooks. So actually, that three hours turned into one of the most productive three hours of my day because I was learning.

[00:23:14] And then when I'd get home, I'd have something to implement. And I think finding times in your day, making time as well, instead of lying until sort of nine, o'clock get up at seven and that's two hours that you could be learning or exercising. And I just think I would never have. I hundred per cent know this, that I wouldn't be where I am today.

[00:23:35] Had I not listened to countless books, read, listened to audiobooks. And for someone who didn't go to university or anything like that too, then I feel like I know quite a lot. 

So, it might not be an expert in any one field, but actually definitely good enough to start a business and grow it. And I didn't get that from school.

[00:23:53] Like I just got that from continually learning and improving and if there's any areas in your life that you are, particularly strong at so design for me, find tools and resources that can help you. 

But actually going back to the sort of looking after your body, having the motivation to do that comes from exercise and, doing, eating healthily. I've lost two stone this year.

Beth: [00:24:17] When everybody else has put it on, you've lost two stone. I'm very jealous.

Daniel: [00:24:19] Yeah, exactly. And I feel so much better. And so much more motivated now than I did. Even though I was motivated before now. It's another level. And I think I've just slipped into, in the bad habits of eating and not exercising.

How to Market Yourself as an Ecommerce Jewellery Business 

]Beth: [00:24:35] So in terms of how you market yourself. Can you just talk about what's working for you now?

Daniel: [00:24:42] yeah. So, Google is still a really good channel for us. So obviously when you've got your advert at the top and then the sort of, the free places, so to speak underneath. And I think a lot of people, there are almost two different mindsets of right. You should just focus on SEO and getting your website to the top organically.

[00:25:02] And then the other business, like just do ads and get at the top there. But actually, one marketing strategy doesn't work in isolation. So, you've got to. You've got to be testing everything. We've tried a lot that hasn't worked, but almost that's just laser-focused us in on the things that do work. 

[00:25:19] So we started Google advertising, which obviously is people searching for your product. So, they are hot leads. They want your products to search for them. All you now have to do is portray trust and value to your customer. Whereas interruptive marketing like Facebook, you really have to stand out to capture someone you could use clickbait, but then the get on the website and think, this isn't what I wanted, so they just click straight off it.

[00:25:45]I talk about like the website, almost like a colander. You wouldn't put water into a colander because you just got all these holes. So that's your website or your business before you do marketing and you have to make sure that your message is correct. And you've shown the trust of the business of the product first, and that's your biggest marketing.

[00:26:04] That trust element even before you start thinking about Facebook or Google or anything like that. So actually, marketing starts with you with your business, with your product and every single touch point, we look at every single touchpoint in our business and say, how can we make that better?

[00:26:20] How can we make that a more enjoyable experience and things like - people don't think about has actually been the differentiator for us. So the thank you emails that go out afterwards. A lot of people just get a, an email that just says your order has been confirmed.

[00:26:36] That's got such a high open rate, but if that's all it says. You're missing out on. But that's an opportunity to say, we actually have got so much more value on our social media channels, so why don't you follow us. Teeing them up for that, giving you reviews and then that promotes trust or joining the loyalty scheme that, gives them more value because they're then going to get points and rewards. I can't say that one channel is going to make the biggest difference, but you've just got to think of right.

[00:27:04] Every touchpoint, every, thing that your customer sees About you and your brand. How can you make that the best possible and trust? How can you portray the most amount of trust with each thing that they see and start with that before, thinking about Google and Facebook and because once you've got that in place, then your adverts are more likely to work because you've got your messaging solid. 

Beth: [00:27:27] Yeah. So, if somebody was thinking about starting a really small eCommerce business today, what would you say that they should focus on?

Daniel: [00:27:35] Yeah. So definitely your messaging first. And once you've got that and your processes. So people expect delivery within a day because Amazon has the next day. Even if you're a small town, business. So, it's all the elements that think of all the elements that a customer could be upset about or could stop them purchasing from you and really nail down every single one of them. 

And then look to get the word out there, because if you do it the other way around, you're going to be sending people to your website and they're going to get there and think this isn't for me or I don't trust this business.  

[00:28:09] Yes. Start with a message and trust. Then start looking at Google first because that's people who are actually searching. For you, because Facebook works really well, but it has to have data because it creates look alike. Audiences of the people who are buying, no one's buying it doesn't have data. So, it's wasted money because it's throwing fakebook's then having to do the testing.

[00:28:34] for you whereas, if you've done all that work first. Then Facebook's already got that data and can go and just find more people like the other people who are buying. And that's when that becomes really valuable. And good imagery is really important, making it really visual, especially for fashion and things like that so yeah, it's hard to say one thing.

Beth: [00:28:56] I think. So, it's just about getting, going, and testing and tweaking and see what happens. But I would imagine it's a little bit of a sweet spot Is it for you? In terms of what people are searching for, if you haven't got much competition in terms of the types of jewellery?

Daniel: [00:29:08] Yeah. But you find, so you need to find something that 'different to your competitors. So, if you're selling exactly the same as somebody else that doesn't mean that you can't be successful. That then becomes about you and your business and your service. It's not always about price.

[00:29:25]I suppose with Google shopping, arguably, price is very important, but a lot of people don't just click on one product and then buy it straight away. The like to do their research. So if you're slightly more expensive than the next competitor, but you offer a hundred percent satisfaction guarantee or, 90 day returns policy over the other one, they're going to trust you more for that extra few pounds.

[00:29:50] I'm definitely going to buy from them because I know that if I don't like it, I can send it back. And most people don't, unless it's a terrible product, obviously, but if you do it, if you're doing that, you wouldn't sell a terrible product anyway. And that's what customers know. So yeah, you've got to find a differentiator.

Beth: [00:30:05] I think that's really good advice. And I think what you said about the messaging, even more important and with when we're up against Amazon, who are next day, if it's not going to be the next day, but having that communication and being part of that customer journey in terms of making that sale and what happens next.

[00:30:21] And the follow up for that I think is really important. And it is growing that trust. Isn't it for future purchases and really makes the customer feel like you've really thought about them as part of that process? So, I think that's really important.

Going that Extra Mile with Your Customer Service and Experience 

Daniel: [00:30:34] Yeah. We say that we're a small family business. We package all your orders with love and care and get them out and then think people think, Oh fair enough. I can wait a couple of days. But yeah, not everyone, you do get the odd, "can you deliver this tomorrow?" Sorry, you don't pay me 70 pounds a year for Amazon Prime. I'm sorry. So I physically can't do that. I'd love to be able to, don't get me wrong, but yeah, at the minute, it's hard, but most people understand.

Ecomm Coaching for Ecommerce Businesses with Dan McClen

]Beth: [00:31:03] I normally end to ask a question around what you Visualise for the future, but I'm conscious that you've got a new venture, coming up, called e-commerce coaching. Do you just want to tell a little bit more about that and what prompted you to get this up and running?

Daniel: [00:31:18] Yeah. So obviously, as we mentioned before, I'm part of the NatWest accelerator program. And especially at this time, a lot of people want to transition to online businesses. So, I've been getting a lot of questions about, my story and what I'm seeing as being successful on my store.

[00:31:35] So I'd much rather be helping other people than working. And yeah, I've set up an Instagram channel called e-comm coaching and, which I'm going to do weekly challenges around different. Topics. So, this week, it will be mindset, and then obviously it'd be different things to do with the store. So, looking at trust and your homepage, things like that.

And yeah, doing daily lives, which is really scary. And, of talking around why and pointing you in the right direction so that somebody who's just starting out. Because there's a lot of information out there. So, someone who's just starting out gets. I'm not going to give you the tools to make a six-figure business overnight.

[00:32:15] It comes from you, but it's a little prompt, a little push in the right direction, and yeah, I don't know where that's going to go, but it's nice to just think that if one or two people can be able to leave their job or start a business because of it, then it's time well spent for me. So yeah.

[00:32:31] That's yeah - Ecomm Coaching.

Beth: [00:32:34] And I was thinking about this morning. Cause in terms of what you just said about you, can't give them all the kinds of tools to go out and make. X amount of money, but I think it's the mindset, isn't it? You could have the exact same process, and people could do exactly the same things, but the success isn't necessarily going to be the same.

And I think all of that is to do with the mindset and how we show up. so, I think it's really important to share that as well.

Why it's okay to Fail at Business, Your First Business Might Not be Your Last.

Daniel: [00:33:00] was just going to say it and start a business. It might not be this business that is successful for you. I've started businesses that have, that have failed and haven't thought fully about that, just thought, this one's not taking up too much of my time.

[00:33:15] So if I just get another few going and then if they'll be fine, but didn't go through the right processes of the, is this actually right for my mindset, my life at the minute? How much time have I got to put into it. So yeah, I've dealt with failure, and it's not nice, but actually just know that what I've learned from those things and taken that into the next one. It's like the light bulb, you've got to go through a thousand ways that it didn't work to get that one and that's not a failure. That's just learning. Yeah, it might not be this business that you start that is going to be the success.

What are the Long-Term Plans for Dan McClen and Solace Jewellery? 

[00:33:52] okay. in terms of your longer-term future, then what are you visualising in the longer term for you and the business?

I mean for my business, Solace Jewellery. I just, I want to be obviously helping as many people as I can wear jewellery again, comfortably. I'd quite like to get, to a seven-figure business or more, but what I really want to do is actually make sure I'm protecting my work-life balance.

[00:34:16] Whereas a couple of years ago. I would've just said, I want it to be the biggest business ever, but now it changes your perspective. I think when you have kids, but I just, I want to be able to live a healthy balance of work fulfilment. that I'm doing something that's helping people as well as obviously living comfortably.

[00:34:35] So that has definitely changed and it is an ever-changing, thing, as my son grows up. He gets a bit older and a bit less attached then that, might change in it. That might be the time that really pushed the business. But, yeah, at the minute it's just having, after going 10 years of working really hard and really long hours, it's quite nice to be able to work hard, but protect that time with family.

[00:34:59]yeah, that's [00:35:00] my goal at the minute. And then with Ecomm coaching. Yeah. Just help a few people if I can. And I'm not sure where that will take me, but it helps me learn as well. it's actually helping me benefit me and increase my skills. 

The Power of Marketers that Learn, Implement and Teach. 

Beth:  I always think it's more powerful when you see marketers who like learning and then teaching, learning, implementing and then teaching what they're doing. I think you feel more that you're not too far away from them in terms of actually that's achievable for me as well. So, I think that's a really good thing to do.

[00:35:27] I will put all of the kind of links in the show notes where people can find out, but tell us where you would like people to come and find more out about solace Jewellery.

Daniel: [00:35:36] Yeah. So, my business is obviously find us on Facebook and Instagram @solace.jewellery. And yeah, if you're looking to start a business an eCommerce business, I've got an Instagram channel @e-comm coaching. Hopefully, I can be of some value. But yeah, thanks for having me on.

Beth: [00:35:54] You're welcome. It's been lovely to speak to you today.

I really hope you enjoyed today's show. Dan has been kind enough to give all of our Visualise You listeners, a special 15% off discount code. Simply head to and enter the discount code VISUALISE YOU at the checkout as an affiliate of Solace Jewellery. I will receive a small commission if you purchase via that link, but it is at no additional cost to you, and it does allow me to continue to provide free content in the form of this podcast and my blog. Check it out in the show notes for all the details.


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