When I first started my jewellery business Jewel Divas, I read, and was told, I would need an ABN, or Australian Business Number. I saw my company as a business and took it seriously, wanting it to grow into something bigger than it was. So, I applied for an ABN and got it in 2008. I also registered my business name with the Office of Consumer and Business Affairs which I could only do once I had my ABN.
The website may not have been up and running for about a year, thanks to the amount of people that wasted my time and money, but it finally got going in 2009.
Since then I have been plugging away at making and creating and trying desperately to get my jewellery in magazines, on tv and on the net. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter pages, a blog, followed by Tumblr, Stumbleupon, Digg, Delicious, anything I could try to get my name and brand known for it was a company.
Yet regardless of how many people came to my website to look and search, no one bought.
I have no idea why. I can take guesses at the price of some pieces, the shipping rates, not the kind of things people wanted.
I’ve been told that it was the way it looked, that people didn’t want flashy, colourful websites to buy from, they preferred white and simple.
As far as I’m concerned that’s rubbish. If I want something from a website I’ll buy it regardless of the way the I looks. As long as it has the product I want at the price I’m willing to pay then I’m all for it. I cannot believe people are so petty that they would not buy something from a website just because it wasn’t white and simple.
A few months back I had a session with that “mentor”, I blogged about it in my first WordPress post, and he suggested getting my business off Magento if I couldn’t understand how it worked and get it onto WordPress. He also suggested getting onto stores like Etsy and MadeIt, which I decided to do.
I transferred this blog over, cut, culled and re-organised my whole social media identity into Jewel Divas Style, transferred all my domain names over to my new hosting company, set up a store on MadeIt and decided to not use Etsy because of all the issues.
As far as I was concerned I had my ABN. Even though I’ve never used it and I probably should have to buy wholesale supplies from my beading stores, I didn’t because the stuff was already so cheap, and at the beginning when I did file a tax return, the woman told me there wasn’t any point if I wasn’t making any money.
So now we get to my story.
I have received word from the Australian Business Register that my ABN has been cancelled as their records indicate I am not carrying on an enterprise.
I freaked out, and quickly rang up to find out what was going on but the poor guy couldn’t tell me much, so he took my details and said my situation would be reviewed and someone would call me within 28 days.
He couldn’t tell me why so I can only guess.
I have shut down my previous website, or I have transferred my domain names to a new hosting company and they have been directed to the new blog, so far.
Until that phone call comes I will not know the reason for cancellation but it does screw up my plans for the future.
As I had my domains and blog transferred to not only WordPress but my new hosting company the original domain is directed to my blog. Now I had thought if my MadeIt store went well I would either sell under the name on my blog, or set up a simple and easy website on WordPress.
Now that has been thrown up in the air and until the phone call I won’t know.
If they deem it to be a hobby now instead of a business then I don’t know if I’m screwed or whether I’ll still need one for trading under the name on a selling site like MadeIt. I know that sellers on Etsy pay tax if they earn so much so maybe it’s the same, and in which case I don’t know if I’ll need one or not.
I also think it screws up my ability to have a registered business name, and I know you can’t own domains of .com.au unless you have an ABN. So I have no idea.
Until then, I’ll be selling under the name Jewel Divas on MadeIt as of next week, and the Facebook page for Jewel Divas Official (along with all the JDS social media pages) is still going so that’s something at least. All of the details are in my side bar and footer.