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2019 Big Survey: Do It or Delegate It? $5M Store Owners Tell

Results of the 2019 Big Survey are in. Here’s a sample.

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EVER WONDERED HOW you’d be spending your day and how much of your current workload you’d be able to delegate if your store were to reach the lofty level of $5 million a year in sales?

As part of our massive data-gathering exercise for the 2019 Big Survey, we asked America’s independent jewelry-store owners and managers what tasks they always do, what they always delegate and what they sometimes pass to others. As a general rule most owners were good about accepting the responsibility for doing the most dreaded jobs like firing people and dealing with customer complaints. But there were also a noticeable trend of fewer owners doing all the tasks we asked about as their businesses got bigger (see chart).

On the assumption that the biggest stores have the biggest staffs and the owners or managers have the opportunity to delegate the most, we ran a cross tab of stores doing over $5 million in annual sales (note the black line in our chart). So, how does the typical workday look for such jewelers? Well, they don’t do a lot of bench work, or website maintenance and they get professional help doing the books. Admirably, 25% of the leaders of these stores always clean the floors and 50% sometimes do it. Ninety-three percent are still spending some time on the floor selling. Yes, as a retailer, you’ve always got to be selling.

The 2019 Big Survey was conducted in September and October and attracted responses from more than 800 American jewelers. Look out for all the results in the November issue of INSTORE.

What are the duties that you personally handle?
DUTIES I ALWAYS DO IT I SOMETIMES DO IT I ALWAYS DELEGATE IT
1. Website maintenance24%24%52% 87%*
2. Contributing to social media feeds30%36%34% 54%*
3. Customer complaints65%30%5% 20%*
4. Bench work/repairs22%21%57% 96%*
5. Hiring people69%23%8% 20%*
6. Firing people72%19%9% 21%*
7. Selling on the sales floor 43%50%7% 33%*
8.Cleaning the floors 25%50%25% 42%*
9.Closing up the store48%41%11% 42%*
10. Doing the books46%20%35% 71%*
11. Changing paper in the printer36%53%12% 38%*

*Stores doing more than $5 million in annual sales.

Chris Burslem is Group Managing Editor at SmartWork Media.

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