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A Plan B for Your Finances and More Tips for the Month of December

Your net worth? Only the three digits to the left matter.




A Plan B for Your Finances and More Tips for the Month of December

FINANCESThe Rule of Three Digits

If you’re prone to overthinking spending decisions, apply this rule of thumb: The only three digits of your net worth that matter are the left three, so if you have $3,649,855, the $9,855 doesn’t move the needle. Which means you can spend anything to the right (i.e., up to $9,999) without thinking too much. Of course, this is a general conceptual rule — spend $10K on dinner every night for a few months, and soon those three digits to the left will be two. The bigger point, says Khe Hy, a former Wall Street banker who now runs a productivity startup, is that where your attention goes, your energy goes. It helps to be aware when you’re sweating the small stuff.

FINANCESSpread Those Profit Dollars

Selling the store features in most jewelers’ retirement plans, but you might be wise to have a Plan B, says Dick Abbott, founder of the popular The Edge for Jewelers software, noting that “jewelry stores are a tough sell today.” Abbott recommends jewelers take some of their profit dollars and put it in the stock market or real estate, starting with their own building. “At the end of their career, a jeweler could have accumulated a fair amount of wealth outside the store, have a GOB sale and be done with it,” he says. “A buyer likely does not want to pay dollar for dollar on old stock, and my experience tells me 60 percent of the average store’s stock is no longer relevant. The buying public is more likely to buy the stuff at a steep discount that leaves the jeweler better off.”

CLIENTELLINGReach Out to Your Top Customers

Make an extra effort this year to connect personally with your top customers before Dec. 15, says jewelry business consultant Megan Crabtree. This can be achieved by creating custom Christmas or Hanukkah ornaments with their family names or simply sending out handwritten cards, she says. “The goal is to show appreciation and maintain strong relationships with your most loyal customers” at this crucial time of year.

STRATEGYDon’t Cut Muscle

Unless the current economic slowdown threatens your company’s existence, do not cut back on strategic initiatives, write Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton in the HARVARD BUSINESS REVIEW. These initiatives will give you the competitive advantage for the long haul, and you might try creating a new accounting category specifically for long-term strategic plans. “Attempts to cut fat and waste often slice into newly growing muscle, bone and tendon,” the authors warn.



Consume content at 1.5 times speed. “Studies show that retention rate doesn’t start to drop until around 2X speed,” says productivity blogger Colby Kultgen. “It takes about five minutes to get used to, and then you’ll never want to go back,” This doesn’t apply just to reading. In fact, it’s probably best for listening to podcasts and audiobooks — you’ll get through a lot more useful, inspiring or just fun material.

COMMUNICATIONSRotate Facebook Duty

Social media at Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers in Zionsville, IN, is a team project, with every staff member allocated a day of the week they are responsible for Facebook. “This keeps the postings fresh, as everyone has a different point of view,” says owner Brian McCall. “Videos are encouraged, as we have great feedback from our customers. When you go to the local Lowe’s and a staff member says, ‘You’re that lady in the video!’ you know you are doing something right.”

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