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Manager's To Do

Add These Dates to Your To-Do List to Ensure a Productive May

Mother’s Day, the Vegas shows, summer and more guarantee it will be a busy month.

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May 5-11

SALES Everything should be in place for Mother’s Day (May 12). Remind salespeople that it’s a fantastic opportunity for add-on sales in the form of matching jewelry. What have you bundled for dad and daughter to buy together for Mom?

PLANNING If you’ve typically taken your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in August this year? Who knows what your community’s jewelry needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present.

STRATEGY Vegas bound? (JCK begins May 31.) Hunker down with your POS system. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve at the show. What are your goals? To attract female self-purchasers, expand your bridal clientele with new bridal product, increase margin with in-house branded collections? (And keep an eye out for our June trends guide toward the end of the month at instoremag.com — it could be a huge help.)

May 12-18

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to market to them in the second half of 2019.

SECURITY Hotels in Vegas make it clear they are not responsible for loss or theft of items brought into their property. If you travel with goods, look into getting insurance.

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May 19-25

OPERATIONS Hurricane season is ahead in many parts of the country. Run through a checklist to ensure that your bad weather protocol is up to speed.

BUYING This year, be organized and professional in front of your vendors in Vegas — prepare all your reports and forms. Re-confirm your appointments, and get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need to.

May 26-June 1

BUYING In Vegas, make a point to visit the Design Atelier at Couture and The Design Center at the JCK Show. The talented designers in these sections create jewelry unlike anything you may have seen, which will engage your most consistent clients while also opening up new markets.

SHOP Slow season project: Take photos of all waxes not already in your CAD library and add them.

MERCHANDISING With summer on the way, Larry Johnson says redo the props in your showcases to give a fresh look. Throw away those seashells in the pearl case and replace them with props that show your customer all the places in town where she can wear those beautiful pearls.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

Prep Your Last-Minute Panic Buying Strategy for V-Day and More Manager’s To-Do Items

This is the time to get your strategy in order for the year.

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Feb. 2-8

CRM Want to be top of mind come dates like Valentine’s Day? Send a bouquet of flowers on the birthday and anniversary of every woman customer who has spent over $3,000 in the last two years. Start this week.

FINANCE One of the downsides of never-ending economic growth is a tendency to get sloppy with costs. There are savings just about everywhere — if you are prepared to demand them. Don’t have time to negotiate? Services like BillShark, BillFixers and Billcutterz will do it for you in areas such as your fixed-line telephone, water delivery, even alarm system for a share of the savings.

OPERATIONS Only a week to go until Valentine’s.It’s time to turn that wish-list data into sales receipts. Email spouses and partners. Then get on the phone to follow up.

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Feb. 9-15

FINANCES If your fiscal year ends in December, you should have your financial statements finalized by Feb. 29. Make an appointment to see your CPA.
SALES Feb. 14 falls on a Friday this year. Review your “last-minute panic-buying” strategy. Expect a rush in the afternoon when employees all over the country switch off from work and start thinking about the weekend.

INVENTORY Identify your “white space” — those areas where demand in your market is going unfulfilled by your store. Make a note of what your customers are requesting that you don’t have, like, for example, inventory under the $100 price point. Be ready to fill in the blanks come buying season.

Feb. 16-22

STRATEGY Embark on a strategic review. Look at what your competitors are doing and learn from them, both the good and the bad. Visit their stores and websites, subscribe to their newsletters, and assign someone on staff to clip or screenshot every one of their ads (not just specialist jewelers), and create a scrapbook. With such knowledge, you’ll be able identify what areas to compete in and how to differentiate your store in your ads.

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OPERATIONS Examine your in-store signage. Is it friendly? Is it memorable? If it’s not both, start the process of changing it.

MARKETING Valentine’s is done and dusted. Adjust case content with an eye toward Mother’s Day and graduation season. And don’t forget self-purchasers — they buy throughout the year.

INVENTORY Contact suppliers. Ask if they have merchandise following the holiday season that might be a fit for your market.

Feb. 23-29

STAFF Do you have guidelines for handling complaints? If not, get busy. As much as possible, empower your team to make decisions without you.

MARKETING From here on out, things start to slow. Identify your top customers and make yearlong plans targeting them. Have your sales staff research what, when and how their best 15 (or more) customers buy. Use this information to target their needs and deliver better and more personalized service. Input this information in your customer management database.

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Get Big-Game Ready – The Super Bowl Is Approaching, and More Important Dates for February

It’s a leap year – that means one more marketing opportunity.

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2 The Super Bowl these days is as much a test of a business’s marketing acumen as a sporting event. “Most Valuable” promotions, offers to return the purchase price if a certain point spread is met, men’s events with a former player, Souper Bowl charity drives … the options are almost endless. Make sure you’re game-ready too. America is watching.

2 OK, here we go again (and again, and again … ).It’s GROUNDHOG DAY, and that celebrated meteorologist Punxsutawney Phil will emerge. Offer a discount at 2015 prices if he sees his own shadow.

10 The handwritten-envelope please, and the invitation, and the canapes, and your red carpet commentary … Yes, the OSCARS are tonight. You know the drill.

29 LEAP YEAR DAY only comes every four years, so jump on this sweet little marketing op. Hoppy Hour, anyone?

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Make the Most of Blue Monday and More Important Dates for January

It’s 2020, so make sure your vision is clear.

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20 Combine post-holiday depression with seeing our New Year’s resolutions fall by the wayside, and we arrive at a date in the third week of January that has come to be known as BLUE MONDAY, when — according to various media accounts — we are at our most miserable. Fight this annual nadir with a Blues Bash on social media or in-store, featuring your sapphires and other blue jewelry. It could also be a good way to introduce Pantone’s color of 2020 — “Classic Blue”.

1 As we open the year 20/20, take time to give serious thought to your vision. What one bold thing does your business stand for? How clear is it to everyone?

15 On GET TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER DAY, give your sales associates an allowance to take a customer out to lunch. Their goal should be to learn about them, not to sell them.

28 Celebrate FUN AT WORK DAY by rolling out a ceremony to celebrate big sales or a fun new spiff. And don’t forget to tell customers how much fun you had serving them.

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