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Manager's To Do

An Action Plan for Vegas, Father’s Day Prep, A Risk Review and More Manager’s To-Do Actions for June

Inscribe these tips on your calendar to make this month more productive.

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JUN. 2-8

BUYING If you’re in Vegas for the JCK shows (May 31-June 3), make this year’s buying expedition a cooperative effort with the rest of the staff back in the store. Prime your smart phone, digital camera and laptop so that you can feed as much information back to your employees and get their feedback on what you find. Maybe even set up a Twitter feed to show them how hard you’re working.

MARKETING Ramp up your blogging this week. Comment on what’s new in Las Vegas and what has people buzzing. You don’t actually have to be at the show to do this — just offer your opinions based on the trade press reports (if you need inspiration, check instoremag.com each morning).

Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry
Over the Counter

Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry

Podcast: Craig Husar Discusses His Career, and His Spectacular New Store, on ‘The Barb Wire’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Craig Husar Discusses His Career, and His Spectacular New Store, on ‘The Barb Wire’

Podcast: Make Sure You Open the Dang Box
JimmyCast

Podcast: Make Sure You Open the Dang Box

JUN. 9-15

SALES MEETING Go through your plans for the run-up to Father’s Day. Get your staff to think beyond the traditional, especially if it’s a younger dad — fashion jewelry is growing with this set. Be ready to suggest gift cards as well; men can be a picky bunch when it comes to what they may receive from a jewelry store.

PERSONAL Shake up your routine. With pen and paper, write a thank-you note to someone who’s influenced you in your career. Don’t forget to mail it.

MANAGEMENT Creating a risk management plan involves more than getting affordable rates for insurance premiums. In the long run, avoiding potential claims is the single biggest step you can take to keep your risks (and costs) down. The Small Business Administration (sba.gov) makes available a helpful guide to minimize risk.

JUN. 16-22

FURNISHINGS Need any new office furniture? Now is the time to pick some up; showrooms are making room for new lines that come out in August.

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STORE Update your in-store video loop. For a change, forget the promotional videos and run something that’s got nothing to do with selling at all — Finding Dory, maybe, or some surfing clips.

OPERATIONS What’s your pre-opening drill? If it’s “All hands on deck!” you may want to try something more systematic. Many retailers use a 10-point checklist to make sure that all the important things are taken care of before they open the doors.

JUN. 23-29

MANAGEMENT We’ve recommended it dozens of times and we’re sure you haven’t done it: sign up for Toastmasters. (Find a club near you at toastmasters.org). In no time, you’ll be welcoming invitations to talk publicly.

LEGAL Brush up on your compliance. Check the Federal Trade Commission’s guides on disclosure. Go to ftc.gov and enter “jewelry guides” in the search box.

MERCHANDISING Gather with your staff to inspect your show finds and go through what you ordered during the recent buying season. Develop a product launch plan and schedule training to ensure the successful sell-through.

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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SPONSORED VIDEO

Gene the Jeweler

Gene the Jeweler Gets Kicked Out of the Studio

In the latest episode (#42) of Gene the Jeweler, Gene is going about his business, recording a new episode. But that doesn’t last long. Four-time NFL Pro Bowl leading rusher Ahman Green walks in, and Gene finds that his time in the studio is over — whether he likes it or not. (See more Gene the Jeweler episodes at instoremag.com/gene.)

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.

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19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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Manager's To Do

Brush Up Your Credentials, Double-Check Pricing on Your Hottest Sellers, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for August

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Jul. 28 – Aug. 3

INTERNET Need a tech project? Learn how to integrate the tools on Google Docs so you can easily share store information (training tips, store manual, rosters) among staff.

MANAGEMENT This is a good time of year to consider your employees’ salaries. According to a study by Dale Carnegie Training, 26 percent of engaged employees would leave their current job for just a 5 percent increase in pay. Don’t lose great people because you’re underpaying them, especially in the current tight market.

Aug. 4-10

SYSTEMS Write scripts for greeting customers: what to show them, handling take-ins, getting wish-list information.

MARKETING People defer to authority (it allows them to think less about decisions requiring specialized information). Don’t assume your expertise is self-evident. Get those credentials up on the wall, and on your website with a brief explanation in your About Us page about what it takes to attain them.

Aug. 11-17

MARKETING Hospitals, nail salons, spas, fitness centers, car dealers, realtors … there’s a number of businesses that have surprising potential to be a great marketing partner with a jeweler during the lead-in to the holidays. Draw up a shortlist and reach out.

STAFF A good way to help create a standout sales team is by sending staff members to other stores to watch their great salespeople in action. Have a relationship with a non-competing jeweler with outstanding salespeople in your state or region? Write a letter to them, starting with “Hey, I’d like to ask you for a really big favor …”

Aug. 18-24

MARKETING Hire a pro to take new photos of your store and your staff while everyone is tanned and happy. These are valuable marketing tools you can use when meeting new vendors at trade shows, dealing with local press, or even entering next year’s America’s Coolest Store contest.

PRICING If you’re like a lot of smaller jewelers, you may be underpricing a proven seller compared to your competition. “Fast-sellers in particular need to be fully priced,” says the Edge Academy’s David Brown. This week, spend time researching what prices your best-selling items are achieving across the industry and make sure you are realizing their full potential.

Aug. 25-31

FINANCE According to our Brain Squad surveys, only about 50 percent of independent jewelers offer some form of financing, and among those who do, most say the programs are an effective way of supporting sales. Investigate the options offered around the industry.

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Manager's To Do

Fun, Sun and Strategy … And More Manager’s To-Do Items for July

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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June 30-July 6

MANAGEMENT Summer is a time for fun, sun and strategy. To help you, a question to ponder from business author Jonathan Byrnes: Do we have bad profits? “Some investments look attractive, but they also take the company’s capital and focus away from its main line of business,” he explains.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT It’s parade season. Dust off your store mascot suit and join in the Independence Day festivities. You’ll be spreading a message of fun, community involvement and jewelry care.

July 7-13

OPERATIONS Are there some summer days when you show up and just pretend to work? This month, experiment with an abbreviated week. Knowing you have less time to get things done might just prompt a burst of productivity — and give you the chance to better enjoy the warm months.

SECURITY Place height markers along doorways so police looking at surveillance footage can determine how tall a robber is.

OPERATIONS You should have this already, a file documenting employee performance through the year. Actually, you should be tipping your workers off about how they’ll fare in their annual reviews. This keeps everything moving along smoothly, and you avoid those dreaded showdowns when employees get defensive. This is also a good time to plot your compensation plans.

July 14-20

PROMOTIONS Try a vault sale: Take older merchandise and offer it to your best customers at “incredible” discounts. Clients love it and often buy a number of items.

TRAINING Improve your staff’s question-asking skills with the Probing Game. Staff stand in a line, facing you or your sales manager, who kicks things off with the statement, “I’ve been looking for something for (insert occasion).” The first associate must ask a probing question about the customer’s needs, wants and desires. Fail to come up with one, and they sit down. Probing questions must be open-ended (who, what, when, where, how, why or tell me about your husband/wife …). Yes/no questions result in instant expulsion. Winner is last one standing.

July 21-27

TRAINING Discuss how to use company stories during sales presentations. Highlight how selling yourself and your store is just as important as selling the merchandise.

SERVICES If you don’t already, look into providing “Jewelry Box Reviews.” For $25, offer to evaluate a client’s fine jewelry collection to identify repair items, custom restyling options, and to document for insurance and estate purposes. It’s often a gateway to a series of custom design projects or repair jobs, appraisals, and gold and diamond buys.

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