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Manager's To Do

Calendar: April 2015

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Celebrate Tax Day

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Thanks to Tax Day at the heart of April, the month has become home to a series of money-management dates including National Financial Literacy Month, Financial awareness month and 1 cent day. But for all the advice thrown our way, when it comes to money, the vast majority of us continue to be our own worst enemies. We don’t open 401(k) plans, we incur fees because we “forget” to pay our bills on time, we run credit card balances … and then there are all those less-than-prudent business decisions we make. If you don’t have a CPA who specializes in small business or another neutral finance pro guiding your decisions, book a consultation today.

This article originally appeared in the March 2015 edition of INSTORE.

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Otto Von Bismarck, credited with uniting Germany, introducing Europe’s first social welfare program, and the following quote, “Only a fool learns from his own mistakes; the wise man learns from the mistakes of others,” was born on this day in 1815. Mark the 200th anniversary of Otto Von Bismarck’s birth (and April Fool’s Day) by re-reading our July 2014 feature, Lessons Learned (instr.us/3151).

UPCOMING EVENTS

April 18-20 Smart Jewelry Show, Chicago, IL

April 22-25 AGS Conclave, New Orleans, LA

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April 25-27 JIS Show, Miami, FL

April 27-28 IWJG Show, Brooklyn, NY

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Ann Landers knew a thing or two about feuds — she didn’t talk to her twin sister, (Dear) Abby, for years. It may have been why she was such an advocate of Reconciliation Day. While grudges, feuds and recalled slights can occasionally be good motivators, they mostly just consume time and energy. Today, think of a relationship (commercial or personal) that soured, and write a note to that person saying you’d like to bury the hatchet, or just wish them the best. Even if it doesn’t work out, it’s an issue you won’t waste any more time stewing over.

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The 155th anniversary of Rene Lalique’s birth represents a terrific opportunity to educate your customers about art nouveau jewelry, which has enjoyed a nice revival in the last few years. Maybe bring in an arty glassmaker for a trunk show.

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National Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into 2015 women must work to earn what men earned in 2014. Invite your women customers to come in to commiserate and reward themselves fairly for their hard work, because broadly speaking, society is not in much of a hurry to do it.

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The inquiry, “Would you like fries with that?” earns McDonald’s millions of dollars a year. There’s much to learn about the art of upselling from the world’s biggest burger chain, which opened its first branch in Des Plaines, IL, on this day in 1955. The most important is: Don’t suggest add-ons just for the sake of profit or getting rid of unwanted inventory. Customers will see right through you. Instead, determine which products go well together because of style or price point (don’t go higher than 25 percent for the second item), and have your selling points prepared. If you can show the value in your fries, your clients will see it too.

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Former Mayor Richard J. Daley called Chicago “the city that works.” We’d like you to think of working smart when you think of the Windy City. As with previous SMART Shows, the 2015 event will provide lots of education (the sessions begin today), peer-group activities, and fun competitions. And let’s not forget a carefully edited vendor list to match your buying needs. Start clearing your cases now.

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What you may not know about Paul Revere is that he was one of you: a silversmith and engraver. Mark the 240th anniversary of Paul Revere’s ride into the history books with a “mid-night” sale. Hang a lantern above your door, and stay open late with some extra special offers.

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So you’re no Joe Cocker. Don’t let that stop you. The organizers of National Karaoke Week claim the benefits of singing along to synthetic tunes in public are increased self-esteem, stress release and when done with the staff, improved bonding through shared experience.


S T O R E    A N N I V E R S A R I E S

jewelry store anniversaries Sorg Jewelers

115 Years: Sorg Jewelers

Goshen and Elkhart, IN

Sorg Jewelers’ 115-year history is a point of pride for its third- and fourth-generation owners but the family has also been careful not to live in the past, notes VP Darin Sorg. While outside, 16-foot art-deco neon signs hint at an elegant past, the business has continued to evolve, most recently upgrading its location in Downtown Goshen, IL, and relocating a second store to a more vibrant part of nearby Elkhart. The family credits the business’s longevity to a simple formula that combines expertise, value and customer trust.


B I R T H S T O N E S

Diamond is April's birthstone

Diamond

There is a rational case to be made for eschewing diamonds, but it just melts when exposed to the Hard One’s bright, shining charm. It’s been the same way since they first washed up on Indian river banks more than 2,500 years ago. The word diamond derives its name from the Greek adamas, meaning unconquerable and indestructible, like a marriage that lasts into its 60th year.

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VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Wilkerson Testimonials

Texas Jeweler Knew He'd Get Only One Shot at a GOB Sale, So He Wanted to Make It Count

Most retailers only have one GOB sale in their lifetimes. This was the case for Gary Zoet, owner of Shannon Fine Jewelry in Houston, Texas. “Wilkerson has done thousands of these sales,” says Zoet. “I’ve never done one, so it’s logical to have somebody with experience do it.” The result exceeded Zoet’s expectations. Wilkerson took care of everything from marketing to paperwork. When it’s time for you to consider the same, shouldn’t you trust the experts in liquidation?

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Manager's To Do

Capitalizing on Valentine’s Engagement Sales, March Madness Ideas and More Manager’s To-Do Items for March

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Mar. 3-9

BUDGETING Time to get started on making a budget for the 2019 buying season and get ready to trade in old inventory for new inventory. Also, if possible, have an inventory reduction sale to get rid of the dated inventory before going to Vegas.

SALES FLOOR Beware the ex-brides of March! Divorce filings are highest this month. Do you have a script ready explaining why the resale value of an engagement ring may not meet the customer’s expectations? If not, get busy.

Video: Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should
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Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage
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Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage

MARKETING Remember all those clients who bought engagement rings in advance of Valentine’s Day? Call to see what their plans are for wedding bands.

Mar. 10-16

MERCHANDISE It’s March. Embrace the madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Finals starts on March 17 and runs through to April 8. It’s a great chance to clear out old inventory with a quick Sheer Madness Sale! At the very least, organize a pool for staff.

SHOWROOM Is your custom area as friendly as it could be? Does it feature a gallery highlighting past designs, portraits of satisfied customers, updated displays, appropriate lighting, a signature scent?

Mar. 17-23

MARKETING Hold a Prom Dress Party. Encourage girls to bring their dresses into the store and try on jewelry with the dress. Identify pieces to excite them at prices that will entice a sale (that means jewelry with a big look for less money).

MERCHANDISING Pull out your promotional calendar and view it from the perspective of using the events to manage and reduce specific inventory. Annual customer appreciation sales, trunk shows, open houses, and repair/jewelry remodeling events can all give your finances an even greater boost if you execute them with a view to moving certain items.

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MANAGEMENT Download a time tracker to your phone and start logging how you spend your work life — not because there’s much value in the record you create, but because the very act of recording can have a powerful psychological impact, leading you to use your time much more efficiently. (Warning: Brace yourself to be alarmed at how you fritter away time.)

Mar. 24-30

SHOWROOM In one analysis of a university building in Oregon, workers on the greenery-facing side took 19 percent fewer sick days. It apparently has to do with how we evolved to function best in nature-rich settings. If you can’t knock a side wall out to provide a view of the glorious outdoors, buy a few potted plants to place around your sales floor.

PERSONAL Take an inventory of your tech use and evaluate each item for its usefulness, working on the assumption that if something can’t justify itself, it’s out. Exit the social networks you barely use and get rid of the apps that, when you think about it, have no benefit. Yep, that means Candy Crush may have to go.

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Calendar

Day of Unplugging, Near Miss Day and More Important March Dates

Don’t miss your chance to have a parade for Mardi Gras.

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20 There’s a reason the Hare Krishnas hand out flowers before soliciting donations — the awesome hold reciprocity has over humans. The psychologist Robert Cialdini notes in his bestseller Influence that we’re so deeply primed to reciprocate generosity that customers who receive a free gift become far more likely to make a purchase “in return.” Since it’s spring, take a tip from the Hare Krishnas and hand out fresh flowers to customers.

Video: Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should
Jim Ackerman

Video: Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store
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Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage

4 Day of Unplugging. The challenge: 24 hours without phone or Internet contact. Can you do it? The benefits are said to be surprising.

5 Celebrate Mardi Gras with a bead party. Cook up some red beans and rice, stick on some music and have yourself a parade.

23 Thirty years ago, a mountain-sized asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth — a very, very close call according to NASA. Luckily, we survived and Near Miss Day was born. In thanks, dig up one of your or your sales associate’s recent “near misses” and debate what may have saved the sale. A lower price? More romance? Bruce Willis?

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Calendar

Single Tasking Day, Red Carpet Season and More Big Dates for February

The essential jeweler’s calendar for the month starts here.

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4 With more than two billion users, you need to be sure you’ve fully explored the potential of Facebook. On the 15th Anniversary of Facebook’s Launch by Mark Zuckerberg and three friends, adopt the company’s motto, “Move Fast and Break Things,” and commit to shaking things up with your social media marketing. Test some sponsored posts. Get absurdly specific with your targeting. Try a contest. Try more video. Follow INSTORE’s Facebook page at facebook.com/instoremag.

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The Barb Wire

Podcast: Michael O’Connor, Jewelry’s Perfect Spokesman, Visits ‘The Barb Wire’

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Podcast: A Jeweler Learns the Internet’s Weaknesses, and His Own Strengths

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10 Red-carpet season rolls on with The Grammys today and The Academy Awards on Feb. 25. Slip into fashion-maven mode and get your customers excited about jewelry’s cutting-edge trends with tweets, snaps, posts and blogs.

14 Love with a touch of panic is one way to look at Valentine’s Day. And not just for the guys. If you need ideas, go to instoremag.com and test out our archive search.

22 On Single Tasking Day, let your brain do what it’s been designed so beautifully to handle — focus on one thing at a time: one conversation, one meal, one task, one baseball game.

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