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Manager's To Do

Calendar: February 2011

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February takes its name from the Latin for “purify.” Maybe it should have been called “Cor-anuary” because this is clearly the month of the heart. It is American Health Month, Mend a Broken Heart Month and also home to Women’s Heart Week and St. Valentine’s Day (which we’ll get to in a bit). So do as the Go Red For Women campaign suggests and get involved in an event. At the very least, put together a display of garnet, spinel or even ruby earrings and don some red on Feb. 4.

[dropcap cap=2] Well, it’s Groundhog Day… AGAIN. If life in your store feels like you’re having the same day … over, and over… do something about it. Try a trunk show, get in a coach, join the local chamber of commerce – anything that you may have previously viewed with skepticism. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=3] Chinese New Year launches the Year of the White Rabbit, a time to trust your intuition. And when is that? When it’s an area where you have experience or when you’ve been presented with too many options. When people overthink situations, they tend to make bad choices, according to research in the Journal of Consumer Research. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=6]There was a time gridiron was played by men with cauliflower ears and few teeth, and nobody needed to ask if that was a pair of 5-carat brilliant-cut diamond earrings the lineman was wearing. Today, football and in particular, the Super Bowl, offers something for everyone – touchdowns, fashion, cool ads and an occasionally controversial half-time show. To get in on the action, you could try hiring a former player to come in and sign autographs and pose for photos on the day. Pennsylvania-based King’s Jewelry did that last year at one of their events with former Steeler Robin Cole providing the excitement. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=7] In the run-up to Valentine’s Day there are a number of calendar dates designed to play off the Big Red One: Dump Your Significant Other Week, Satisfied Staying Single Day (Feb. 11), Rejection/Risk Awareness Week (Feb. 7-14), International Flirting Week (Feb. 13-19) …. Ignore them and focus on generating anticipation for V-Day. Goldworks in Chapel Hill, NC, did something similar last year with a particularly cool pre-Valentine’s event: a chocolate-tasting buffet. Lots of fun and a winner with customers. [/dropcap]

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[dropcap cap=7] International Networking Week means it is time to put your glad-handing skills to work. If the idea of working a room of strangers makes you queasy, start with smaller clubs where you’ll find people who share similar interests to yours. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=8] James Dean would have been 80 today if he hadn’t died young and left a handsome legacy. If cool is you’re thing, he could be the peg. How about a Rebel Without a Cause/Jewelry Without a Reason party?  [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=8]Get your customer to laugh and you’re halfway to closing the sale. That’s the thinking behind Laugh and get rich day, which was created by regular INSTORE columnist Rick Segel. Of course, it’s not just about the bottom line. Humor fosters creative thinking and better communication, generates loyalty and just makes work a better place to be for all.  [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=13] Red-carpet season reaches its zenith this month with, first, the Grammy’s today, and then the Academy Awards on Feb. 27. Slip into fashion-maven mode and get your customers excited about jewelry’s cutting-edge trends with a series of e-mail bulletins on what’s hot. Maybe even hold your own Oscar-watching party. Invite your guests to walk down the red carpet, sip special cocktails and win prizes for correctly picking the most honorees.   [/dropcap][dropcap cap=14]Aim Cupid’s arrow at a younger demographic this year. Valentine’s Day is a terrific opportunity to get the 45-and-under crowd into your store for the first time. In your marketing stress three things: That you’re approachable; that your bench jeweler can create unique gifts (this demographic loves personalization), and that flowers die, jewelry lives on (they like value too.)  [/dropcap]

[h4]Calendar Dates[/h4]

Feb 2011

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[li]Feb. 1-6
AGTA GemFair Tucson
Tucson, AZ[/li]

[li]Feb. 18-22
Palm Beach Jewelry, Art & Antique Show
Palm Beach, FL[/li]

[li]Feb. 20-22
AccessoriesTheShow Pavilion
New York, NY [/li]

[li]Feb. 22-23
The American Craft Wholesale Show
Baltimore, MD [/li]

[li]Feb. 25-28
Inhorgenta 2011
Munich, Germany [/li]

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When Gene the Jeweler Speaks, His Employees Listen

In this episode of Jimmy DeGroot’s Gene the Jeweler series, Gene has a simple request for his employees. The good news is that they follow his instructions. The bad news is that they follow a bit too literally.

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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.

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.

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May Day, Sea Monkey Day and More Important May Dates

One is a day to remind yourself that ultimately, you’re selling emotional benefits.

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1 Elsewhere, the proletariat may be standing shoulder-to-shoulder on May Day, singing “L’Internationale” to show solidarity with their daily toil, but in the good ol’ U.S. of A, that’s not considered politically correct. In place of class struggle, tell your staff you want to hear what can be done to make your store a better place to work. Ask your employees to come up with three small things each that would make their working days more pleasant. Implemented right, small things can go a long way to making employees feel empowered, involved and happy to be at work.

4 AUDREY HEPBURN, who was born on this date 90 years ago, did more for little black dresses and diamond earrings than anyone else in history. Mark the occasion with an invitation-only morning event with your favorite customers.

14 The BIRTHDATE OF THE BUDDHA is a perfect time to focus on what works and let go of the rest. Invite input, keep an open mind, and act to de-clutter.

16 It helps to be smart in your marketing, but bold is so much better. Remember that today as the world celebrates SEA MONKEY DAY — a briny nod to the power of selling emotional benefits.

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Siblings Day, National Volunteer Week and More Important April Dates

Seize on this date to own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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10 Sure, sometimes they wouldn’t surrender the TV remote, and you had to wear red because they got the blue top, and they never seemed to do their fair share of the dishes … But they are also the only other people on the planet who understand what weirdos your parents are. On National Siblings Day, remind your customers of all this. Siblings are like the best friends we never asked for but are really glad we have. They deserve a nice surprise gift — in red.

7 On National Volunteer Week, pick up litter on roadsides or in your local creek, serve food to homeless, repaint the children’s shelter; do something to give back to your community.

14 On Be Kind to Lawyers Day, send a cheery note of thanks to yours for their hard work keeping your business safe from legal jeopardy.

30 Those honored on National Honesty Day are given “Abes” to mark their commitment to truthfulness. Sponsor an event at a local school. Own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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