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Manager's To Do

Calendar: March 2011

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[highlight]For much of the Roman Empire, March was the first month of the year, as it heralded the arrival of spring — the start of everything new and a time to go to war. Hence the name, which comes from Mars, the god of war. [/highlight]

[dropcap cap=4] National Grammar Month starts today (because March fourth is both a date and an imperative). An editor once told us that bad grammar is like a piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe — people notice (and make judgments), even when it’s just a quick e-mail. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=7] Procrastination Week is organized by the National Procrastinators Club to promote the benefits of putting off until tomorrow that which needn’t be done today. We’d suggest its organizers postpone this week indefinitely. The biggest problem with procrastination is that you can’t enjoy today. American writer Eric Hoffer noted, “Our greatest weariness comes from work undone.” Got something you don’t want to do? Target just 20 percent of the job. It’s amazing what a little momentum will then do. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=8] Why should Louisiana have all the fun? It’s still cold in much of the country but that shouldn’t slow you from celebrating Mardi Gras. Masks, lively music, spicy food, outrageous costumes, beads …. Beads! Did someone say beads? Say no more! [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=12] Girl Scout Day is a great reminder to get involved with the little troopers. Here’s one idea: Kleinhenz Jewelers in Westlake, OH, invited the local Girl Scouts unit for a shop tour. Each girl was given a geode rock kit to crack open with hammers in the shop, and the store’s goldsmith then set each child’s synthetic birthstone in silver pendants. “The Girl Scout leader said it was one of the few field trips that all the moms also wanted to attend,” Doris Kleinhenz explained, adding that several of the mothers had returned to become regular customers. [/dropcap]

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[dropcap cap=13]  Celebrate the big spring forward this year with Daylight Savings (yes, that’s with an “s”), Stay open for all 12 daylight hours and promise great savings to all customers who can make it in before darkness falls. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=17] There was a time when St. Patrick’s Day left jewelers scratching their heads for ways to approach it. No more. Get in on the action with your own “Go Green on Paddy’s Day” promotion. Simply ask your customers to bring in those old “pots of gold” hidden in their drawers. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=20] The birds are chirping, the sun lingers and the snow has receded, leaving the question of where does the white go … and you with spring cleaning work to do. This year, forget the lights and carpets and focus your efforts on your inventory. Gather whatever is old or unfashionable and melt it, eBay it, redesign it or mark it down. And all the while, remember to whistle while you work. It’s spring, after all. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=AMERICAN CHOCOLATE WEEK 20-26]Dave Barry says your hand and mouth have a deal on chocolate that excludes the brain. Jewelry tends to require a bit more thought, but otherwise the two have much in common. A few years back, Simon Jewelers in High Point, NC, showed just how well they go together with a Make A Wish List Evening that included hand-made chocolatinis and Lecil Henderson debuting his Chocolate Brown Gold Collection. Brown jewelry has lost some of its shine but not chocolate. It’s never around long enough to lose its appeal. [/dropcap]

[dropcap cap=29]  A decade ago it seemed that being local, independent and service-minded were liabilities in the face of the big box onslaught. Now they are competitive assets. On National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day, revisit your marketing to see how you’re playing up those strengths.[/dropcap]

[componentheading]Anniversary[/componentheading]

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[contentheading]75 years [/contentheading]

In 1936, watchmaker Charles B. Stanley opened for business in a 20-foot-by-20-foot storefront in North Little Rock, AR. By pushing out a back wall, that store grew to be 80 feet deep before success demanded a move to a larger space. Today, Stanley Jewelers Gemologist covers 2,500 square feet in suburban Park Hill. What have all those years in business taught the family? That it’s a never-ending learning process. “Every time I think I’ve learned something deep and infallible, I am forced to unlearn it,” says Laura Stanley, Charles’ granddaughter. The Stanleys are celebrating the milestone by sponsoring 75 local events.

[componentheading]Upcoming Events  [/componentheading]

March 4-8
Hong Kong Jewellery Show
Hong Kong

March 5-7
Atlanta Jewelry Show
Atlanta, GA

March 13-15
MJSA Expo New York
New York, NY

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March 24-31
Baselworld 2011
Basel, Switzerland

[componentheading]  [/componentheading]

[contentheading]AQUAMARINE [/contentheading]

The name of this light blue stone evokes images of seawater gently lapping against a Mediterranean shore. No surprise then that it was long thought to have a soothing influence on married couples, and it is rightly the recommended gift for the 19th anniversary. Legend says that it is the treasure of mermaids, with the power to keep sailors safe at sea. It’s also held that aquamarine earrings will bring love and affection to the wearer.

[span class=note]This story is from the February 2011 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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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
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
Jimmy Degroot

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store

Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage
Gene the Jeweler

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
Jimmy Degroot

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store

Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage
Gene the Jeweler

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.

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

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

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

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

Podcast: How to Find Good People and Avoid Employee Nightmares
JimmyCast

Podcast: How to Find Good People and Avoid Employee Nightmares

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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