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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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With a remodeling project looming, the time was right for Steve and Linda Hammalian, owners of Little Treasure Jewelers in Gambrills, MD, to call in the Wilkerson pros. The couple needed to liquidate excess, aging inventory. Steve says he’d totally recommend them. “Wilkerson offered a comprehensive solution in terms of advertising, in terms of on-site presence and for their overall enthusiasm. They’re also really nice people.”

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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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