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Manager's To Do

Cash Flow Ideas, Staff Brainstorm Topics and More Manager’s To-Do Items for July

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July 2-8

MERCHANDISING Move your birthstone display to a more prominent spot to remind your clients of this fun tradition. This should become a periodic exercise and July is a great time to start, as ruby, in addition to being a really cool birthstone, is a favorite alternative for the center stone in engagement rings.

OUTREACH Things a bit slow at your store? Olympian Diamonds’ Aleah Arundale recommends going to retirement homes and giving talks on gold buying. “It’s tough when business is slow. The most important thing is to keep trying different things.”

SALES Have a brainstorming session with your staff about what data need to be tracked in order to measure productivity and to find areas that can be improved. There are the obvious ones such as sales to goal, average sale and closing ratio — but look at casting a wide analytical net to capture those hidden indicators of performance, such as add-on as a percentage of sales, phone calls made, Instagram chat interactions and anything else they can come up with.

July 9-15

MANAGEMENT Here’s something time-management experts are always recommending: weekly reviews of your week — a habit, yes, but one that involves stepping out of the daily habitual stream to gain perspective. And now is the perfect time to implement it.

BENCH Consider purchasing a gold and diamond tester. Some jewelers put it off because they think it might be complicated or take time learning to use it. But they’re really simple to operate.

MARKETING Schedule repair clinics in the slow summer months for those customers who love jewelry for the handiwork involved.

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July 16-22

PLANNING June is the month for weddings, right? After all, that’s the origin of the popular term, “June Bride.” Well, Hallmark doesn’t agree. According to its figures, August has become the most popular wedding month over the past four years. June comes second. What’s that mean? Tweak your wedding marketing plan and try again.

ONLINE To stay relevant, you should refresh your website every two years and fine-tune it every six months. That six months is up. Customers will visit your store only if they like your website and think it looks modern. Does your site have simple lines, motion, huge photos and at least a hint of prices? If not, get busy.

July 23-29

REPAIRS Go through finished repairs for jobs that haven’t been picked up. Then the day before payday, call the owners and suggest they come and pick up the piece (while they’ve still got the cash).

EVENTS In a lifestyle center, strip mall or downtown location? Take the lead in organizing a community block party. Loads of fun and a great crowd generator.

PLANNING The idea of living on in perpetuity in digital form has some appeal, but it could be a headache for your surviving family because they may not be able to access many of your online accounts. The answer? Appoint a digital executor — a tech-savvy person who will be able to close or manage accounts in line with your wishes.

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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Manager's To Do

Holiday Social Media Tips, How to Keep Spirits Bright, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for December

Be sure your staff are prepared both mentally and physically.

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Dec. 1-7

REPAIRS Make sure all staff are aware of your cut-off dates for accepting repairs and special orders for Christmas. Stick to it even if it means turning down a sale — better that than not to be able to fulfill it. (And if it just absolutely, positively has to be fixed, note your “emergency service” charge and split the cash with your jewelers.)

MARKETING Start posting photos of your two best-selling jewelry pieces on Facebook each day. Post the first when you open, and the other around 3 p.m. Launch three new Pinterest pages: Last-minute gift ideas for her; Last-minute gift ideas for him; Gift ideas under $100. Ask each of your employees to post at least one photo a day to your store’s Instagram account (and don’t forget the hashtags!). Watch for feedback and keep the conversation going.

DIAMONDS Get on the phone to diamond reps and get in more memo diamonds so you have time to work with those early shoppers before the chaos sets in. Every sale you make now in the first half of December is found money.

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Dec 8-14

TRAINING Changes in small behaviors can have huge results. Each day, ask employees to keep in mind one specific behavior. It could be mimicking, maintaining eye contact, smiling, getting customers to try on items, getting permission to follow up, and asking “So … who else is on your list?”

MARKETING Keep phoning customers for wish lists, one-year jewelry tune-ups, etc. If someone’s been on their feet for hours and needs a break, send them to the back to start making those calls.

Dec 15-21

HEALTh “Research studies say that low blood sugar levels are associated with lower overall blood flow to the brain, which means bad decisions,” says Dr. Mark Hyman, author of The Blood Sugar Solution. To keep your blood sugar stable, Hyman suggests eating a nutritious breakfast with some protein like eggs, protein shake or nut butters. Then have smaller meals throughout the day.

Dec 22-28

SALES FLOOR Take some of the stress out of last-minute shopping by offering food, drink and good music. Even if you’re not having an official Christmas Eve party, make sure that there’s nourishment (of the literal and spiritual kind) to keep the stress low and the spirits high.

MANAGEMENT Before you close up on Christmas Eve, thank every team member personally for his/her effort.

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Dec 29-Jan 4

CRM 2019 is almost a wrap. Send out thank-you cards to every customer, even those who just bought a battery. For your best customers, make follow-up calls (or send texts for younger customers). “So, how did it go?” If not well, tell them to come in and take advantage of your exchange policy.

RETURNS Say it three times: Returns are good, returns are … Yep, return week is upon us. Handle it well and those customers will return, too.

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Cyber Monday, Tick Tock Day and More Important December Dates for Jewelers

Be ready with the right questions on Christmas Eve.

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24 Jewelry: a gift that communicates thoughtful reflection, even when it’s bought at 6:55 p.m. on CHRISTMAS EVE. A certain kind of man knows this. He’s the Last-Minute Man, and there are a lot of them (21 percent of men don’t even start their shopping until the Saturday before Christmas). Coupled with their tardiness, they tend to be clueless. Coach your employees to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings.

2 CYBER MONDAY is the No. 2 shopping day, reaching $7.9 billion in sales last year. Be sure to highlight a few specials on your website. Shoppers will be looking for them.

4 ROCKEFELLER CENTER HITS THE SWITCH on its landmark Christmas tree today. You should too. Customers want to see lights, decorations and reindeer carved from ice.

29 Today is TICK TOCK DAY as 2019 winds down. Quickly knock off one or two of those important but not urgent things that have been loitering on your to-do list.

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A Good Idea for Thanksgiving, and More Important Dates for November

Includes a fitting tribute to the quiz show Twenty Questions.

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2 The quiz show TWENTY QUESTIONS MADE ITS DEBUT on national television on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion by brainstorming 20 questions to get your customers talking. Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ, came up with a list that ranged from icebreakers like “What kind of pets do you own?” to those with a specific sale in mind: “How would you like to be a hero for under $100?”

19 Mark management expert PETER DRUCKER’S BIRTHDAY by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you were to be brutally realistic, you don’t have time for.

28 Get in the spirit of THANKSGIVING by sending a goodie bag to your best 50 customers (be sure to include a coupon). It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

29 It’s showtime! BLACK FRIDAY marks the traditional start of the shopping season. Spur your holiday sales with a special coupon mailed to your customer list.

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