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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

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.

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Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites: Piktochart.com, Venngage.com, Easel.ly.

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”

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19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.

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19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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