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Celebrate Your Boys in Blue … and More December Tips

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JEWELERS COULDN’T OPERATE without the wider protection offered by police officers. In recognition of this, Woolard’s Custom Jewelers in Burleson, TX, replaces officers’ watch batteries for free and delivers a free Christmas lunch to a local station each year. It also donates to the annual police banquet; last year, the gift was five custom designed badge necklaces.

Cool Collabs

Collaboration may have been the word of 2017. Two tie-ups you possibly haven’t thought of:

  • A music school: Ocean Jewels in Myrtle Beach, SC, did that to entertain mall-goers with an impromptu concert last Christmas.
  • A bakery: M.K. Benatti Jewelers in Newburyport, MA, hosted a Chamber mixer at the store that featured a huge cake. “It was amazing — everyone was talking about our cake, posting on Facebook how awesome it was and how great our event was,” says Karen Khatib, who owns the store with her husband, Matt.

Write at Day’s End

Is your staff showing signs of stress as the holiday season reaches its crazy zenith? Ask them to do this simple act: spend 10 minutes at the end of the day writing about three things (work-related or personal) that went well that day. According to a report in the Harvard Business Review, this gratitude exercise lowers stress levels and physical complaints by roughly 15 percent.

A Home for “Puppies”

“Words matter, both to staff and customers. That’s why “dogs” get their own clearance case at The Diamond Exchange of Maryland, Rockville, MD, “but we call them puppies,” says owner Ira Kramer.

Add Some Mystique

If you really want to impress a customer, says Cal Newport, an associate professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University and author of Deep Work, cite achievements or processes that are hard to grasp, such as what goes into the engineering of a custom-ring design to ensure it can stand up to the rigors of daily use for decades. Referring to a response he calls the Failed Simulation Effect, he notes that if someone else “cannot mentally simulate the steps taken to reach an accomplishment,” they’ll be far more authentically awestruck. Magicians exploit this distinction all the time. Why shouldn’t you?

Beat the Grim Reaper

If you’re in a smallish community and have an older client base, be sure to check the local obituaries weekly. This habit can help you avoid awkward moments and maybe even win you some sensivitivity points. If you do come across a client’s name, be sure to remove that client from scheduled appointments and recall lists. And don’t forget to send the family a condolence card.

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The Billionaire’s Secret

Billionaires have a reputation for being competitive, egotistical, and controlling, while also being smart, hardworking and obsessive about their businesses. It’s a description that could also apply to a lot of small business owners. So what accounts for the difference? Psychologist Brad Klontz says that billionaires are not afraid to ask for help. “In managing their often very complex lives, they have had to rely on a variety of experts to help them along the way. When they run into problems, they are less hesitant than most of us to seek help from someone who is an expert.”

Strike Friday Off Your Work Calendar

If at this time of year you find yourself wishing there were more hours in the day, or more days in the week, try proceeding as if there were fewer. That’s the advice of Laura Vanderkam, author of 68 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think. Vanderkam doesn’t schedule any work on Fridays. She doesn’t take Fridays off. She just pretends, for planning purposes, that the day doesn’t exist. That way, when projects inevitably overrun and unexpected tasks rear up, there’s a bucket for the overspill.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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