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Dave Salkin




GEMS, COFFEE AND ROCK N ROLL ? that’s the abridged version of second-generation jeweler Dave Salkin’s working life. For the detailed version, read on as Dave takes us through a typical week in his Freehold store.  
It will be interesting to have to account for my time. Having been the boss (with my brother Eric) for so many years, I pretty much do things my way and don’t really think about a schedule. The only thing set in stone is my arriving before everyone else so I can blast the classic rock so loud that the walls shake. Every day, coffee and screaming rock to wake me up and clear my head. By 8:30, my brother and staff arrive, and I begrudgingly turn down the music as we set up the store. Doors open at 9:30, and by then, the place is immaculate and staff is ready for wherever the day takes us. 
By 9 A.M., we are set up, vacuumed; coffee’d up and ready to start selling. I have returned to my office to ?check out? from the weekend and make up the deposits. We use The Edge software, so it’s a snap to get that finished.  
Most of the morning is spent following up on a few diamond calls from the weekend, making sure I’ll have what I need for the appointments this week. Interrupted once to fix a watchband. Five minutes later, happy customer out the door. (and yes, of course we tried to sell jewelry, but he was strictly a service customer.) 
Spoke with our website folks at Psi Prime to update a few things. Customers picking up some repairs, catching up with e-mails. (I am an elected official in my hometown, and my Township Committee work overlaps my own business.) Finished with e-mails and government project by 11:30 A.M. 
Appraisal for customer took a while. Big brother got to sell a diamond ? not fair! Then poof! ? it was 12:45 and lunch was on the way. I usually eat mine standing over the trash can in under five minutes. 
At 1 P.M. our ad rep from the paper came in to plan our sale ads. Worked with her and Eric until 1:45, then back to office to work on copy and list of items for ads. 
Worked with diamond customer until 3 P.M. Narrowed down to a stone overbudget but got a credit line approved for 9K, so we’re still in the hunt. 
From 3 to 4:30 discussed the sale and direct mail for diamond promotions on the For-ever10 with Eric. (In between customers and phone calls.) 
Ended the day how I began it, with Township phone calls. Where did the day go? 
3At 5 P.M. we get ready to pull the store apart and think about heading home. 
8 A.M. and the walls are rocking again. Hearing damage may be permanent ? I am really digging Dave Matthews this morning. Needed only one cup of Joe after that start to the day. 
By 9 A.M. we are set up, and I am checking out, making the deposits and doing a little online banking. Payroll is done by ADP, and hits the bank on Thursdays. I am off on Wednesdays, so I always check on Tuesday to make sure payroll is covered. 
By 10 A.M. I am checking e-mails, (the store’s, my personal ones, and TWP e-mail.) Tuesday night means regular meeting of the TWP Commit-tee, so I have to multitask on Tuesdays to prepare. Usually means a phone conference with our TWP administrator during the day. Also checked IJO threads to see what’s new. 
By 11 A.M. I am finished with that stuff, only interrupted a couple of times to do batteries, etc. (On Tuesday, I am the only ?handy man? in the store, and do all of the service stuff. Schedule isn’t perfect.) Pulled a few memo pieces to return and spoke to staff about ?finishing the month.? We are very close to goal. One diamond sale will do it, but both mine and brother’s pending sales will most likely fall into March. 
Oh, happy day! INSTORE magazine arrived. I always read that puppy cover-to-cover, and not just because I am occasionally in there! By noon, I take a little personal time to reread the latest work on my book, and write a little bit. (Hey, I am the boss!) 
Lunch (over the trashcan, under five minutes.) then back to working on my book for another hour. (I’m on a roll.) 
2 P.M., Decide I should actually do some work for the store, so I call my Focus Management buddy Diane Pethoriotis at Ragnar’s in Vancouver to discuss sales training, role playing and store meetings in preparation for our own meeting next week. I want our staff fired up for the sale, so I might as well learn from those who are good at it. 
By 2:30 P.M. I am back working on my book again … it has been a slow day in terms of traffic, which is a bummer, because the month had been kicking butt and we wanted a strong finish to beat our goal. The good news is I got to write for two hours.  
Finished up at 4:30 . Not a great retail day, but the book is cooking right along. 
(Diamond Dave gets a day off every week, whether I need it or not.) 
8-8:30 A.M. First day of the month. That means a flurry of activity. Get to work at 8, but the music is only on 9 instead of 10 ?need to concentrate! Run Focus reports from last month,I check sales and individual staff sales. Happy to see my name as No. 1 in sales just so I can bust my brother’s chops. (He beat me the month before.) 
Staff arrives at 8:30 A.M. and we set up by 9. I return to the office to go through mail (Being off on Wednesday means Thurs-day mornings are always a little busy playing catch-up.) Follow up on some diamond calls and e-mails. A hundred miles an hour…what else is new? My jeweler arrives at 10 A.M., back from 10-day vacation. Had the nerve to come back tanned and well rested just to tick me off! We discuss a few jobs that get priority, then I hear about Brazil. (And decide I really need a tan.) 
10:30 A.M. Back to Focus reports. These are highly detailed and require some time to analyze. When third staff member arrives at noon, we will discuss February sales, etc. Then I will sit down with staff one-on-one to discuss their individual performance. Of the three, one was on vacation for two weeks, so came in last in sales, makes sense. One was No. 2 in overall monthly sales and is the newest employee … she is coming along very well. Third employee was ?average? and we will discuss ways to improve. She tries and has the right attitude, may just need additional training and product knowledge.  
10:30 – 11:30: Sat down with my top salesperson to discuss her great work this past month. Back to working on Focus reports between phone calls from suppliers, customers and the bank. (moving all my banking business to one bank instead of two. Will make life much easier.) February 28th was fiscal year-end, so there is lots to do, including boxing up old records and putting them away, etc.  
Somebody better feed me soon before I get cranky. Worked till 12:30, then five minutes over the trashcan with tuna on whole-wheat. (I am gonna be so skinny.) 
12:35 P.M. Back to Focus data.  
Phone calls from every direction and customers make me completely lose track of time until 2 P.M. when I look at my watch for the first time since lunch … today is a blur. Worked with customers in between organizing my desk and reviewing reports until 3:30. An old Rutgers ski team friend popped in who I hadn’t seen in 10 years ? That was fun! 
3:30 until almost 6 P.M. … worked with customers. (Did sneak in a cup of Joe.) 
6 P.M. Did 10 rhodium jobs ? as enjoyable as a root canal. 
By 7 P.M. I am pretty much ?done? for the day … even I get tired! Spoke to Eric about the upcoming sale and at 7:30 started pulling the merchandise. 
8 A.M. … raining hard enough to start building an ark. I laugh at the face of death and drink coffee while blasting Jimi Hendrix. Focus reports and then set-up time when staff arrives. 
9 A.M. We are open, but weather is horrible, so I use the time to make banners for the sale. We will be closed Wednesday and will cover the front doors to add a little ?mystery.? After 45 minutes of handling huge Magic Markers, I am ready to put on Pink Floyd. I light some candles so the customers don’t get as high as I did. 
10:30 A.M. Finished with the signs, had to run to Town Hall to sign some papers and then back to work. I will be cutting out tomorrow a bit early because a good friend, back from Iraq, is getting promoted to lieutenant colonel and I was invited to the ceremony. (hoooo-aaaaa.) 
Back by noon, and then a little soup while stocking new inventory … this will take a little while. 
Finished entering stock by 1:30 … gotta love the Edge software. Thanks to Focus, we make sure our fast sellers are always on hand … amazing how the same items sell over and over again. 
Took a mental break to read the IJO threads. Always some lil’ tidbit there to learn, or least get a chuckle. A very slow retail day, but the rain just stopped, so anything is possible. Just replaced a watchband for a customer who drove herself over ? she is 97 years old. Amazing. Sharp as a tack. I told her to throw her watch in the garbage … when you’re 97, who cares what time it is? Everybody will just have to wait for you, that’s all. Eat when you’re hungry, sleep when you’re tired … the heck with clocks! 
1:45-2:00 P.M. Ran accounts payable folder just to depress myself. (Actually, not too bad … coupla diamond sales will clear the whole shootin’ match.) 
2-3 P.M. went through reports to find old merchandise that could be swapped out for fast sellers and pulled inventory. 
3 P.M. Bookkeeping and paperwork … a few customers and phone calls mixed in … and then poof, it was time to start pulling the merchandise. 
OK…so I was a little late today. A double espresso at Starbucks and I am back to work by 8:30. Set up by 9, and then discussed the upcoming sale with my staff. We will be mentioning the sale to regular customers today, because the postcards and ads will hit next week and we don’t want to make anyone mad about paying full price today. Items on sale next week at half-price will be slightly discounted if they want them now, but no ?holding? items. Fast sellers are not on sale. 
9:35 A.M. Reading IJO threads to see if any pearls of wisdom will enlighten me. 
The sun is shining in blue skies and all is right with the world. One diamond sale away from a great day! 
Wow! Worked customer to customer until 11:30 … opened a credit line for one … need to find a diamond. After a quick lunch … yup, over the trashcan … under three minutes, but still not a record, a breath mint and back to the floor! Customer to customer until 1:20, then collapse in a chair and actually breathe for a minute. I am leaving in a few minutes, so the week is over for me. Another productive week, although not a huge money maker … was mostly ?planting seeds? … next week should be big!



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