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David Brown

David Brown: Look Around — There is Business Help Everywhere

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David Brown: Look Around — There is Business Help Everywhere

Vendors, peers, benchmarking groups … you just need to ask

BY DAVID BROWN

Published in the February 2013 issue

One of the fundamental mistakes I see many business owners make is not taking advantage of the skills and knowledge of their fellow jewelers.

As the saying goes “no man (or woman) is an island” and it’s impossible for one person to know everything there is to know about running a successful business. But collectively there is a fountain of knowledge available that any willing store owner can tap to take their business to the next level.

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Buying meetings and trade shows are among the most effective forums for doing this and can be a great opportunity to find allies who you can share with.

Today, I want to look at some of the opportunities to get additional help for your business. 

FELLOW JEWELERS — Your peers offer some of the best learning opportunities and can be a font of information if you choose to access it. Many jewelers enjoy informal chats with jewelers in other areas but we encourage stores to go to the extra levels and create formal arrangements. Regular quarterly or six monthly get-togethers for a day or more with a structured agenda can yield wonderful benefits for all involved.

MANAGEMENT ADVISERS — An experienced mentor can not only suggest best practice procedures but can keep you accountable in a way few business owners are able to do by themselves.

FINANCIAL ADVISERS — Recognizing cash-flow issues and planning long-term financial strategy are a must for any business and you need a good financial advisor in your court to help you with this process. Legal advice is also important at the right times.

VENDORS — they too can be a great source of business information from what’s happening within the industry, to latest trends in styles, stones and design plus their own experiences as business owners. Many representatives have had a past career in jewelry retail sales and can be a useful training resource for staff.

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BENCHMARKING — One of the most valuable sources of information is industry benchmarking statistics. If your store has a margin of keystone and others are doing higher, then you need to investigate how you can achieve the same. Every owner needs to ask questions of his business performance, and benchmarking is one of the most effective ways of uncovering what questions to ask.

If you don’t have a formalized structure for accessing the knowledge of others, then now is the time to sit down and set yourself the task of developing a pool of allies around you. Keep in regular contact with them and look to give as well as take.

About the Author: David Brown is President of the Edge Retail Academy, an organization devoted to the ongoing measurement and growth of jewelry store performance and profitability. For further information about the Academy’s management mentoring and industry benchmarking reports contact [email protected] or Phone toll free (877) 5698657 Edge Retail Academy, 1983 Oliver Springs Street Henderson NV 89052-8502, USA

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