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Tip Sheet

One Smart Way to Energize Your Employee Suggestion Box … and More July Tips

Make your suggestion box work for you; don’t be frightened of new ideas; and more ideas for jewelers.





Boost Your Box

Do you have an employee suggestion box that never gets anything put inside it? Bob Nelson, author of 1,001 Ways To Energize Employees suggests adding some urgency to this valuable idea-generating device by keeping it open only for a short period … perhaps six weeks at a time once or twice a year. Call these periods “Project Brainstorm.” As part of “Project Brainstorm” have a team which can decide on any ideas submitted within seven days. Rewards, of course, should be given for ideas that are used.


Offer Your Know-How

So you’d like to be a news resource for your local newspaper — their go-to guy or gal for jewelry — but can’t ever think of any good subjects to pitch to writers? Well, right now, a huge one is staring you right in the face. The price of gold touched a high of $730 in the last two months. You don’t think business writers in your town would be interested in knowing how gold-price hikes might have impacted the cost of the average $50 pair of earrings? Or whether jewelers will be marking up prices on ßtheir inventory? You can answer those questions, and begin building a mutually beneficial relationship with the media.


Words to Remember

Advertising guru Roy Williams offers a quote that’s worthy of printing and putting in a frame in your back office: “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”


Wake Up Easier

How many jewelers can say they help their customers literally sleep better a night? With Sleeptracker you can. The watch monitors your body’s sleep cycles, and once you program a wake-up window (e.g. 5:45 a.m. with a 30-minute window), the watch will sound its alarm at the first instance during the window in which you are most nearly awake. The result? You wake more refreshed.



Name Your Party

Are you planning a summer dinner party with fish on the menu, don’t take yourself too seriously, and love really bad puns? Then name your event “Salmon Chanted Evening.”


Mail Three Letters

Custom designers, take the advice of Bob Phibbs, author of You Can Compete, and get in the habit of mailing three notes to your customers with each sale. First should be sent after you take the order, telling them how much you’re looking forward to creating their jewelry and how confident you are that you will create a piece of jewelry that will make them stand out. Second should go right after the sale, including a few care hints and telling them how much you enjoyed creating their jewelry. The third letter should include a few business cards and you should tell them that you hope they’re enjoying the product and that they pass along the cards to anyone else who might be interested in custom design services.


Break Down Holidays

All employees expect a paid week or two per year — usually split between holidays and vacation days. Steven D. Strauss, author of The Small Business Bible, suggests pooling these into a single bank of hours that employees can use as they see fit. So, instead of giving employees 11 holidays and five vacation days a year, give everyone 100 hours a year off to use how and when they want. This sort of plan promotes honesty, and shows you respect your staff as adults. Employees can schedule days off without calling in sick, or take half-days off, or even a couple of hours, when an emergency arises.




Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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