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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.


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



Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

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