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Fast Riser: Holman Jewelers

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Holman Jewelers in Springfield, TN saw a 29% growth in net income in 2009.

 

 

[dropcap cap=S]ometimes it’s the small things you do in business that have the biggest impact. Brian Holman, the owner of Holman Jewelers in Springfield, TN, found that to be the case over the last 18 month as his profit surged even as the economy and his sales tanked. [/dropcap]

SPENDING CONTROL: “In 2008, we had our worst November and December in 20 years, yet I was my most profitable ever.” Over the last year, sales have recovered to pre-recession levels and Holman has been able to maintain his new healthier margin. The result was net income of $65,000 in 2009, up from $51,000 in 2008 and just $23,000 in 2007. “Control your spending. That’s been the main thing. I guess I could never run for Congress,” he now jokes.

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TRACKING CUSTOMERS: The spark for change came when Holman read an article in INSTORE recommending store owners track the customers coming into the store. “I found we were busiest at 11 to 3 o’clock and that we didn’t need the staff we had on early in the morning,’ he said. That finding resulted in a restructuring of staff that Holman says “unfortunately” meant fewer hours for his staff but allowed the store to save 10 percent on operating expenses.

WHITE ELEPHANTS: Holman took a similar harder-headed approach to inventory. His “white elephants,” some of which had been in the store for more than five years, were shifted to a half-price case. He now expects new merchandise to turn in less than six months and is much stricter about buying only what his customers have shown they want.

SPIFFS: He has also experimented with spiffs for his staff to move items and been more disciplined with vendor debt. Outstanding invoices were cut from $40,000 in 2008 to $20,000 in 2009.

EXPANSION IN SIGHT: With his finances in better shape, Holman is ready to expand. He is exploring financing for a new self-standing store that he hopes will double his selling space to 3,200 square feet and include a diamond room. — CHRIS BURSLEM

[span class=note]This story is from the May 2010 edition of INSTORE[/span]

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