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Manager's To Do

Get Everything In Place For Mother’s Day, Spring Clean Your Shop and More To-Do Items for April

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Mar 31-Apr 6

INVENTORY Start your Mother’s Day (May 12 this year) preparations by going through last year’s data. Compare popular price points with what you have in stock now.

MERCHANDISING If you haven’t done it yet, buy white cotton gloves for everyone to wear when they’re moving product around — they keep skin oil off jewelry and prevent sterling goods from tarnishing.

Apr 7-13

BUYING The biggest names in bridal fashion will showcase their spring and summer collections during Bridal Fashion Week in New York. Will last year’s royal wedding still influence trends? Tune in to the online coverage to find out what is likely to get young brides excited this year.

MARKETING Get ready for Mother’s Day by planning a “Dad and child early evening out.” Select a shortlist of gifts for Dad and the kids to choose from. Offer gift-wrapping. Send out your first round of emails or mailers by the middle of April.

Apr. 14-20

NETWORKING Contact any churches, synagogues or women’s groups in your area. Tell them you’ll speak for free about gemstones and jewelry at their luncheon meetings.

TECHNOLOGY Everyone complains about the distractions of digital technology, but then they let every app on their phone buzz and flash at them all day long. Today, turn off your notifications. All of them, if you can (with the exception of web-connected smoke alarms, of course.)

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Apr 21-27

FINANCIALS Review your cash-flow projections. With the economy in a state of flux, it’s easy to run into a mismatch between the cash flowing in, what you’re taking out, and what you owe your vendors.

INVENTORY Finalize Father’s Day watch and jewelry orders. And don’t forget anniversary jewelry — your ticket to profiting from all those June weddings of years past.

Apr 28-May 4

SALES Set up T.O. teams, recommends sales trainer Shane Decker. When you see two people who work well together, schedule them together. “The success of a T.O. team — two different selling personalities or opposite genders paired together — can skyrocket,” Decker says.

WORKSHOP More spring cleaning, this time in the shop. Use a steam cleaner on your tools but get rid of anything you have not used in a year. Straighten up your bench. Having things where you can find them leads to more efficiency and fewer headaches.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

Considering Store Layout, Guilt-Easing Gift Ideas, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for November

And here’s a key scheduling tip for your holiday email marketing.

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Nov 3-9

STORE LAYOUT Look out for store fixtures that are too tall to allow shoppers to look across and take in your store. Fixtures that restrict visibility through the space kill the “spirit” of a store and the impulse to buy.

INVENTORY Investigate vendor spiffs. Your suppliers want their lines to succeed this season, so take advantage of the incentives they offer.

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ONLINE Mobile devices are expected to drive about 70 percent of all Christmas-related retail traffic this year. Test your website and any apps to ensure the customer experience on tablets and phones is working as well as on desktops. It often doesn’t.

Nov 10-16

MARKETING Post your advertising schedule in the back room. Make sure your staff is fully aware of what promotions will run when.

SALES Find “guilt-easing” gift ideas to go with gift cards or certificates. For bigger certificate amounts, have a “real” gift — like Belgian chocolates or a bottle of wine — close at hand that you can bundle in free.

Nov 17-23

MARKETING With only four weeks to go until Christmas, step up your email campaigns to twice per week. Schedule campaigns on Thursdays or Fridays to stimulate purchases over the weekend, when conversion rates typically peak.

MERCHANDISING Impulse buys can come in many price ranges and store locations. Rethink the way you normally position these items.

STAFF Show your team how much you appreciate their efforts. Take them out for an activity or nice meal. Team-building will make it easier to get through the weeks ahead.

Nov 24-30

GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every wrapped item.

OPERATIONS Starting today, hold a short staff meeting every morning, keeping everyone informed on progress. Single out a separate item each day and discuss the best way to present it. Keep the meetings short and make sure they end on an upbeat note.

TRAINING Coach your associates to steer more. Urge them to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings. Advise them to keep the number of recommendations limited.

MANAGEMENT You should now be in full holiday-season mode. For last-minute tips and promotional ideas, go to your own INSTORE archives (or our past issues at instoremag.com/digimag).

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A Good Idea for Thanksgiving, and More Important Dates for November

Includes a fitting tribute to the quiz show twenty questions.

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2 The quiz show TWENTY QUESTIONS MADE ITS DEBUT on national television on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion by brainstorming 20 questions to get your customers talking. Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ, came up with a list that ranged from icebreakers like “What kind of pets do you own?” to those with a specific sale in mind: “How would you like to be a hero for under $100?”

19 Mark management expert PETER DRUCKER’S BIRTHDAY by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you were to be brutally realistic, you don’t have time for.

28 Get in the spirit of THANKSGIVING by sending a goodie bag to your best 50 customers (be sure to include a coupon). It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

29 It’s showtime! BLACK FRIDAY marks the traditional start of the shopping season. Spur your holiday sales with a special coupon mailed to your customer list.

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Why National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day Matters to Your Store, and More Important Dates for October

Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.

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1 Research estimates that 85 percent of an individual’s financial success can be attributed to their “human engineering skills” — that is, their ability to communicate and lead. During EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AWARENESS MONTH, improve your ability to make others feel valued and understood. It requires good listening skills, empathy, and a commitment to inspire positive feelings.

1 At the start of CO-OP AWARENESS MONTH, weigh up the pros and cons of using co-op dollars for holiday advertising and make a decision based on your circumstances.

9 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in diamonds. On NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY, feature a few bling-wearing teddies in your cases.

29 Today, THE INTERNET TURNS 50. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure for your store, sit down and map out a more aggressive online strategy.

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