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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 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

Fun, Sun and Strategy … And More Manager’s To-Do Items for July

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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June 30-July 6

MANAGEMENT Summer is a time for fun, sun and strategy. To help you, a question to ponder from business author Jonathan Byrnes: Do we have bad profits? “Some investments look attractive, but they also take the company’s capital and focus away from its main line of business,” he explains.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT It’s parade season. Dust off your store mascot suit and join in the Independence Day festivities. You’ll be spreading a message of fun, community involvement and jewelry care.

July 7-13

OPERATIONS Are there some summer days when you show up and just pretend to work? This month, experiment with an abbreviated week. Knowing you have less time to get things done might just prompt a burst of productivity — and give you the chance to better enjoy the warm months.

SECURITY Place height markers along doorways so police looking at surveillance footage can determine how tall a robber is.

OPERATIONS You should have this already, a file documenting employee performance through the year. Actually, you should be tipping your workers off about how they’ll fare in their annual reviews. This keeps everything moving along smoothly, and you avoid those dreaded showdowns when employees get defensive. This is also a good time to plot your compensation plans.

July 14-20

PROMOTIONS Try a vault sale: Take older merchandise and offer it to your best customers at “incredible” discounts. Clients love it and often buy a number of items.

TRAINING Improve your staff’s question-asking skills with the Probing Game. Staff stand in a line, facing you or your sales manager, who kicks things off with the statement, “I’ve been looking for something for (insert occasion).” The first associate must ask a probing question about the customer’s needs, wants and desires. Fail to come up with one, and they sit down. Probing questions must be open-ended (who, what, when, where, how, why or tell me about your husband/wife …). Yes/no questions result in instant expulsion. Winner is last one standing.

July 21-27

TRAINING Discuss how to use company stories during sales presentations. Highlight how selling yourself and your store is just as important as selling the merchandise.

SERVICES If you don’t already, look into providing “Jewelry Box Reviews.” For $25, offer to evaluate a client’s fine jewelry collection to identify repair items, custom restyling options, and to document for insurance and estate purposes. It’s often a gateway to a series of custom design projects or repair jobs, appraisals, and gold and diamond buys.

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Halfway Point of The Year, America’s Birthday and More Important July Dates

And mark Seinfeld’s cultural anniversary with an event “about nothing really.”

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5 If your customers are “thirty-something singles with vague identities, no roots, and conscious indifference to morals,” then they’d probably respond to a Seinfeld night to mark THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PREMIERE of the groundbreaking TV show. Just tell them it’s basically an event about nothing — a few beers, peruse the cases and wonder if George should have bought a Superfit ring.

2 At noon today, THE MIDPOINT OF THE YEAR, the first half of 2019 will give way to the important business end. Get out your notes from your January planning meetings and see what adjustments, if any, need to be made to your business plan.

4 On AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY, put together a collection of independent American jewelry designers using American gemstones.

24 It took 63 years for Father’s Day to go from whimsical thought to presidential declaration. Who is to say COUSIN’S DAY won’t make the big time as well? Start promoting.

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National Selfie Day, Audio Book Appreciation Day and More June Dates to Mark

Happy Birthday to You: The world’s most sung song turns 160.

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21 What was once considered a petty self-indulgence is now viewed as a powerful marketing tool. Ahead of NATIONAL SELFIE DAY, draw up a strategy to get your customers to take more photos of themselves showing off their new jewelry or of themselves in front of any background featuring your business name. The ultimate goal is to get them to post the images on their social media pages.

1 During AUDIOBOOK APPRECIATION MONTH, do a Google search for “bestselling business audiobooks” and catch up on some of the great management advice that’s been published in the last few years.

19 The WORLD’S UGLIEST DOG CONTEST is held today. Hold a similar competition. Ask your staff to vote for what they believe is the most aesthetically challenged piece of jewelry in the store. Offer a spiff to whomever can sell it by the end of the summer Dog Days (Aug. 20).

27 “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU” turns 160. Offer to send a singing telegram to anyone who buys a gift for a loved one who shares a birthday with the world’s most sung song.

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