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Gary Gordon: Hear Me Out

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Gary Gordon shares his knowledge.

THINGS I FINALLY figured out, after 37 years in the retail jewelry business:  

1. Make every customer who walks in your store feel like his or her issues ? however large or small ? are the most important issues you have addressed all day.  

2. Pay your bills as promptly as you possibly can.  

3. Never hire anyone with the hopes that he or she will be a ?rain-maker? to the extent that you personally can sit back and coast just a little. No one can make your business a success except you.  

4. Keep your head down ? literally ? when walking the aisles at the trade shows. Keep your eyes on the jewelry, not the signs, not the people: The merchandise is 99.99 percent of all that is important!  

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5. Select only merchandise that will sell in your store. There is no such thing as window dressing. If you make the mistake of buying goods that don’t ultimately sell, you are dead.  

6. Never, ever tolerate any employee who displays chronic prima-donna tendencies. This will kill your business in the long run, and it will kill you in the long run, too.  

7. Don’t over-advertise.  

8. Don’t over-buy merchandise.  

9. Don’t live beyond your means under any circumstances.  

10. Plan for the worst; hope for the best.  

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11. Cash is king; always strive for your business to be in the best cash position possible.  

12. Hire the best accountant you possibly can, but never, ever let him or her (or any other professional) run your business. Let them do only what they do best: Create accurate financial statements. And learn how to read them!  

13. Forge your own relationship with your banker. Never let an accountant or attorney negotiate a bank deal. It must be you and the banker. You, and you alone, must create that relationship, for better for or worse.  

14. Don’t ever succumb to nepotism. If a family member is willing to work very hard and be productive, then he deserves the moon. Anything less than that can result in disaster.  

15. Make your store as neat and clean as you possibly can. Display your merchandise as creatively as possible, with as little crowding as possible. 

16. Be patient.  

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17. Be a good, fair boss who is someone people want to work for.  

18. Never ever forget that we, in our industry, are not curing cancer. We provide beautiful products that bring our customers a great amount of joy and pleasure. That’s what we do. Nothing less, but nothing more.  

19. Get involved in the industry. Give back to whatever extent you can. Network. Learn from others. Read the trades voraciously.  

20. Stay positive.  

21. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten up and remember it’s OK to give in now and then, and it’s OK to give out now and then. But if you are certain in your heart that the jewelry business is right for you, and that you are right for it, then never, ever, give up! 

22. And last, my formula that I use every single day ? the best advice I could possibly share with other retailers: Take the very best care of your customers, your employees, your vendors, your bottom line and last but certainly not least, yourself. If you do this, the chances of succeeding in the retail jewelry business will be greatly increased! 

? Gary Gordon is CEO of Samuel Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City, OK.  
E-mail him at Click here.

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SPONSORED VIDEO

When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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Commentary: The Business

Gary Gordon: Hear Me Out

Published

on

Gary Gordon shares his knowledge.

THINGS I FINALLY figured out, after 37 years in the retail jewelry business:  

1. Make every customer who walks in your store feel like his or her issues ? however large or small ? are the most important issues you have addressed all day.  

2. Pay your bills as promptly as you possibly can.  

3. Never hire anyone with the hopes that he or she will be a ?rain-maker? to the extent that you personally can sit back and coast just a little. No one can make your business a success except you.  

Advertisement

4. Keep your head down ? literally ? when walking the aisles at the trade shows. Keep your eyes on the jewelry, not the signs, not the people: The merchandise is 99.99 percent of all that is important!  

5. Select only merchandise that will sell in your store. There is no such thing as window dressing. If you make the mistake of buying goods that don’t ultimately sell, you are dead.  

6. Never, ever tolerate any employee who displays chronic prima-donna tendencies. This will kill your business in the long run, and it will kill you in the long run, too.  

7. Don’t over-advertise.  

8. Don’t over-buy merchandise.  

9. Don’t live beyond your means under any circumstances.  

Advertisement

10. Plan for the worst; hope for the best.  

11. Cash is king; always strive for your business to be in the best cash position possible.  

12. Hire the best accountant you possibly can, but never, ever let him or her (or any other professional) run your business. Let them do only what they do best: Create accurate financial statements. And learn how to read them!  

13. Forge your own relationship with your banker. Never let an accountant or attorney negotiate a bank deal. It must be you and the banker. You, and you alone, must create that relationship, for better for or worse.  

14. Don’t ever succumb to nepotism. If a family member is willing to work very hard and be productive, then he deserves the moon. Anything less than that can result in disaster.  

15. Make your store as neat and clean as you possibly can. Display your merchandise as creatively as possible, with as little crowding as possible. 

Advertisement

16. Be patient.  

17. Be a good, fair boss who is someone people want to work for.  

18. Never ever forget that we, in our industry, are not curing cancer. We provide beautiful products that bring our customers a great amount of joy and pleasure. That’s what we do. Nothing less, but nothing more.  

19. Get involved in the industry. Give back to whatever extent you can. Network. Learn from others. Read the trades voraciously.  

20. Stay positive.  

21. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Lighten up and remember it’s OK to give in now and then, and it’s OK to give out now and then. But if you are certain in your heart that the jewelry business is right for you, and that you are right for it, then never, ever, give up! 

22. And last, my formula that I use every single day ? the best advice I could possibly share with other retailers: Take the very best care of your customers, your employees, your vendors, your bottom line and last but certainly not least, yourself. If you do this, the chances of succeeding in the retail jewelry business will be greatly increased! 

? Gary Gordon is CEO of Samuel Gordon Jewelers in Oklahoma City, OK.  
E-mail him at Click here.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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