AS RETAIL JEWELERS, we’ve been spoiled in the past with high margins, a robust economy, strong consumer demand and relatively little online competition. Our dream has slowly and surely turned into a modern-day nightmare.
Our industry will never be the same again, so we must adapt to the new normal if we want to survive and prosper.
It’s inevitable that your business is going to experience cyclical ups and downs, but what do you do when your sales and floor traffic are significantly down? Here are three tips that may help.
1. Do not stop advertising. This is the time when your business should be its most visible. Take a hard look at how you allocate your dollars. Spending more money on social media in today’s market just makes good business sense. It is clearly the least expensive and most effective way to tell people you’re still open and still doing business. If you’re not social media savvy, there are plenty of companies that will post for you relatively inexpensively. All you’re doing is reallocating how you spend your advertising dollars, but do not cut back on the amount of money you’re spending.
2. Do not panic. You’ve been in business long enough to know that seasonal or quarterly fluctuations are inevitable. You may have had three, six or even 12 down months. Your next month maybe incredibly good — nobody has a crystal ball with which to predict the uncertain nature of our business. You and your staff must stay positive and upbeat. They say nothing good lasts forever; well, nothing bad lasts forever, either.
My friends on Wall Street have a saying: “Scared money never wins.” Even though your business maybe down, you can still be profitable. It all starts with your attitude.
3. Be more aggressive. When you’re busy and making money, it’s easy to slip into that complacent attitude that says we’re doing just fine, even if we let a few sales walk out the door. Now that those days are gone, make sure everybody on your sales staff is more aggressive while still being friendly and helpful. Simple things like add-on sales, prospecting for repair work when cleaning a customer’s rings or suggesting a new watch strap when you’re changing a battery should all be part of your new aggressive nature.
Granted, these suggestions may not work for everyone, but my goal is get you to change your way of thinking while maintaining an upbeat and positive attitude. The most important thing to remember is don’t panic, it’s going to be OK!