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Manager's To Do

Here’s Your Manager To-Do List to Prepare for the Holidays

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Oct 1-7

SALES “We cured the bad habit of saying ‘no problem,’” says Scott Chalmers of Chalmers Jewelers, Middleton, WI. “If you’re caught saying ‘no problem,’ you put $1 into the fish bowl. Then every Friday, either I buy lunch with the fish bowl funds or out of my pocket. After two weeks, I was buying lunch out of my pocket.”

INVENTORY Need to clear space for new merchandise? Try running a “Top to Bottom” sale for about three weeks. Your “top” piece might be 10 percent off, while your “bottom” piece (the oldest one you have and just haven’t been able to sell) might be 70 percent off. “It generates cash and it makes room for all the new things you buy,” says Patricia Holt, VP of operations at The Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, DC.

GIFT WRAPPING Buy a book on gift-wrapping, and find a style that your customers will remember. Assign paper- and ribbon-cutting duties.

Oct 8-14

SOCIAL MEDIA Prepare an editorial calendar for your blog and other social media channels. Aim to post something new every day, be it a blog, Facebook comment or new video. It will all help increase your website’s SEO at the time of year when people are scouring the Internet for gifts and gift ideas.

WEBSITE Update the offerings on your website. Be sure to highlight some of your proudest custom pieces.

ONLINE Do 404 error pages on your website frustrate or amuse? Consider a photo of your store mascot wearing jewelry or something similarly lighthearted. Amazon features “the dogs of Amazon” — great studio-shot portraits, presumably of staffers’ dogs. Of course, don’t forget your message: “You’ve come to a dead-end. Go back!”

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Oct 15-21

GIFT CARDS At your front desk and take-in area, place signs to let people know about your gift cards. The sign could say something as simple as “Ask about our holiday season gift card specials,” or just “Buy a gift card today.”

MARKETING This is a good time of year to be handing out business cards, especially cards with a special offer. Make sure that you, and all your staff, have plenty of cards to hand out when they’re out and about this month.

STAFF Finalize work schedules for the next 12 weeks (include the first half of January). Check your staff’s obligations and work around any clashes. Identify the peak hours and ensure your best salespeople will be on the floor.

Oct 22-28

MEDIA Send a press release to the local newspaper along with a note offering your services as a source on the subject of jewelry for Christmas.

MANAGEMENT Post your November and December monthly and daily goals in the back room. This is also time to unveil your sales spiff of the year. What will it be this year? The latest iPhone, a three-day holiday, an offer to shave your hair off? Don’t forget a secondary prize for the sales associate who collects the most customer emails.

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

Valentine’s Day Planning, Financial Tricks and More Manager’s To-Do Actions for February

Inscribe these tips on your calendar to make this month more productive.

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Feb. 4-9

MARKETING If you’ve been dispensing the same proposal advice for the last 20 years, it’s time for an update. Check out the AGS’s Perfect Proposal Toolkit (https://americangemsocietyblog.org/category/proposal/) , which provides tips for romantic, funny, adventurous, “2.0” and simple proposals, as well as ideas to ensure you get in on some of the selfie action.

PERSONAL If you want your business to stay healthy, you’ve got to keep yourself healthy, first. Says Ellen Hertz of Max’s (St. Louis Park, MN): “I block out certain days and times on my calendar to support my workout schedule. If I put it on my calendar, I’m more likely to make it happen.”

MERCHANDISING Draft your kids, your staff’s kids, anyone’s kids to create some Valentine’s Day cards on simple card stock. Put them in the showcases with a small sign identifying each young artist. “While you are at it, have them make a few tent cards with product info on your best V-day gift ideas,” says display expert Larry Johnson.

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E-MARKETING Send out two slightly different e-mail blasts to your database, distinguished by gender. The message for men: we will solve your V-Day headache. Check out our “can’t miss” gift ideas. For women: share the love with friends.

Feb. 11-16

TRAINING Reinforce the need for sales presentations to highlight the emotional aspects of jewelry buying. Valentine’s Day is a straight emotional play.

E-MARKETING Resend e-mails to all those customers who opened last week’s V-Day blast. They’re interested.

STAFF Share the love on Thursday morning. Buy chocolates for your employees this Valentine’s Day. Inscribe the card, “Love your work!”

Feb. 18-23

DISPLAY Write a “designer profile” for each designer you carry. Put on “cue cards” left near the appropriate line of merchandise.

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MANAGEMENT Ask staff to write out their answer to this question: “Why do you get up in the morning and why should our customers care?” You may just find a new mission statement in those answers.

Feb. 25-Mar. 2

FINANCES There’s no one correct way to arrange the information on a profit-and-loss statement. If you have trouble easily understanding yours, ask your accountant to arrange the information so you can tell instantly what went right (or wrong) in the previous month.

FINANCES Check with your bank to see if they offer payroll assistance. Many banks now provide a service that allows you to log onto their website and enter your workers’ hours. The bank then makes a direct deposit into employees’ checking account as well as paying your federal and state withholding taxes.

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Calendar

Single Tasking Day, Red Carpet Season and More Big Dates for February

The essential jeweler’s calendar for the month starts here.

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4 With more than two billion users, you need to be sure you’ve fully explored the potential of Facebook. On the 15th Anniversary of Facebook’s Launch by Mark Zuckerberg and three friends, adopt the company’s motto, “Move Fast and Break Things,” and commit to shaking things up with your social media marketing. Test some sponsored posts. Get absurdly specific with your targeting. Try a contest. Try more video. Follow INSTORE’s Facebook page at facebook.com/instoremag.

Video: Gene the Jeweler Thought He’d Heard It All … Until This Tardy Employee Told His Story
Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Thought He’d Heard It All … Until This Tardy Employee Told His Story

Video: Take Advantage of These Tools to Improve Your Digital Marketing
Jim Ackerman

Video: Take Advantage of These Tools to Improve Your Digital Marketing

Video: Gene the Jeweler Sells a Diamond — and Gets Back a CZ
Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Sells a Diamond — and Gets Back a CZ

10 Red-carpet season rolls on with The Grammys today and The Academy Awards on Feb. 25. Slip into fashion-maven mode and get your customers excited about jewelry’s cutting-edge trends with tweets, snaps, posts and blogs.

14 Love with a touch of panic is one way to look at Valentine’s Day. And not just for the guys. If you need ideas, go to instoremag.com and test out our archive search.

22 On Single Tasking Day, let your brain do what it’s been designed so beautifully to handle — focus on one thing at a time: one conversation, one meal, one task, one baseball game.

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Manager's To Do

Start Your Year Right with These Manager’s To-Do Tips for January

Establish new things for your business this new year!

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Dec. 31-Jan. 6

SALEs Embrace the new way of selling, says David Cornell of Cornell’s Jewelers (Rochester, NY). “We have to abandon the old-school models of the four Cs and the buzzwords that our industry has used for a long time and learn to ask open-ended questions. It’s important to get an understanding of what the customer wants by just sitting down and talking with them, building rapport.”

OPERATIONS Start a new routine: A weekly email to all employees to keep everyone in the loop on what is happening in the store, within the industry, and being motivated.

Video: Gene the Jeweler Thought He’d Heard It All … Until This Tardy Employee Told His Story
Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Thought He’d Heard It All … Until This Tardy Employee Told His Story

Video: Take Advantage of These Tools to Improve Your Digital Marketing
Jim Ackerman

Video: Take Advantage of These Tools to Improve Your Digital Marketing

Video: Gene the Jeweler Sells a Diamond — and Gets Back a CZ
Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Sells a Diamond — and Gets Back a CZ

Jan. 7-13

STRATEGY Take a moment to go into your calendar and block off several hour-long chunks of time each week through Mar. 31. Use this time to work on strategy, reading, mentoring members of your staff, or following up on long-term opportunities that often get pushed off in the hustle of a typical day.

SHOP Raise your repair prices to reflect changing metals prices, inflation, and the money you’ve probably been leaving on the table. No one will complain. Trust us.

Jan. 14-20

SALES Give thought to a spiff plan for the year. If you’re a small company, consider useful or important gifts to motivate employee behaviors. Sales trainer Harry Friedman said he once bought a set of tires for an employee who needed them.

STAFF Calculate the dollar value of every customer (it should be the average purchase in your store per year x 20 years). The result should be a heckuva lot of money — and make it clear how important clienteling is, says sales trainer Shane Decker. Post it for all your employees to see.

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MARKETING Set reminders in your marketing calendar. Plan to send a bouquet of flowers on the birthday or anniversary of every woman who has spent over $2,000 with you in the last two years.

Jan. 21-27

FINANCES Set a date to meet with your accountant to go over your balance sheet and your financial goals for the upcoming year. While you’ve got your books out, create a monthly cash-flow projection for the coming year.

TRAINING Valentine’s Day is on the way. Schedule a series of training sessions for your staff on selling bridal and diamonds.

Jan. 28-Feb. 2

CRM Are you a small company that has thousands of contacts in your database but virtually no contact with these people for months or years? This year, plan one communication, at a minimum, every six months — one note, one postcard, one phone call — and contacts will feel they have a relationship with you.

MARKETING In the social media age, you need a selfie booth, a mural wall or backdrop to support “Instagrammable” ring selfies.

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