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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

An Action Plan for Vegas, Father’s Day Prep, A Risk Review and More Manager’s To-Do Actions for June

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

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JUN. 2-8

BUYING If you’re in Vegas for the JCK shows (May 31-June 3), make this year’s buying expedition a cooperative effort with the rest of the staff back in the store. Prime your smart phone, digital camera and laptop so that you can feed as much information back to your employees and get their feedback on what you find. Maybe even set up a Twitter feed to show them how hard you’re working.

MARKETING Ramp up your blogging this week. Comment on what’s new in Las Vegas and what has people buzzing. You don’t actually have to be at the show to do this — just offer your opinions based on the trade press reports (if you need inspiration, check instoremag.com each morning).

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JUN. 9-15

SALES MEETING Go through your plans for the run-up to Father’s Day. Get your staff to think beyond the traditional, especially if it’s a younger dad — fashion jewelry is growing with this set. Be ready to suggest gift cards as well; men can be a picky bunch when it comes to what they may receive from a jewelry store.

PERSONAL Shake up your routine. With pen and paper, write a thank-you note to someone who’s influenced you in your career. Don’t forget to mail it.

MANAGEMENT Creating a risk management plan involves more than getting affordable rates for insurance premiums. In the long run, avoiding potential claims is the single biggest step you can take to keep your risks (and costs) down. The Small Business Administration (sba.gov) makes available a helpful guide to minimize risk.

JUN. 16-22

FURNISHINGS Need any new office furniture? Now is the time to pick some up; showrooms are making room for new lines that come out in August.

STORE Update your in-store video loop. For a change, forget the promotional videos and run something that’s got nothing to do with selling at all — Finding Dory, maybe, or some surfing clips.

OPERATIONS What’s your pre-opening drill? If it’s “All hands on deck!” you may want to try something more systematic. Many retailers use a 10-point checklist to make sure that all the important things are taken care of before they open the doors.

JUN. 23-29

MANAGEMENT We’ve recommended it dozens of times and we’re sure you haven’t done it: sign up for Toastmasters. (Find a club near you at toastmasters.org). In no time, you’ll be welcoming invitations to talk publicly.

LEGAL Brush up on your compliance. Check the Federal Trade Commission’s guides on disclosure. Go to ftc.gov and enter “jewelry guides” in the search box.

MERCHANDISING Gather with your staff to inspect your show finds and go through what you ordered during the recent buying season. Develop a product launch plan and schedule training to ensure the successful sell-through.

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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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Manager's To Do

Add These Dates to Your To-Do List to Ensure a Productive May

Mother’s Day, the Vegas shows, summer and more guarantee it will be a busy month.

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May 5-11

SALES Everything should be in place for Mother’s Day (May 12). Remind salespeople that it’s a fantastic opportunity for add-on sales in the form of matching jewelry. What have you bundled for dad and daughter to buy together for Mom?

PLANNING If you’ve typically taken your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in August this year? Who knows what your community’s jewelry needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present.

STRATEGY Vegas bound? (JCK begins May 31.) Hunker down with your POS system. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve at the show. What are your goals? To attract female self-purchasers, expand your bridal clientele with new bridal product, increase margin with in-house branded collections? (And keep an eye out for our June trends guide toward the end of the month at instoremag.com — it could be a huge help.)

May 12-18

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to market to them in the second half of 2019.

SECURITY Hotels in Vegas make it clear they are not responsible for loss or theft of items brought into their property. If you travel with goods, look into getting insurance.

May 19-25

OPERATIONS Hurricane season is ahead in many parts of the country. Run through a checklist to ensure that your bad weather protocol is up to speed.

BUYING This year, be organized and professional in front of your vendors in Vegas — prepare all your reports and forms. Re-confirm your appointments, and get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need to.

May 26-June 1

BUYING In Vegas, make a point to visit the Design Atelier at Couture and The Design Center at the JCK Show. The talented designers in these sections create jewelry unlike anything you may have seen, which will engage your most consistent clients while also opening up new markets.

SHOP Slow season project: Take photos of all waxes not already in your CAD library and add them.

MERCHANDISING With summer on the way, Larry Johnson says redo the props in your showcases to give a fresh look. Throw away those seashells in the pearl case and replace them with props that show your customer all the places in town where she can wear those beautiful pearls.

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