MARKETING Study April’s birthstone, diamond, and the best ways to work price and value perceptions. Begin planning a diamond event that can run in April. Short of ideas? Try a diamond re-styling event — one recently brought in $35,000 for one of our Brain Squad members over a two-day period.
MANAGEMENT Having trouble sleeping? This probably won’t help, but you’ll find it fascinating and hugely instructive nonetheless: Every Amazon shareholder letter written by Jeff Bezos in a single downloadable
PDF (instoremag.com/amazonletter). The letters highlight how prescient and strategic he and Amazon have been since the 1990s and where he envisions retail in the future.
MARKETING Invite your customers to an “Appraisal Clinic” at your store, along with a reminder that their insurance company will typically pay the oldest (meaning “lowest”) appraisal price, so they should “update now” to protect their investments.
SHOWROOM Do a case-by-case inspection to see how jewelry is performing by location. If a case isn’t producing, mark it off, sell it down and reinvest the money in faster-moving jewelry.
OPERATIONS Train employees to plot customers’ diamonds at take-in. As part of this, teach them to explain to customers how to identify their diamonds. It will greatly raise their confidence in you.
BRANDING Add a line at the bottom of all store correspondence that says: “Shop and support local companies. By shopping locally, you save on emissions and help the local economy.”
SHOWROOM “Now’s the time to order carpet cleanings for April,” says Jim Doggett, owner of Doggett Jewelry in Kingston, NH. You don’t want your customers being reminded of stuffy musty winter days as the warm months roll around.
MARKETING Work that word-of-mouth. Put a friendly little sign near your exit that says something like, “Don’t forget to tell your friends about us!”
INVENTORY The sales game “First In, First Out” reminds sales associates that there is a customer for every piece and that they are responsible for finding that customer. To get them to see things your way, offer bigger commissions for selling older pieces. Code your older inventory with colored dots: green for pieces one or more years old (pays 10 percent commission); red for pieces nine months old (7 percent commission); and blue for six months old (5 percent commission).
MARKETING Reach out to a local florist to have bouquets ready for the Mother’s Day weekend (May 9-10). “Help your male clients take something off their list when they’ve forgotten to buy flowers for Mother’s Day. And who knows, maybe they will buy a bit of sparkle from you to go with the flowers,” says Kathleen Cutler of Kathleen Cutler Strategy.
FINANCES Set a time to see your banker. Look for ways to use idle cash, reduce interest, and improve cash flows. Set up a credit line now even if you don’t think you’ll ever need it.