Ask INSTOREHow Can You Handle When a Team Member Starts His Own Business? This and Other ‘Ask INSTORE’ Responses Don’t worry about rivals. Put your energy into improving your own business. Published 2 years ago on March 27, 2018By INSTORE Staff Instore May 2018 Issue Share Tweet Our jeweler, who really is one of the best we’ve ever worked with, is leaving with plans to start his own store. How should we respond?Pretty much the same way you would to any other new entrant in the market: with a strengthened commitment to focus on your own business and provide a better service to your customers. Find yourself a great new jeweler and don’t go the low route of disparaging the guy who left. That just makes you look small. Keep in mind too that your old jeweler faces a tough battle establishing a viable business. Budding business owners assume that having a skill — in this case jewelry making — means they’ll be skilled at running a related business. But there’s no necessary connection; indeed, a creative jeweler is likely to find tasks such as book-keeping and dealing with staff so aggravating, because they get in the way of jewelry making, that he’ll do them especially badly. In short, you probably don’t have much to worry about … except building your own business.We recently failed to make a delivery on time to a corporate client due to circumstances beyond our control. I would like to personally apologize to try to salvage the relationship, but my husband thinks it’s a bad idea in business to ever admit fault. What do you think?If your husband’s worried about being sued, then maybe he is right. (In some states, apologizing can be treated by the courts as an admission of guilt. If you find yourself dealing with someone litigious, consult your attorney first.) But aside from those rare instances, the “never say sorry” school of thought probably should have been put to rest with John Wayne. In nearly all cases, it’s best to try to make amends. Business is based on trust and relationships, and you won’t last long if you lose the trust of your local community, especially in jewelry. Simply saying “sorry” won’t cut it though. Apologies that are most effective are those in which the offending party accepts full responsibility for their actions, explains why the problem happened and how they intend to address the issue in future, and, where appropriate, offers to pay or remedy any damage caused. I’m firing a staff member for failing to perform. What should I tell other staff?For legal and morale reasons, our advice is to avoid going into detail. Shortly after the employee is fired, make a brief statement to your other workers, saying that the employee is no longer with the store. Tell them who will handle the tasks that person was responsible for, and ask them to direct any other questions to you. If I join some other retailers in a group marketing effort, am I responsible if they lie in their advertising? What about the advertising of a brand name item I carry in my store? As the Jewelers Vigilance Committee explains: wherever your name or store is represented, you have responsibilities. If you are part of a group advertisement, adding your logo to a prepared ad (as in co-op advertising) or endorsing a product, you have the obligation to do your homework to ensure the ad is not misleading. Know who you’re dealing with and ensure you know where and how your name/logo are being used.An old customer is re-marrying her ex-husband and he has bought her a new ring from us. She recently confided to me that she prefers her old ring (also bought from us). What should I suggest?It sounds like she was endowed with a slow temperament (she really should have said something to hubby before he laid out the cash). But luckily God also granted her two hands. Suggest she wear both. How do I instill the right attitudes of diligence and playfulness in new staff right from day one?Conventional wisdom says the owner or boss sets the cultural tone, but in reality, workers look sideways rather than up when searching for cues on what’s expected. To take advantage of this, make sure the person your new recruit sees on his first weeks when he glances sideways is your best worker. Assign a new benchie to sit next to your top jeweler or a new sales hire to shadow your sales gun and sit back and watch as a positive understanding of what’s expected in terms of results, punctuality and initiative takes root. Of course, if you’ve hired the wrong person, none of this is going to happen. The debate over hiring often focuses on the question of skills or personality. Hiring for culture is equally important. If a candidate is qualified but doesn’t seem to be buying into your store’s mission, keep looking. To help with your search, we recommend former Starbucks executive Howard Behar’s book, It’s Not About The Coffee, which lays out nicely how the coffee giant instilled its friendly culture in tens of thousands of employees. Advertisement Related Topics: Ask INSTOREINSTORE April '18 click to Comment(Comment) INSTORE Staff Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected]. Advertisement SPONSORED VIDEO Wilkerson TestimonialsWhen Liquidation Is the Best Option, This Legendary Jeweler Chose WilkersonGeorge Koueiter & Sons Jewelers, a 65-year old jewelry institution in Grosse Pointe, MI, had always been a mainstay in this suburban Detroit community. But when owners George and Paul Koueiter were ready to retire, they made the decision to close rather than sell. “We decided our best option to do the liquidation sale was Wilkerson,” says Paul Koueiter. The results, says George Koueiter, exceeded expectations and the process was easy. “Wilkerson just kept us in mind,” says George. “They never did anything without asking and whatever they asked us to do was just spot on.” You may like What’s a Fair Salary Plus Commission Rate and More of Your Questions for April What To Do When a Large Chain Competitor Opens Nearby, and More of Your Questions Answered How to Manage Stress, Deal With a Perpetually Late Employee, And More of Your Questions Answered Promoted Headlines Perk Up Your EarsGabriel & Co. The Rings for Virtual ‘I Do’s’Gabriel & Co. 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