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Manager's To Do

Make the Most of Christmas with This December To-Do List

See how you can remain on the game while enjoying the Christmas season.

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Dec. 3-9

OPERATIONS Starting today, make it a rule: Everyone must greet each other with a cheery “Merry Christmas” (or, yes, “Happy Holidays,” if that’s a better fit) every morning. When all is said and done, you sell joy and you and your staff’s good moods will determine much of your success.

HUMAN RESOURCES Take care of your team, says Kent Bagnall, owner of Kent Jewelry of Rolla, MO. “Make sure all inventory is correctly marked and that staff is kept up to date and properly trained for the holiday rush. I make a special effort to ensure that they take care of their health during the holiday season.”

MANAGEMENT Start holding short morning meetings. To ensure they stay brief, insist everyone stand. Update staff on things like average sale, which pieces to show first, repair deadlines, any ads you’re running and what’s being highlighted in your window cases.

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Dec. 10-16

DISPLAYS Tweak your window displays. Move things around and highlight different categories in your windows (especially your key price point jewelry). To window shoppers, it sends the message that you have a wide range of merchandise that is moving quickly.

INVENTORY Watch your reports like a hawk. Start making small markdowns on slower selling items to help clear case space for bestselling items during the last two weeks of the holiday season. And stay on top of your vendors. Timely delivery is critical right now.

INVENTORY Be sure to promote your store’s gift cards this month. One idea to make it an easier sell: Add 10 to 20 percent cash value to any gift card you sell.

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GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every wrapped item.

Dec. 17-23

SPIFFS Tack up envelopes on your bulletin board with labels like “Most Add-Ons” and “Highest-Value Sale.” Day’s winner gets the envelope and the prize inside.

SOCIAL MEDIA If you haven’t seen your social network “fans” in the store yet, why not urge them to come in early for special VIP hours?

OPERATIONS Dec. 22, the final Saturday before Christmas, may well be the biggest shopping day of the year. Go over your plans for staffing, stock and hours.

Dec. 24-30

INVENTORY It’s return season. Accept those painful returns with a big smile. If you handle the returns as well as you handled the sales, those customers will inevitably return.

CRM Begin entering all that customer data you collected in the last few weeks. You did have a system in place to collect those all-important email addresses, right?

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MANAGEMENT Holding an end-of-season staff party? Consider joining up with someone else in your strip mall. It will help save costs and build potentially useful relationships.

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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Wilkerson Testimonials

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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.

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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

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

Try these ideas to make the 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.

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The Barb Wire

Podcast: Michael O’Connor, Jewelry’s Perfect Spokesman, Visits ‘The Barb Wire’

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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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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.

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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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