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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.

Video: To Improve Your Email Marketing, Read This Book
Jim Ackerman

Video: To Improve Your Email Marketing, Read This Book

Gene the Jeweler’s Rule: Never Buy the Same Piece Twice
Gene the Jeweler

Gene the Jeweler’s Rule: Never Buy the Same Piece Twice

How to Turn Your Gift Cards Into Something People Actually Buy
Jim Ackerman

How to Turn Your Gift Cards Into Something People Actually Buy

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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VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Jimmy DeGroot

Be Ready for ‘What Do You Have for $100?’ and Other Holiday Questions

As Christmas approaches, the queries you’ll hear from customers are actually pretty predictable, says jewelry store training expert Jimmy DeGroot. Here's how to make sure your team is prepared for the more common ones.

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Decemberitis Prep, Snow Promotions and More Tips for December

It’s December!

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18 It’s hard to believe that when the movie YOU’VE GOT MAIL was released on this date in 1998, people actually looked forward to opening their inbox. Today, the average office worker receives 125 emails per day, most of which are poorly written or even useless. To bring back that rom-com joy, set strict times for inbox maintenance (it’s not the first thing you have to do in the morning), experiment with email scanning services, and learn best practices (bold text is way better than all caps to emphasize something).

01 Let your staff know that you’re aware of DECEMBERITIS — that this month is king when it comes to phony absences as employees juggle work, shopping, holiday tasks and family obligations. Have staff sign off on schedules well in advance.

21 Tempt your customers to take a bet with your own snow promotion: a percentage point discount for every inch that falls in the week before Christmas.

31 NEW YEAR’S EVE means “Auld Lang Syne,” well-deserved toasts to your hard work this year and resolutions for 2019. Think big (Best Year Evah!) and think small (eat more fish oil, floss daily, join INSTORE’S Brain Squad). It’s going to be a terrific year.

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Manager's To Do

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

Get ahead — and stay ahead — of the holiday rush.

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Oct 29-Nov 4

MARKETING “Follow a pre-established schedule on social media and modify based on last-minute trends,” says Allison Leitzel-Williams of Leitzel’s Jewelry (PICTURED). “Focus on sales training and discuss different types of shoppers and the type of service they prefer (women who like to take their time vs. men who want your advice and who should not be over-presented). Create festive playlists to energize the store as we approach Christmas. Follow up on old repairs, layaways and pending projects to encourage pickups before the holiday rush.”

CIVIC DUTY Nov. 6 is Election Day. Make arrangements to ensure you and your staff have time to vote.

Podcast: JimmyCast Takes on the Paradigm Shift in Jewelry Store Marketing
JimmyCast

Podcast: JimmyCast Takes on the Paradigm Shift in Jewelry Store Marketing

Podcast: A Blind Couple Inspires a Veteran Jeweler to Look At Jewelry Design in a New Way
Over the Counter

Podcast: A Blind Couple Inspires a Veteran Jeweler to Look At Jewelry Design in a New Way

Podcast: Jen Cullen Williams Enters “The Barb Wire”
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Jen Cullen Williams Enters “The Barb Wire”

Nov 5-11

STAFF Shake up your holiday spiffs this year. If you offered individual prizes last year, try a team-based approach this year. If you’ve traditionally offered money, consider non-cash incentives. Align the most exciting prizes for days you expect to see the biggest sales results.

STORE Want to liven up the atmosphere in your store? Cut a Christmas karaoke video with you and your staff singing timeless holiday classics in booming voices. Play it occasionally — and at a low volume, please — on your store’s video monitors.
CRM Prep Christmas cards to your best customers. The cards should only contain a “from our family to yours” type of message, with signatures written in hand (no promotional offers). All cards should be mailed right after Thanksgiving.

Nov 12-18

MARKETING Use your email bulletins to emphasize collections or new products that may be out of stock later in the season.

OPERATIONS Hold a decorating party one night after work or on a day your store is closed. Play music, order pizzas and have fun! If your merchandising is done on grays or whites, you can easily use red and green, two colors that are the simplest, most effective way to say “Christmas.” But, if they clash with your store, you will have to go to an alternative — perhaps blue and white winter colors.

Nov 19-25

CLEANING Set up a steam cleaner in your diamond ring area, so staff can quickly steam the stones when they take them out for a presentation. It’s also a cool show for your clients.

INVENTORY Fill holes in inventory with a focus on fast sellers. Begin weekly reviews of core stock and set a replenishment plan.

STAFF Do a refresher with temps on handling the phone, customer flow management and gift-wrapping.

Nov 26-Dec 2

OPERATIONS Stick up a sign that reads “Repairs Will Be Ready On __” and then update the new date daily. (Charge a premium for express service.)

INVENTORY Make a list of jewelry items that need a “companion” — diamond stud earrings with a tennis bracelet, cocktail ring with pendant. Prepare for add-on success.

GENERAL Attend any parties you’re invited to, but be sure to get sleep, too, over the next six weeks.

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Ideas for Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday and More Important Dates for November

A few key dates to mark in the month ahead.

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22 Thanksgiving means it’s time to show appreciation. But this year, aim to make it last all year. Start with the obvious things — your family’s good health and work that keeps you engaged. Then start looking outward until you get to those truly insignificant trifles — the smell of fall in the air, the fragment of a nostalgic song. The psychologist Martin Seligman suggests a routine of writing two short emails each morning to friends, family or colleagues, thanking them for what they do.

13 Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Montague, the Earl of Sandwich, who invented the sandwich to save time on eating during a gambling binge. Take inspiration: create a potluck schedule to ensure you and your staff are eating well throughout the holiday season.

24 For Small Business Saturday, print a T-shirt emblazoned with the Small Business Saturday logo. Take a picture of yourself wearing it. Post on social media.

25 30 days to go until Christmas. Launch a holiday countdown on the home page of your website. Highlight a “gift of the day.”

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