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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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Waiter Donates $200 to Jeweler’s Fundraiser, Wins Billionaire’s Heart, Gets Dream Job

Video: This Saleswoman Remade Her Job … And Something Amazing Happened
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Video: This Saleswoman Remade Her Job … And Something Amazing Happened

Video: An Instagram ‘Influencer’ Came to My Jewelry Store … And It Did Not Go Well
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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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Manager's To Do

Fun, Sun and Strategy … And More Manager’s To-Do Items for July

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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June 30-July 6

MANAGEMENT Summer is a time for fun, sun and strategy. To help you, a question to ponder from business author Jonathan Byrnes: Do we have bad profits? “Some investments look attractive, but they also take the company’s capital and focus away from its main line of business,” he explains.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT It’s parade season. Dust off your store mascot suit and join in the Independence Day festivities. You’ll be spreading a message of fun, community involvement and jewelry care.

July 7-13

OPERATIONS Are there some summer days when you show up and just pretend to work? This month, experiment with an abbreviated week. Knowing you have less time to get things done might just prompt a burst of productivity — and give you the chance to better enjoy the warm months.

SECURITY Place height markers along doorways so police looking at surveillance footage can determine how tall a robber is.

OPERATIONS You should have this already, a file documenting employee performance through the year. Actually, you should be tipping your workers off about how they’ll fare in their annual reviews. This keeps everything moving along smoothly, and you avoid those dreaded showdowns when employees get defensive. This is also a good time to plot your compensation plans.

July 14-20

PROMOTIONS Try a vault sale: Take older merchandise and offer it to your best customers at “incredible” discounts. Clients love it and often buy a number of items.

TRAINING Improve your staff’s question-asking skills with the Probing Game. Staff stand in a line, facing you or your sales manager, who kicks things off with the statement, “I’ve been looking for something for (insert occasion).” The first associate must ask a probing question about the customer’s needs, wants and desires. Fail to come up with one, and they sit down. Probing questions must be open-ended (who, what, when, where, how, why or tell me about your husband/wife …). Yes/no questions result in instant expulsion. Winner is last one standing.

July 21-27

TRAINING Discuss how to use company stories during sales presentations. Highlight how selling yourself and your store is just as important as selling the merchandise.

SERVICES If you don’t already, look into providing “Jewelry Box Reviews.” For $25, offer to evaluate a client’s fine jewelry collection to identify repair items, custom restyling options, and to document for insurance and estate purposes. It’s often a gateway to a series of custom design projects or repair jobs, appraisals, and gold and diamond buys.

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Halfway Point of The Year, America’s Birthday and More Important July Dates

And mark Seinfeld’s cultural anniversary with an event “about nothing really.”

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5 If your customers are “thirty-something singles with vague identities, no roots, and conscious indifference to morals,” then they’d probably respond to a Seinfeld night to mark THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PREMIERE of the groundbreaking TV show. Just tell them it’s basically an event about nothing — a few beers, peruse the cases and wonder if George should have bought a Superfit ring.

2 At noon today, THE MIDPOINT OF THE YEAR, the first half of 2019 will give way to the important business end. Get out your notes from your January planning meetings and see what adjustments, if any, need to be made to your business plan.

4 On AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY, put together a collection of independent American jewelry designers using American gemstones.

24 It took 63 years for Father’s Day to go from whimsical thought to presidential declaration. Who is to say COUSIN’S DAY won’t make the big time as well? Start promoting.

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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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