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Manager's To Do

Manager’s To Do for Jewelers: April 2016

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Week 1 / APR. 4-9

Inventory Show season is almost
upon us. Brainstorm with staff on
ways to clear space in your cases for
your new merchandise purchases.

Events Mother’s Day is early this
year, falling on May 8. Curate an
M’s Day selection and get it up on
your website now. Keep most of the
offerings within a price range of $50
to $250 (although depending on your
store you may want to go as high as
$1,000). Offer steep discounts on a
couple of items to keep people coming
back to look at your offerings.

Shows The SMART Jewelry starts in
Chicago in less than 10 days (education
sessions begin April 16; show
runs from April 17-19). There’s still
time to register. We guarantee you’ll
go home with more than just lovely
new goods.

Week 2 / APR. 11-16

Customer Service Begin training
your staff to give first-time customers
a “tour” of your store. This is a good
way to break the ice and make newcomers
feel welcome. Also establish a
new rule: salespeople must walk customers
who have made purchases to
the door and thank them for coming.

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Marketing Not sure what to do for
summer? How about a bead event?
Despite initial expectations, there’s
no sign this trend is fading.

Legal Inspect sidewalks and driveways to identify areas where people
might trip. Call a contractor if repairs
are needed.

Inventory While you’re at the
SMART Show (or any other show this
year), gather pictures and pricing, to
review back at the store. Get information
on potential new vendors. Even
if you don’t have the open-to-buy
dollars this season, start a file for the
next show you will be attending.

Week 3 / APR. 18-23

Management If your typical response
to handling day to day affairs
is, “Let me take care of this,” then try
this experiment: For the next two
weeks free up two hours a day just
to manage. Delegate some admin
work, drop less important meetings
and spend the extra time giving more
guidance to your team. You may find
the extra productivity far outweighs
your “lost” hours.

In-Store In honor of Earth Day on
April 22, install some shrubbery
inside. Living things will literally
add fresh air to your showroom (one
plant for every 100 square feet of
space will be enough to filter the air).

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Sales Floor The counter where you
do battery changes is likely to be one
of your store’s most heavily trafficked
areas. Put some promotional material
there (maybe a list of the bench
services you offer) or some lower
priced merchandise ($200-$500) to
encourage impulse buying.

Week 4 / APR. 25-30

Education Go through the notes
you took during all those educational
sessions at Chicago (or check
Instoremag.com) and organize them
into a usable form so that you can
quickly start implementing some of
the “Smarter” ideas.

Marketing There are a string of mini
selling dates coming up including
prom season, communions and
graduation. Draw up a schedule for
case displays and give thought to
potential cross promotions.

Sales Create an education kit with
rhinestones to provide guidance on
how to buy a diamond.

This article originally appeared in the April 2016 edition of INSTORE.

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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.

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?

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.

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Calendar

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.

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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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