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Manager's To Do

Manager’s To Do For Jewelers: February 2016

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Week 1 / FEB. 1-6

Technology Showcase popular Valentine items on your homepage, with a special emphasis on items that are exclusive to your store.

Display Starting with your V-Day displays, take a photo of each case the first of every month. With a history of it, you’ll know what Valentine’s Day 2016 looked like when it comes around to doing the display for 2017.

Strategy Visit your competitors’ stores and websites, subscribe to their newsletters, and assign someone on staff to create a scrapbook of their ads. You’ll be able to identify which areas to compete in and how to differentiate your store.

Week 2 / FEB. 8-13

Strategy Feb. 14 falls on a Sunday in 2016, leading to last-minute panic-buyers. Prepare a list of popular items at different price points. Review your “last-minute panic-buying” strategy and stock levels.

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Operations The No. 1 complaint customers have about salespeople is a lack of follow-up. Create a follow-up system and let your customers know you will always be there.

Staff You may not need new people now but keep a list of candidates.

Marketing Email blast: “Three days left ’til Valentine’s Day!” List your top 10 ideas for gifts.

Week 3 / FEB. 15-20

Finances If your fiscal year ends in December, you should finalize your financial statements by Feb. 29. Make an appointment to see your CPA.

Marketing Identify your top 1,000 customers and make yearlong plans targeting them. If you don’t have birthday and anniversary data, start thinking of ways to get it.

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Store If florists have any cheap stock left over from Valentine’s, you could get a jump on spring with fresh flowers in the store.

Marketing Adjust case content with an eye toward Mother’s Day and grad season. And don’t forget self purchasers — they buy throughout the year.

Marketing Create a yearlong calendar for events and promos: Bridal event for the fall, designer trunk show for summer, loose diamond event, holiday sale.

Finances If you haven’t updated your props and fixtures for five years, they’re sure to be showing their age. Amortize and depreciate fixtures and props as you do other equipment. Set a budget and schedule to acquire new gear.

Week 4 / FEB. 22-27

Inventory Buying season is on the way: Take a hard look at your inventory. Weed out underperformers and identify any new category trends. Set targets and support plans for your emerging inventory stars.

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Finances Don’t have time to negotiate? Billcutterz.com will do it for you. It haggles utility, Internet, cable, cellphone and trash bills for no starter fee. You and the site split the savings 50-50.

Technology Still not using bar code technology? Get with it. The same goes for all the other under-utilized functions on your POS system.

Operations Conduct an annual review of your property insurance policies to ensure they represent today’s prices.

Data Security It’s the time of year to back up all customer and store data and other important files.

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

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Manager's To Do

Add These Dates to Your To-Do List to Ensure a Productive May

Mother’s Day, the Vegas shows, summer and more guarantee it will be a busy month.

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May 5-11

SALES Everything should be in place for Mother’s Day (May 12). Remind salespeople that it’s a fantastic opportunity for add-on sales in the form of matching jewelry. What have you bundled for dad and daughter to buy together for Mom?

PLANNING If you’ve typically taken your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in August this year? Who knows what your community’s jewelry needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present.

STRATEGY Vegas bound? (JCK begins May 31.) Hunker down with your POS system. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve at the show. What are your goals? To attract female self-purchasers, expand your bridal clientele with new bridal product, increase margin with in-house branded collections? (And keep an eye out for our June trends guide toward the end of the month at instoremag.com — it could be a huge help.)

May 12-18

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to market to them in the second half of 2019.

SECURITY Hotels in Vegas make it clear they are not responsible for loss or theft of items brought into their property. If you travel with goods, look into getting insurance.

May 19-25

OPERATIONS Hurricane season is ahead in many parts of the country. Run through a checklist to ensure that your bad weather protocol is up to speed.

BUYING This year, be organized and professional in front of your vendors in Vegas — prepare all your reports and forms. Re-confirm your appointments, and get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need to.

May 26-June 1

BUYING In Vegas, make a point to visit the Design Atelier at Couture and The Design Center at the JCK Show. The talented designers in these sections create jewelry unlike anything you may have seen, which will engage your most consistent clients while also opening up new markets.

SHOP Slow season project: Take photos of all waxes not already in your CAD library and add them.

MERCHANDISING With summer on the way, Larry Johnson says redo the props in your showcases to give a fresh look. Throw away those seashells in the pearl case and replace them with props that show your customer all the places in town where she can wear those beautiful pearls.

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May Day, Sea Monkey Day and More Important May Dates

One is a day to remind yourself that ultimately, you’re selling emotional benefits.

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1 Elsewhere, the proletariat may be standing shoulder-to-shoulder on May Day, singing “L’Internationale” to show solidarity with their daily toil, but in the good ol’ U.S. of A, that’s not considered politically correct. In place of class struggle, tell your staff you want to hear what can be done to make your store a better place to work. Ask your employees to come up with three small things each that would make their working days more pleasant. Implemented right, small things can go a long way to making employees feel empowered, involved and happy to be at work.

4 AUDREY HEPBURN, who was born on this date 90 years ago, did more for little black dresses and diamond earrings than anyone else in history. Mark the occasion with an invitation-only morning event with your favorite customers.

14 The BIRTHDATE OF THE BUDDHA is a perfect time to focus on what works and let go of the rest. Invite input, keep an open mind, and act to de-clutter.

16 It helps to be smart in your marketing, but bold is so much better. Remember that today as the world celebrates SEA MONKEY DAY — a briny nod to the power of selling emotional benefits.

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Siblings Day, National Volunteer Week and More Important April Dates

Seize on this date to own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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10 Sure, sometimes they wouldn’t surrender the TV remote, and you had to wear red because they got the blue top, and they never seemed to do their fair share of the dishes … But they are also the only other people on the planet who understand what weirdos your parents are. On National Siblings Day, remind your customers of all this. Siblings are like the best friends we never asked for but are really glad we have. They deserve a nice surprise gift — in red.

7 On National Volunteer Week, pick up litter on roadsides or in your local creek, serve food to homeless, repaint the children’s shelter; do something to give back to your community.

14 On Be Kind to Lawyers Day, send a cheery note of thanks to yours for their hard work keeping your business safe from legal jeopardy.

30 Those honored on National Honesty Day are given “Abes” to mark their commitment to truthfulness. Sponsor an event at a local school. Own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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