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Manager's To Do

What You Need to Be Doing in Your Business This October

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Week 1 / OCT. 3-8

Clienteling Review customer lists for the holidays. Plan a delivery of something special — flowers, bath soaps, homemade jam — to your best customers of the past three years to be made around Thanksgiving.

Events Finalize plans for special events. Confirm staff assignments.

Marketing What’s your wish-list strategy this year? Do you have a nonbuying ladies night planned? A flier? Are you on top of your POS wish-list functionality to track expressions of interest and follow-up?

Inventory Make up last-minute stocking stuffers — nature rock key chains? Eyeglass chains with beads, anyone?

Gift Wrapping Do a count of packaging, boxes and other wrapping supplies. Shop wholesale gift markets for holiday decorations. Internet Investigate what it would take to sell digital gift cards directly from your website. Gift cards get more popular each year, and young consumers don’t seem to have any issue with such digital gifts.

Week 2 / OCT. 10-15

Sales Expand your market reach to a new segment. See if there’s a holiday gift show planned for your area.

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Marketing Invite some local fashion bloggers to come in and play with your holiday inventory.

Staff Temporary staff members should be trained and in place by the beginning of November.

Marketing Launch a holiday-specific email newsletter with specialized content and product offers. Prominently display “top sellers,” “our picks,” “top products,” etc.

Week 3 / OCT. 17-22

Marketing Let your customers know about your repair and redesign services — turning your customers’ tired old heirlooms into beautiful new styles is a great Christmas-gift idea.

Merchandise Clean your entire inventory and props. Display expert Larry Johnson recommends using Simple Green cleaner (diluted 50/50 with water) to lightly clean all leatherette displays.

Sales Your sales associates should have a story for every piece of jewelry in your store. Start testing them with pieces in your morning meetings. Internet Begin adjusting website content for the holiday season. Put Christmas into your titles and keywords.

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Operations Does your store have a coat check? Look into setting up one. It will make customers more comfortable.

Week 4 / OCT. 24-29

Repairs Set cutoff dates. Put them on a sign behind the counter, in ads and on your website.

Operations Build a music playlist for the holidays that evokes the joy of gift-giving.

Inventory Ensure you’ll have sufficient inventory for last-minute holiday purchasers. Plan to ratchet up promotions for 11th-hour specials and products in order to attract this growing type of desperate shopper.

Training Focus on strategies to handle customers who “need to check with their wife first,” who say their mortgage is tying up their finances, or who “saw it on Blue Nile for less.”

This article originally appeared in the October 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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