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Manager's To Do

Pledge to Be a Better Boss … and More To-Do’s for January

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Jan. 1-6

MARKETING Here it is, your second bite at the Christmas cake, a.k.a. gift-card-redemption season. Ensure you’re stocked with fast sellers and good coffee, and that your add-on strategy is in place. Urge cardholders to come grab a cup and redeem those cards.

WORK/LIFE BALANCE Over the holiday season it’s not unusual to run up a huge sleep deficit. Remedy that by getting an extra hour of zzzz’s every day for the next two weeks.

FINANCES You’re currently cash-rich; don’t wait to start paying off your vendor accounts or credit lines from your bank. Make a payment this week. It’s scary how that money can disappear by the time bills arrive.

STAFF Pledge to be a better boss in 2017. Add your employees’ birthday dates to our “ultimate calendar” from this issue and those of their children as well. (Any gifts or similar gestures will win over hearts and minds.)

Jan. 8-13

INVENTORY Get your inventory in order in 2018. Start by putting 10 rings in front of you and then make a decision what to do with them: remake, melt down, re-price or exchange. Do this daily with all your jewelry.

MARKETING Social media interactions should sound spontaneous and casual but be well planned. Start plotting a social media calendar; schedule blogs, Pinterest boards and Facebook support for your events.

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Jan. 15-20

OPERATIONS Review the Christmas period with staff. Go over your ads, inventory and other marketing campaigns. Analyze what worked, what didn’t, what you learned. Be sure to highlight unclosed sales, missed opportunities and missed targets. Discuss what other retailers did and how you can do it better.

STRATEGY Commit yourself to running a big experiment this year— change your operating hours, amend your policy on jewelry test-drives, give staff more power to make discount decisions, get rid of an underperforming category of jewelry … there really is no limit for the bold.

MARKETING Set up a “clienteling” program to keep in touch with your best customers. Jewelers with good customer records can call their clients to remind them that they have “just the thing” for an upcoming life cycle event. Consider a preferred customer program.

Jan. 22-27

MANAGEMENT If one of your resolutions was to shed a few pounds, keep going! A study from the Center for Creative Leadership found lean equals “leaderly.” “Executives with larger waistlines and higher body-mass-index readings tend to be perceived as less effective in the workplace,” it said.

DISPLAYS Decorate your store and reorganize your cases for Valentine’s Day. Aim for fun, not schlocky.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

Considering Store Layout, Guilt-Easing Gift Ideas, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for November

And here’s a key scheduling tip for your holiday email marketing.

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Nov 3-9

STORE LAYOUT Look out for store fixtures that are too tall to allow shoppers to look across and take in your store. Fixtures that restrict visibility through the space kill the “spirit” of a store and the impulse to buy.

INVENTORY Investigate vendor spiffs. Your suppliers want their lines to succeed this season, so take advantage of the incentives they offer.

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales
Jimmy Degroot

Video: The Right Way to Make Add-On Jewelry Sales

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Jimmy Degroot

Video: How to Ask for Referrals Without Being Too Pushy

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Video: How to Get People to Buy Jewelry From You Now Instead of ‘Someday’

ONLINE Mobile devices are expected to drive about 70 percent of all Christmas-related retail traffic this year. Test your website and any apps to ensure the customer experience on tablets and phones is working as well as on desktops. It often doesn’t.

Nov 10-16

MARKETING Post your advertising schedule in the back room. Make sure your staff is fully aware of what promotions will run when.

SALES Find “guilt-easing” gift ideas to go with gift cards or certificates. For bigger certificate amounts, have a “real” gift — like Belgian chocolates or a bottle of wine — close at hand that you can bundle in free.

Nov 17-23

MARKETING With only four weeks to go until Christmas, step up your email campaigns to twice per week. Schedule campaigns on Thursdays or Fridays to stimulate purchases over the weekend, when conversion rates typically peak.

MERCHANDISING Impulse buys can come in many price ranges and store locations. Rethink the way you normally position these items.

STAFF Show your team how much you appreciate their efforts. Take them out for an activity or nice meal. Team-building will make it easier to get through the weeks ahead.

Nov 24-30

GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every wrapped item.

OPERATIONS Starting today, hold a short staff meeting every morning, keeping everyone informed on progress. Single out a separate item each day and discuss the best way to present it. Keep the meetings short and make sure they end on an upbeat note.

TRAINING Coach your associates to steer more. Urge them to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings. Advise them to keep the number of recommendations limited.

MANAGEMENT You should now be in full holiday-season mode. For last-minute tips and promotional ideas, go to your own INSTORE archives (or our past issues at instoremag.com/digimag).

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Calendar

A Good Idea for Thanksgiving, and More Important Dates for November

Includes a fitting tribute to the quiz show twenty questions.

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2 The quiz show TWENTY QUESTIONS MADE ITS DEBUT on national television on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion by brainstorming 20 questions to get your customers talking. Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ, came up with a list that ranged from icebreakers like “What kind of pets do you own?” to those with a specific sale in mind: “How would you like to be a hero for under $100?”

19 Mark management expert PETER DRUCKER’S BIRTHDAY by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you were to be brutally realistic, you don’t have time for.

28 Get in the spirit of THANKSGIVING by sending a goodie bag to your best 50 customers (be sure to include a coupon). It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

29 It’s showtime! BLACK FRIDAY marks the traditional start of the shopping season. Spur your holiday sales with a special coupon mailed to your customer list.

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Calendar

Why National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day Matters to Your Store, and More Important Dates for October

Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.

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1 Research estimates that 85 percent of an individual’s financial success can be attributed to their “human engineering skills” — that is, their ability to communicate and lead. During EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AWARENESS MONTH, improve your ability to make others feel valued and understood. It requires good listening skills, empathy, and a commitment to inspire positive feelings.

1 At the start of CO-OP AWARENESS MONTH, weigh up the pros and cons of using co-op dollars for holiday advertising and make a decision based on your circumstances.

9 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in diamonds. On NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY, feature a few bling-wearing teddies in your cases.

29 Today, THE INTERNET TURNS 50. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure for your store, sit down and map out a more aggressive online strategy.

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