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Podcast: Get Your Employees to Act Like They Own the Damn Place

Or would you rather be their permanent baby-sitter?

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JIMMYCAST (EPISODE 2): GETTING EMPLOYEES TO ACT LIKE OWNERS (34:23 MINUTES)


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HOW CAN a jewelry-store owner get the members of his or her team to think and act like they are store-owners?

That’s the big question covered in the second episode of INSTORE’s new podcast series, JimmyCast, from jewelry-store trainer Jimmy DeGroot, along with co-host Doug Meadows of David Douglas Diamonds in Marietta, GA.

One of the main problems jewelers, and other business-owners have, is mustering the courage to empower their employees. DeGroot says many fear that if they train their employees to think like store-owners, they will eventually become store-owners … as your competition.

But is that possibility worse than having someone on your team you have to baby-sit as long as they work for you?

Meadows then explains his method for inspiring (notoriously resistant) millennial employees in his business. “Why do you always have to tell a millennial why?,” he asks. Meadows gives the example of a Chick-Fil-A manager, who instead of giving a young employee a broom and telling him or her to go out and sweep the parking lot, instead talks about the brand’s reputation for quality and how that extends through every stage of a customer interaction, from the moment they step into the parking lot until the moment they leave. Now having explained the purpose for sweeping the parking lot, he can end with a request instead of an order — “It would really help me out if you would take this broom and go out and take care of that,” the hypothetical store manager would say.

This process of providing a sense of mission is something that Meadows is working on at his own store — one he calls “how to share a why”. Meanwhile, Meadows is striving to speak even more fluently about the purpose and aspirations of his business — which he calls “what’s your why”. (For more reading on what makes “Why?” so important, try Simon Sinek’s business best-seller Start With Why.)

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If store-owners can’t delegate or teach staff, bad things happen. This could mean nobody in a store being able to sell a one-carat diamond without calling the owner, or, even worse, the owner ending up as permanent “watch-battery guy” for his or her store, handling lower-value responsibilities simply because no one else wants to do them.

“Are you the watch-battery guy at your store?” DeGroot asks.

“No!” says Meadows. “Well, occasionally,” he has to admit.

Part of the process of training staff to think like store-owners is setting up “non-negotiables” using a “nominal group process” as Brad Huisken refers to it. In this process, the owner sets a goal — for example, “creating an amazing customer experience” — and then asks employees to brainstorm ideas to achieve this goal. Later, they take the best of these ideas to establish key “non-negotiables” that must always be followed. While the owner’s input is important in this process, for the most part, it’s driven by employees. Since employees have created the rules themselves, they are better at policing each other for infractions against the rules.

This is important, says DeGroot, “because I knew that if I made the rules, then I was going to have to baby-sit the rules.”

If a store-owner can’t do this, and can’t give up some degree of control of the process, DeGroot and Meadows both agree, they may be better off down-sizing their business and becoming a sole proprietor, where he or she can do everything exactly the way they want to.

Which almost sounds worse than ending up as a “watch-battery guy”.

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Other episode highlights:

* Why DeGroot is not a fan of the interview question, “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
* The Christmas gift DeGroot would most like.
* The one jewelry-store job that DeGroot hates most.
* Meadows shares how he now ranks his daily to-do list by the profitability of individual actions.
* How a specific personality test, called a “Flagpage” (flagpage.com), can help you determine the best roles for every person in your store. The test, which costs $24.99, breaks a person’s personality characteristics down into four types — called “countries” — peace, perfect, fun and control. Each person can be a resident of a single country or multiple countries — i.e. “fun/peace country” or “perfect/control country”.

Watch the video version of the podcast below, or listen to the audio version at the top of the page. And, to receive future installments of JimmyCast and all other INSTORE podcasts, search for “INSTORE Podcasts” on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher or your favorite podcast platform.

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Jimmy DeGroot is a jewelry store manager who has been in the business for over 20 years. Now he spends his time training teams around the world at jewelrystoretraining.com and sharing marketing advice through his blog site at jewelrymarketingguy.com. Sign up for training videos here.

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JimmyCast

Podcast: Wisconsin Salesperson Uses Life Savings to Live Her Dream of Jewelry Store Ownership

“$20,000 seems like a lot of money … until you open a jewelry store,” she says.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 12: KIM GORDON ON LIVING THE DREAM (48:53 MINUTES)


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KIM GORDON is living the dream — it’s the dream of owning her own store, the aptly named Dream Jewelers in Oshkosh, WI.

Gordon has spent most of her career in jewelry sales, having spent more than a decade as an assistant manager at a Kay Jewelers and, after that, another decade as sales manager at Jim Kryshak Jewelers in Wausau, WI. But in 2014, she finally made the leap into jewelry-store ownership, using her life savings to purchase a Wisconsin business called Thimke Jewelers, which she later rebranded as Dream Jewelers.

Gordon shares the story of her journey, and tells you how she’s launched her business in a challenging competitive environment and on an ultra-tight budget. “I had $20,000 in the bank,” she says. “And $20,000 seems like a lot of money … until you open a jewelry store.”

Hear Kim’s full story on the latest edition of JimmyCast, with host Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows.

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JimmyCast

Podcast: An Explosive Prank and More Tales of Dumb Things Done in Jewelry Stores

Jimmy and Doug share the 10 dumbest things they’ve seen happen in jewelry stores (including their own).

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 11: THE DUMBEST THINGS WE’VE SEEN IN JEWELRY STORES (34:06 MINUTES)


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IF MAKING MISTAKES is the best way to learn, then the latest episode of JimmyCast promises to be a tremendous learning experience. In the episode, Jimmy DeGroot and co-host Doug Meadows each share five dumb things they’ve seen jewelers do in their jewelry stores.

“This includes us,” notes Jimmy.

“Actually, my list is mostly mine,” says Doug.

Tales shared include a pyrotechnic prank gone wrong (3:40), a store owner who brought in a new sales trainer to work with his team, only to completely sabotage the effort before it even began (11:30), plus an expensive lesson from a jewelry con artist (20:00).

Says Jimmy, “This is a good episode for learning what not to do in your jewelry store.”

Want to receive all of our INSTORE Podcasts on your mobile device? Sign up on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher or your favorite podcast player using our RSS feed link.

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JimmyCast

Podcast: Hear Secrets of Cool From the Only Full-Time Employee of America’s Coolest Small Jewelry Store

At least a couple customers a week come in thinking it’s a place to eat.

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JIMMYCAST EPISODE 10: KATHERINE COTTERILL OF EAT GALLERY (32:35 MINUTES)


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IN THIS MONTH’S episode of JimmyCast, hosts Jimmy DeGroot and Doug Meadows chat with the manager of the winning store in the “Small Cool” division of INSTORE’s America’s Coolest Stores”, EAT Gallery of Maysville, KY.

Katherine Cotterill, manager at EAT Gallery, has had an eclectic past, including more than three years spent in New Zealand and Samoa (2:30). She talks about how she was hired to run the store in 2016 (5:30) by Simon and Laurie Watt, who had opened EAT Gallery in the early 2000s as a side project to their main business, colored gemstone dealers Mayer & Watt.

The discussion continues to cover EAT’s attention-getting (and occasionally confusing to visitors) neon “EAT” sign (9:15), which had previously identified a diner that was a town fixture for 50 years. “We are definitely not a restaurant,” says Cotterill. “But we do say that we’ll feed your soul.”

As for the big question of how many visitors per week come in, thinking it’s a restaurant? “At least a couple a week,” says Cotterill.

Hear more of the conversation — including tips on how to make a tiny business stand out with marketing and product selection (16:00) — in this month’s JimmyCast.

Want to receive all of our INSTORE Podcasts on your mobile device? Sign up on Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher or your favorite podcast player using our RSS feed link.

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