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Manager's To Do

Post-Holiday Tips and More Manager’s To-Do Items

What’s your plan for the coldest days of the year?

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Jan. 5-11

INVENTORY Get ruthless with those new pieces that went through the peak holiday season without selling. The chances of them selling now are very low, so cut your losses and get your money working for you somewhere else. Return the inventory, stock balance it or mark it down. Letting it sit in the case is not an option.

DISPLAY Check your counter pads. Did they get scuffed and smudged over the holidays? If so, you’ve got some buffing work to do.

GOAL SETTING Take a tip from Warren Buffett: First, write down your top 25 goals for life; then identify the most important five, focus on them, and avoid the other 20 like the plague — because they’re the seductive ones most likely to distract you, precisely because they do matter. They just don’t matter most.

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Jan. 12-18

MARKETING/OPERATIONS January typically sees the coldest days of the year. Have a plan in place should the weather get so severe that it interrupts business. Could you, for example, offer a 2 percent discount for every inch of snow that falls if customers are willing to brave the conditions to come in? Or could you boost your online offerings?

PLANNING Get off-site for a strategy review with staff. Creative spaces with high ceilings like art galleries and museums are great, and many now have event space to rent. Anything but the windowless backroom at the store, which will invariably keep thinking captive to the way things are done already.

BUYING Research colored-stone trends to prepare for Tucson (AGTA GemFair starts Feb. 4). Get those colored stones that came in with gold buys into your inventory.

Jan. 19-25

STAFF The pressure of the holidays is likely to have exposed any flaws in your staff’s skills and behaviors. Have those difficult conversations now so you can have positive relationships going forward.

FINANCES It’s a new year — time to set some personal financial goals. If you don’t have much of a nest egg yet, start now, but accept there are no shortcuts. As the old driving-instructor advice goes: If you leave late, you’re going to get there late.

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DISPLAY Preplan your front window displays and themed in-store displays for each selling season. Make sure you have a system for rotating stock so that shoppers who frequently visit find the store to be fresh and alive with interesting jewelry offerings.

Jan. 26-Feb. 1

BENCH Look into getting a live feed mounted. Customers love to see your benchies working in real time and close up, be it stone setting, fabrication, or hand-engraving. Live feeds also make for a great teaching tool that allows your most experienced jewelers to teach the rest of staff with micro-visual demonstrations.

OPERATIONS This year, do your office-supplies shopping all in one place. The big office superstores all offer online order management, free delivery for orders over $50, and loyalty rewards programs.

FINANCES Tax season is upon us and identity thieves can’t wait to use stolen Social Security numbers to claim fraudulent refunds. Whether or not you’re expecting a refund, you might want to file your taxes as soon as you have all the paperwork you need. You can usually file by the last week of January.

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