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Pounding the Pavement, Building a Better Comment Box, and More Tips for June

And you can make your events even more enticing by focusing on an overlooked aspect: the invitation itself.




Pounding the Pavement, Building a Better Comment Box, and More Tips for June

WORK FLOWGet Unstuck

If you’re procrastinating, it’s often because you don’t know the next appropriate action. It can help to ask yourself what it is that you need to find out, decide or do. “Usually the roadblock is one of those three things,” productivity coach Liz Sumner told INC. “What information do you need to locate? What decision is up in the air and what are the choices? What needs to be done so that the rest of the pieces fall into place? These questions will get you moving again.”

PRODUCTIVITYHighlight Outsourcing Opportunities

If you suspect you’re not focusing enough on important tasks, Lauren Edvalson, CEO of Edvalson Marketing, suggests logging your productivity every day for a week. At the end of the period, take a highlighter and mark anything you can delegate for say $50 per hour or less via apps such as elancer and Upwork, she tells INC. “I like to do this exercise quarterly so that I can measure my progress and also have some accountability for letting go of time-sucking tasks that don’t serve my business goals.”

MARKETINGPound the Pavement

Summer means different things to different people. At Midwest Jewelers and Estate Buyers in Zionsville, IN, it means it’s time to pound the pavement. The store prints up marketing materials focusing on its estate buying services and then two staff members head out, targeting businesses that might be interested. “They called on local banks, insurance agents, nursing homes. When they walked in you could just see the employees thinking, ‘Oh no, not more solicitors,’” recalls owner Brian McCall. “But after the initial introduction, they were excited to find a business where they could send their clients. We saw a large uptick on the buying side of the business. When the sun starts shining, we will be back at it!”


MANAGEMENTBuild a Better Comment Box

Lots of businesses have an idea or comment box. That’s great, but innovation consultant Bryan Mattimore, author of 21 Days To A Big Idea, suggests you take it to the next level by adding some structure. At his company, the Growth Engine, managers post an organizational challenge on a whiteboard and invite their co-workers to submit suggestions. “After a week’s time, the manager records (and then pursues) the best ideas/suggestions on the whiteboard. He or she then posts a new weekly challenge. It’s easy to do, doesn’t really cost anything, and it has created some huge productivity improvements/wins for our clients,” says Mattimore.

MARKETINGSought-after Invitations

Cooper & Binkley Jewelers’ annual trunk shows are keenly awaited events for its regular customers — although probably not as much as the actual invitations. Each year, the staff at the Brighton, MI, store try to top themselves with “invitations that are more unique, creative and surprising than the previous year,” says co-owner Barb Binkley. Examples include a three-part invitation that built anticipation over three weeks, a message in a glass bottle, a chocolate candy bar with the message on the wrapper, a jigsaw puzzle that had to be assembled and a cookie with the designer logo.


Do you live in a city that has a restaurant where it’s almost impossible to get a reservation? Impress your customers by booking a table (better yet, a prime table at the prime time of the night). You can do it far in advance. You can do it every week. Then give the reservations to a customer who purchases a big piece from you.



When the Kids Have Their Own Careers, Wilkerson Can Help You to Retire

Alex and Gladys Rysman are the third generation to run Romm Jewelers in Brockton, Mass. And after many decades of service to the industry and their community, it was time to close the store and take advantage of some downtime. With three grown children who each had their own careers outside of the industry, they decided to call Wilkerson. Then, the Rysmans did what every jeweler should do: They called other retailers and asked about their own Wilkerson experience. “They all told us what a great experience it was and that’s what made us go with Wilkerson.” says Gladys Rysman. The results? Alex Rysman says he was impressed. “We exceeded whatever I expected to do by a large margin.”

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