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Manager's To Do

Prep Your Last-Minute Panic Buying Strategy for V-Day and More Manager’s To-Do Items

This is the time to get your strategy in order for the year.

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Feb. 2-8

CRM Want to be top of mind come dates like Valentine’s Day? Send a bouquet of flowers on the birthday and anniversary of every woman customer who has spent over $3,000 in the last two years. Start this week.

FINANCE One of the downsides of never-ending economic growth is a tendency to get sloppy with costs. There are savings just about everywhere — if you are prepared to demand them. Don’t have time to negotiate? Services like BillShark, BillFixers and Billcutterz will do it for you in areas such as your fixed-line telephone, water delivery, even alarm system for a share of the savings.

OPERATIONS Only a week to go until Valentine’s.It’s time to turn that wish-list data into sales receipts. Email spouses and partners. Then get on the phone to follow up.

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Feb. 9-15

FINANCES If your fiscal year ends in December, you should have your financial statements finalized by Feb. 29. Make an appointment to see your CPA.
SALES Feb. 14 falls on a Friday this year. Review your “last-minute panic-buying” strategy. Expect a rush in the afternoon when employees all over the country switch off from work and start thinking about the weekend.

INVENTORY Identify your “white space” — those areas where demand in your market is going unfulfilled by your store. Make a note of what your customers are requesting that you don’t have, like, for example, inventory under the $100 price point. Be ready to fill in the blanks come buying season.

Feb. 16-22

STRATEGY Embark on a strategic review. Look at what your competitors are doing and learn from them, both the good and the bad. Visit their stores and websites, subscribe to their newsletters, and assign someone on staff to clip or screenshot every one of their ads (not just specialist jewelers), and create a scrapbook. With such knowledge, you’ll be able identify what areas to compete in and how to differentiate your store in your ads.

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OPERATIONS Examine your in-store signage. Is it friendly? Is it memorable? If it’s not both, start the process of changing it.

MARKETING Valentine’s is done and dusted. Adjust case content with an eye toward Mother’s Day and graduation season. And don’t forget self-purchasers — they buy throughout the year.

INVENTORY Contact suppliers. Ask if they have merchandise following the holiday season that might be a fit for your market.

Feb. 23-29

STAFF Do you have guidelines for handling complaints? If not, get busy. As much as possible, empower your team to make decisions without you.

MARKETING From here on out, things start to slow. Identify your top customers and make yearlong plans targeting them. Have your sales staff research what, when and how their best 15 (or more) customers buy. Use this information to target their needs and deliver better and more personalized service. Input this information in your customer management database.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Why This Fourth-Generation Jeweler Chose Wilkerson for a Very Special Sale

Parian & Sons of Franklin Lakes, NJ was founded in the early part of the 20th century. But even stores that have successfully made it through the Great Depression, a World War and the Woodstock Generation must come to an end. With no family wanting to continue the tradition, the time was right for Glenn Parian and his wife, Maria, to retire. And what better way to do so than by hiring Wilkerson to help with the store’s liquidation sale. As Glenn puts it, with his credit card machine humming to the tune of up to 200 transactions a day, he couldn’t have done it without Wilkerson. “This is what they do,” he says. “This is what they do for everybody.”

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