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Manager's To Do

Shopping Tips for Show Season, P&L Advice and More May To-Do Items for Managers

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Apr. 30-May 6

WEBSITE Is the information in your “About Us” section purely factual, or are you using stories to help illustrate who you are? As Mark Twain said, “Don’t say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.” The best marketing writing is written to be said, not to be read. So give it a try, and then use the simple test of reading it out loud.

buying “Decide what markets we will be attending in Las Vegas and set a timeline to pull reports and review what product lines we’re going forward with, what we need to stock balance, and what products have not performed well.”

DISPLAYS Position your best Mother’s Day (May 13) specials in a showcase just inside the front door. Simplify the selection process by highlighting a few classic pieces or current trends.

May 7-13

MERCHANDISING Reel in the tax rebates: create a display of jewelry items that fall into the $100 to $300 range and promote them. That’s close to the sweet spot for fine fashion jewelry.

SALES Weekly sales meeting topic: What else? The run-in to Mother’s Day. Tell ‘em, “Leave nothing in the locker room! And nothing in the vault!” A spiff or sales game wouldn’t hurt ether.

May 14-20

BUYING Show season is on the way. Prepare a portfolio to present to prospective vendors with a letter of introduction that contains information about your store’s history, market demographics, other brands you carry, and your business’s credit ratings. Also, include marketing and promotional campaigns you’ve carried out and copies of magazine articles that mention your store. (Another reason to join the Brain Squad — hint, hint). 

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EVENTS Finalize plans for summer trunk shows and designer events. Confirm dates with vendors. Planning your catering now will allow you to negotiate volume discounts when multiple events are booked.

May 21-27

MARKETING We can see the intro now: “Want to know what will be the next big trend in jewelry? Janie Johnson of JJ’s Jewelry is just back from the world’s biggest jewelry show …” Before you head off to Vegas this year, get in touch with your local newspaper and promise to come back with something interesting.

FINANCES Business coach Laurie Owen recommends giving your P&L a spring makeover. Group expenses into categories, like salaries and benefits, marketing expenses, admin, etc. Then, next to the dollar amount, list the expense amount as a percentage of sales. “It helps you see when an expense is increasing as a percentage, and not just going up because your sales are increasing.That way, you don’t miss those creepers.”

May 28-June 3

INVENTORY Ever tried a “Christmas in July” promotion? Maybe this could be the year. Or if you’ve got a lot of lower-end inventory that won’t move, what about a sidewalk sale?

MARKETING Send your first Father’s Day (June 17) postcard this week.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Halfway Point of The Year, America’s Birthday and More Important July Dates

And mark Seinfeld’s cultural anniversary with an event “about nothing really.”

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5 If your customers are “thirty-something singles with vague identities, no roots, and conscious indifference to morals,” then they’d probably respond to a Seinfeld night to mark THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE PREMIERE of the groundbreaking TV show. Just tell them it’s basically an event about nothing — a few beers, peruse the cases and wonder if George should have bought a Superfit ring.

2 At noon today, THE MIDPOINT OF THE YEAR, the first half of 2019 will give way to the important business end. Get out your notes from your January planning meetings and see what adjustments, if any, need to be made to your business plan.

4 On AMERICA’S BIRTHDAY, put together a collection of independent American jewelry designers using American gemstones.

24 It took 63 years for Father’s Day to go from whimsical thought to presidential declaration. Who is to say COUSIN’S DAY won’t make the big time as well? Start promoting.

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National Selfie Day, Audio Book Appreciation Day and More June Dates to Mark

Happy Birthday to You: The world’s most sung song turns 160.

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21 What was once considered a petty self-indulgence is now viewed as a powerful marketing tool. Ahead of NATIONAL SELFIE DAY, draw up a strategy to get your customers to take more photos of themselves showing off their new jewelry or of themselves in front of any background featuring your business name. The ultimate goal is to get them to post the images on their social media pages.

1 During AUDIOBOOK APPRECIATION MONTH, do a Google search for “bestselling business audiobooks” and catch up on some of the great management advice that’s been published in the last few years.

19 The WORLD’S UGLIEST DOG CONTEST is held today. Hold a similar competition. Ask your staff to vote for what they believe is the most aesthetically challenged piece of jewelry in the store. Offer a spiff to whomever can sell it by the end of the summer Dog Days (Aug. 20).

27 “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU” turns 160. Offer to send a singing telegram to anyone who buys a gift for a loved one who shares a birthday with the world’s most sung song.

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Manager's To Do

An Action Plan for Vegas, Father’s Day Prep, A Risk Review and More Manager’s To-Do Actions for June

Inscribe these tips on your calendar to make this month more productive.

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JUN. 2-8

BUYING If you’re in Vegas for the JCK shows (May 31-June 3), make this year’s buying expedition a cooperative effort with the rest of the staff back in the store. Prime your smart phone, digital camera and laptop so that you can feed as much information back to your employees and get their feedback on what you find. Maybe even set up a Twitter feed to show them how hard you’re working.

MARKETING Ramp up your blogging this week. Comment on what’s new in Las Vegas and what has people buzzing. You don’t actually have to be at the show to do this — just offer your opinions based on the trade press reports (if you need inspiration, check instoremag.com each morning).

Podcast: Doug Meadows Shares the Ups and Downs of His Life as a Jeweler
JimmyCast

Podcast: Doug Meadows Shares the Ups and Downs of His Life as a Jeweler

Podcast: Against the Odds, a High School Student Fights to Keep the Family Jewelry Store Alive
Over the Counter

Podcast: Against the Odds, a High School Student Fights to Keep the Family Jewelry Store Alive

Podcast: Doug Hucker Discusses His Colorful Life on ‘The Barb Wire’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Doug Hucker Discusses His Colorful Life on ‘The Barb Wire’

JUN. 9-15

SALES MEETING Go through your plans for the run-up to Father’s Day. Get your staff to think beyond the traditional, especially if it’s a younger dad — fashion jewelry is growing with this set. Be ready to suggest gift cards as well; men can be a picky bunch when it comes to what they may receive from a jewelry store.

PERSONAL Shake up your routine. With pen and paper, write a thank-you note to someone who’s influenced you in your career. Don’t forget to mail it.

MANAGEMENT Creating a risk management plan involves more than getting affordable rates for insurance premiums. In the long run, avoiding potential claims is the single biggest step you can take to keep your risks (and costs) down. The Small Business Administration (sba.gov) makes available a helpful guide to minimize risk.

JUN. 16-22

FURNISHINGS Need any new office furniture? Now is the time to pick some up; showrooms are making room for new lines that come out in August.

STORE Update your in-store video loop. For a change, forget the promotional videos and run something that’s got nothing to do with selling at all — Finding Dory, maybe, or some surfing clips.

OPERATIONS What’s your pre-opening drill? If it’s “All hands on deck!” you may want to try something more systematic. Many retailers use a 10-point checklist to make sure that all the important things are taken care of before they open the doors.

JUN. 23-29

MANAGEMENT We’ve recommended it dozens of times and we’re sure you haven’t done it: sign up for Toastmasters. (Find a club near you at toastmasters.org). In no time, you’ll be welcoming invitations to talk publicly.

LEGAL Brush up on your compliance. Check the Federal Trade Commission’s guides on disclosure. Go to ftc.gov and enter “jewelry guides” in the search box.

MERCHANDISING Gather with your staff to inspect your show finds and go through what you ordered during the recent buying season. Develop a product launch plan and schedule training to ensure the successful sell-through.

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