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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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VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Gene the Jeweler

Gene Shows His Competitive Spirit ... and It's Not Pretty

In this episode of Jimmy DeGroot’s satirical Gene the Jeweler series, Gene answers a viewer question: “It looks like you have a laser welder in your shop. Should I get one?” Gene suspects he knows who sent the query. He’s not pleased. In fact, the situation brings out the worst of Gene’s competitive spirit.

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Manager's To Do

Get Everything In Place For Mother’s Day, Spring Clean Your Shop and More To-Do Items for April

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Mar 31-Apr 6

INVENTORY Start your Mother’s Day (May 12 this year) preparations by going through last year’s data. Compare popular price points with what you have in stock now.

MERCHANDISING If you haven’t done it yet, buy white cotton gloves for everyone to wear when they’re moving product around — they keep skin oil off jewelry and prevent sterling goods from tarnishing.

Apr 7-13

BUYING The biggest names in bridal fashion will showcase their spring and summer collections during Bridal Fashion Week in New York. Will last year’s royal wedding still influence trends? Tune in to the online coverage to find out what is likely to get young brides excited this year.

MARKETING Get ready for Mother’s Day by planning a “Dad and child early evening out.” Select a shortlist of gifts for Dad and the kids to choose from. Offer gift-wrapping. Send out your first round of emails or mailers by the middle of April.

Apr. 14-20

NETWORKING Contact any churches, synagogues or women’s groups in your area. Tell them you’ll speak for free about gemstones and jewelry at their luncheon meetings.

TECHNOLOGY Everyone complains about the distractions of digital technology, but then they let every app on their phone buzz and flash at them all day long. Today, turn off your notifications. All of them, if you can (with the exception of web-connected smoke alarms, of course.)

Apr 21-27

FINANCIALS Review your cash-flow projections. With the economy in a state of flux, it’s easy to run into a mismatch between the cash flowing in, what you’re taking out, and what you owe your vendors.

INVENTORY Finalize Father’s Day watch and jewelry orders. And don’t forget anniversary jewelry — your ticket to profiting from all those June weddings of years past.

Apr 28-May 4

SALES Set up T.O. teams, recommends sales trainer Shane Decker. When you see two people who work well together, schedule them together. “The success of a T.O. team — two different selling personalities or opposite genders paired together — can skyrocket,” Decker says.

WORKSHOP More spring cleaning, this time in the shop. Use a steam cleaner on your tools but get rid of anything you have not used in a year. Straighten up your bench. Having things where you can find them leads to more efficiency and fewer headaches.

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Siblings Day, National Volunteer Week and More Important April Dates

Seize on this date to own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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10 Sure, sometimes they wouldn’t surrender the TV remote, and you had to wear red because they got the blue top, and they never seemed to do their fair share of the dishes … But they are also the only other people on the planet who understand what weirdos your parents are. On National Siblings Day, remind your customers of all this. Siblings are like the best friends we never asked for but are really glad we have. They deserve a nice surprise gift — in red.

7 On National Volunteer Week, pick up litter on roadsides or in your local creek, serve food to homeless, repaint the children’s shelter; do something to give back to your community.

14 On Be Kind to Lawyers Day, send a cheery note of thanks to yours for their hard work keeping your business safe from legal jeopardy.

30 Those honored on National Honesty Day are given “Abes” to mark their commitment to truthfulness. Sponsor an event at a local school. Own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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Manager's To Do

Capitalizing on Valentine’s Engagement Sales, March Madness and More March To-Dos

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Mar. 3-9

BUDGETING Time to get started on making a budget for the 2019 buying season and get ready to trade in old inventory for new inventory. Also, if possible, have an inventory reduction sale to get rid of the dated inventory before going to Vegas.

SALES FLOOR Beware the ex-brides of March! Divorce filings are highest this month. Do you have a script ready explaining why the resale value of an engagement ring may not meet the customer’s expectations? If not, get busy.

Video: How to Hire the Best People for Your Jewelry Store
Jimmy Degroot

Video: How to Hire the Best People for Your Jewelry Store

Video: Jim Ackerman on Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should
Jim Ackerman

Video: Jim Ackerman on Why Your Digital Marketing Doesn’t Work Like the Experts Say It Should

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store
Jimmy Degroot

Video: Don’t Miss the Biggest Opportunity to Improve Profits in Your Jewelry Store

MARKETING Remember all those clients who bought engagement rings in advance of Valentine’s Day? Call to see what their plans are for wedding bands.

Mar. 10-16

MERCHANDISE It’s March. Embrace the madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Finals starts on March 17 and runs through to April 8. It’s a great chance to clear out old inventory with a quick Sheer Madness Sale! At the very least, organize a pool for staff.

SHOWROOM Is your custom area as friendly as it could be? Does it feature a gallery highlighting past designs, portraits of satisfied customers, updated displays, appropriate lighting, a signature scent?

Mar. 17-23

MARKETING Hold a Prom Dress Party. Encourage girls to bring their dresses into the store and try on jewelry with the dress. Identify pieces to excite them at prices that will entice a sale (that means jewelry with a big look for less money).

MERCHANDISING Pull out your promotional calendar and view it from the perspective of using the events to manage and reduce specific inventory. Annual customer appreciation sales, trunk shows, open houses, and repair/jewelry remodeling events can all give your finances an even greater boost if you execute them with a view to moving certain items.

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MANAGEMENT Download a time tracker to your phone and start logging how you spend your work life — not because there’s much value in the record you create, but because the very act of recording can have a powerful psychological impact, leading you to use your time much more efficiently. (Warning: Brace yourself to be alarmed at how you fritter away time.)

Mar. 24-30

SHOWROOM In one analysis of a university building in Oregon, workers on the greenery-facing side took 19 percent fewer sick days. It apparently has to do with how we evolved to function best in nature-rich settings. If you can’t knock a side wall out to provide a view of the glorious outdoors, buy a few potted plants to place around your sales floor.

PERSONAL Take an inventory of your tech use and evaluate each item for its usefulness, working on the assumption that if something can’t justify itself, it’s out. Exit the social networks you barely use and get rid of the apps that, when you think about it, have no benefit. Yep, that means Candy Crush may have to go.

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