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David Squires

Editor’s Note: Start Me Up!

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LET’S GO BACK TO THE VERY BEGINNING…

IN LIFE, we all start the same way ? bald, nude and crying. 

And you know what, it’s pretty much the same way when we start off in retail. (Of course, we’re talking metaphorically here.) But the fact is, every one of us is once again an infant when we open our first business. Every choice seems a terrifying puzzle. What locations to choose? How much inventory to carry? Should we advertise? And every new experience is a shock. First customer. First sale. First complaint. First return. First cash crunch.  

Little by little, we gain our feet. And with increasing frequency, we start to think, ?You know what, I can really do this!? And then even that thought stops coming, because it’s no longer a point of surprise ? it’s a given. It’s an important stage of development, but also one that’s bittersweet. Because, face it, we will all miss the drama inherent in the beginning of all things.  

This month, we’re going to give you that feeling again. In our lead story, called ?Beginnings?, five different retailers share the stories of their starts. All faced challenges, all dealt with fears and doubts, and all came out on the other side as solid, profitable ? and in some cases even wildly successful ? businesses. It’s a story we think you’ll enjoy for the lessons our retailers have to share ? not to mention the vicarious opportunity to start your business all over again. Enjoy the tales! 

Wishing you the very best business …
David Squires 
Executive Editor And Associate Publisher 
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Wilkerson Testimonials

When It’s Time for Something New, Call Wilkerson

Fifty-four years is a long time to stay in one place. So, when Cindy Skatell-Dacus, owner of Skatell’s Custom Jewelers in Greenville, SC decided to move on to life’s next adventure, she called Wilkerson. “I’d seen their ads in the trade magazines for years,’ she says, before hiring them to run her store’s GOB sale. It was such a great experience, Skatell-Dacus says it didn’t even seem like a sale was taking place. Does she have some advice for others thinking of a liquidation or GOB sale? Three words, she says: “Wilkerson. Wilkerson. Wilkerson.”

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David Squires

Launch “Project Brainstorm” in Your Business

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Do you have an employee suggestion box, but there’s never anything in it? Bob Nelson, author of 1,001 Ways To Energize Employees, suggests adding some urgency to this timeless idea-generating device by keeping it open only for a short period … perhaps one or two weeks at a time, once or twice a year. Call these periods “Project Brainstorm,” and create a team that will decide definitively (within seven days after the box “closes”) whether and how to implement the ideas. Boost participation by offering rewards to those whose brainstorms are used.


This article originally appeared in the March 2017 edition of INSTORE.

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David Squires

Editor’s Note: A Tale of Success

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This little department has been
a key part of “the INSTORE experiment.”

This article originally appeared in the July 2016 edition of INSTORE.


News flash: We’re now 175 issues into
the INSTORE experiment, which can be
defined as “producing business media that
tells the story of its readers’ lives while also
teaching and inspiring them.”

One of the departments we’ve had since
the very beginning is “True Tales.” And it’s
a perfect example of what makes the
INSTORE experiment so special — it’s
content that grabs your interest, makes
you laugh, makes you gasp, and sometimes
gives you a little shiver of excitement that
you do what you do for a living.


“IT MAKES YOU
LAUGH, MAKES
YOU GASP, AND
SOMETIMES
SHIVER.”


I’d guess-timate that we’ve probably
run 250 of your stories over the years. And
while everybody probably has their own
memorable favorites, the incredible thing
about this department is the quality of all
the submissions you’ve shared with us.
That’s because, while we’ve probably seen
enough gut-churning stories of “Could you
turn this (horrifying random object) into
a piece of jewelry?” to last a lifetime, the
amazing thing is that there’s nary a dud
in the bunch. Every one of these jewelers’
stories will make you feel something.

This month’s special lead feature-length
collection of the best True Tales we’ve
received in recent years is no different. Lie
back on your beach chair, pick up this issue
and read of the store owner with a diabolically
cruel ceremony for handing a new
hire their first paycheck, an intimidatingly
angry woman who melted in the face of a
little kindness, and the woman who bought
herself a ring to celebrate 25 years of marriage
(between three different husbands.)
And many, many more.

Enjoy your summer, and have a blast
with this issue!

DAVID SQUIRES


ONE QUICK QUESTION

Cities around the
country are raising
the minimum
hourly wage. How
high would it have
to go in your market to put serious
pressure on your
earnings?

$10

16%

$15

33%

$20

39%

$25

7%

Over $25

5%

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David Squires

Editor’s Note: Shop Like You Mean It

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Buying the right products
is the key to store success.

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 edition of INSTORE.


What makes your store your store? What is
the most important factor that makes your
store unique and appeal to customers?

Is it your awesome decor? Your incredible
service? Is it your low, low prices? Or
maybe it’s your bandana-wearing pet labrador
curled up in front of the showcase in the
center of the sales floor?

Of course, the answer is that it could be
all of these things. (I mean, who can resist
a friendly Labrador with a bandana around
his neck? Nobody, that’s who.)

But the thing at the very center of your
store personality is the products you carry.

There are two ways to make sure your
store has the right product. One is by
purchasing the brands you know your community wants and then simply screaming
as loud as you can that you have those
products. The second is by convincing local
customers that you are the brand and that
you can always be trusted to find the perfect
accessory or statement piece for anybody
who walks through your door.


“AS ALWAYS,
GO WITH A PLAN,
BUT LEAVE SOME
ROOM IN THAT
PLAN FOR A LITTLE
SERENDIPITY.”


This year’s annual Las Vegas Buying
Guide is a perfect guide for either type of
jeweler, offering 10 painstakingly curated
product categories. You’ll find the year’s
most dominant trends (two-stone rings and
layered necklaces), plus emerging categories
(pink gems, chokers and colored stone
clusters), as well as several others (smartwatches
and jewelry including lab-grown
diamonds) that present an opportunity to
expand into a brand-new sales category.

As always, go with a plan, but leave some
room in that plan for a little serendipity.
Ready to start shopping? Turn to page 62
for our annual product preview.

DAVID SQUIRES


ONE QUICK QUESTION

If you work with
family and had
the chance to do
it all over again,
would you?

7%

Never.

19%

Probably not.

31%

Yes, but with better
ground rules.

43%

Yes. That’s the best part
about the business.

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