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The Big Survey 2020: Management & Staff




62. How many full-time employees do you have? (Or average per store)

None, but I have some part-time help
More than 10

63. Check off the “benefits” you have stopped providing staff this year:

Paid vacation
Paid sick days
Medical insurance
Dental insurance
Merchandise discounts
401K plan
Life insurance
Financial support for education
Disability insurance
Paid maternity leave
Pension plan
Full-time employment
I didn’t cut any of my staff’s hours or benefits

64. What small good habit, if done every day over the course of a year, can lead to the biggest improvement in your business?

man with mask wave hand

Top answers stressed expressing a positive attitude, communicating effectively with staff and expressing gratitude for clients, along with the importance of keeping track of financials. In jewelers’ own words:

  • Smile, even
 behind your
  • Call at least 10 customers a day.
  • Being visible. I find that if it’s slow, sometimes the staff hides behind the register.
  • Showing up at the store really helps.
  • Make the thing you want to do least the first thing you do.
  • Showing an extra item after the customer has made their main buying decision. We just sold a pair of earrings for $35,000; the add-on was a ring for $125,000.
  • Communicating with everyone on staff, every day, in a positive manner. Even a simple “good morning” or “how are you?” can do wonders with mood and attitude, and that bleeds over in their interactions as well.
  • I try to read and learn something new/small every day. Sometimes it’s jewelry related, sometimes it’s exploring a feature in my POS and website, sometimes it’s reading about marketing trends.
  • Spending 10 minutes every morning reviewing the financials.
  • Show high-ticket items to every customer.
  • Cutting costs. If this is a daily focus, the profit margin can go up even faster than sales can rise.
  • Show my employees that I like every one of my customers and don’t discuss my complaints out loud about my clients.
  • Morning huddle.
  • Make priority lists. List the daily three top items to do, weekly items, then monthly and quarterly.
  • I ask every repair customer if there are any special occasions coming up they need something for. I mention we buy gold scrap or take it in trade during each transaction.
  • Update my website daily, even if I make small changes.
  • Sending thank you cards to our customers.
  • Reordering best sellers.
  • Cleaning.
  • Welcome people.

65. What small bad habit if eliminated can lead to the biggest improvement in your business?

The top mentions were procrastination, holding onto inventory, being late to work, and distractions related to social media. In jewelers’ words:

  • Saying “I’ll get to it tomorrow.”
  • Keeping the inventory you love for 12 years because it will sell any day now.
  • Playing on Instagram while you should be working on appraisals or leads, etc.
  • Cellphones on the sales floor.
  • Over-thinking. This is the leading cause of stress.
  • Don’t do “off the cuff” estimates. Go to the Geller Blue Book. Stick to the pricing.
  • Saying yes to everything.
  • Buying without a plan and a strategy.
  • Not offering to clean people’s jewelry.
  • Failure to train or delegate.
  • Bringing in pieces better for museums than daily wear.
  • Worrying about the commission on a sale and instead focusing on the sale being made in general.
  • Sloppy displays = sloppy looking jewelry.
  • Stop talking and listen more.
  • Not following up on sales.

66. What will be your No. 1 priority in the next year?

big survey 2020-next year priority

COMMENT: Geller calls it a “good thing” so many jewelers are focused on growth, but to do this, he recommends they focus on boosting closing rates given the marketing costs of bringing in traffic. “If you now sell only four of the 10 people coming in but you could do training and sell five of them, sales would increase 25%. This is HUGE.” As for “Boosting profitability”, rather than aim to lift product margins (tough in the online era), he says it’s easier to increase turn and shop profits. Meanwhile, the Edge Retail Academy’s David Brown views the 9% of owners focused on their exit as low. “If owners have an early eye on their exit strategies, they are more likely to make better decisions that will impact their lifestyle, their retirement nest egg and ultimately the price they get for their store.”



Moving Up — Not Out — with Wilkerson

Trish Parks has always wanted to be in the jewelry business and that passion has fueled her success. The original Corinth Jewelers opened in the Mississippi town of the same name in 2007. This year, Parks moved her business from its original strip mall location to a 10,000-square foot standalone store. To make room for fresh, new merchandise, she asked Wilkerson to organize a moving sale. “What I remember most about the sale is the outpouring excitement and appreciation from our customers,” says Parks. Would she recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers? “I would recommend Wilkerson because they came in, did what they were supposed to and made us all comfortable. And we met our goals.”

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