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Manager's To Do

3 Marketing Tips and More Manager’s Advice for April

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Apr. 2-7

TRAINING Hold a mini-conference right in your own office. Assign each staff member a topic for a 5- to 10-minute presentation. Extra team-building points if you make the event a pot luck!

SHOP Go through your jewelers’ bench and findings cabinet and melt or return findings that are more than one year old. Just like inventory, findings have turn and age, and if you haven’t used it in a year, you probably won’t ever, says repairs guru David Geller.

INVENTORY “Get into Balance to Buy or The Edge Pulse and run a report on fast sellers from last February and March with ‘0 on hand’ and reorder those items or some in a similar category or price point.” 

Apr. 9-14

APPRAISALS Use the slow months (April, July-September) to check client files to see who needs to have an appraisal updated. Send out a postcard reminder.

STAFF Ask employees for their summer vacation requests. And while you’re working on a roster, book some time off for yourself.

MARKETING Call a brainstorming meeting for Mother’s Day (May 14). Dad and child evening? Mom and daughter event? Cross promotion with a spa? Bring a list of ideas to the meeting.

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INVENTORY Scan your showcases. It’s time to make room for the upcoming buying season. Might also be time to look into launching that eBay account to clear those duds of yore.

Apr. 16-21

GENERAL Invest time in finding places where you can differentiate your business. These can be big and small. What does your door handle look like? What’s your telephone answering machine message sound like? What’s your 404 error page say? Could you make your cash register receipts more fun? Think of the power of 1,000 points of differentiation. And get busy.

MARKETING There are a string of mini-selling dates coming up including prom season, communions and graduation. Draw up a schedule for case displays and email bulletins.

Apr. 23-28

OPERATIONS Is your phone in a public part of the store? See if you can’t move it to a more private spot where conversations can remain confidential and won’t interfere with sales on the floor.

MARKETING Do you have traffic that goes behind your business? Yes? So, do you have signage behind your business that’s designed to draw that traffic? No? Mary Gillen of IdeaSiteForBusiness.com suggests you get busy. Check out the traffic flow around your location and place signs strategically to attract the attention of the busiest traffic flow.

INVENTORY Run some reports from last year’s bridal season. Your emphasis should be on wedding bands, bridal party gifts, and the mother of the bride, which is a growing category for many stores.

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Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

Considering Store Layout, Guilt-Easing Gift Ideas, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for November

And here’s a key scheduling tip for your holiday email marketing.

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Nov 3-9

STORE LAYOUT Look out for store fixtures that are too tall to allow shoppers to look across and take in your store. Fixtures that restrict visibility through the space kill the “spirit” of a store and the impulse to buy.

INVENTORY Investigate vendor spiffs. Your suppliers want their lines to succeed this season, so take advantage of the incentives they offer.

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ONLINE Mobile devices are expected to drive about 70 percent of all Christmas-related retail traffic this year. Test your website and any apps to ensure the customer experience on tablets and phones is working as well as on desktops. It often doesn’t.

Nov 10-16

MARKETING Post your advertising schedule in the back room. Make sure your staff is fully aware of what promotions will run when.

SALES Find “guilt-easing” gift ideas to go with gift cards or certificates. For bigger certificate amounts, have a “real” gift — like Belgian chocolates or a bottle of wine — close at hand that you can bundle in free.

Nov 17-23

MARKETING With only four weeks to go until Christmas, step up your email campaigns to twice per week. Schedule campaigns on Thursdays or Fridays to stimulate purchases over the weekend, when conversion rates typically peak.

MERCHANDISING Impulse buys can come in many price ranges and store locations. Rethink the way you normally position these items.

STAFF Show your team how much you appreciate their efforts. Take them out for an activity or nice meal. Team-building will make it easier to get through the weeks ahead.

Nov 24-30

GOODWILL Play Santa: Sneak a little gift into every wrapped item.

OPERATIONS Starting today, hold a short staff meeting every morning, keeping everyone informed on progress. Single out a separate item each day and discuss the best way to present it. Keep the meetings short and make sure they end on an upbeat note.

TRAINING Coach your associates to steer more. Urge them to ask about the colors that spouses or partners wear, whether they prefer gold or silver, and if they favor big or small earrings. Advise them to keep the number of recommendations limited.

MANAGEMENT You should now be in full holiday-season mode. For last-minute tips and promotional ideas, go to your own INSTORE archives (or our past issues at instoremag.com/digimag).

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A Good Idea for Thanksgiving, and More Important Dates for November

Includes a fitting tribute to the quiz show twenty questions.

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2 The quiz show TWENTY QUESTIONS MADE ITS DEBUT on national television on this day 70 years ago. Mark the occasion by brainstorming 20 questions to get your customers talking. Sami Fine Jewelry in Fountain Hills, AZ, came up with a list that ranged from icebreakers like “What kind of pets do you own?” to those with a specific sale in mind: “How would you like to be a hero for under $100?”

19 Mark management expert PETER DRUCKER’S BIRTHDAY by saying no to something that you feel is vaguely important, but if you were to be brutally realistic, you don’t have time for.

28 Get in the spirit of THANKSGIVING by sending a goodie bag to your best 50 customers (be sure to include a coupon). It’s likely they provide an outsized contribution to your success.

29 It’s showtime! BLACK FRIDAY marks the traditional start of the shopping season. Spur your holiday sales with a special coupon mailed to your customer list.

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Why National Bring Your Teddy Bear to Work Day Matters to Your Store, and More Important Dates for October

Don’t miss your chance to capitalize on Emotional Intelligence Awareness Month.

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1 Research estimates that 85 percent of an individual’s financial success can be attributed to their “human engineering skills” — that is, their ability to communicate and lead. During EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE AWARENESS MONTH, improve your ability to make others feel valued and understood. It requires good listening skills, empathy, and a commitment to inspire positive feelings.

1 At the start of CO-OP AWARENESS MONTH, weigh up the pros and cons of using co-op dollars for holiday advertising and make a decision based on your circumstances.

9 A little-appreciated fact: Teddy Bears look great in diamonds. On NATIONAL BRING YOUR TEDDY BEAR TO WORK DAY, feature a few bling-wearing teddies in your cases.

29 Today, THE INTERNET TURNS 50. If your online presence is little more than an electronic brochure for your store, sit down and map out a more aggressive online strategy.

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