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Give Employees Range to Innovate and Let Them Win Once in a While and More Tips

Get a cat!




MEOW MIXBe Cool with Cats

One quick way to make your store feel more homey: get a cat. Unprofessional? Nope, it’s fun, friendly, and quirky. At least that’s the feeling at one of Abercrombie & Fitch’s new Hollister stores in Kansas City, where a resident cat lounges on its choice of the store’s many comfortable chairs. If this big, corporate entity can do it, so can you.

MY NAME IS URLGet a New Address

Type in and you’re directed to the website of Raymond Lee Jewelers, “South Florida’s biggest estate buyers”. Smart move! Could you increase your off-the-street purchases by purchasing your own, easy-to-remember URL?

BOSS HOGLet Staff Win

You may be the boss, but that doesn’t mean you should win all arguments. Ease up, says Phil Dusenberry of top ad agency BBDO in a profile in Fast Company magazine. Cede a debating point, the execution of an idea, or even ownership of a concept at least once a day, and your staff will praise your open-mindedness and feel more free to act boldly.


Looking for a new location? One way to get a quick overview, literally, of a spot you’re interested in is by using Google Earth. The free program provides detailed satellite pictures of locations around the United States. How detailed? (This writer used it to find his boyhood home … learning that the new owners had one silver and one white car, and that they had installed an above-ground pool in the backyard. Why not in-ground? Live a little!) All in all, one cool tool!


Great site for web design advice and inspiration: Other sites show you what was hot two years ago … this one shows you what works today.


Automotive giant Chrysler has found the best creative results are not produced by people with unlimited range to innovate. Instead, the company’s most successful projects come when boundaries are strictly defined. So be specific in the goals you set: “I want a new earring post that can be removed in 15 seconds with a single hand.” or “I want a new customer-service initiative that will increase our feedback ratings by 50% with an expense of less than 50 cents per customer.”



Opening a new, high-end store? Collect your store’s finest pieces, and perhaps even bring some special pieces in from outside, then have a special event where you invite all the newspaper and magazine editors you can find to try them on. Pamper them, give them full makeovers, make them “Queens for a Day.” You’ll be paid in full by all the breathless feature coverage you receive.

AUTHOR, AUTHORMake It Literary

Want to give your marketing copy more impact? Try what Roy Williams, the “Wizard of Ads”, calls “Frosting” or “Seussing” it. The first technique, named for poet Robert Frost, means “transforming drab communication into razor-edged wordsmanship.” The second, after children’s author Dr. Seuss, invites you to make up your own words to spice up common, predictable sales prose.


Inspirational quote from Albert Einstein — undoubtedly, one very smart man. “There are two ways to live your life. One is as if everything is a miracle and the other as though nothing is a miracle.”



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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