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

Get a cat!

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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 www.webuybigdiamonds.com 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.

EYE IN THE SKYChalk One Up

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!

WEBBED FEATGet Ideas Here

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

SPECIFIC, TERRIFIC!Sept Parameters

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.”

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ROYAL TREATMENTPly The Press

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.

LIVE THE MIRACLERead This

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.”

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at [email protected].

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Wilkerson Testimonials

Gone Fishin’ (Thanks to Wilkerson)

Whether you want to go fishing — or enjoy some of the other good things life has to offer — you can take a cue from Jim Adair and choose Wilkerson to run your retirement sale. After 38 years in business, Adair decided it was time to enjoy some free time. His Missoula, Montana store, Adair Jewelers, will stay in business but without him at the helm. It was the perfect opportunity to call in the experts in retirement sales. Adair says he spoke to a lot of people who have done retirement sales to help him make his decision and he chose Wilkerson. “Wilkerson seemed to have the best set up, the best organization, the most current marketing of any of them,” he says. “If you want to run a successful sale, you have too much money on the line to be screwing around with trying to do it yourself.”

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