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Plan Your Relaxation Seriously and More Tips for June




Plan Your Relaxation Seriously and More Tips for June

LEISURE, IN ITS modern form, is defined in contrast to work. It is something we do away from the workplace and it is essentially available only to those who do work (we don’t refer to the leisure time of the jobless). There is also an assumption it is superior to work. “Most people reflexively say they prefer being at home to being at work,” writes Winifred Gallagher in Rapt, a new book on the psychology of attention. But research suggests people are more likely to feel in the “flow” — when time falls away and they are mentally engaged — doing challenging tasks at work rather than at home watching TV. This is not to advocate workaholism. It’s an argument, Gallagher says, for paying as much attention to scheduling a productive weekend or summer break as you do your workday. Sure, planning how to relax seems like an oxymoron. But think of the alternative: Free time comes and you spend hours on YouTube, in a barely enjoyable state of passivity. Don’t waste the slow season.

The importance of saying 'I don't know'

Don’t be over-confident in your knowledge. Everybody can use some training some time.

Hire a Coach

Management is a bit like driving: Just about everyone is convinced they are at least average or better. The truth is, many of us could do with some extra training. It was this realization that spurred Star Sosa, the owner of Spectrum Art & Jewelry in Wilmington, NC, to hire a business coach. “Most of us never have any real training in management, we just muddle along.” Having also joined the Edge Retail Academy for extra help, she’s now on track to exceed her business goals. “If you aren’t learning, you can’t grow. There’s always more to learn,” Sosa says.

Profits and Losses

If you give discounts, you should be able to see them on your P&L statement so they can be measured, says Ken Kaufman, a Utah CFO of the Year. “After all, it really is an investment in customers. Don’t bury discounts against your revenue; illuminate them to track your return on this investment,” he writes in a blog titled “20 Indications Your Financials are Wrong” on the Amex OPEN Forum.

Class Monitor

Want to get some interesting feedback and fresh perspectives on your business management? Offer your store as a model for a small-business class at your local college. “You can gain great value from volunteering your small business for a university class as a ‘working-study,’” says Duane Thomas, on his business blog EdYouCation. Just bring your thickest skin as your decisions are challenged.

Photos Work Best on Facebook

Over the last year, Facebook has made it much more difficult for brand pages to reach the news feeds of their followers (without paying, that is). FB is insisting you earn your access: the more interactions a post receives, the more fans will see it in their feeds. And what do Facebook users like? It’s images, according to a study by Quintly, which monitored over 70,000 pages and 49 million posts. Photos had an average of 1,358 interactions per post, compared to a range of 250-600 for status updates, notes and promotional offers. So, get more active with those photos, inspirational quotes and infographics.


Setting the Table

Virginia (Ginger) Simonetti of 45 East Fine Jewelers in Rochester, NY, estimates she and her team have chalked up a couple of hundred years playing with colored gemstones. In the process, they’ve perfected the art of hosting a fun, relaxed gem table event. “The atrium outside the store is set with bistro tables, a trio plays jazz and the space is transformed into “45 East Bistro-for a night,” she explains. Hold on, reserve a seat for us!

Target Collectors

Here’s a neat idea to help you move ageing designer goods from Richard Frank at Goldstein’s Jewelry in Mobile, AL: Targeted postcards offering $100 off any item from a designer the client had previously purchased. While you’re bored of the item, it could be the opportunity your client has been waiting for. “It helped re-vitalize the designer,” says Frank


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Thinking of Liquidating? Think: Wilkerson

When Peter Reines, owner of Reines Jewelers in Charlottesville, VA, decided it was time to turn over the “reins” of his 45-year-old business to Jessica and Kevin Rogers, he chose Wilkerson to run his liquidation sale. It was, he says, the best way to maximize the return on his decades-long investment in fine jewelry. Now, with new owners at the helm, Reines can relax knowing that the sale was a success, and his new life is financially secure. And he’s glad he partnered with Wilkerson for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “There’s just no way one person or company could run a sale the way we did,” he says.

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