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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: January 2015

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Good Things in a Jar

Forget grandiose New Year’s resolutions. Instead, take one small step to a more fulfilling, positive and memorable life with a “Good Things Jar.” Each day starting Jan. 1, write down on a slip of paper every good thing that happens to you and then toss it in the jar. “On Dec, 31st, open it up and read all the amazing things that happened to you that year,” says Walter Chen, whose iDoneThis blog encourages people swap 1-minute stories about their day’s highlights. Or if you don’t want to wait until the end of the year, just dip into it whenever you’re feeling blue.

Get Organized

It’s time bring your to-do list into the 21st century, with a smartphone app. To hold yourself accountable, share your lists among friends via wunderlist.com or Taskworld.com. To gamify the process, try CARROT or habitRPG. Or for just a nice, clean interface, opt for Task.

Stop Aging

2015 is the year you stop aging. Mentally, at least. “Don’t accept the premise that growing older equals feeling worse. Chronological aging is inevitable; physical and psychological aging less so,” Dr. Larry Lipshultz recently told Men’s Health. “To stay younger longer, pick an age when you felt the most vigorous and keep this as the focal point for the way you live your life.”

Made to Measure

It’s generally hard to make an impression on a piece of cardstock that’s 2 by 3.5 inches, but German jeweler Marrying definitely found a winner with its nifty business cards, which can be rolled to measure a women’s ring size. The idea is that a man can use the card to check the size of his girlfriend’s current rings, saving him the rather obvious reveal of saying: “Hey baby, what’s your ring size? … What? No reason.”

Ideal Positioning

Standing out in a crowded market place is one of the hardest things to do as a small business owner. But it really just comes down to imagination — and boldness. Von Bargen’s Jewelry in Burlington, VT, shows how to do it with its focus on ideal cuts: All the rounds it sells are ideal, even the small stones down to 0.02, a fact it proudly announces in its marketing. Who could argue with ideal?

T.G.I.F.F.

Days like Small Business Saturday show the power of picking a date and promoting the heck out it. But you don’t have to wait until the holiday season to enjoy the potential boost to sales. Just about any day can work (although alliteration seems to help). Recently, we’ve seen a lot more stores doing “First Fridays” with special offers. The days get clients in the store and the sales team excited. Anything, after all, is an improvement on Normal Fridays.

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The Angry Man in the Mirror

Is there a place dissatisfied customers tend to target, like your main sales counter or your bench take-in area? If so, put up mirror facing the customer. This way angry customers who approach you will have to see themselves in the mirror behind you and the chances of them behaving irrationally lowers significantly.

The $5 Plan to Debt Freedom

Here’s a financial plan that won’t fund your retirement but may help you pay down a chunk of your credit card bill. It’s known as the “Five Dollar Plan.” Whenever you a customer hands over a $5 bill — the least common small note in circulation — set aside. Save four bills a day, and after three months you’ll have racked up $1,825 to lower your credit card bill without even trying.

Boost Your Memory

It’s likely getting in shape was among your New Year’s resolutions. But it’s not just your body that needs to be challenged regularly. Your brain too responds to a good workout, and one of the best ways to try to do normal daily activities — such as having a shower or tying your shoe laces — with your eyes closed. “It will break your routine and fully engage your senses,” helping you to refine your focus and boost your memory, sys Ron White, a two-time winner of the USA Memory Championship.

 

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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