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Tip Sheet

Tip Sheet: February 2013

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OPERATIONSDaily Encouragement

A research study in Canada has found that people who receive regular weight-loss advice in the form of emails or tweets dropped more pounds than those who didn’t get the reminders. We figure the same must apply when it comes to good business advice. If you haven’t already, sign up for INSTORE’s WorkSmart daily tips here: instoremag.com/bulletins.

Easy Financials

It’s a true but sad fact that many jewelers don’t fully understand the financial statements their accountants prepare for them. If that’s you, “get with it,” says David Abrams, owner of Grand Jewelers in Ontario, CA. “If you don’t know how to read your monthly/ yearly balance sheet, spend time with your accountant and have him explain it,” says the veteran jeweler. Note that there’s no one correct way to set out financial information. It just needs to be understandable — to you. Your first target should be a document that can be read at a glance — eight lines is enough for a monthly report — but that flashes a red light to indicate any emerging problems.

Thermo Statistics

Think you can save a few dollars by leaving the temperature low in your store? Think again, say researchers at Cornell University, who did a study that involved tinkering with the thermostat of an insurance office. When temperatures were low (68 degrees), employees committed 44 percent more errors and were less than half as productive as when temperatures were cozy (77 degrees). The drop in performance makes sense. When our body’s temperature drops, we expend energy keeping ourselves warm, making less energy available for concentration.

SALESDrool-Worthy

A savory or sweet smell, as you might expect, makes a shopper hungry — and not just for freshbaked chocolate chip cookies. “They get your saliva glands going, and that makes you hungry,” Paco Underhill, author of Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping, told the Los Angeles Times recently. “And when you’re hungry, you’re more apt to buy anything, not just food.”

Watch the Moms

At the leading edge of adopting new retail technology is a surprising group: moms. They’re all for anything they can do to save time and effort when it comes to shopping — including new tools and online support communities. According to the American Mom Report from BabyCenter and ComScore, new mothers were more than three times as likely to text a picture of a product before purchasing it as normal shoppers. Moms also view shopping as competitive in terms of saving and are much more likely to scan a bar code or QR code to save money — even for savings under $5.

Bring Out the Trays

Perry’s Fine, Antique & Estate Jewelry in Charlotte, NC, runs against the crowd when it comes to the conventional wisdom that you show customers a few edited choices. “Whereas most jewelry stores can only give you one or two pieces at a time, we provide you with entire trays to view in one sitting. You can try on as many pieces as you like in a comfortably elegant setting with one-on-one sales service,” says store VP Hadley Perry Pacheco. “It’s like playing in your own jewelry box at home. If you want to try on a hundred pieces at once, you can! Our customers love it,” she says.

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YOUR STOREBlog Fodder

The notion of creating a sea of content that Google can’t ignore may seem daunting, but it’s actually easy to get started, says Marcus Sheridan, whose relatively small Georgia-based pool and spa company is rated No. 1 in Google for pool manufacturers in his region. “If you want to be great with content marketing there’s one rule: They ask, you answer,” Sheridan tells PR News. “When embarking on a company blog, start with the questions you get every day. Take those 100 questions, and you turn them into 100 blog posts with those questions transformed into the titles. If you write two times per week, that’s a whole year’s worth of content,” he says.

Fee Rage

Have you ever wondered why you get so outraged at bank fees or even mini-bar prices? Sure, it’s a rip-off, but it’s only a couple of bucks. The reason is that the brain’s insula cortex, which is normally triggered by foul odors (and pain), has been activated and we literally feel disgusted by “unfair” transactions, writes William Poundstone in his book Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value. The flip side is that bargains make us feel good about ourselves. Even the most useless junk in the world is appealing if the price feels like a steal.

Customer Candidates

Next time you’re looking to make a new hire, it may pay to consider your best customers. Writing in Knowledge at Wharton, Professor Marshall Fisher notes: “They are enthusiastic; good at explaining the products; and the employee discount is very valuable to them.”

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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Downsizing? Wilkerson Is Here to Help

Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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