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Manager's To Do

Valentine’s Day Planning, Financial Tricks and More Manager’s To-Do Actions for February

Try these ideas to make the month more productive.

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Feb. 4-9

MARKETING If you’ve been dispensing the same proposal advice for the last 20 years, it’s time for an update. Check out the AGS’s Perfect Proposal Toolkit (https://americangemsocietyblog.org/category/proposal/) , which provides tips for romantic, funny, adventurous, “2.0” and simple proposals, as well as ideas to ensure you get in on some of the selfie action.

Podcast: An Explosive Prank and More Tales of Dumb Things Done in Jewelry Stores
JimmyCast

Podcast: An Explosive Prank and More Tales of Dumb Things Done in Jewelry Stores

Podcast: Until the Very End, This Cancer Patient Created Jewelry Memories for Her Family
Over the Counter

Podcast: Until the Very End, This Cancer Patient Created Jewelry Memories for Her Family

Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry
Over the Counter

Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry

PERSONAL If you want your business to stay healthy, you’ve got to keep yourself healthy, first. Says Ellen Hertz of Max’s (St. Louis Park, MN): “I block out certain days and times on my calendar to support my workout schedule. If I put it on my calendar, I’m more likely to make it happen.”

MERCHANDISING Draft your kids, your staff’s kids, anyone’s kids to create some Valentine’s Day cards on simple card stock. Put them in the showcases with a small sign identifying each young artist. “While you are at it, have them make a few tent cards with product info on your best V-day gift ideas,” says display expert Larry Johnson.

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E-MARKETING Send out two slightly different e-mail blasts to your database, distinguished by gender. The message for men: we will solve your V-Day headache. Check out our “can’t miss” gift ideas. For women: share the love with friends.

Feb. 11-16

TRAINING Reinforce the need for sales presentations to highlight the emotional aspects of jewelry buying. Valentine’s Day is a straight emotional play.

E-MARKETING Resend e-mails to all those customers who opened last week’s V-Day blast. They’re interested.

STAFF Share the love on Thursday morning. Buy chocolates for your employees this Valentine’s Day. Inscribe the card, “Love your work!”

Feb. 18-23

DISPLAY Write a “designer profile” for each designer you carry. Put on “cue cards” left near the appropriate line of merchandise.

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MANAGEMENT Ask staff to write out their answer to this question: “Why do you get up in the morning and why should our customers care?” You may just find a new mission statement in those answers.

Feb. 25-Mar. 2

FINANCES There’s no one correct way to arrange the information on a profit-and-loss statement. If you have trouble easily understanding yours, ask your accountant to arrange the information so you can tell instantly what went right (or wrong) in the previous month.

FINANCES Check with your bank to see if they offer payroll assistance. Many banks now provide a service that allows you to log onto their website and enter your workers’ hours. The bank then makes a direct deposit into employees’ checking account as well as paying your federal and state withholding taxes.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

A Trick to Selling More Platinum, And Other Manager’s To-Do Items for September

And here are some great tips for infographics in your store.

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Sep. 1-7

INVENTORY The economy may be slowing a tad, but the wealthy keep getting richer. That is allowing more people to trade up from the standard 1-carat diamond engagement ring. But to sell 2-, 3-, or 4-carat pieces, you need to have a few on hand, says David Brown of the Edge Retail Academy. Start experimenting with more expensive bridal sets.

MARKETING Conduct an advertising review. If it’s bridal sales you desire, put that shotgun away. Pick one or two advertising media, based on their reach and return on investment, and concentrate on them. That requires courage and perseverance, but it’s the surest way to break through the chatter and win that key top-of-mind presence in your local market that will deliver engagement ring sales.

Sep. 8-14

STAFF Few things are more important to staff than having the sense that their work matters. As bridal season approaches, make it a constant refrain in your strategy meetings: you’re helping people with one of the most important decisions of their life.

SHOWROOM “It’s remarkable,” says merchandising expert Sally Furrer, “how often diamond areas are underlit in stores.” Crank up the lights.

Sep. 15-21

TRAINING The rise of the bead phenomenon in the last decade caused many jewelers to cut back on diamond sales training. If that happened in your store, look to bring in a trainer who specializes in bridal goods. It’s a whole different skill set.

MARKETING Twitter’s search function, along with free applications like TweetDeck, can be great tools for market research and lead generation. Start monitoring your competitors’ brand names and hashtags to see what people are saying about them and you. Set keywords related to bridal sales in your market and don’t be afraid to follow up (unsolicited messages from strangers is a fact of life in the Twitter-sphere).

Sep. 22-28

SOCIAL Want to take your social media efforts to the next level while educating your clientele about bridal in a way they’ll remember? Think infographics. Whether charting the evolution of diamond cuts or providing tips on ring cleaning, infographics are a great shareable way to communicate your message. Try these free infographic websites: Piktochart.com, Venngage.com, Easel.ly.

SALES Want to sell more platinum? Highlight its staying power. Keep an old white-gold ring and an old platinum one behind the counter to show customers what happens to the two metals after a few years. One of platinum’s strengths is the durability of its white color, which won’t fade or change (like an enduring love, hint, hint) and will continue to complement a diamond, as opposed to white gold, which fades to yellow.

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Yarr! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day and More Important Dates for September

“I’ll be paying top dollar for whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chest.”

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19 Many jewelers seem to have forgotten what a lucrative earner gold buying can be. Luckily, International Talk Like A Pirate Day is here to remind you. Yarr, have some fun with your advertising. “Yes, me hearties, Cap’n Jack Black Diamond has gone straight. I’ll be paying top dollar for your doubloons, old lockets or whatever golden loot ye’ve got stashed in your little treasure chests. Come see the Cap’n before the sharks get ye.”

01 On NATIONAL NO RHYME (NOR REASON) DAY, challenge your customers on social media to come up with words that can’t be rhymed. Three you can probably put to good use in your posts that day are “spirit,” “silver” and “woman.”

06 Today is FIGHT PROCRASTINATION DAY, and if you’re one of the many afflicted, try this trick: when jotting down a to-do item, keep rephrasing it until it involves the use of your limbs: “Pick up phone and call …”, “Open laptop and search for …”

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.

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19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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