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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.

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Podcast: Millennial Gem Trader Dave Bindra Steps Into ‘The Barb Wire’
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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 76 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Manager's To Do

Add These Dates to Your To-Do List to Ensure a Productive May

Mother’s Day, the Vegas shows, summer and more guarantee it will be a busy month.

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May 5-11

SALES Everything should be in place for Mother’s Day (May 12). Remind salespeople that it’s a fantastic opportunity for add-on sales in the form of matching jewelry. What have you bundled for dad and daughter to buy together for Mom?

PLANNING If you’ve typically taken your annual vacation in July, why not shake things up a bit and opt for vacation in August this year? Who knows what your community’s jewelry needs are like in July if you’ve never really been present.

STRATEGY Vegas bound? (JCK begins May 31.) Hunker down with your POS system. Be clear on what you are trying to achieve at the show. What are your goals? To attract female self-purchasers, expand your bridal clientele with new bridal product, increase margin with in-house branded collections? (And keep an eye out for our June trends guide toward the end of the month at instoremag.com — it could be a huge help.)

May 12-18

MANAGEMENT Start meeting with staff at least monthly to share three “good things” to build on and three “development areas.”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to market to them in the second half of 2019.

SECURITY Hotels in Vegas make it clear they are not responsible for loss or theft of items brought into their property. If you travel with goods, look into getting insurance.

May 19-25

OPERATIONS Hurricane season is ahead in many parts of the country. Run through a checklist to ensure that your bad weather protocol is up to speed.

BUYING This year, be organized and professional in front of your vendors in Vegas — prepare all your reports and forms. Re-confirm your appointments, and get cell phone numbers so you can contact them if you need to.

May 26-June 1

BUYING In Vegas, make a point to visit the Design Atelier at Couture and The Design Center at the JCK Show. The talented designers in these sections create jewelry unlike anything you may have seen, which will engage your most consistent clients while also opening up new markets.

SHOP Slow season project: Take photos of all waxes not already in your CAD library and add them.

MERCHANDISING With summer on the way, Larry Johnson says redo the props in your showcases to give a fresh look. Throw away those seashells in the pearl case and replace them with props that show your customer all the places in town where she can wear those beautiful pearls.

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May Day, Sea Monkey Day and More Important May Dates

One is a day to remind yourself that ultimately, you’re selling emotional benefits.

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1 Elsewhere, the proletariat may be standing shoulder-to-shoulder on May Day, singing “L’Internationale” to show solidarity with their daily toil, but in the good ol’ U.S. of A, that’s not considered politically correct. In place of class struggle, tell your staff you want to hear what can be done to make your store a better place to work. Ask your employees to come up with three small things each that would make their working days more pleasant. Implemented right, small things can go a long way to making employees feel empowered, involved and happy to be at work.

4 AUDREY HEPBURN, who was born on this date 90 years ago, did more for little black dresses and diamond earrings than anyone else in history. Mark the occasion with an invitation-only morning event with your favorite customers.

14 The BIRTHDATE OF THE BUDDHA is a perfect time to focus on what works and let go of the rest. Invite input, keep an open mind, and act to de-clutter.

16 It helps to be smart in your marketing, but bold is so much better. Remember that today as the world celebrates SEA MONKEY DAY — a briny nod to the power of selling emotional benefits.

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Siblings Day, National Volunteer Week and More Important April Dates

Seize on this date to own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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10 Sure, sometimes they wouldn’t surrender the TV remote, and you had to wear red because they got the blue top, and they never seemed to do their fair share of the dishes … But they are also the only other people on the planet who understand what weirdos your parents are. On National Siblings Day, remind your customers of all this. Siblings are like the best friends we never asked for but are really glad we have. They deserve a nice surprise gift — in red.

7 On National Volunteer Week, pick up litter on roadsides or in your local creek, serve food to homeless, repaint the children’s shelter; do something to give back to your community.

14 On Be Kind to Lawyers Day, send a cheery note of thanks to yours for their hard work keeping your business safe from legal jeopardy.

30 Those honored on National Honesty Day are given “Abes” to mark their commitment to truthfulness. Sponsor an event at a local school. Own the ideas of truthfulness and trust in your community.

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