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What You Need to Be Doing in Your Business This August

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July 31-Aug. 5

DISPLAY Add some color to your display cases. If all you see is a sea of white fixtures with a bit of sparkle, your visual merchandising needs help. Add a bit of colored fabric or other material to create some visual punch and ensure your showcases pop with excitement.

ONLINE Investigate what it would take to sell digital gift cards directly from your website. Gift cards get more popular each year, and young consumers don’t seem to have any hang-ups with such digital gifts.

Aug. 7-12

ONLINE The average well-maintained Google My Business listing gets five times more views than commercial listings that haven’t been claimed by their owners. If your store falls into that latter category, get busy this summer by ensuring all your information (address, hours, map pin, reviews, photos) is accurate.

OPERATIONS Need help setting up a super-productive desk? Consider the P-L-A-C-E system, as described by Matt Perman in his prosaically named book How To Set Up A Desk. You can get a detailed outline of the system here: http://instr.us/1171

SELF-IMPROVEMENT Want to inspire yourself as an entrepreneur? Start listening to business and self-improvement podcasts while you exercise, drive to work or eat lunch. Two of our current favorites: “The Tim Ferriss Show” and NPR’s “How I Built This”.

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Aug. 14-19

MARKETING Wish lists are among the effective tools you can roll out ahead of the holiday season. Think of new ways to get them in the right hands (wallet-sized cards, Facebook campaigns, prize drawings, or even bribes). Golf balls worked well for Denise Oros of Linnea Jewelers (PICTURED) in La Grange, IL.

MERCHANDISING Experiment with signage groupings for fashion jewelry. Take one type of jewelry item and group them in a display unit. Make a small professional-looking sign to go with the group (e.g., “Under $249”, “Under $499” and “Under $999”).

Aug. 21-26

MARKETING Reach out to small groups of women from different social groups — such as a group of golfers or moms — to come to the store for a private shopping night.

MANAGEMENT Create a “sunshine file” to collect any and all expressions of gratitude — e.g. thank-you notes, photos, awards — you receive. When things get tough, you’ll be glad you have this to provide some perspective on the ups and downs of business life.
 Week 5 

Aug. 28-Sep. 2

TRAINING Do you post a lot of photos on social media? Then it’s a smart idea to sign your employees — and yourself — up for a course that teaches you how to take better pictures with your smartphone. (For iPhone users, check out iPhonePhotographySchool.com.)

INVENTORY As much as 25 percent of most jewelers’ inventory is unproductive. If this stock has withstood sales and spiff programs, you may need to consider an inventory buyer — they are usually the easiest way to turn illiquid inventory into cash (although they will also likely yield the lowest return). 

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This article originally appeared in the August 2017 edition of INSTORE.

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Wilkerson Helped This Jeweler to Navigate His Retirement Sale Despite a Pandemic

Hosting a going-out-of-business sale when the coronavirus pandemic hit wasn’t a part of Bob Smith’s game plan for his retirement. Smith, the owner of E.M. Smith Jewelers in Chillicothe, Ohio, says the governor closed the state mid-way through. But Smith chose Wilkerson, and Wilkerson handled it like a champ, says Smith. And when it was time for the state to reopen, the sale continued like nothing had ever happened. “I’d recommend Wilkerson,” he says. “They do business the way we do business.”

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