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Manager's To Do

What You Need to Be Doing in Your Business This August




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:

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”.

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

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). 


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



Gene the Jeweler

When Gene the Jeweler Speaks, His Employees Listen

In this episode of Jimmy DeGroot’s Gene the Jeweler series, Gene has a simple request for his employees. The good news is that they follow his instructions. The bad news is that they follow a bit too literally.

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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.




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 — 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.




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.




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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