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Manager's To Do

What You Need to Be Doing in Your Business This March

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WEEK 1Feb. 27-Mar. 4

SEO It’s a good idea to see how your store rates when someone says, “Siri, where can I get my ring repaired?” Siri defaults to Bing, while Samsung phones use Samsung Browser and most other Android phones go to Google. Run some voice tests to make sure your store is appearing high in your local area.

SOCIAL MEDIA Make contact with other small businesses in your market to see if they are interested in some reciprocal social media action via Pinterest. In your case, you could have boards such as Bridal Stores We Love, Florists That Inspire Us and Bakers That Know Our Weakness.

MARKETING First Communion season starts in mid-April. On your website and in your windows, highlight that you have small crucifixes, religious medals and patron saints along with chains that make suitable gifts for the occasion.

WEEK 2 Mar. 6-11

OPERATIONS Do you have guidelines for handling complaints? If not, get busy. As much as possible, empower employees to make decisions.

INVENTORY Traditionally, bridal sales followed a pattern — men’s wedding band sales, for example, were strongest in April and May just before June, the most popular month for weddings. Now they are likely to be more scattered as millennials pursue their endless desire to be different and marry in less traditional months. Closely scrutinize last year’s sales data to ensure you’re on top of your categories. 

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WEEK 3 Mar. 13-18

MARKETING Create a signup area in your store (and on your website) for shoppers to provide their email addresses to receive promotions and store information via email.

EMPLOYEES It’s time for your twice-yearly employee reviews. Trainer Kate Peterson urges you to set up a professional development plan for each employee — and for yourself. “Ask what they feel they need to learn or even what they would just like to learn, then challenge them to come up with a plan to get it done,” she says. Give them a week to get it done and then work out the logistics.

WEEK 4 Mar. 20-25

MARKETING The next wave of holidays and milestone events (Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day graduation) lies just ahead. Get creative with your gift cards by creating your own store cash, or invest in higher production quality. Studies show the return is better when you depart from the standard gift card.

SALES Wear name badges, says Eileen Alexanian (PICTURED, ABOVE), owner of Diamonds ‘N Dunes (Kitty Hawk, NC) . “It allows the customer to interact without having to ask the name of the associate, which hopefully translates to more ‘getting to know the customer.’”

MARKETING Your best customers are your current customers. Identify your 200 top customers. Draft a plan to cater to them over the next eight months.

WEEK 5Mar. 27-Apr. 1

BUYING Begin researching buying groups. Being a member can help not only with inventory costs, but can also provide a resource for bouncing ideas or problems off of your peers. 

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

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VIDEO HIGHLIGHT

Wilkerson Testimonials

Texas Jeweler Knew He'd Get Only One Shot at a GOB Sale, So He Wanted to Make It Count

Most retailers only have one GOB sale in their lifetimes. This was the case for Gary Zoet, owner of Shannon Fine Jewelry in Houston, Texas. “Wilkerson has done thousands of these sales,” says Zoet. “I’ve never done one, so it’s logical to have somebody with experience do it.” The result exceeded Zoet’s expectations. Wilkerson took care of everything from marketing to paperwork. When it’s time for you to consider the same, shouldn’t you trust the experts in liquidation?

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Manager's To Do

Capitalizing on Valentine’s Engagement Sales, March Madness Ideas and More Manager’s To-Do Items for March

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Mar. 3-9

BUDGETING Time to get started on making a budget for the 2019 buying season and get ready to trade in old inventory for new inventory. Also, if possible, have an inventory reduction sale to get rid of the dated inventory before going to Vegas.

SALES FLOOR Beware the ex-brides of March! Divorce filings are highest this month. Do you have a script ready explaining why the resale value of an engagement ring may not meet the customer’s expectations? If not, get busy.

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MARKETING Remember all those clients who bought engagement rings in advance of Valentine’s Day? Call to see what their plans are for wedding bands.

Mar. 10-16

MERCHANDISE It’s March. Embrace the madness. The NCAA Men’s Basketball Finals starts on March 17 and runs through to April 8. It’s a great chance to clear out old inventory with a quick Sheer Madness Sale! At the very least, organize a pool for staff.

SHOWROOM Is your custom area as friendly as it could be? Does it feature a gallery highlighting past designs, portraits of satisfied customers, updated displays, appropriate lighting, a signature scent?

Mar. 17-23

MARKETING Hold a Prom Dress Party. Encourage girls to bring their dresses into the store and try on jewelry with the dress. Identify pieces to excite them at prices that will entice a sale (that means jewelry with a big look for less money).

MERCHANDISING Pull out your promotional calendar and view it from the perspective of using the events to manage and reduce specific inventory. Annual customer appreciation sales, trunk shows, open houses, and repair/jewelry remodeling events can all give your finances an even greater boost if you execute them with a view to moving certain items.

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MANAGEMENT Download a time tracker to your phone and start logging how you spend your work life — not because there’s much value in the record you create, but because the very act of recording can have a powerful psychological impact, leading you to use your time much more efficiently. (Warning: Brace yourself to be alarmed at how you fritter away time.)

Mar. 24-30

SHOWROOM In one analysis of a university building in Oregon, workers on the greenery-facing side took 19 percent fewer sick days. It apparently has to do with how we evolved to function best in nature-rich settings. If you can’t knock a side wall out to provide a view of the glorious outdoors, buy a few potted plants to place around your sales floor.

PERSONAL Take an inventory of your tech use and evaluate each item for its usefulness, working on the assumption that if something can’t justify itself, it’s out. Exit the social networks you barely use and get rid of the apps that, when you think about it, have no benefit. Yep, that means Candy Crush may have to go.

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Day of Unplugging, Near Miss Day and More Important March Dates

Don’t miss your chance to have a parade for Mardi Gras.

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20 There’s a reason the Hare Krishnas hand out flowers before soliciting donations — the awesome hold reciprocity has over humans. The psychologist Robert Cialdini notes in his bestseller Influence that we’re so deeply primed to reciprocate generosity that customers who receive a free gift become far more likely to make a purchase “in return.” Since it’s spring, take a tip from the Hare Krishnas and hand out fresh flowers to customers.

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Gene the Jeweler

Video: Gene the Jeweler Hired His Nephew … And at Least Insurance Covered the Damage

4 Day of Unplugging. The challenge: 24 hours without phone or Internet contact. Can you do it? The benefits are said to be surprising.

5 Celebrate Mardi Gras with a bead party. Cook up some red beans and rice, stick on some music and have yourself a parade.

23 Thirty years ago, a mountain-sized asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth — a very, very close call according to NASA. Luckily, we survived and Near Miss Day was born. In thanks, dig up one of your or your sales associate’s recent “near misses” and debate what may have saved the sale. A lower price? More romance? Bruce Willis?

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Calendar

Single Tasking Day, Red Carpet Season and More Big Dates for February

The essential jeweler’s calendar for the month starts here.

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4 With more than two billion users, you need to be sure you’ve fully explored the potential of Facebook. On the 15th Anniversary of Facebook’s Launch by Mark Zuckerberg and three friends, adopt the company’s motto, “Move Fast and Break Things,” and commit to shaking things up with your social media marketing. Test some sponsored posts. Get absurdly specific with your targeting. Try a contest. Try more video. Follow INSTORE’s Facebook page at facebook.com/instoremag.

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10 Red-carpet season rolls on with The Grammys today and The Academy Awards on Feb. 25. Slip into fashion-maven mode and get your customers excited about jewelry’s cutting-edge trends with tweets, snaps, posts and blogs.

14 Love with a touch of panic is one way to look at Valentine’s Day. And not just for the guys. If you need ideas, go to instoremag.com and test out our archive search.

22 On Single Tasking Day, let your brain do what it’s been designed so beautifully to handle — focus on one thing at a time: one conversation, one meal, one task, one baseball game.

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