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Why a New Set of Eyes Could Be All You Need to See Your Business Differently

Familiarity can breed ignorance, while a fresh perspective leads to knowledge.

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WHILE WE HAVE amazingly complex brains, we often subconsciously overlook problems that haven’t bubbled up enough to be worthy of our attention. Much like those extra few pounds you picked up over the holidays, we only start to worry when our clothes become uncomfortably snug.

We are so adept at filtering that we can stop noticing things altogether, such as the refrigerator’s buzz or background traffic. We can tune out a lot.

The same is true for your jewelry store. Most jewelers don’t see the issues in their stores that can hinder their future success. We often only see what we deem to be essential at the moment. Hence the age-old adage, “Can’t see the forest for the trees.”

Need proof? Here is a quick demonstration of what I mean. Count the numbers of Fs in the following passage:

“Finished Files Are The Result
Of Years of Scientific Study
Combined With The Experience
Of Years.”

Most people count two or three (in the words “finished files” and “scientific”). But there are 6 Fs. Did you find all six?

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If so, you should be an editor. Probably my editor.

Therein lies the point. Even when we focus on a specific task, we risk not seeing it as we should.

One of the advantages of being a consultant is walking into a jewelry store with a fresh set of eyes. When issues are pointed out, owners often say, “Of course, why didn’t I see that?”

Here are a few of the common issues we consultants see.

  • Wobbly guest chairs in the bridal section because no one takes the time to tighten the bolts.
  • Jewelry case locks don’t open without a few stressful minutes of jiggling the key.
  • Boxes filled with client receipts are stacked behind a register or in the hall.
  • Burned-out lights in the guest bathroom, or the fact you have to shake the handle just right to stop the toilet from running.
  • Dangerously loose carpet on the floor, checkout areas that don’t fully function, and display elements shoved just about everywhere possible.

So what’s the answer?

You need a fresh set of eyes to walk around your store, especially at the start of a new year. It should be someone that doesn’t work in the store, nor even someone who shops there routinely. Ask them to point out everything they see to make the store better from an experience and visual standpoint. No point is too trivial.

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Want to attract a younger clientele? Ask someone in that age demographic to walk the store and share with you what they see. You’ll be surprised by how the difference in age and gender will change what they point out. This valuable insight can open your eyes to opportunities you’ve never thought of before.

Rod Worley is president of Four Grainer, a jewelry industry management consulting firm, and host of the "Inside The Jewelry Trade" podcast. Reach him at [email protected].

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When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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