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Do You Or Don't You?

Do You Or Don’t You: Maintain a Regularly Updated Blog On Your Website?

Only a quarter of you do this.

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Survey results for jewelers who write blogs

YES, WE DO

  • We aim to update our blog at least two times a week. Our content ranges from store event coverage, jewelry tips, celebrity engagements/weddings, YouTube videos highlighting particular pieces and providing information on individual gemstones. We actually have two blogs, one for our website directly and a style blog that is connected to our website. The fashion blogosphere has a massive following so we decided to mash our store’s inventory with our Polyvore account to create “looks” that we can discuss and talk about via our style blog. — Morgan Bartel, Susann’s Custom Jewelers, Corpus Christi, TX
  • I have been writing a blog for about five years and it is the best marketing tool I’ve had in the last 10 years. I write all the material myself. It deals with a myriad of issues in the trade as well as somewhat personal articles about me and why I do what I do. It’s on Blogspot but the latest articles are posted on the website and there are direct links to it on every page of the website. Best thing I ever did. If a customer comes into the shop looking and I can get them to go read the blog I almost always get them back as a customer.
    — Daniel Spirer, Daniel R. Spirer Jewelers, Cambridge, MA
  • We talk about what’s trending, or anything that we have going on at the store. — Laurie Langdon-Gerber, Elisa Ilana Jewelry, Omaha, NE
  • We have a blog, but it’s ghost-written by The Jeweler’s Blog. — Sydney Nusinov, Charles Nusinov & Sons, Parkville, MD
  • We post to our blog two times a week. Content is created and gathered from interesting websites and primarily deals with jewelry facts, star power, myths and news items. It is part of our online mix with a total of about 265 posts dating back to 2012. We have an average of over 100 page views per day. — Richard Frank, Goldstein’s, Mobile, AL

NO, WE DON’T

  • A blog needs to be consistent and engaging to be successful. With all of our other projects we don’t have the time to do it right, so better to not do it at all! — Jeff Vierk, Vierk’s Fine Jewelry, Lafayette, IN
  • I had one but I never have time to keep it up. — Josh Rider, Dylan Rings, Montgomery, AL
  • We created one a few months ago but do not have the man power to consistently update it with new posts. It is one of our goals for 2015. — Whitney Lang, Burkes Fine Jewelers, Kilmarnock, VA
  • We keep in contact with our clients through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Etsy. We do not need a blog. — Deric Metzger, DeMer Jewelry, Oceanside, CA

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

Over the years, INSTORE has won 80 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INSTORE's editors at editor@instoremag.com.

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Do You Or Don't You?

Do Jewelers Take Time In January For Strategic Planning? Our Brain Squad Weighs In

Most do, but barely … and for a variety of reasons.

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Yes: 56%

  • It is important for us to get a strategic plan. We have three owners with three different agendas, so the management team likes to come up with objectives to work toward for the year. We start with three pillars of success, and all decisions for what to focus on are based on that. We have had many years with no strategic planning. It led to less communication, more disgruntled staff, and having nothing to shoot towards creates a less motivated team as well. Many owners don’t value planning, but we have seen our sales grow as well as our employees’ skills, drive and attitude! — Natasha Henderson, Saxon’s Fine Jewelers, Bend, OR
  • Plan and grow what worked, prune and ditch what didn’t! — Jill Keith, Enchanted Jewelry, Danielson, CT
  • I try to anticipate changes that will affect our business and create a budget based on those assumptions. — John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI
  • You always want to look at what worked and didn’t work in the last 12 months, and look at new industry developments that may provide either opportunities or threats to protect your business from. — Dorothy Vodicka, The Gem Collection, Tallahassee, FL
  • My business partner and I go off site for one to two days so we can plan the coming year without distractions. It would be impossible for the two of us to stay on the same page and not confuse the heck out of the staff if we didn’t. We are adding in a facilitator this year for the first time. We hope this will keep us accountable for following up on the decisions we made at our retreat. — Steve Floyd, Floyd & Green, Aiken, SC
  • I look at the numbers, which companies sold well, what pieces sold best, what needs replenishment, what companies need to go. — Christine Matlack, E.G. Landis Jewelers, Boyertown, PA
  • If I plan early I not only do better in business, I do better in pleasure. — Steven B. Goldfarb, Alvin Goldfarb Jeweler, Bellevue, WA
  • I love the New Year. My favorite holiday, always invigorating! I try to jot down some goals/plans/ideas, and put together a vision board for the year. Nothing elaborate. I’ve tried planners, but never seem to take the time to write anything in them, let alone follow along! If I have my handwritten goal notes and my vision board above my desk where I can see them every day, that keeps me motivated! — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL

No: 44%

  • January is too busy. Lee Krombholz, Krombholz Jewelers, Cincinnati, OH
  • We spend January rebuilding up our stock. Which means that we make jewelry for us to sell. — Idar Bergseth, Idar, Victoria, BC
  • As a small operation, January is for physical inventory and decompression. Strategic planning is done with my ERA coach in February. — Stew Brandt, H. Brandt Jewelers, Natick, MA
  • I just keep on truckin’. — Ira Kramer, Diamond Exchange of Maryland, Tallahassee, FL
  • Planning is consistent and constant through the year, not delegated to one particular time. — Kim Hatchell, Galloway & Moseley, Sumter, SC
  • January is Christmas cleanup. February is time for reflection. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • It sounds like a good idea, but January is absurdly busy for me preparing tax stuff for the accountant and getting ready for Tucson. — Stacey Horcher, J. Reiss, Lincolnwood, IL
  • We do our strategic planning in September and set our operating budget (marketing and inventory and expense) by November. January is too late for strategic planning! — Tom Duma, Thom Duma Fine Jewelers, Warren, OH

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Do You Or Don't You?

Do You Welcome Pets Into Your Store? Our Brain Squad Sounds Off

4 out of 5 readers say yes.

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Yes: 81%

  • We encourage our clients to bring their pets into the store. We always have treats on hand and a water dish if needed. Most of the staff has at least one dog, and my wife and I have two adopted cats and two adopted dogs. — John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI
  • We do ask the dogs be on a leash. It has been a positive response and people enjoy being able to bring in their furry friends. — Sue Parker, Nyman Jewelers, Excanaba, MI
  • Fortunately, we have not had a need for guidelines. Dogs are the pet of choice visiting our store. Our team enjoys the interaction as much as the dog. The dog owner appreciates our openness to their beloved friend. — Tonia Ulsh, Mountz Jewelers, Camp Hill, PA
  • We are customer friendly. I once had a customer who brought a Rottweiler into my store. His head was the shape of an anvil, he slobbered all over me, but the owner bought a couple of gifts for her girlfriends. No problem for me. — Bruce Goodheart, Goodheart’s Jewelry, Overland Park, KS
  • The only guidelines are no peeing or pooping in the store! — Frank Salinardi, Linardi’s Jewelers, Plantation, FL
  • We allow pets so long as they are nice and well-behaved. We live in a dog-friendly city where people are actively out with their dogs all of the time. We usually require a leash, but the dogs who are off leash are super-trained. It’s never been an issue. For us, the rewards are many as we love animals! It makes the store fun and inclusive. — Betsy Barron, Love & Luxe, San Francisco, CA
  • As long as they get along with our dog, then all is well. It is usually the humans that need some guidelines. — Kirsten Reynolds, Windsor Gallery, Salisbury, NC
  • Our downtown (where we are located) is very pet friendly. We are near a pet-friendly brewery, and our town even has a dog ambassador, @CharlieDoches. We’ve never had to set guidelines on pets. We carry the DogFever line and give 10 percent of sales back to our local animal rescue groups. In the summer at our major downtown festival, we offer a “dog cooling station”. — Chay Rees Runnels, Rees Jewelry, Nacogdoches, TX
  • No guidelines. We neither encourage nor deny anyone who wants to bring a pet. It does allow for an easy personal connection with the customer. — Thomas Licciardi, Jacqueline’s Fine Jewelry, Morgantown, WV
  • We post Facebook and Instagram pictures of any dogs that visit. Our boxer Maggie is also at the store most days. I don’t know what rewards we get other than a nice community feel and we get to visit with other people’s dogs (we all love dogs). — Mark Snyder, Snyder Jewelers, Weymouth, MA
  • Any cat, dog, bird or weasel — we don’t care as long as they’re sociable and they’re sweet, they’re welcome in our store! We even have custom-made organic gourmet pet treats just for the animals that visit. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • It has been mostly positive, but it can be too noisy if there are too many dogs at one time (we have two here already). — Vickie Wilson, The Goldsmith, Palo Alto, CA
  • Big, mean-looking dogs are not invited in because it scares the customers. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • Before he died, I brought my dog to work. He always wanted to sniff a new butt. — Mark Thomas Ruby, SunSpirit Designs, Loveland, CO
  • We have a dog in the store. The customers love it. It makes this place more of a home rather then a store. Obviously, you won’t see the chain stores with a dog in the store. We want everyone including pets to feel welcome. — Michael Kanoff, Michael’s Jewelers, Yardley, PA
  • No guidelines, but an expectation for trained pets as we have a carpeted floor. Some of our most wealthy clients bring their pets with them everywhere; we don’t miss out on their business. — Jill Hornik, Jae’s Jewelers, Coral Gables, FL

No: 19%

  • Pets have no place in a business. It has become fashionable to take your pet along and intrude upon others as if something is wrong with them if they don’t agree. As my uncle used to say, no one loves or tolerates your pets or your children as much as you do. — Joe Thacker, Thacker Jewelry, Lubbock, TX
  • We allow them to come in, but we have the right to tell them to take the dog back outside if we feel they are a problem. — Alan Perry, Perry’s Emporium, Wilmington, NC
  • We have had events that involved dogs at the store, and it’s been a major turn-off for a lot of clients. Customers either complain about allergies or not liking pets or just the control of the pet by their owner. — Christine Osborne, Christopher’s Fine Jewelry and Rare Coins, Des Moines, IA
  • Owner is allergic to dogs. — Jeffrey Hurwitz, Colonial Jewelers, Frederick, MD
  • Landlord does not allow pets inside building. My therapy dog is an exception. — Mark Neumann, Ross Designs, Highland Park, IL
  • When you are selling fine jewelry, your store cleanliness and upkeep are soooo important! — Teddie Gause, Gause & Son Jewelers, Ocala, FL

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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Do You Or Don't You?

Do You Accept Alternative Forms Of Payment? Here’s What Other Jewelers Say

Square and PayPal seem to be the most popular accepted forms.

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Yes: 36%

  • Apple Pay is connected to my Clover terminal. Very convenient, and the customer just taps their phone. My two boys who help run my business accept Venmo from clients/friends and just reimburse me at NO fee up to a particular amount. Mainly transactions under $1,000. Both forms have been convenient. Venmo has worked best with customers out of the state because you end up receiving the money instantaneously. — Howard Jacobs, Toodies Fine Jewelry, Quincy, MA
  • We use Square during conventions and expos. We also accept Apple Pay in store. — Erica Lorenz, Michael & Sons, Reno, NV
  • Our credit card terminal came with Apple Pay. We’ve only had one person use it. We also do Shopify Swipe when we are outside of the store. It’s similar to Square and Stripe, which are mobile payment processors. It tied in with our online inventory, so it’s convenient and allows us to be flexible with our customers. — Chris Wattsson, Wattsson & Wattsson Jewelers, Marquette, MI
  • Square offers e-invoices. The fees are higher than I get for taking cards in the store, but the convenience for the customer is worth it. — Dale Robertson, Dale Robertson Jewelry, Loveland, OH
  • PayPal and Venmo (which is a PayPal company) work the best, and if you have a PayPal debit card for expenses, you still get cash back on it. — Deric Metzger, DeMer Jewelry, Oceanside, CA
  • Venmo has no fees. All of the rest charge us a fee, so we encourage Venmo or Zelle. — Jonathan McCoy, McCoy Jewelers, Dubuque, IA
  • Apple Pay is fun and easy. — Steven Wardle, Forest Beach Design, Chatham, MA
  • I haven’t explored any of those besides PayPal, but I do find it convenient, and the fees are not exorbitant. — Janne Etz, Contemporary Concepts, Cocoa, FL
  • We use the Square for its convenience. Rates are higher than the bank by a bit, but it beats having to buy additional equipment. — Teri Vogan, Vogan Gold & Silver Works, Colorado Springs, CO
  • PayPal is great for our online and Facebook customers. Square is great when I’m away from my physical store doing a sale (charity event, private appointment, etc.). — Travis Piper, Piper Diamond Co., Vincennes, IN
  • I just use PayPal. Don’t know if it is good or bad, but it’s what is attached to my website. — Annette Evans, RD Allen Freeport Jewelers, Freeport, ME
  • We only use the Square in case of a power failure, as we have also learned that it only guarantees funds up to a certain amount. Also we used PayPal with the Square, and then because of the amount we ran, PayPal held most of the funds for a period of time before it went into our bank. — Alisha Moore, Toner Jewelers, Overland Park, KS
  • My new credit card terminal accepts Apple Pay. Works like a credit card. — Laura Pool, Laura’s Jewelry Designs, St. Robert, MO
  • We switched from using a traditional merchant service provider to using the Square. It’s proven to be cost-effective and user-friendly. We are no longer paying unnecessary fees. That is a big savings! I wished we had made the change sooner. — LaTisha Holland, Arlene’s Fine Jewelry, Vidalia, GA
  • We have the capability to accept PayPal and Apple Pay, but have almost never had someone want to use either one. — James Sickinger, Sickinger’s Jewelry, Lowell, IN
  • PayPal, and soon, Bitcoin. — Joseph Villarreal, Villarreal Fine Jewelers, Austin, TX
  • You left out wire transfer to our bank. Apple Pay is the only other that we take from the list. We find wire transfer is the best, safest and costs us nothing in fees! — Ronnie Ware, Ware Jewelers, Auburn, AL
  • Currently using PayPal. I like the ability to email customers an invoice. Comes in handy for deposits/payments on custom jobs as well as people who need things shipped to them. — Cliff Yankovich, Chimera Design, Lowell, MI

No: 64%

  • We live in a small city in Vermont. If I asked one of our farmers for Bitcoin, he’d look at me like I had three heads! — Mary Jo Chanski, Hannoush Jewelers, Rutland, VT
  • Honestly, my store is in a very upscale community and I have not had any requests other than the traditional payment options. — Denise Oros, Linnea Jewelers, La Grange, IL
  • Never got requests to use any of the above from clients. Plus, the above vendors’ rates to process are much higher than we get, so we are at this point not tempted to use. — Alex Weil, Martin’s Jewelry, Torrance, CA
  • There are plenty of credit card options for people to use. Keeping it simple is better. — John Hayes, Goodman’s Jewelers, Madison, WI
  • No, too technical for me. — Laurie Cusher, Hyde Park Jeweler, Hyde Park, NY
  • I just haven’t taken the time to learn about them. — Donnie Blanton, Brittany’s Fine Jewelry, Gainesville, FL
  • I prefer traditional payment forms. There are too many security questions for me about the others. — Marc Majors, Sam L. Majors, Midland, TX
  • Don’t have interest at the customer level. Never lost a sale by only offering Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Amex and our own private label financing. — Tom Duma, Thom Duma Fine Jewelers, Warren, OH

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. jewelry store, you’re invited to join the INSTORE Brain Squad. By taking one five-minute quiz a month, you can get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the jewelry industry. Good deal, right? Sign up here.

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