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Manager's To Do

Your Manager’s To-Do List to Prepare for the Holidays in November

Get ahead — and stay ahead — of the holiday rush.

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Oct 29-Nov 4

MARKETING “Follow a pre-established schedule on social media and modify based on last-minute trends,” says Allison Leitzel-Williams of Leitzel’s Jewelry (PICTURED). “Focus on sales training and discuss different types of shoppers and the type of service they prefer (women who like to take their time vs. men who want your advice and who should not be over-presented). Create festive playlists to energize the store as we approach Christmas. Follow up on old repairs, layaways and pending projects to encourage pickups before the holiday rush.”

CIVIC DUTY Nov. 6 is Election Day. Make arrangements to ensure you and your staff have time to vote.

Nov 5-11

STAFF Shake up your holiday spiffs this year. If you offered individual prizes last year, try a team-based approach this year. If you’ve traditionally offered money, consider non-cash incentives. Align the most exciting prizes for days you expect to see the biggest sales results.

STORE Want to liven up the atmosphere in your store? Cut a Christmas karaoke video with you and your staff singing timeless holiday classics in booming voices. Play it occasionally — and at a low volume, please — on your store’s video monitors.
CRM Prep Christmas cards to your best customers. The cards should only contain a “from our family to yours” type of message, with signatures written in hand (no promotional offers). All cards should be mailed right after Thanksgiving.

Nov 12-18

MARKETING Use your email bulletins to emphasize collections or new products that may be out of stock later in the season.

OPERATIONS Hold a decorating party one night after work or on a day your store is closed. Play music, order pizzas and have fun! If your merchandising is done on grays or whites, you can easily use red and green, two colors that are the simplest, most effective way to say “Christmas.” But, if they clash with your store, you will have to go to an alternative — perhaps blue and white winter colors.

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Nov 19-25

CLEANING Set up a steam cleaner in your diamond ring area, so staff can quickly steam the stones when they take them out for a presentation. It’s also a cool show for your clients.

INVENTORY Fill holes in inventory with a focus on fast sellers. Begin weekly reviews of core stock and set a replenishment plan.

STAFF Do a refresher with temps on handling the phone, customer flow management and gift-wrapping.

Nov 26-Dec 2

OPERATIONS Stick up a sign that reads “Repairs Will Be Ready On __” and then update the new date daily. (Charge a premium for express service.)

INVENTORY Make a list of jewelry items that need a “companion” — diamond stud earrings with a tennis bracelet, cocktail ring with pendant. Prepare for add-on success.

GENERAL Attend any parties you’re invited to, but be sure to get sleep, too, over the next six weeks.

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OVER THE COUNTER: EPISODE 4

Jewelry Store Owner Rewards Her Staff With the Ultimate Adventure

The owner of a new Colorado jewelry store gave her sales team a steep challenge. In this one-minute excerpt of the latest "Over the Counter", hear how the goal was set ... and learn what she did when they reached their goal. Catch the full podcast here.

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Ideas for Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday and More Important Dates for November

A few key dates to mark in the month ahead.

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22 Thanksgiving means it’s time to show appreciation. But this year, aim to make it last all year. Start with the obvious things — your family’s good health and work that keeps you engaged. Then start looking outward until you get to those truly insignificant trifles — the smell of fall in the air, the fragment of a nostalgic song. The psychologist Martin Seligman suggests a routine of writing two short emails each morning to friends, family or colleagues, thanking them for what they do.

13 Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of John Montague, the Earl of Sandwich, who invented the sandwich to save time on eating during a gambling binge. Take inspiration: create a potluck schedule to ensure you and your staff are eating well throughout the holiday season.

24 For Small Business Saturday, print a T-shirt emblazoned with the Small Business Saturday logo. Take a picture of yourself wearing it. Post on social media.

25 30 days to go until Christmas. Launch a holiday countdown on the home page of your website. Highlight a “gift of the day.”

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World Smile Day, A Halloween Promotion and More Important Dates for October

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A century ago, a lifeguard at Coney Island kicked sand in the face of 97-pound weakling Angelo Siciliano and walked off with his girlfriend. In so doing, he inspired one of the greatest marketing campaigns of the 20th century. On the 125th ANNIVERSARY OF CHARLES ATLAS’ BIRTHDAY, stick with a clear marketing message (think seven decades of that same comic-strip ad) that promises a benefit instead of a feature, and the world will be your beach ball. 

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On WORLD SMILE DAY, make a bold promise — guarantee your jewelry will bring a smile to the recipient’s face or their money back. You won’t lose.

5-14

During AMERICAN CRAFT WEEK, join in this celebration of handmade American products (especially jewelry) and the craftspeople who make them.

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Siegel’s Jewelry in Paso Robles, CA, typically hands out more than 3,000 pieces of candy during its annual HALLOWEEN event, with some of the gift bags containing special prizes. You should, too.

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Manager's To Do

Here’s Your Manager To-Do List to Prepare for the Holidays

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Oct 1-7

SALES “We cured the bad habit of saying ‘no problem,’” says Scott Chalmers of Chalmers Jewelers, Middleton, WI. “If you’re caught saying ‘no problem,’ you put $1 into the fish bowl. Then every Friday, either I buy lunch with the fish bowl funds or out of my pocket. After two weeks, I was buying lunch out of my pocket.”

INVENTORY Need to clear space for new merchandise? Try running a “Top to Bottom” sale for about three weeks. Your “top” piece might be 10 percent off, while your “bottom” piece (the oldest one you have and just haven’t been able to sell) might be 70 percent off. “It generates cash and it makes room for all the new things you buy,” says Patricia Holt, VP of operations at The Tiny Jewel Box in Washington, DC.

GIFT WRAPPING Buy a book on gift-wrapping, and find a style that your customers will remember. Assign paper- and ribbon-cutting duties.

Oct 8-14

SOCIAL MEDIA Prepare an editorial calendar for your blog and other social media channels. Aim to post something new every day, be it a blog, Facebook comment or new video. It will all help increase your website’s SEO at the time of year when people are scouring the Internet for gifts and gift ideas.

WEBSITE Update the offerings on your website. Be sure to highlight some of your proudest custom pieces.

ONLINE Do 404 error pages on your website frustrate or amuse? Consider a photo of your store mascot wearing jewelry or something similarly lighthearted. Amazon features “the dogs of Amazon” — great studio-shot portraits, presumably of staffers’ dogs. Of course, don’t forget your message: “You’ve come to a dead-end. Go back!”

Oct 15-21

GIFT CARDS At your front desk and take-in area, place signs to let people know about your gift cards. The sign could say something as simple as “Ask about our holiday season gift card specials,” or just “Buy a gift card today.”

MARKETING This is a good time of year to be handing out business cards, especially cards with a special offer. Make sure that you, and all your staff, have plenty of cards to hand out when they’re out and about this month.

STAFF Finalize work schedules for the next 12 weeks (include the first half of January). Check your staff’s obligations and work around any clashes. Identify the peak hours and ensure your best salespeople will be on the floor.

Oct 22-28

MEDIA Send a press release to the local newspaper along with a note offering your services as a source on the subject of jewelry for Christmas.

MANAGEMENT Post your November and December monthly and daily goals in the back room. This is also time to unveil your sales spiff of the year. What will it be this year? The latest iPhone, a three-day holiday, an offer to shave your hair off? Don’t forget a secondary prize for the sales associate who collects the most customer emails.

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