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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.

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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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Manager's To Do

An Action Plan for Vegas, Father’s Day Prep, A Risk Review and More Manager’s To-Do Actions for June

Inscribe these tips on your calendar to make this month more productive.

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JUN. 2-8

BUYING If you’re in Vegas for the JCK shows (May 31-June 3), make this year’s buying expedition a cooperative effort with the rest of the staff back in the store. Prime your smart phone, digital camera and laptop so that you can feed as much information back to your employees and get their feedback on what you find. Maybe even set up a Twitter feed to show them how hard you’re working.

MARKETING Ramp up your blogging this week. Comment on what’s new in Las Vegas and what has people buzzing. You don’t actually have to be at the show to do this — just offer your opinions based on the trade press reports (if you need inspiration, check instoremag.com each morning).

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JUN. 9-15

SALES MEETING Go through your plans for the run-up to Father’s Day. Get your staff to think beyond the traditional, especially if it’s a younger dad — fashion jewelry is growing with this set. Be ready to suggest gift cards as well; men can be a picky bunch when it comes to what they may receive from a jewelry store.

PERSONAL Shake up your routine. With pen and paper, write a thank-you note to someone who’s influenced you in your career. Don’t forget to mail it.

MANAGEMENT Creating a risk management plan involves more than getting affordable rates for insurance premiums. In the long run, avoiding potential claims is the single biggest step you can take to keep your risks (and costs) down. The Small Business Administration (sba.gov) makes available a helpful guide to minimize risk.

JUN. 16-22

FURNISHINGS Need any new office furniture? Now is the time to pick some up; showrooms are making room for new lines that come out in August.

STORE Update your in-store video loop. For a change, forget the promotional videos and run something that’s got nothing to do with selling at all — Finding Dory, maybe, or some surfing clips.

OPERATIONS What’s your pre-opening drill? If it’s “All hands on deck!” you may want to try something more systematic. Many retailers use a 10-point checklist to make sure that all the important things are taken care of before they open the doors.

JUN. 23-29

MANAGEMENT We’ve recommended it dozens of times and we’re sure you haven’t done it: sign up for Toastmasters. (Find a club near you at toastmasters.org). In no time, you’ll be welcoming invitations to talk publicly.

LEGAL Brush up on your compliance. Check the Federal Trade Commission’s guides on disclosure. Go to ftc.gov and enter “jewelry guides” in the search box.

MERCHANDISING Gather with your staff to inspect your show finds and go through what you ordered during the recent buying season. Develop a product launch plan and schedule training to ensure the successful sell-through.

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National Selfie Day, Audio Book Appreciation Day and More June Dates to Mark

Happy Birthday to You … The world’s most sung song turns 160.

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21 What was once considered a petty self-indulgence is now viewed as a powerful marketing tool. Ahead of NATIONAL SELFIE DAY, draw up a strategy to get your customers to take more photos of themselves showing off their new jewelry or of themselves in front of any background featuring your business name. The ultimate goal is to get them to post the images on their social media pages.

1 During AUDIOBOOK APPRECIATION MONTH, do a Google search for “bestselling business audiobooks” and catch up on some of the great management advice that’s been published in the last few years.

19 The WORLD’S UGLIEST DOG CONTEST is held today. Hold a similar competition. Ask your staff to vote for what they believe is the most aesthetically challenged piece of jewelry in the store. Offer a spiff to whomever can sell it by the end of the summer Dog Days (Aug. 20).

27 “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU” turns 160. Offer to send a singing telegram to anyone who buys a gift for a loved one who shares a birthday with the world’s most sung song.

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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.

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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 instoremag.com — 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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