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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.

Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry
Over the Counter

Podcast: A Flash of Cash and Other Meditations on the Value of Jewelry

Podcast: Craig Husar Discusses His Career, and His Spectacular New Store, on ‘The Barb Wire’
The Barb Wire

Podcast: Craig Husar Discusses His Career, and His Spectacular New Store, on ‘The Barb Wire’

Podcast: Make Sure You Open the Dang Box
JimmyCast

Podcast: Make Sure You Open the Dang Box

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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SPONSORED VIDEO

Gene the Jeweler

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Remembering Woodstock, The Little One’s First Day in Kindergarten, and More Useful August Dates

You’re always busy, but this month, get things done.

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19 Mark the 30th anniversary of the launch of Stephen Covey’s THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE by doing something in its spirit: keep a journal of everything you do, broken down into 30-minute increments. At the end of each workday, assign a value — 1, 2 or 3 (the lowest) — to your time, and at the end of the week, evaluate the results. They may well surprise you. Obviously you want to be spending at least half your time on No. 1s.

1 August is GET READY FOR KINDERGARTEN MONTH. On the first day of school, invite all new kindergarten moms to come in for mimosas and snacks. They can reward themselves for surviving this milestone.

4 The FIRST ELECTRIC LIGHTBULB sparked to life 140 years ago today. Mark the occasion with a brainstorming session with staff for fourth-quarter promotions.

15 Fifty years ago today, the promise of free music, a good time, and … umm … a pretty good shot at “getting lucky” drew 400,000 young people to WOODSTOCK, NY. To many folks, that’s much the same promise that jewelry makes (minus the music). Roll back the years with a store party.

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Manager's To Do

Brush Up Your Credentials, Double-Check Pricing on Your Hottest Sellers, and More Manager’s To-Do Items for August

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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Jul. 28 – Aug. 3

INTERNET Need a tech project? Learn how to integrate the tools on Google Docs so you can easily share store information (training tips, store manual, rosters) among staff.

MANAGEMENT This is a good time of year to consider your employees’ salaries. According to a study by Dale Carnegie Training, 26 percent of engaged employees would leave their current job for just a 5 percent increase in pay. Don’t lose great people because you’re underpaying them, especially in the current tight market.

Aug. 4-10

SYSTEMS Write scripts for greeting customers: what to show them, handling take-ins, getting wish-list information.

MARKETING People defer to authority (it allows them to think less about decisions requiring specialized information). Don’t assume your expertise is self-evident. Get those credentials up on the wall, and on your website with a brief explanation in your About Us page about what it takes to attain them.

Aug. 11-17

MARKETING Hospitals, nail salons, spas, fitness centers, car dealers, realtors … there’s a number of businesses that have surprising potential to be a great marketing partner with a jeweler during the lead-in to the holidays. Draw up a shortlist and reach out.

STAFF A good way to help create a standout sales team is by sending staff members to other stores to watch their great salespeople in action. Have a relationship with a non-competing jeweler with outstanding salespeople in your state or region? Write a letter to them, starting with “Hey, I’d like to ask you for a really big favor …”

Aug. 18-24

MARKETING Hire a pro to take new photos of your store and your staff while everyone is tanned and happy. These are valuable marketing tools you can use when meeting new vendors at trade shows, dealing with local press, or even entering next year’s America’s Coolest Store contest.

PRICING If you’re like a lot of smaller jewelers, you may be underpricing a proven seller compared to your competition. “Fast-sellers in particular need to be fully priced,” says the Edge Academy’s David Brown. This week, spend time researching what prices your best-selling items are achieving across the industry and make sure you are realizing their full potential.

Aug. 25-31

FINANCE According to our Brain Squad surveys, only about 50 percent of independent jewelers offer some form of financing, and among those who do, most say the programs are an effective way of supporting sales. Investigate the options offered around the industry.

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Manager's To Do

Fun, Sun and Strategy … And More Manager’s To-Do Items for July

Your managerial planning for the month starts here.

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June 30-July 6

MANAGEMENT Summer is a time for fun, sun and strategy. To help you, a question to ponder from business author Jonathan Byrnes: Do we have bad profits? “Some investments look attractive, but they also take the company’s capital and focus away from its main line of business,” he explains.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT It’s parade season. Dust off your store mascot suit and join in the Independence Day festivities. You’ll be spreading a message of fun, community involvement and jewelry care.

July 7-13

OPERATIONS Are there some summer days when you show up and just pretend to work? This month, experiment with an abbreviated week. Knowing you have less time to get things done might just prompt a burst of productivity — and give you the chance to better enjoy the warm months.

SECURITY Place height markers along doorways so police looking at surveillance footage can determine how tall a robber is.

OPERATIONS You should have this already, a file documenting employee performance through the year. Actually, you should be tipping your workers off about how they’ll fare in their annual reviews. This keeps everything moving along smoothly, and you avoid those dreaded showdowns when employees get defensive. This is also a good time to plot your compensation plans.

July 14-20

PROMOTIONS Try a vault sale: Take older merchandise and offer it to your best customers at “incredible” discounts. Clients love it and often buy a number of items.

TRAINING Improve your staff’s question-asking skills with the Probing Game. Staff stand in a line, facing you or your sales manager, who kicks things off with the statement, “I’ve been looking for something for (insert occasion).” The first associate must ask a probing question about the customer’s needs, wants and desires. Fail to come up with one, and they sit down. Probing questions must be open-ended (who, what, when, where, how, why or tell me about your husband/wife …). Yes/no questions result in instant expulsion. Winner is last one standing.

July 21-27

TRAINING Discuss how to use company stories during sales presentations. Highlight how selling yourself and your store is just as important as selling the merchandise.

SERVICES If you don’t already, look into providing “Jewelry Box Reviews.” For $25, offer to evaluate a client’s fine jewelry collection to identify repair items, custom restyling options, and to document for insurance and estate purposes. It’s often a gateway to a series of custom design projects or repair jobs, appraisals, and gold and diamond buys.

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