How To Squeeze Everything You Can Out of Everything You've Got
Many years ago as a kid I went on a road trip with my father who was a long haul truck driver. While traveling up Interstate 40 at a pretty good clip of speed, I noticed an older, compact foreign car pull out in the lane to pass us. This seemed quite remarkable to my young mind at the time because my father in his big rig was already doing well over 80 miles per hour! Undaunted the little foreign car with smoke coming out his exhaust and an engine that sounded like it could explode at any minute did pass us and pulled on off into the distance. My father remarked, "It appears he's squeezing everything he can out of everything he's got!"
Perhaps you and I could take a lesson from this little foreign compact car and apply the same philosphy to our jewelry stores. Many times while in prayer we often ask for more strength, more grace, more of this and more of that when in reality we've not done the most with what we've already been given. Can you see how this might apply to you?
Lets take marketing for a minute. One of things I'm often asked is "How in the world do you find time to do all of the nifty marketing things you do?" Pretty simple..I take the time to get to my store one day a week when its early and no one else is there. I then plan out my marketing calendar that week, execute it and then let it go on autopilot. One example of this is my weekly store emails to my customer database. Its easy to plan a month's worth of emails using a simple online program like Constant Contact. Just pick one of their templates, copy and paste a picture in and add the text you want and there you have it! It only takes 10-15 minutes to do a month's worth and then you're on autopilot..free to get out on the sale floor or do whatever it is you do best!
How about buying inventory? Another simple thing...pull a report from your store's POS system of what you sold in the last week or month (whichever works best for you). Then analyze what has sold best for you and replinish it then and there. When it stops selling well...stop ordering it! Rather than always loading up on inventory at shows, how about replinishing your store's best sellers a little at a time? I'll bet it'd help your cashflow and if it sold quickly once, it'll probably do it again!
Do you take the time to make sure you've got your "Never Outs" covered? This can be anything from popular watch batteries to repair stock/findings, etc. In other words, don't be out of anything crucial in your inventory or your repair shop!
How about add-on sales? Do you have a counter special set up near your cash register so as to enduce impluse sales? Of course, this should come after you've already maximized the main sale by offering additional add-on's to it...
Are you leveraging trade associations and vendor relationships to their fullest? Remarkably, I wasn't taking advantage of my Polygon membership like I should be. Now I check it out daily for great last minute vendor specials, bargains and closeouts that allow me to make that little bit of extra gross profit that benefits the bottom line.
The real "Bottom Line" is...are you really doing your best to "Squeeze Everything You Can Out of Everything You've Got?" What would it hurt to get to your store an hour or so early one day a week and to take time to think about the systems that run your business? I'll bet if you do and you really implement positive changes...you'll be like that foreign compact car and you'll leave your competitors in the distance!
'Til Next Time,
Bill Warren, DDJM (Doctor of Dynamic Jewelry Marketing)