Friday, May 31, 2019

What Is My True Passion Here At The Gold Mine?


I'm often asked about why I love the jewelry business so much and what my true passion is.  Is it selling beautiful creations? Yes...is it repairing jewelry?  Why yes...but the number one thing that I simply love to do is to design and create beautiful custom one of a kind jewelry for my friends and clients.

With today's technology including laser welders/engravers, computer CAD design and casting...design work is so much easier than it was almost 40 years ago when I started. 

Imagine this...we goldsmiths used to sit down and carve a piece of jewelry out of a blue block of wax just so we could give our client's an idea of what something might look like.  Now with computer aided design software, I can show a customer in "Real Time" what their ring will look like and even picture it in realistic terms on their finger!  How cool is that?

Yes, things have come a long way in the way jewelry is designed & made these days.  Every day I hear of some new technology that makes our lives easier.  I think back to how long it used to take to create jewelry and I as well as my customers are thankful that now we can turn out a piece in days or a few weeks instead of a month!

Interestingly, we've had clients come in with designs scribbled on napkins...talk about unique :)  We were able to take their ideas and bring them to fruition.  So...if you enjoy unique pieces perhaps of your own creation or mine....I'm your guy!

Would love to chat anytime about jewelry design & creation...it truly is my passion!

Until next time,

Bill Warren, Owner & Gemologist
The Gold Mine
828-726-1009
www.hudsongoldmine.com

Friday, March 8, 2019

Noted Jeweler, Bill Warren Becomes Principle-Centered Marketing Coach

NOTED JEWELER, BILL WARREN BECOMES LICENSED, CERTIFIED PRINCIPLE-CENTERED MARKETING™ COACH

Renowned independent jeweler, Bill Warren, has become our latest, Licensed, Certified, Principle-Centered Marketing™ Coach with Ascend Marketing.

Warren is well known in the jewelry & gift industry for the extraordinary success he has enjoyed for the last 17 years, building a million-dollar plus retail jewelry business in an infinitesimally small market town of just 4,000 people; the North Carolina mountain village of Hudson. He has parlayed that success into a speaking and writing avocation, addressing jeweler groups around the country and regularly contributing to industry magazines like INSTORE and Southern Jewelry and Mid-America Jewelry News.

“I am NOT giving up my jewelry store,” Warren emphatically states. “This is not a situation where I failed at one thing and am now moving on to something else. On the contrary, my jewelry business is as healthy as it’s ever been and my business is now set up in such a way that I can pursue my other passion… helping people. Coaching my independent jeweler colleagues is a great way for me to do that.”

It hasn’t always been roses for Warren. Back in the early 2000s, he was struggling. Business was off over 25% and had slipped to annualized revenue of just $475,000 heading into the Fall. That’s when he hooked up with Marketing Coach, Jim Ackerman of Ascend, and life instantly began to turn around. By the time the year was out, the deficit was erased and Bill tallied nearly $750,000. Almost a 60% turnaround in just four months!
Thus began a friendship and partnership between Bill and Jim that has now led to them joining forces to expand the Ascend footprint in the industry, and to reach more retailers who need the same kind of help Bill experienced.

According to Ackerman, “Bill Warren is one of the consummate implementers I’ve ever worked with. As we worked together, he was all-in, doing whatever I asked. As a result his was one of the most remarkable turnarounds in our history. And the best part is, Bill has sustained his marketing focus ever since. It’s that kind of concerted effort that I’m confident he’ll bring to the world of marketing coaching, and any of his clients will be fortunate to work with him.”

Ascend Marketing has worked with hundreds of retailers through their Coaching program which is unique in the industry. Coaches Ackerman, Paul Furse, Royce Blake, and now Warren, work with stores over an extended period to help them get more new customers, increase average transaction, and get existing customers buying more frequently.
“Marketing is more than know-how. It’s DO-how,” Ackerman says. “ Retailers need sound marketing habits, skills and systems to succeed in today’s competitive environment. You can’t get those in hour-long seminars at trade shows. Skills take time and practice, and we’re the only ones who provide you with the feedback and accountability to acquire those vital attributes in business.”

“I’m excited for what I can bring to the table. Jim’s program certainly changed my business and my life. Now I want to do the same for other retailers. With this program I know I can make a difference,” Warren says.

Bill Warren has been in the jewelry business nearly 40 years, having started while in school. He’s owned and operated his store in Hudson for 26 years, and before that worked in jewelry chain-store operations. He’s a goldsmith, gemologist, appraiser, gem cutter and watch repairman, but says, “I found true success when I became a “marketer of jewelry, gemstones and jewelry-related products and services.”

Bill is also an avid musician, playing acoustic and electric guitar, banjo, mandolin and bass. He and his wife of 30 years, Angie, have one son, Dillon.
Warren recently completed his certification training with Ascend in Atlanta and is now certified to administer the program to clients.

In celebration of Bill’s addition to the Ascend stable of Marketing Coaches, the company is providing FREE Marketing Fitness Check-ups through April 30, 2019. This diagnostic tool is a $397.00 value and helps identify weaknesses in the marketing systems and programs of independent jewelers. The administering Marketing Coach then provides three or more specific recommendations the jeweler can immediately implement to increase traffic and improve closing rates.

Interested retailers can contact Bill Warren directly at goldman86@bellsouth.net or by phone at 828.729.1020. The may also contact Ascend Marketing at 800.584.7585 x3, or at mail@ascendmarketing.com.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

How To Develop The Marketing Mindset


You know you need to do it…you see other’s being successful because of it.  What is it that I speak of?  I’m so glad you asked…the answer is becoming the “Maverick Marketer” of your store!  Marketing truly is the engine that drives your store’s business.  Dare you neglect it?

Early in my career as a store owner we were doing ok.  However, larger, older and better financed competitors still were getting the lion’s market share in our area.  So what did I do?  I got help from those who knew what I didn’t in the marketing realm.  Coaching and developing a marketing mindset is what set our store on fire!

While so many retailers concentrated on brand building otherwise known as “Image Marketing”, I started learning about “Direct Response” marketing.  After putting direct response principles in place, I noticed an uptick in sales the very first month.  Therefore, I started crafting more offers, writing better headlines that would elicit a “Direct Response” to my marketing efforts.

You’ll discover as I did that building your in house mailing list is the center post that you build your marketing efforts on and everything else should follow and connect to it after that.  Here’s a marketing tip you shouldn’t ignore…with direct mail, postcards, etc…your client has to at least look at it.  If you do your job well in crafting a good offer, they’ll do more than just look!

Let me give you one more tip about direct response marketing.  The next time you go to your mailbox, carefully look at the offers being made to you from other businesses.  The best direct marketing minds in the world craft offers every day and send them to you.  So before you throw it away…look at the headlines, the offers, coupons and subscriptions they send you to see how you might use them in your operation.

Quit building a brand for someone else…if you create the right offers and store traffic, you’ll build your own brand in the minds of your customers.  When you develop the “Marketing Mindset” using sound direct response marketing principles, you’ll beat the “Image Marketers” every time!


Friday, July 27, 2018

Don't Miss My Info Packed Seminar at The Atlanta Jewelry Show!!!

Have you worked hard to build a mailing list for your retail store but can't seem to figure out how to put it to good use? No worries...help is at hand!

Make plans to attend my FREE seminar on "How To Find The Riches in the Niches of Your Store's Mailing List!"

This will be held at the Atlanta Jewelry Show on Friday, August 3rd from 4:00 to 5:00 PM.

This seminar is based on real world experiences in my own jewelry & gift store. Cut time and waste by learning from my successes as well as failures! Make plans to attend today so you'll be able to find those "Hidden Profit Centers" in your store's mailing list!

Discover this and other hidden nuggets of gold I'll be teaching....it would be a shame for others to learn these techniques! I really do look forward to seeing you in Atlanta...let's all profit together!

Sincerely,

Bill Warren, DDJM (Doctor of Dynamic Jewelry Marketing)
828-729-1020

P.S. - need a marketing speaker for a group you belong to? I'd love to help...call 828-729-1020.

P.P.S. - I'm a retailer just like you who has a love of teaching others! I like to keep things simple..no fancy websites or a bunch of bells & whistles...just results!

Friday, March 9, 2018

Keeping the Thing..."The Thing!"

Let me ask you a question - how many of you are bombarded daily with things that seem to pull you away from the important task of running your store? You know, you have three civic groups wanting you to donate an item for an auction or you’re hit up by someone wanting you to do a hole sponsorship for the latest golf tournament.
It seems we have time vampires all around us wanting to suck up all of our time and attention!
Since childhood I’ve been a huge Star Trek fan and I’ll never forget what Captain Kirk once told Captain Picard in one of the movie versions of Star Trek. He said something to the effect of, “While you’re captain of the ship, you’ll get to explore, do things and see things that no one else gets to see or do! Don’t let them promote you, don’t get distracted because while you’re in the captain’s seat… you’ll make a difference!” In other words, Keep the Thing, “The Thing!”
For those who’ve followed my columns over the years, you know my story - how finding success meant quitting being a jeweler per say and instead becoming a “Marketer of Jewelry” and related services to our area’s consumers. It was a subtle shift in my thinking, but a very important one.
Over the years I’ve found it easy to become distracted with day to day challenges, administration, employees, etc. However whenever I came out of the fog and realized that as “Captain of The Ship” and “Chief Marketer” it’s very important to constantly be developing marketing strategies that create the loyalty and store traffic we’ve enjoyed. 
Friends, I feel sure you’ll discover that marketing is the engine that drives your store’s business - dare you neglect it? It is easy to set aside that next e-mail blast, Facebook/Instagram post, direct mail promotion for the daily administration of business, etc. I get it! But when you do set it aside, just like letting off the accelerator of your car, you’ll slow down. 
Take 15 minutes each morning before everyone gets to work to plan your daily, weekly & monthly marketing. If that is not practical, take just one morning a week, lock yourself away and give yourself time to think about the systems that run your business. Above all else remember, Keep the Thing, “The Thing!”
"til next time,
Bill Warren

Saturday, February 4, 2017

WANT TO MAKE A WITHDRAWAL? YOU'VE FIRST GOT TO MAKE A DEPOSIT

Let me ask you a question. How many times have you said to yourself, “I sure wish we were doing more business and that we had more clients coming in the door”? Answer - I’m sure all of us have thought this very thing! Let us take a look at a simple analogy…
When you go to the bank and wish to make a withdrawal, would it be fair to say you must first have made a deposit? If you ask your body to jog five miles, would it be fair to say you must first give it the proper fuel with a good meal? Then how can we as sensible adults reasonably ask our stores to produce business and clients without first marketing properly?
You see, marketing would be likened unto a farmer plowing a field and planting the seeds. Only then can he “reasonably” expect to reap a harvest. So what am I getting at with all of these analogies? Gee, I thought you’d never ask! 
Instead of sitting around living off past successes and glory of days gone by, waiting on a client to darken your door, why not do something about it? Get your calendar out and plan a succession of promotions, sales and events that will attract someone to your store?
I’ll give you a few examples that have worked well for me as of late. In the fourth quarter of 2016, I took the time to invest in doing inexpensive Facebook social media promotions that really paid off. The nice thing about this was, I could target the exact client I wanted. One ad I ran costing only $50 brought in a new client who purchased a ring for $2499 - not to shabby!
Another success was that I took the time to identify a newspaper in a small town near me that still works well. Taking a small part of my Christmas ad budget, I placed several ads in this newspaper I’d never used before. The results? Several sales from new clients who’d never visited our store or town even though they only lived a half hour away! 
Are you starting to see what I’m getting at? In this day and age, you simply have to be proactive instead of being reactive. It’s my personal opinion that gone are the days we can just open our door and wait for customers to flock in. It’s up to you to give them a reason to come visit. That reason is something only you can answer, but good marketing is the vehicle!
You’ll also discover that integration is key to your marketing success. It is not good enough to just run an ad in one medium. Take the time to plan your marketing and have key elements of it appear in each form of marketing you do. For example: combine newspaper with a radio ad combined with Facebook, combined with a well-timed e-blast to your e-mail list.
Over time, your efforts will build and start paying off with more regular visits from your customers as well as new visits from new customers! I admonish you, don’t complain to the stove about not providing heat if you didn’t put any wood in to start the fire!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

HOW TO SQUEEZE EVERYTHING YOU CAN OUT OF EVERYTHING YOU'VE GOT

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)
www.warrenmarketing.blogspot.com
goldman86@bellsouth.net
828-729-1020