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!
Bill Warren, DDJM (Doctor of Dynamic Jewelry Marketing)
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!”
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!
How To Squeeze Everything You Can
Out of Everything You've Got
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)
Success in business (and in life) usually comes after some of your biggest trials and tribulations. Each of us must make the choice daily to succeed in our chosen calling of being an independent jeweler. It often seems like the things that worked yesterday are no longer effective today. We constantly need to be learning and improving ourselves and our businesses.
Many years ago, upon opening my store, one of my relatives commented, “That boy is going to go broke!” You see, I had opened in a very small western North Carolina town on a very meager budget with very few resources (perhaps this sounds familiar to your startup). However, my wife and I always moved forward with the belief that success lay in diligent hard work, preparation and the belief that we would be successful no matter what.
Over the years, through the ups and downs of owning an independent jewelry store in a small town, we learned to constantly retool ourselves and to improve on a regular basis. We had great competition that really made us look like “David to their Goliath” whom were much better funded. Hey - competition is often a driving force and it did make us want to be better. We chose not to worry about our competition but to let the competition worry about what we would do next! That in itself is a very empowering belief my friends.
Perhaps as you read this you’re wondering what you need to do to take your business to the next level. Let me offer a few words of advice - become a better marketer first! When you market your store well, you’ll have the traffic flow and cash flow you need to do the things you want to do. Without customers coming in the door on a regular basis, no business can be successful. When I quit being a jeweler and became a marketer of jewelry and jewelry related services, my store started growing in a very significant way.
What type of marketing should you do? The answer is different for each of us and you’ll have to experiment to see what works best for you. I do recommend developing a strong mailing list of your regular clients and marketing to them often either by direct mail, e-mail or telephone. Your regular customers make up the bulk of your business. Too many jewelers constantly spend their time and money trying to get new clients instead of marketing to the ones they already have!
To acquire new clients, I’ve often used billboards and radio to bring them in my door. We use a combination of direct offers and image advertising to peak their interest. By all means, track each form of marketing/advertising you do to see which is most effective for you.
Of course, we can’t forget digital/online marketing! It is absolutely essential to have an up to date website that is optimized for smartphone users. Many prospects check you out online first, especially the “Millennial” crowd, and most often they do it through their smartphone. Consider allotting a portion of your budget to Facebook and Google Ads, but don’t over do it!
What if you’re struggling to make ends meet and don’t have a lot of money to advertise? In this case, I’d consider doingFREE press releases to local media about your latest service offering. When we acquired a laser welder, the newspaper came to do an article about how “Star Wars Technology” had come to our small town. It was catchy and it brought new clients. Think about what you have to offer that no one else can and call your local newspaper, radio, etc. and ask for them to do a press release. Offer to write it up for them!
You’ll also discover that you constantly need to become a better business person. Buying the right kind of inventory is crucial. Its so easy to load up on inventory at shows, but you really should learn to stock the right things at the right times. Learn what your best sellers are and never be out of them. Make sure you’re not paying too much for your inventory!
Perhaps things in your area are really bad and money is tight! Always keep a bullet in your pocket. Never drain the bank account to zero! Arrange new financing with your vendors, banker, etc., but above all else - never give up!!! The greatest victories in your business often come after things have seemed their darkest.
Lastly, remember to surround yourself with people who believe in you and your business goals. We all have enough“Negative Nellies” in our life and you surely don’t need it at work. Make sure you have positive, empowered employees around you. Get rid of the negative ones who drag you and your business down!
I don’t know why I felt compelled to write this, but I feel sure it was meant for someone. Remember the comment one of my relatives made about going broke in the story above? As we celebrate our 22nd anniversary in business remember this, success can be the sweetest revenge... that you can take to the bank!
Greetings & Happy New Year from the Doctor of Dynamic Jewelry Marketing - Bill Warren!!!
I'm already off to a great start with my first speaking engagement to be at the Ballayntine Resort in Charlotte, NC for the upcoming SJO Jewelers Show to be held on February 1st & 2nd. I'll be speaking both days at 8 AM on my ever popular topic of "How To Cook With Gas, Take No Prisoners & Build A Winning Jewelry Store!
During this 2 day seminar, you'll learn how I more than doubled my own jewelry store's business in a few year's time using such techniques at:
Out of the Box Direct Mail Methods
Voice Blast Technology (My store was one of the first to do this)
Plus much, much more!
Since the SJO Jewelers Group is a member only event, you may need to call Paul Downey at (216) 896-9850 or email at: P.Downey@SJOrg.comto make sure you're eligible to attend but let me urge you to do so!!! SJO is a great group to be a part of and you can probably attend for FREEjust to get your feet wet so to speak!
As always, feel free to call me at (828) 729-1020 if you have any questions or if I may help you in any way!
Do you ever wonder about ways you can improve your business? You sit and think about it, but you’re just not sure what to do? As I write this article, the New Year has recently started and I find myself being reflective about things, but looking forward as well. Many things we tried in our jewelry store worked well last year, but some of the marketing, strategies and events were clunkers just like any other business has.
The title of this article is “How to reinvent the wheel in your store,” but perhaps it should have been “How not to reinvent the wheel.” What do I mean by that statement? Simple - I’m a big fan of the “Modeling Process” or in other words, copying the successful systems, attitudes and behaviors of those I wish to emulate or be more like. Just like you, I have my heroes in the jewelry biz and in the retail world at large.
One of the things I find helpful to stimulate new ideas is visiting other successful jewelry stores to see what they’re doing and to see if I can implement some of the ideas I learn in my own store. No one, and I repeat no one, has all the answers and we should all keep learning our trade each and every day. If we don’t do this, it’s my opinion that our business could cease to exist as our competitors locally and not so local, aka the Internet, Blue Nile, etc., move forward with innovative ideas.
Perhaps the best marketing advice I can give to any jeweler seeking to improve their store’s operation is to get out and visit other jewelry stores. On one recent visit to a store near our vacation condo I saw how this jeweler had integrated a very successful “Estate Jewelry” operation in their store that obviously set their store apart from others in their region. This made me question myself - why I had never seriously put in a estate jewelry case in our store. I also noticed this jeweler marketed to his client mailing list with postcards and special offers to those clients who love this type of jewelry. Duh!!! Why haven’t I been doing this???
With thanks to David Geller for inspiring me to do this many years ago, I modeled one of his behaviors in that I started sending “Thank You” notes to every customer who made a purchase or had a repair done in my store. With each of these thank you notes also came a gift certificate in whatever amount I deemed appropriate that the client could use on their next purchase. These days this is quite easy due to the advent of POS systems such as Edge, Winjewel and many others making it simply a “click of the button.”
One of the things I’ve been paying particular attention to lately in other jewelry stores, as well as other retailers, is the use of text marketing where you have a customer send a text message to your service and a special offer, gift certificate or message pops up on their smartphone. I’m experimenting with this as I write this and think there is some merit to it that we jewelers should incorporate ourselves.
As we continually become a more smartphone dominant society instead of desktop computer or laptop, it also seems very important to make sure our store’s websites are optimized for viewing on a smartphone. Over the holiday season, it absolutely amazed me how many younger clients came in my store with a picture of a ring from some website that they wanted to purchase in my store. I was very glad of this, but also kind of ashamed that I hadn’t optimized my own website sooner! Note to self... hey self, get off your butt and get your website optimized for viewing on the small screen!!!
One more thing - if you’ve not had the opportunity, go visit a Chico’s ladies store. My wife goes there often. Ok, maybe too often, but watch these folks in action. They are simply some of the best at clienteling I’ve ever seen! A few days after a purchase, my wife gets a card saying “Thanks” along with a special offer to come in again. Did I mention they also know her preferences and call her anytime something has come in that she might like? They also call her anytime there is a special event and give her a FREE gift just for coming in. Plus, they never forget a birthday and send a gift certificate for that as well. How often do you do this for your clients? Another note to self... start clienteling like Chico’s does and watch the bank account grow!
Most successful retailers belong to several organizations and often get great ideas, brainstorming sessions and many more benefits simply by being a part of them. I currently belong to four groups, two of which are jewelry specific and two made up of all types of retailers. It never ceases to amaze me the knowledge that is shared and how much I come away with. I suggest you find a group that you enjoy being a part of. Go out and try some until you find the right one. Like me, you may have to try several. Let some go, but by all means find one you can learn and grow with!!
These are just a few ideas I’ve been thinking about and hey, I really didn’t have to reinvent the wheel either. I just borrowed ideas from others and found a way to apply them in my store. Can you do the same? I’ll bet you can and probably even better than me! Drop me a line sometime at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know what you come with. Maybe we can brainstorm something together!
I have been in retailing for over 25 years. Currently, I own a retail jewelry store & giftshop known as The Gold Mine Fine Jewelry & Gifts, Inc. of Hudson, NC. Warren Marketing Systems is a venture into another love, "Marketing". Being involved in several mastermind groups, I enjoy helping other retailers explode their business potential through unusual, out of the box marketing systems.