Merrick, NY--As much as we want to continue doing what has worked in the past, it seems that this year in particular is the time to redefine one's jewelry business and put in writing the ways the business can grow more unique, more competitive and stronger in the months and years ahead.
As part of this important exercise, also conduct a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis of your business, including your ideas for redefinition.
Analysis requires that you ask yourself the hardest questions, the ones you normally do not need to face on a daily basis.
This includes an honest assessment of just who is your competition, including all types of competition--not just other jewelry sellers, but also other categories that are competing for your customers' share of wallet--and how you really stack up against them. It needs to cover your team as well, and if they are the right players to take your business to the next level in what we all understand are challenging times.
This is also the time to look at pricing and pricing policies, discount policies, and the condition of your customer base and how they are faring in today's economy. Strategies for overcoming customer attrition also must be included.
Another part of this really needs to be Pie in the Sky brainstorming. Who are we? Who do we want to be? If there are no restraints, who would we be? Also, what are the many out-of the-box ideas we want to put on the table now to consider as part of our strategy moving forward?
With so many companies under pressure in the fine jewelry marketplace in 2017, how you realistically see the plan is very important. If your company position is strong, and your numbers have been looking good over the past 24 months, you probably want to combine innovation and out-of-the-box ideas with a strategy to reinforce your brand in the marketplace.
On the other hand, if for example sales or traffic counts have been sliding over the past 24 months while margins have been eroding, you more likely need to embrace that what you're doing here is creating a bet-the-company approach with fresh new ideas to reverse the decline and create a growth cycle.
Be sure to also include your team in the development of your new plan, as they are the ones who will be at your side to carry it forward. And together you will Infuse the enthusiasm necessary to make it work.
Finally, be sure to quantify the achievement of predefined benchmarks on your path to the successful implementation of your new strategy. This probably means a weekly review of where you stand on all of the key goals agreed as part of the plan.
If you haven't already, I hope you will take the time to go through this exercise for 2017.
Here's wishing you and your team an amazing year! Please email questions or thoughts to me at email@example.com.