Making The Sale
Seven Flaws That Can Ruin Your Business Plan
Miami, FL—Some seasonal businesses “heat up” during the summertime, but most businesses (including jewelers who are not in a resort area) see a major slow-down. Customers take vacations, and new purchases—unless it’s for a special occasion--are usually delayed until after vacation season. But this is not necessarily a bad thing. Savvy business owners will use this time to update their skills, technology, marketing prowess or anything else that can drive their business forward for the rest of the year.
Here are a few things we will be doing this summer—hope it helps:
1) Attend your own “summer school.” There is no shortage of new things to learn. Maybe you have been wondering about how to use Pinterest more for your social media, or learn how to put videos on YouTube, or how to boost your website’s Google ranking. Pick one topic and focus. Attend a local class, pick up a book or find a training webinar. Our Preferred Concierge is going to a five-day social media conclave. She knows how fast technology is changing and she wants to be the first to know. Maybe you have an employee that wants to be your tech guru. For an owner, it’s refreshing and exciting. An employee who wants to know more and get better and better for your company is worth investing in.
2) Use the summer to update all your social media profiles. If you’re using LinkedIn, make sure it’s up to date with your latest skills, experience, contacts, and endorsements. If you use Twitter or Facebook to connect with your customers, take some time to renew your bio and profile description. In general, you want to make sure all your digital calling cards are accurate, up-to-date, compelling and loaded with your important key words.
3) During the summer, it’s time to get out of your comfort zone. Break away from the same old routine to find new inspiration during the summer months. This could be as simple as trying a difference exercise class or regime. Attend a festival of some kind that you’ve never considered attending before. You never know where your next great idea will come from, so look anywhere and everywhere this summer for inspiration. Go ahead and try a yoga class. All kinds of thoughts and inspirations can happen in class.
4) “Summerize” your marketing. Think of creative ways to incorporate summer themes into your marketing, like maybe a summer newsletter to your customers. I loved this idea: treat your top customers to a summer activity like golf, baseball game or—my favorite—summer wine tasting. It keeps you connected.
5) Revisit business goals during the summer. Summer is the perfect midway point to re-evaluate your business goals for the year. If you made goals at the beginning of the year, pull them out and see how well you’re sticking to them. Are there any less important tasks that are distracting you from your top-line goals? Do you need to realign your day-to-day tasks with your top business goals?
Ok here’s the worst…
6) Get ready for tax season. If you’re guilty of waiting until the last minute (which none of my readers would be) to organize and file your taxes, the summer is the perfect time to get started. I know you all have tax accountants but it is a great state of mind when you are totally organized. Plus, this is a great time to meet with your accountant to see if there is anything you should be doing this year, whether it’s changing your business structure or increasing your expenses and distribution to optimize your tax position. Get all your finances in order including all expenses and receipts for the year. You will be grateful when tax time rolls around.
7) Keep in touch with your customers. When things get busy, it’s easy to fall out of touch with key customers, friends within the industry, and mentors. Summer is the best time to re-connect. A simple lunch, coffee, or phone conversation might give you valuable insight on ways to grow your business.
8) Set time aside for yourself. It’s summer and you deserve it. I know my jewelers and I know me, we’ve all gotten used to working around the clock. Your customers are on vacation, so maybe you should create a little vacation time too, whether it’s a two-week beach trip or a European vacation or setting aside an hour to do something YOU enjoy every day. Remember that it is important to re-charge your batteries in order to stay motivated and focused throughout the year. A change of scenery (as my Canadians say) can “stoke” your creativity. Who knows what brilliant plan you’ll dream up when you step out of the daily grind?
As for me, I’m taking my own advice. I have had the best time this year writing for The Centurion Newsletter. I have learned so much through all my research. I thank Hedda and now my loyal followers on my Instagram account (Esmeraldasays) and my Jewelry Chatter Box Blog. You have made me so happy when you tell me how much you enjoyed an article, and it’s even better when you tell me that you have learned something from one of my articles and have implemented it.
I will be taking my advice and take the summer off from writing my Centurion Newsletter articles. I have many summer projects to work on for Continental Buying Group and Preferred Jewelers International. I will be blogging and posting all summer so keep in touch. So, as the old Tempos song says, “See You In September!” --Andie
Andie Weinman, president and CEO of Preferred Jewelers International / Continental Buying Group Inc., was born with the “Jewelry Gene” working in the jewelry industry since she was only ten years old. Her first job was as a cashier in the opening of a catalog showroom doing a fantastic job even at that tender age. Andie holds a B.A. in musical theatre and a B.S. in marine biology from The University of Tampa. When she realized that seawater and marine biology were not good on her hair and she wasn’t quite good enough to make it on Broadway, the jewelry business beckoned. Andie has picked diamonds, sorted color stones, shot waxes and performed a multitude of jobs in the manufacturing of jewelry. Her negotiating experience and prowess has given her the reputation as being tough but fair in her dealings with vendors. In 2012 the Indian Diamond and Color Association awarded Andie the Prestigious Doyenne Award of the Year.
Making The Sale
Seven Flaws That Can Ruin Your Business Plan