… And the living is easy! My summer intern has the office running smoothly, and Kiki has the refrigerator door plastered with travel brochures. All across the country it’s quiet on Main Street. As my friend Mark once said rather awkwardly, “If you can afford to shop in my store, you can afford to go to the beach or mountains for the summer.” Unless your store is located in a resort town, you probably have some time on your hands. So, what to do?
After you’ve tackled those pesky special order re-mount jobs you’ve been putting off, cleaned up the shop, and shipped the filters and sweeps off to the refiner, there is still plenty of long, hot summer left. So, here’s my suggested “to do” list for you to tackle until things get busy again:
Go to a trade show. There has to be one near you at some point this summer (hint: the Atlanta Show is August 3-5). And, if that isn’t near you, so much the better! Spend a couple of days at the show, and then re-charge your batteries with a few days vacation either in town, or in the mountains just a couple of hours drive away. For a list of my favorite activities in and around Atlanta, send me an e-mail.
Take a class. Most community colleges offer reduced rates for summer classes, and don’t care if you are a full time enrolled student. It doesn’t have to be jewelry or business related; guitar, a foreign language, film, anything that get the brain cells going. For your staff, however, you might recommend a jewelry related course, either locally, or on-line.
Decide which new civic organization or charity you are going to get actively involved with. Its probably been a while since you joined a fresh organization and made some new friends. Now is the time to make the phone calls and see what most interests you so you can hit the ground running in the fall. Don’t forget to encourage your sales staff to do the same thing. My friend Lexi works for a company that mandates she attend one community/charity event at least one day or night each week. Her company even reimburses her for out of pocket expenses such as dues, chamber breakfasts, cover charges, etc. Anything that gets you and your people out and involved in the community should be actively encouraged.
Get to know The 24 Karat Club. The members are all experts in their fields, and have pledged their time and resources to enhance and strengthen the jewelry industry. If you have a relationship with one member, ask that he or she introduce you to some of the other members. If you are not familiar with any of the members, take a little initiative, find a member from the website (www.The24KaratClub.org) in a business segment that you might like to explore, and make contact. We would all enjoy hearing from you!
As ever, I appreciate your thoughts and comments, and while I always reply, there may be some delay this time of year. That brochure Kiki laid out about glacier and volcano climbing in Iceland seems to have caught my eye!
Howard Kelrick is President of Finger Mate and a board member of The 24 Karat Club, SEUS. Finger Mate manufactures and installs expandable ring shanks and sells to retail jewelers throughout North America. Contact Howard at 954-458-2700 or e-mail Howard@FingerMate.com.