On June 23, 2017, the Jewelers' Security Alliance issued a special alert outlining a widespread scam that's been recently targeted at the jewelry industry. In the security alert, which you can read here, the JSA explains that scammers are profiling retailers and manufacturers in order to pull off the reported telephone scams.
No one ever wants to write a business plan for their new business or new business venture. Most people feel that a business plan is especially needed when you want to raise startup capital, which while true, a business plan helps you create focus.
Many business owners have great ideas that they feel they can accomplish without writing the ideas down on paper. I started my first business in 1994 with just vague ideas and didn't write my first plan until 2 years later after suffering several slow starts.
I have met and helped many different entrepreneurs during my time as a volunteer business coach for my local chapter of SCORE, a division of the U.S. Gov. S.B.A. While I've helped them make their businesses better, I've also learned that most entrepreneurs of all ages share several similar personality characteristics and daily practices.
Life of an entrepreneur
Most entrepreneurs start out small and quickly learn all the jobs needed to make their business run. If you're a small business owner, then you are probably the best s... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
For several years and through a lot of tough competition, Facebook has managed to maintain its status as the most popular social media network, although there seems to be an evolutionary shift of people away from Facebook and on to other networks like Instagram and Snapchat. Some organizations, groups, and communities are using Facebook's Group feature to create a community messaging board, while other organizations have migrated to networks like Telegram. For the moment, Facebook is still the network to use, but Instagram is growing quick... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Online referrals are starting to make an impact on local businesses, but not in the way we all expected them to. A few years ago, the buzz within the online marketing community was that social networks would become a referral engine for people to ask advice through. Facebook even attempted to create a new type of social search engine to capture that referral service. Google also struggled with the idea that the internet would become a big referral engine, and they tried to capture a piece of it through Google+.
This is the Friday website review where I randomly choose a retail jeweler and scrutinize their website for problems. I look for design mistakes, SEO mistakes, functionality mistakes, content mistakes, and even marketing mistakes.
This week I searched for "jewelers Renton, WA" to find a review candidate. Here are the results I saw in Google:
Last weekend, I received a frantic phone call from a store owner that needed to fire an employee, but the employee was in control of all their Google accounts. The store's Google Analytics, Google AdWords, Google Search Console, and Google My Business accounts were all created by an employee years ago, and the store owner never insisted that those accounts be transferred into her name. It's a sticky situation now that should have been avoided from the beginning.VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Entrepreneurs face many challenges when they first open their business. Frequently, business owners don't even know how to get started with registering their business on a local, county, state, or federal level. During my time as a business mentor with SCORE, I've been surprised by the number of aspiring entrepreneurs who come in asking for legal and accounting advice to help them get through their initial start-up peri... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
This is part 2 of a 3-part series on Time Management. I have to thank Rod Worley with Four Grainer: Inside the Jewelry Trade Radio Show for motivating me to write this series. While I was on his podcast show, he asked me the following question: "Where are they supposed to find the time?"
Instead of writing simple direction to explain how to get things done, I decided to dive deep... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I recently had someone tell me that they felt it was better to post anything to their business Facebook account than nothing at all. This particular jeweler didn't have anyone in the store willing to manage their Facebook account, yet they felt it was important to be active.
Their solution was to hire a social media management company that didn't know anything about jewelry, and was posting non sequitur information to their account. Although their fan base was slowly increas... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Thanks to The EDGE Retail Academy, attendees of JCK 2015 were able to witness two presentations from Terry Hawkins, bestselling author, well-established business woman, and President of the training company People In Progress Global. I had the fortune of attending her JCK Talk titled "The Retail Revolution" on Thursday, May 28, 2015.
Terry is certainly a dynamic speaker that keeps the audience entertained and engaged while also sharing valuable infor... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
The jewelry industry has changed a lot since the emergence of the internet and especially through the last few years of financial hardship. Honestly, it's not just the jewelry industry, but all retail sectors. Technology has helped revolutionize customer service, and even more importantly, customer expectations in other sectors.
In an effort to help the jewelry industry better understand how to keep up with important changes, the theme o... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Many retail jewelers still struggle managing the time it takes to promote themselves on social media. Unfortunately, even though you can hire an agency to manage your social accounts, the best way to engage your customers is to establish your brand's own online identity.
It's difficult to allocate the time needed to engage on social media amidst the daily routine needed to run a jewelry store. Instead of doing it all yourself, you could allow your employees to engage soc... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
With all my writing aboutcontent recently, it's easy to forget that the reason for all of that is to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and thereby increase the number of people visiting your website.
What's your favorite type of content? Given that content includes written articles, videos, podcasts, photography, and every other type of creative digital experience. There's a labor cost associated with creating a digital experience for your customers, a cost that's not easily understood by small business owners.
There's also a competing value of the content that swings between the long term value to attract quality customers and the short term value of getting a lot of attention. S... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
I'll be the first to admit the website content creation difficultly level is pretty high. Content includes infographics, photos, podcasts, PDFs, videos, testimonials, and, of course, the written word. It takes hours to prepare each of those types of content but the return on that time investment come in the form of several years of attracting customers throu... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Managing the online identity for your business is time consuming. Although you might have found the best agency to build your website and help your marketing online, the relationship you have with them probably won't last forever.
Eventually, you will have to divorce your marketing agency.
This is the conclusion of the Daily Golden Nugget I began yesterday detailing how your agency should be setting up your business accounts and what you need to do to guarantee you always have login acce... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
Jewelers are in the business of helping couples get to the moment when they profess their love and vow "til death do us part."
Few relationships are intended to last forever, or even a lifetime, but when you get into bed with a business partner, you are rarely thinking about the day when you will break up. When you're in business for yourself, you should be making forward steps to improve your business, but also prepare yourself to different possible future outcomes.
In yesterday's Daily Golden Nugget, I explained how you can invite someone to help manage your Google business account. An email is sent to notify the person who's being invited to manage the Google account. That email invitation is the only way that the person will know they've been invited, there's no other notification.
This is the last part in my 7-part Daily Golden Nugget series on Google My Business. The links to the first 6 parts are at the bottom of today's edition.
As the Google services have become more complicated, the user interfaces to manage them have become equally complicated. Many users have given up on managing their accounts while others have screamed for help. Google hears those screams and is working through their different services to give business owners a way to share editing rights to consultants that you hire to help.
Content creation is a continual task for every website owner. It can also be a very challenging task to come up with new content all the time without suffering from mental burnout or writer's block. That burnout will have a bad effect on your long term SEO, so it needs to be prevented.
One way to prevent content creation burnout is to spread the task around between several employees on your sales staff. Remember that website content isn't just blog posts. Content... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
While the technical aspects of search engine optimization include a lot of analysis and analytical thinking, the on-site optimization requires a creative flair for writing, photography, and customer satisfaction that... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
It seems like every day I see not one, not two, but perhaps more than a dozen different online marketing campaigns that make me scratch my head wondering why they bothered.
I'm not only referring to the jewelry industry either, but all types of online marketing. It just seems like so many businesses don't understand the larger view of how intertwined the internet is to everyday life and the expectations of their customers.
One of your goals (aka resolutions) for this year should be to hire a full time employee to manage your website.
I realize that hiring someone for this type of job will be unusual for a retail jewelry store owner, so let me explain what types of experience and skills someone will need, and how to identify them on a resume.
Here what you should look for once you do decide to hire an employee:
1. They must have a smartphone. It doesn't matter if it's an iPhone or Android, but honestly it shouldn't be a Blackberry. Not on... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
If you've attended enough seminars, read enough business books, received business coaching or attended a business college you certainly will be familiar with the concept of a Sales Funnel.
We did a quick Google search to try and lock down the exact definition of it, but between Wikipedia and thousands of other authors, reporters, and bloggers it seems there isn't a single easy-to-understand definition that explains it.
In essence, the large opening of the funnel represents your broad marketing strategy. This is your newspapers, billboards, radio, TV, Twitter and Facebook. This is where you get your message out there so the world has the chance to hear you, i.e. you are making them aware of you.
With traditional marketing, you have to rely on the consistency of delivering your message before you pour the prospect fu... VIEW FULL GOLD NUGGET
You know we're just coming out of a recession, right? Have you kept track of how many people are still unemployed? You should, because right now it's a business owner's market for picking the best qualified person for your job opening. Better yet, you can offer them peanuts for pay.
Your busiest month of the year is right around the corner. Do you need to hire more staff to help out? Please, before you say "no" let's try a little test.
1. Are you the only full time employee with only 2 part time employees? Hire another part-timer quick!
2. Track how much time is spent on all phone calls for 2 weeks. Double that number. Can your current staff handle that much time on the phone and also properly service their normal duties and the increased holiday foot traffic? If not, hire someone else.
"...articles are easy to follow and seem to have information one can use right away." -Ann, Gallery 4, Hamden CT
"...serious kudos to you. We love your straight talk, pertinent information and plain language. I don't know how many industries have something of jWAG's caliber available, but I learn from the emails every day. Really, really nice work, and very appreciated." -Cheryl Herrick, Global Pathways Jewelry