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Getting the ball rolling on Twitter

*This is the third in a series of six articles about Twitter Social Networking and its use in the Jewelry Industry

Last month we covered marketing your business on Twitter. Now let's get your Twitter Account up and running, learn the language, structure and hopefully focus on enough Twitter positives to keep you from becoming a "Twitter Quitter."

Understanding Twitter as a marketing tool

*This is the second in a series of six articles about Twitter Social Networking and its use in the jewelry industry

Last month I shared with you an overview of Twitter and explained its uses as a communications platform for your business. Now I'd like to get you thinking about how you could market your business in its own Twitter Space.

The first step to capitalizing on the advantages Twitter can offer is to assess your business strengths. Start by asking yourself, your employees and even your customers this question: What sets your company apart from the competition? Is it your wide variety of merchandise? Your in-house repair shop? The designer lines you carry? Your knowledgeable sales staff and outstanding customer service? Your reputation for exquisite custom work? Your celebrity clientele? Your knack for stocking jewelry in all the price-points?

How to deal with that bad hiring decision

We’ve all been there. That “perfect candidate” we hired just doesn’t work out for whatever reason and we’re left ruing the decision and trying to manage the fallout that might happen afterwards. Depending on the person this can take all forms including a loss in sales, staff disagreement, management time in re-performing tasks, even legal costs if things get ugly.

Sometimes it just comes down to having the wrong person in the wrong position. This may not always be obvious - if a staff member is struggling to perform tasks they can sometimes be very good at disguising the problem. Rather than just admitting they are unable to cope they deal with the matter in a variety of ways that may seem to have nothing to do with the issue - arriving late to work, low productivity, arguing with fellow staff members - it can show up in a myriad of ways.

The tortoise and the hare

While my kids were growing up one of the favorite stories I most loved to tell them was the tortoise and the hare. You’ll know the story well enough to know the moral - slow and steady ultimately can win the day over the fast and more glamorous alternative.

For many store owners the tortoise part of their business can be repairs - it normally has a low average sale, can be time consuming and leads to the greatest number of complaints and returns when the repair mysteriously “broke” shortly after it was completed!

When did you last review your prices?

When we talk to clients about the key performance areas of any businesses profitability we generally come down to four factors that need to be measured and monitored closely: stockturn, quantity of sales, margins and average retail. There are many factors that can affect these four areas, but if there is any area of a business that is the quickest and easiest to adjust in order to improve the bottom line it would be price. It would also be the area of business that store owners have the most reservations about changing.

How long will it take to sell your old inventory?

If you stopped buying today, how long would your current inventory last you? This is a variation of the old question, if you stopped working how long would your money last, but in this case we’re honing in on the amount of surplus product most store owners are carrying.

Why do this exercise? Because, as we repeatedly tell our clients and anyone else who listens, most stores have a surplus of product sitting around that simply doesn’t perform.

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