So how do we keep our stores successful in these difficult economic times? Here are a few suggestions:
- Look for a way to differentiate yourself from the "Crowd". Define what it is that makes your store different from all the chain jewelers and forecast that message in everything you do. Some marketing gurus call this your "USP" or Unique Selling Propisition. Here at The Gold Mine we put our USP or elements of it in every piece of marketing we do.
- Realize that just like a lake that dries up when the streams that feed it are clogged our stores must continually have new streams of business coming into it such as: looking for corporate clients to sell corporate awards to, selling & buying scrap gold, silver & platinum, going after your local high school/college classring business, etc.
- You must make yourself or your store more visible in the public and local community by supporting local charities, being available for speaking events regarding the jewelry industry and honing your store's message that it is an active member in the business community at-large.
- Don't rest on your laurels, constantly be looking for new products and new ways of informing your clients about them. Almost daily, we hear of a new type of media or way of marketing and we must get in tune with it or die!
- Realize that your new customers, those under the age of 30, are getting their information about your products on the internet first! Make sure you have a good online presence...study the internet and become proficient in the multiple ways in can enhance or hurt your business.
I'm thankful to my faithful clients who shop with us and I'm always looking for ways I can bring massive rewards, benefits and information that better serves them to them. We as independent jewelers must realize that we are in the "Marketing of jewelry & jewelry related services" first and foremost rather than just "being" a jeweler. Times are a changing and we must change with them or 2008 could be the last round in the fight for our way of doing business.
I challenge all independent jewelers as well as specialty retailers at large to take a good look at their business and rethink ways they may better serve their clients!
Bill Warren, President/Registered Gemologist Appraiser
The Gold Mine Fine Jewelry & Gifts, Inc.
545 Main St. Hudson, NC 28638