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What’s Next as the Economy Opens UP?

Most of us in the jewelry industry have been pleasantly surprised at how busy we’ve been during the pandemic.

In fact, fine jewelers have been flying high throughout. When things are going well, we have a tendency to assume they will keep going well. Similarly, when things are bad we have a tendency to assume they will stay that way. But the truth is, economies and business cycles swing from bad to good, and from good to bad, hovering in the middle in-between times. So, if you’re assuming that you’re going to stay on top of this rollercoaster for an unlimited time to come, you may be betting on the wrong horse.

As restaurants reopen, travel restarts, and mask restrictions drop, some of the money consumers have been spending on jewelry purchases is going to be redirected. While it’s hard to predict how much, it’s safe to say that jewelry sales are about to soften considerably.

So the question is, what will you do to protect the business you’ve built and keep customers coming back for more?

Here are 5 ideas for you to implement as we shift away from the pandemic:

  1. Go back to the drawing board. We’re serious! Good entrepreneurship is about constantly reimagining your business, and there’s no  better time to do it than now. Revise your customer personas (link), adjust your merchandise selection, evaluate each supply or retail partner, and put all your marketing and messaging out on the table for review. Be innovative and bold and don’t shy away from making changes.

  2. Review your team’s skills and abilities. This is an excellent opportunity to elevate your team’s skills. Work on developing more clienteling skills (important for both retail and wholesale), product knowledge, social media participation, crafting emails, and technical skills (like using the VDB App for working with clients, preparing for clients, and sourcing your diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, and gems!). 

  3. Do better hiring. Are you staffing back up? Think hard about the talent and personalities you need, and hold out for the right candidates. Make sure your onboarding and training approach is sufficient to turn those new hires into the powerful team your business needs.

  4. Review your pricing. You may have a new pricing sweet spot - have you evaluated that? Do you have enough product options in the different price levels? Are you deploying a just-in-time inventory strategy to ensure you have enough options without breaking the bank? 

  5. Review your merchandise mix. Yes, every business has its bread-and-butter, tried-and-true products. But are you leaning too hard on those? Are you experimenting with new styles and new categories? Have you asked your customers for input on what merchandise you could use more of . . . or less of?

The truth is, one of the most important disciplines in running a business is to stop and evaluate on a regular basis. But for nearly every jewelry business, there has never been a more important time to reevaluate than right now.