We all go through slumps from time to time, and when we get down, we tend to get really down. As an owner, leader, or manager, you can’t afford to get down because every day matters in a retail jewelry store.
The Causes of Downers
Reduced customer traffic, declining sales figures, and frustrations with employees are just a few of the things that can impair a business and get you into a depressed or angry mood. And unfortunately, this can become much more than a bad mood for a day characterized by a lack of vitality, motivation, or creativity. It can develop into a lingering downer that can affect your personal health and well-being. Your work suffers and the impact it has on your staff is doubly debilitating.
You Need “Down Time” to Get Up
Sometimes we get down because we don’t see progress where we expect it. We work hard on promotions, events, and marketing efforts but fail to get the results we anticipated. So we try to work harder – sometimes way too hard – instead of giving our body and mind the time they need to relax and refresh for a new day. So as odd as it may seem, giving yourself the privilege of some “down time” can help you recoup and refresh so you can increase energy and get “up” for a new day. Things tend to look much better after a good night’s sleep.
Your Real Job
The job of a leader, manager, or owner is not to work endless hours as if on some kind of a guilt trip, but to work smarter on what is really important to grow your business. Your job isn’t to work 12 hours a day in the store, even though on occasion your work requires long hours and great effort. But this need not be the norm. Your job is to get results. And this can only happen through better leadership, time management, and focus on your staff and their success.
Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
So instead of being sucked into endless and meaningless minutia, try to prioritize the two or three key projects or areas you have to address each day. Focusing on the big picture helps you keep the long term in mind and pays dividends down the line. Unfortunately, we often get sucked into urgent (and often unimportant) issues that sap our energy, increase our frustration, and get us down before we can ever get a chance to be “up.” It’s true that details need to be handled, but I’m not convinced that the owners of stores or those who run them need to take care of every small issue that crosses the jewelry counter.
Focus on Sales
It’s obvious to focus on sales, but I’m shocked at how seldom it happens. Jewelers wait to see someone walk into the store instead of doing something to get them into the store. And amazingly, there is often no one to greet the person when the customer does walk in. Even Home Depot has someone greet you at the door.
How to Measure Your Progress and Stay Up
Measure your progress by the degree to which you are engaging customers in some tangible way. It’s often in the store, but it can also be by phone, through email blasts, via social media, at the country club, in a civic organization, or on a local board of directors. And even if you aren’t engaging more customers, make sure that the job you do with existing clients is better than ever.
Challenges exist in every business, but the degree to which you can see progress and still have fun is a true measure of your success. So avoid the “downers” and stay focused on what keeps you “up.”