by Angie Ash, Executive Vice President at Fruchtman Marketing
Happy 2020! With a new year comes new business goals or, perhaps, the resolve to make last year’s goals this year’s reality. Finally. You’re ready. Right? The problem with most resolutions is the fact that in order for them to become a happy reality, a new habit must be formed, and according to many studies, including this one, that new habit takes upwards of sixty days to truly stick. SIXTY DAYS! Just as our bodies and minds need discipline and commitment to make lasting changes, so does your jewelry business. Let’s take at some attainable goals that are probably way overdue.
- Your clunky website. Ever look in your closet and think, “That top is just no longer working.” And then think, “Hmmm, I guess maybe that’s because I’ve had it for way too long.” Websites are very similar. If you haven’t updated your website in years, you shouldn’t be shocked if you no longer like it and it doesn’t get good traffic. If you’re ready to make some updates, start making notes about the sites you do like, visit and shop. Not just jewelry websites. Any site. Is it the navigation, organization of the information, the overall look of the site? The fonts or clean look? Get specific and make a wishlist for your store’s site. Considering the fact that it’s second nature for consumers to check you out online well before entering your physical store, there is no time to waste on this initiative. You may be lucky enough to be forgiven by your existing customers for still rocking your current online look. However, anyone new who may be considering to make a fine jewelry purchase with you will take one look and think twice, or worse, go elsewhere. Consider an appointment or phone call you’ll make with a professional website company to upgrade your site or create a new one the same as you would make with a new doctor with a great reputation and plenty of references — not a friend, not a relative, not a student. Insist on having it built with an easy-to-use CMS so you can learn and feel confident making any necessary updates. Sites built with WordPress, for example, are easy to learn and edits are similar to what you would do to a Word document.
- Same old, same old. Do you go to the gym? If you do, you know your go-to workout occasionally needs a kick in the butt, too, or you lose your motivation. Slogging miles on the treadmill can be effective, but it’s also tedious when you are always literally running in place. The same should be considered for your advertising plan. Running fast and going nowhere is frustrating and exhausting. There will be times when a traditional print ad may still hit the right demo you’re trying to target. It may still be a publication that’s well-read in your community, BUT almost all publications have an online edition now, too. And clicks are measurable if your ad has a call to action and the click-through goes to your site. Mix it up and try something new to see if it impacts results. If you’re working with a marketing company, be open-minded to their suggestions, even if you aren’t ready to make drastic changes. And speaking of learning or trying something new, by now you know social media is clearly not going away. If you also know you’re not the right person to make updates to it and you don’t really know what you’re doing, stop wasting time and invest in hiring someone who knows how to advertise on it, likes it, and will create compelling posts with variety and style to create interest. You are just one person with limits. You don’t have to do everything and there’s only so much time in a day.
- Too much junk food. Sugar. Fat. Caffeine. You’re going to be tempted by all kinds of fare by those publications, station reps and charities, all wanting to give you a taste of the specials they’re offering. Keep your expenses in check and check on your goals often. Keep them posted prominently in your office. Question the “nutritional” value of what’s offered and ask yourself if it’s right for you. Not everything that tastes good is good for you. It really is okay to leave what’s offered or just say, “No thanks, I’m good.”
- Lack of focus. You can accomplish a goal if you so desire, but you need to put a plan in motion to give it the attention it deserves. You can’t gain that much-desired first-time bridal business if you keep investing your advertising dollars in fashion jewelry and targeting the 40+ demographic. Erratic activity only equals disjointed effects and disappointing setbacks. Commit to a percentage of your budget going into two to three segment categories at a maximum. For example, bridal, fashion and custom design. Then make sure you’re reviewing how you will target those particular audiences with the correct marketing messages and media mix and determine how you will track your efforts. Evaluate constantly and don’t wait for an entire year to change something that isn’t working. Don’t expect instant success, though. Give it 3-4 months of positive effort before making a decision.
- Unrealistic goals. Ever know someone who lost a lot of weight and kept it off? Maybe you thought, I could never do that. But you saw the before and after pics, right? It didn’t happen overnight, rest assured. But it did happen eventually because they kept at it, didn’t beat themselves up if they gained a pound, and most importantly, got back on their horse if they fell off. Give yourself permission to start small. Commit to a weekly check-in to see how you’re doing with your goals and use it as motivation to stay on track. Remember what I said earlier in this article – it takes SIXTY DAYS for a new habit to form. Nothing motivates quite like positive results, so celebrate your successes, learn from your missteps, then pick yourself up and keep going. 2020 is going to be a great year!