Getting Value RightWhen you run a business, your job is to produce and sell value. It is both as simple and as complicated as that. When I see businesses getting value wrong, I have a physical reaction to it – it’s like watching a starving person eat cardboard. So that’s what we’re going to focus on today: Getting value right. Because if you can do that, you can make money.

Let’s start with a few examples. Continue reading

Posted in entrepreneurship, general business, merchandising and marketing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Competitiveness Means Meeting Customer Needs

originally posted on LinkedIn

The nature of business is competition. There can be collaboration – where businesses team up to compete together. There can be good will, and there should always be ethics and character. There can be tremendous respect among competitors, and in the strongest industries there is. But competition is at the core of business. And yet sometimes I wonder – do we understand the nature of competition well enough in the jewelry industry? Continue reading

Posted in entrepreneurship, marketing | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Should you ever be on sale?My favorite afternoon snack is mixed nuts and seeds. There’s a special mix I buy that is perfect except . . . it contains Brazil nuts. I really don’t like Brazil nuts.

The good news is that my wife loves them. So every two or three weeks I bring her a canister containing all the remaining Brazil nuts. In fact, she likes them so much that I suggested that we buy a bag of Brazil nuts so she wouldn’t have to wait for my leftovers. Interestingly, she declined.

Who is Your Brazil Nut Eater?

There are a lot of business management myths in the jewelry industry (a lot. A ridiculous lot). The one I’m tackling today is the one that says Designers Should Never Be on Sale. Continue reading

Posted in merchandising and marketing, pricing, strategy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Be Fearless!I’m doing my annual ritual rounds at the Las Vegas jewelry shows: Part information gathering for my blog and industry articles, part assisting clients who are exhibiting, and part checking in with designers. Working a trade show is hard. I don’t mean for me – I mean for the people who are selling. And it’s particularly hard for the artists who are selling their own designs. If that’s you, I’m writing this for you. I hope you get a chance to read this before you do the show all day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Continue reading

Posted in creativity, personal development | 4 Comments

How the pieces of strategic planning fit togetherPeople often confuse strategic planning with business planning. They also are unsure of where marketing strategy, sales strategy, sales forecasting, and branding fit in the mix. This podcast tells you how these elements fit together, and in what order. Continue reading

Posted in branding, general business, strategy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

these rules are the key to successToday’s blog is actually a podcast — a 16-minute extract from a presentation I recently made on getting the most out of your sales and sales organization. In this section, I share my 10 rules for working tradeshows, and why each rule has an impact on your success. Continue reading

Posted in entrepreneurship, selling | Tagged , | Leave a comment

starve your distractions, feed your focusIf you ever worry that you have adult onset ADD, you’re not alone. Maybe you do, or maybe your life is just filled with way too many distractions. Before you go running to the doctor for help, consider these tips for getting focused and staying that way. Continue reading

Posted in creativity, management and leadership, personal development | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The artisan/designer jewelry represnts the epitome of art and craftIndividuality is in, keeping-up-with-the-Joneses is out.

Environmental stewardship is in, unconscious consumerism is out.

Social awareness is in, ostentatious wealth is out.

Thoughtful acquisition is in, conspicuous consumption is out.

No wonder luxury jewelry is having a hard time. Continue reading

Posted in analysis, branding, Jewelry Industry, leadership, merchandising and marketing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Digital design has transformed industriesI was just on a conference call with three experts in digital design. We are preparing for a panel discussion at the Gold Conference in New York at the end of April (you really should join us! Here’s a link to learn more about the conference). We were discussing the transformative aspect of digital design and manufacture, and whether or not the jewelry industry has actually embraced that yet.

Many of us are talking about the struggles in the jewelry industry.  Continue reading

Posted in entrepreneurship, Jewelry Industry, merchandising and marketing, strategy, technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Keep Your Mind on Your GoalsI’ve been doing something for the past year that is really working for me. Like you, I run a business. And like you, I often get caught up in the details of that business. So I have to be very intentional about maintaining my focus on the bigger picture. Continue reading

Posted in entrepreneurship, general business, management and leadership, strategy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment