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Articles from EDUCATION / TRAINING (185 Articles)

Coleby Nicholson urges jewellers to experiment
Coleby Nicholson urges jewellers to experiment

12 words for 12 months

When asked why their business is ‘down’ people almost always blame someone else. COLEBY NICHOLSON says it’s rare to hear someone take personal responsibility for a lack of sales. 

It has already being suggested that 2011 was a good year simply because it will turn out to be better than 2012! With that in mind, and for the next 12 months, I’d like to challenge you with 12 words: When was the last time you did something for the first time?

If you traded well in 2011 I’m sure you had to work a lot harder and smarter. These days it seems that in order to achieve the same result as the previous year we have to put in twice as much effort. The work never ends does it, but at least you had an OK year, right?

On the other hand, if you didn’t trade well last year there might be many reasons for that. You might blame the lack of consumer confidence, interest rates, online shopping, two-speed economy, the Aussie dollar, the European economic crisis or the banks.

The ‘blame list’ goes on but did you notice that it didn’t include you?

Interestingly, when I ask people why their business is down they blame everyone else. It’s rare for me to hear someone take personal responsibility!

Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s tough out there and if truth be known there’s probably a smidgen of truth in all the things listed, but in 2012 you will need to look more at yourself rather than your surroundings. And that’s where my 12 words for 12 months come in: When was the last time you did something for the first time?

It’s a great question isn’t it?

I wish I could take credit for it but it comes from an Emirates airline television commercial. The 2004 commercial had no voiceover and simply featured an elderly woman taking a helicopter ride before that powerful question is posed on screen and then ends with ‘Keep discovering’.

I have always loved the ad, it’s marketing at its best, and it shows how a simple question can shake you to your core.

But back to my point - retailing has changed dramatically over the last few years and that’s especially so for jewellers. I would argue that most of the change retailers are now experiencing is late in coming to the jewellery industry. That is, almost all other retail categories have already seen great change but the evolution of retailing has been slow to impact jewellers.

However, while many of the things on our ‘blame list’ will come and go, or be resolved over the next 12 months, some are here to stay. People still love going shopping however the way they shop has changed and therefore retailing has changed - forever. The question is; are you changing too?

I get a bit annoyed when jewellery retailers and suppliers complain to me about how the internet has affected their business. If you want to see an industry that has been forever changed by the internet look at my industry, the media. We have been hit by a Mac truck compared to the jewellery industry, which has, to-date, effectively been slapped with a feather duster!

Therefore, if everything around you is changing perhaps it’s time to ask yourself, “when was the last time I did something for the first time?” 
More than ever before you need to try new things. In this digital age you need to experiment, you need to look at things differently and you need to be open to fresh ideas.

Over the next few years you will increasingly hear the term ‘legacy business’. It’s internet slang for a traditional brick-and-mortar business that does not enthusiastically embrace the internet. 
I am not sure I agree, or even whether it’s accurate, but anything characterised as "legacy" is perceived to be old or outdated.

No longer can business be Us Vs Them nor is it about Bricks Vs Clicks. From 2012 you need to embrace Bricks and Clicks and that’s where my challenge comes in. 
If 2012 is set to be as tough as 2011 then each month when you look at your trading results ask yourself, what did I do differently this month? Did I try new things?

Challenge yourself with that 12-word question from the Emirates ad but more importantly, don’t forget the last two words – ‘keep discovering’. You and your business might depend on it!



Coleby Nicholson

Managing Editor • Jeweller Magazine

Coleby Nicholson is publisher and managing editor of Jeweller magazine. He has covered the jewellery industry for more than a decade and specialises in business-to-business aspects of the industry.

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Wednesday, 22 January, 2020 09:33am
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