Professional Jeweler Archive: Seven Habits of Highly Successful Jewelers

February 2000

Managing/Retirement Planning

Seven Habits of Highly Successful Jewelers

The Jeweler’s Transition Series continues with tips for running an organized business that will provide the platform for pleasant retirement

I’ve studied the jewelry business for three decades and looked hard at what makes a jewelry store a winner. Over time, I’ve compiled my observations into the “Seven Habits of Highly Successful Jewelers.”


First and foremost, highly successful jewelers have a true driving, unwavering passion for their business. They love everything about it – appreciating the beauty in every piece of jewelry and persuasively sharing it with customers. They’re energized by their customers and eager to motivate their staffs. Passion inspires these whirlwinds every day to be the best they can be, and this passion translates into hard work and commitment.

Customer Focus

Highly successful jewelers treat every customer as the most important one. The goal is to ensure everyone who walks through their doors leaves not only satisfied, but also delighted. They stay in tune with changes in their customer base. They research, adapt and market to today’s customer and make sure they’re meeting the needs of their clients.

Training and Motivation

All successful jewelers take their leadership roles seriously and understand how to motivate their staffs. Training all staff members – full- and part-timers – demonstrates an investment in them and their growth and a commitment to providing the best service to your customers. They offer incentives for success and deliver praise and recognition when appropriate. Remember that every successful team needs a good coach.


Successful retailers realize marketing is an investment, not an expense. They have an organized strategy. They know what they want to achieve and make sure all marketing is consistent with their images. They also market their vision, goals and challenges internally to the staff. The more that staff members understand the big picture, the more they can contribute to it.

Cash Flow

The most important thing the successful jewelers do is control expenses. This means taking a hands-on, analytical approach to inventory management. They quickly replace what sells and get rid of what doesn’t. They establish strong, positive relationships with suppliers. They realize jewelers must achieve a balance between investing profits back into the business and putting some aside in savings or investments.

A Balanced Life

Highly successful jewelers understand that life is more than work. They stay as committed to family as they are to the business and make sure to take time away from the store. Above all, they have fun. They know they work in a wonderful business that revolves around love and happy occasions. They take time to enjoy their work, their staff and their customers.

Plan for Transition

The key to successful retirement is to plan ahead, starting to clear inventory and replace it with memo goods as the transition date approaches. Successful jewelers host some sales in the last few years of operation and add the proceeds to their retirement savings. They develop a solid exit strategy complete with goals, dates and activities.

–by Bobby Wilkerson

Bobby Wilkerson is president of Wilkerson & Associates, Stuttgart, AR; (800) 631-1999. His series on retirement planning began in the January issue (p. 136).

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications