Timepieces/Education & Repair
Time to Evaluate
Make your watch business more efficient for 2002
Before the latest introductions start to flood in from the Swiss shows, take time to evaluate your watch business and make any changes needed to enhance efficiency and profits. Here are some tips
Evaluate Repair Charges
When was the last time you raised your prices for basic services such as a battery replacement? If its been a few years, get out your calculator and do some simple math. If you charged $6 for something in 1997, should you continue to charge the same amount in 2002? Figuring an annual inflation rate of 4%, that item should now cost $7.20. Adjust prices yearly to keep them small and more palatable to customers.
Identify and move out any timepieces that havent sold after a year in your shop. Ask the watch company salesperson to stock-balance your inventory, exchanging unsold models for newer ones or models more suited to your customers.
If youre unable to stock-balance, mark down these watches significantly. Its far better to turn slow-movers into cash than to let them languish in a tired-looking display. A watchmaker friend, now retired, always carried a large watch inventory in his jewelry store. He complained he was unable to turn his inventory, so he was reluctant to buy new models. But the watches didnt sell because he refused to lower the price. When he retired in the 1990s, he had a large inventory of mechanical and quartz watches from the 1970s and quartz watches from the 1980s. This cost him dearly when he sold them to a liquidator.
Get rid of the display material youve accumulated for the past several years and ask your sales rep for new material. While youre in a clean-up mood, evaluate other items youve stored and separate them into three piles:
- One for items you will use very soon. Keep these in the shop.
- One for things youll use within six to 12 months. Store these away from your shop.
- One for items you havent used for over a year and dont need immediately. Give them away, sell them or throw them in the trash to free up valuable space.
With your evaluation complete, its time get on with a more efficient business for the remainder of the year.
Jack Kurdzionak, The Watchmaker, Stoneham, MA
©2002 Jack Kurdzionak
Jack Kurdzionak owns The Watchmaker, a watch retail and repair store in Stoneham, MA. He is a certified watchmaker, columnist for Horological Times and second vice president of the American Watchmakers-Clockmakers Institute. Please send suggestions and comments to Professional Jeweler, 1500 Walnut St., Suite 1200, Philadelphia, PA 19102; firstname.lastname@example.org.