I once heard someone say if it's raining, don't complain, go out and buy an umbrella!.

In most cases the internet has been the scapegoat for a business that just lacks vision and passion. If it wasn't this, then it would have been something else. What the internet has done is present opportunities and made people think about how they can move their businesses forward. When they haven't been able to come up with the answer, that's when they panic and the business goes into free fall.

Really it couldn't be simpler to get customers though the door, even during difficult times, but it takes effort, patience, some planning and a little courage.

Sometimes you need to take an idea and bring it into a new age. In the past, the out of town/country jeweller was the cornerstone of the high street, today faceless, tasteless multiples rule, and many 'family' jewellers have stayed firmly in the dark ages. What they need to remember is that more and more, people want to buy from people they trust, and can develop relationships with. So now you have to work out how you start developing that relationship?

Don't start selling to them the minute they walk through the door and don't be disingenuous either.

Find a reason to get them through the door and have a strategy in hand to build a long term relationship. Start with an open evening. People love to be invited out for a drink. You can host an evening in the shop and team up with other local suppliers to provide other elements that will go to make up the evening. Use a local restaurant to provide the food and drink. Guests can be offered a discount if they eat there that week. Team up with a local ladies fashion boutique to invite their clientele. They can bring some mannequins in to show off the latest collections or even put on a fashion show, where the models would also ware your jewellery

Be Relevant!

Take this opportunity to bring in featured designers so they can talk about their collections and educating both your customers and your sales staff. This can be done more regularly than the just on special evenings.

Make sure you take full advantage of the evening and collect as much data as possible about your clients and follow up with them in a timely way. Collect email addresses, birthdays, anniversaries and any other relevant details. Then show your customers how to best take advantages of services you offer.

Have a relevant website. Your customers will use your website to see things they may not have time to come in and view properly. Give them every opportunity online to see your stock and maybe even buy it too.

Spring is the perfect excuse to launch an event like this. You need to show old and new customers that you are more RELEVANT now than ever before.

I think the family jeweller has many years to run before the internet takes a piece of this action..