18 | The Jewelry Business Magazine By Bill Boyajian SHOULD YOU BECOME A PRIVATE JEWELER? • You still have passion for your business and the industry, but want to enjoy a more relaxed and controlled lifestyle. • You’ve had enough with managing employees who sometimes make you feel like you’re working for them rather than them working for you. • You want to reduce the stress and pressure of buying and holding significant amounts of inventory. • You have the energy and vision to create a new business model that that will give you continued cash flow on a much more flexible schedule. • You like the idea of working on fewer, but more important jewelry sales in the comfort of an elegant office setting. • You have a significant loose diamond inventory, particularly in one-carat plus goods you want to dispose of. • You like doing appraisals and/or enjoy having the option of buying estate goods from private parties. • Your business has always been a hobby you love, and you have no other significant hobbies to fill your free time. As mentioned at the outset, every jeweler has unique goals and aspirations, and equally unique personal and professional circumstances that dictate different objectives to maximize their own personal success. As each of us enters the ‘fall’ season of life, it is important to take stock of what is important and to design our remaining years for flexibility and joy. In my view, flexibility is the new luxury. When you have the freedom to travel or enjoy your hobbies or simply set your own schedule for exercise, friends, and family, it doesn’t get much better than that. That’s why one of your options may be to become a private, by-appointment-only jeweler in the years ahead. With so many jewelers like you reaching or nearing retirement age, many are considering their best options for the future. Should you pass your current business on to a family member or a key employee? Should you try to sell the store or retain the business while reducing your time in the store? Should you have a retirement or ‘going out of business’ sale? There many other options, but one you may not have considered is becoming a private, by-appointment-only jeweler. As similar as many situations are for independent retail jewelers, there are still many differences. Every jeweler is unique, and each has goals and objectives that can differ significantly based on personal and professional circumstances. Life and health situations, business transition and succession options, possible debt weighed down by aged inventory, and a host of other circumstances can lead to different goals and objectives. Let’s face it. Many jewelers are tired of the same old grind. The business has changed and adaptation is challenging. You may want to slow things down, but aren’t ready to entirely call it quits. You are likely in a strong position in your community with a great reputation and a host of loyal, high-income customers. That’s why becoming a private, by-appointment-only jeweler may be a reasonable option for you. Here are several other reasons to consider such a change: Bill Boyajian Bill is the former long-time president of the Gemological Institute of America, and is currently founder & president of Bill Boyajian & Associates, Inc. His company consults for a wide variety of businesses in the gem and jewelry industry, specializing in leadership, business, and organizational development, family transition, and succession planning. Bill is the author of Developing the Mind of a Leader – Your Path to Lead and Inspire People. He is a sought-after business coach and speaker, and can be reached at email@example.com.