Nanji: The challenge ahead for our business now is online. We must keep pace with the ways people shop online, and on their cell phones. And as people access more information online, consumers today have more pricing information, and as a result they’ve become very price-driven. The market is more competitive than ever. To keep ahead of it we need to offer competitive prices while maintaining service. Investing in inventory is also important. Customers want everything now, and having the live inventory in the store when they want it is important.
Ajay: There are many “old school” ways of operating the business that need some changing, the Internet chief among them. E-commerce and social media are areas we need to explore and expand on. More targeted and strategic buying of inventory and selling closer to market prices is another challenge. Staffing is another issue. My father comes from a strict, disciplinary background. Positive reinforcement is what’s required in today’s job market. There’s also the balance of having a long-term, loyal staff work with younger sales associates. Some bridal customers prefer to be sold by someone close to their age and technologically savvy.
Rakhi: Now and in looking ahead at growing our business, one of the main challenges is finding the right team to grow our business. These days, it’s not only getting tougher and tougher to sell jewelry in this economy, but it’s also difficult to find quality salespeople. As we structure the business for future growth opportunities, we don’t want to be considered “corporate.” But at the same time, we don’t want to be looked at as a small, relaxed family business environment either. The best people we’ve found are referrals from people who know us and our business and customers-turned-employees.