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Confessions of an Entrepreneur: Technology's Vital Role in Traditional Retail

By
Dawn Kuczwara
,
business.com writer
| Last Modified
Feb 05, 2019
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Some people may be surprised to learn the importance tech plays for a fine diamond jeweler. But Jonathan Goldberg understands that it's an essential component of his retail concept, Kimberfire. Based in Toronto, Ontario,  Kimberfire specializes in custom engagement rings and diamond jewelry. Technology is as much of a tool for this jewelry retailer's success as quality craftsmanship and expertise.

Q: What devices do you use daily?

A: "The MacBook Air is my primary computer, which I can take anywhere easily, whether it's to meetings in the city or on travel," says Goldberg. He also uses his iPhone for emails and social media when on the go. Goldberg prefers Apple for his team as well. "We use iMacs throughout our office at employee workstations and as displays used during our client meetings," he says.

Q: What technology do you use to get ahead of your competition?

A: The team at Kimberfire uses a variety of technologies to provide customer service and manage operations. While some, like G Suite and QuickBooks Online, are standard business choices, others keep Kimberfire's projects transparent and running smoothly, like Monday.com.

"It allows the entire team to be aware of pieces that are in production, where they are at in the production process and any timelines involved," says Goldberg. "It also allows team members to communicate with each other on specific jobs that are in process." The Kimberfire team also uses Calendly, which allows clients to see the team's availability and schedule appointments at convenient times for the client.

Q: Is technology a significant enabler for your business?

A: Technology may seem like a strange component in a jeweler's business, but for Goldberg, it's a critical differentiator.

"It allows us to see more clients in an efficient manner, all while maintaining our strict quality and service standards" he added. Yet technology's influence on the business goes beyond customer service. "It also allows me as a business owner to manage the business even when I am unable to be physically present in the office."

Q: Has social media influenced your business at all, from internal employee policies to how you promote your company?

A: As a B2C business, it's important to get in front of a broad array of potential customers. With applications like Hootsuite, Goldberg's team can leverage social media to reach a broad audience while staying on brand.

"Having employees responsible for social media posts and engagement on a daily basis, it's been important to put processes in place for internal review and guidelines," says Goldberg, and the workflow process within Hootsuite allows the team to do that.

Q: Have you had to adapt your business because of security concerns brought about by the increased use of technology?

A: "As a six-year-old business, we've been making heavy use of technology from the beginning," said Goldberg. When it comes to security concerns, though, "We're definitely cognizant of them."

For Kimberfire, a large part of dealing with security concerns is risk mitigation. "We're always evaluating potential risks and ensuring our internal processes mitigate these to the extent possible," he added. "This includes, as mentioned, internal reviews prior to social media posts being published and ongoing employee training."

Dawn Kuczwara
Dawn Kuczwara
Dawn Kuczwara is a former executive with more than 17 years of experience in technology. Now, as a professional writer, Dawn uses that experience to write about business, technology and leadership. When she isn’t wordsmithing, she spends her time doing improv comedy, reading, playing video games and hanging out with her family and two dogs, Pip and Zoe.
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