Article of the Month
Looking out of the bucket
This month's article is most appropriate for the condition of the retail market.
Looking out of the bucket comes from a personal experience that reminded me of a psychology report that I had read. Both stories are relevant to you today.
Go to trade shows and conferences; read books, and make changes in your business. As you attend classes, select the ones that deal with what you need right now.
As the manager or owner of the business, I would think the most important classes you need to be taking would deal with properly marketing your business and increasing your knowledge of financials.
Click on Article of the Month to read this article.
Book of the Month
Nurturing Customer Relationships
Jim Cecil and Eric Rabinowitz
Speaking at a conference this fall for a franchise program of stores, the president of the group suggested this book. Excellent choice. It is a solid, easy and quick read that has plenty of substance to it.
Many of the examples are not retail, but the message still comes through loud and clear.
We have more books to suggest for your reading. Click on Book Referral to visit this page on our site.
We have a lot of new information on the e-ret@iler conversations blog. We invite you to add your comments, ideas, and observations.
Visit our e-ret@iler conversations, find the category of interest and post your comments, questions or best practices. You may also go directly to one of our categories by clicking on one of the links below.
- Employee Issues
- Financial Management
- General Discussion
- Sales Techniques
- Vendor Issues
P.O. Box 1577
St. Petersburg, FL
(727) 464-2182 Voice
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Send Tom an e-mail:
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"Throw the bums out!"
Ok. So that is one of the lines from, "It's a wonderful life" which is one of my favorite movies, but today it applies to your business.
Perhaps you are thinking I am talking about problematic customers. Surprise! I am talking about some of your employees.
Other than some personal experiences, here is what got me started. A news program on the radio stated that Best Buy had one million applications for the 24,000 seasonal job openings. That means they have about 42 applicants for each job.
Then the radio played a sound bit from the checkout at one of their stores. It went like this, "Do you have a Best Buy rewards card?"
The answer was, "No".
The salesperson's response was, "Do you want a Best Buy rewards card?"
So what is a rewards card? What does it do for a customer? Why would a customer want one? Is there a cost to it? The questions can go on and on.
And Best Buy wants to tell us this is a salesperson? This is pathetic! If customers are being more selective about where they spend their money, then you should want to increase your chances of getting that business by giving each customer a tremendous amount of attention and have each trip to your business be a great experience.
There are thousands of people out there looking for work. If your staff does not grasp the concept of what I am saying, then "Throw the bums out!"
Your responsibility is to yourself, your business and your customers. It is not to take care of some employee that refuses to grasp the concept of the challenges of today's economy.
Internet Tip of The Month
Turn rate calculator
When we work with a business on an individual basis, one of the first places we look at for concerns is the turn rate. This is what tells you how fast a business is turning their inventory. We know that frequently the return on the investment in a business can be drastically increased by getting the inventory levels in line.
One comment that we often hear people make about inventory is that they don't want to be out of anything when customers are ready to buy. While there is a degree of validity to that statement, it can also be a problem if there is too much inventory - especially with seasonal items.
Clearance sales may raise cash, but having the proper amount of inventory to start with makes a lot more sense. Take a look at this calculator and see where your business stands.
Turn rate calculator
The Power Promoting Idea of the Month
67% are MIA (Missing in Action)
Here's a challenging question.
A customer decides to stop shopping with a business they have dealt with for years. What is the most likely reason they have chosen to stop doing business?
A. Moved away
B. Found a friend that sells the same thing
C. Someone sells it for less
E. None of the above
The answer is 'E'. So why did the customer stop doing business? Because it was their perception that the business no longer cared about them. It doesn't matter if you do know their name, or if you say hello when they walk in your business.
You have to let the customer know you appreciate them. Speaking this fall for the bicycle industry, I pointed out that as the father of twin sons I have purchased more than my share of bicycles. Yet with the first purchase, and all subsequent purchases of new bicycles, not a single store in the St. Petersburg area ever bothered to call to ask how the boys were enjoying their bicycles. There was never a thank you note. Nothing; I don't think they care.
Any store had the opportunity to capture years of new bicycle sales and repairs by simply staying in touch with the customer. And yet, they would rather spend their money in advertising to get new customers. I think this is a rather stupid strategy on their parts.
The promoting idea of the month? What if you simply sent postcards or notes to your customers on a regular basis to let them know you are thinking of them? Let them know you are having a 'customer appreciation day' or a special sale for those that bring in the postcard.
Oh, the answer to the question? While the answer is perception as I mentioned, the statistic is staggering! Two of three customers that stop doing business, do so because of that perception that the business no longer cares.
Can you afford to lose that many customers? Not in these economic times; not in any economic time.
When you visit our resources center, you can order either of our power promoting books. One has a red cover and the other has a blue cover. There are also two books on 'power managing'. These books have a green cover and a yellow cover.
You can order your copy by clicking on the link below; each book is only $9.95 plus postage.
Profits Plus Resource Center
With the economy in the current predicament, and the fact that I teach sound business principles that you can put into action immediately, our calendar for 2009 is quite busy. We have also been contracted by several companies to work with them on an individual basis as they look to project the future of their business. Here are the first 60 days of traveling:
January 8 Waterloo, Ontario
January 14 Orlando, Florida
January 22 Hot Springs, Arkansas
January 25 Anaheim, California
February 1 Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic
February 3 New Orleans, Louisiana
February 8 Corona, California
February 13 Vancouver, British Columbia
February 14 Orlando, Florida
February 17 Charlotte, North Carolina
February 18 Orlando, Florida
February 19 Denver, Colorado
February 21 Meadlowlands, New Jersey
February 22 Meadowlands, New Jersey
February 27 Nashville, Tennessee
February 28 Atlanta, Georgia
The calendar for all of 2009 is posted on our website and updated daily. Click here to see when I am going to be in your area.