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January 2014
Volume 15 Issue 2

Article of the Month

Comparing turnover and margin by
Tom Shay

The math for determining the price for a product or service is fairly easy. Making the decision with regard to establishing the price is the challenge.

Margin or turnover? Which is more important? The answer is neither as both are components to be considered in determining the price.

Let me invite you to read the article of the month to get a different perspective of how to make the decision.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.


Book of the Month

The New Rules of Marketing & PR
by David Meerman Scott

This is a last minute change for the book of the month. A small business column I read each day gave this book as a suggestion.

Let me paraphrase the review. This book was updated in the summer of 2013. It was the fourth edition. The review states this book has updates on all of the basic social media channels along with examples and case studies.

The review concludes by stating that you will learn about the best and most successful social media, blogs, video and audio content marketing strategies.

Click on  Book Referral to see a list of books that would make great reading for any small business owner.

e-retailer conversations

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Profits Plus
P.O. Box 1577
St. Petersburg, FL
33731 USA
(727) 464-2182 Voice
(727) 898-3179 Fax

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Business Advisory

Solution before sorry

Over the years I have shared a seven step technique for solving a situation where a customer is unhappy with an experience with your business.

The seven steps cover everything from the first words, written or spoken, by the customer to the follow up with the customer that your business should do to make sure the customer is pleased with the outcome. After all, the only thing better than a customer satisfied with the outcome is a customer that will again do business with you, and tell their friends to do business with you.

Perhaps to the surprise of many people is what is missing from the seven steps. Not included in the seven steps is an apology.

An apology is missing because it has been my experience that too many businesses start with the apology ("I'm sorry") and promptly follow with some explanation they are expecting the customer to believe and accept.

Getting a new customer is a challenge. Once you have gained the new customer, don't let them get away by having some company policy that causes them to take their business elsewhere.

Too often the conversation is a "I'm sorry but" or "I'm sorry we can't".

Try the seven steps and you will see how it can work for your business. The key to a happy customer is a solution. "I'm sorry" only makes someone to be angry or at least disappointed with your business.

Just like the dictionary, in any business, a solution comes before sorry.


The seven steps? They are:

Thank the customer for telling you about the problem.
Ask them to explain the problem.
Ask questions.
Take written notes. (These two steps are included to keep a customer calm)
Ask the customer what they think would be fair as a way to resolve the situation.
Take action.
Call or write them to follow up.

You may have also heard me mention an eighth component which occurs very early in the conversation with the customer. This additional component states that if you do not have the authority to make a decision about a resolution, you should pass the customer immediately to someone who can make the decision.

There are few things worse than a customer having to explain a problem and then being told they will have to repeat it to a manager.


The new year has Bill Kendy and me busy with creating a great schedule for the 2014 e-ret@iler conversations.

Our guest to start the year will be Barbara Crowhurst of Retail Makeover. Barbara will be joining us from her office in Ajax, Ontario for this conversation. If you heard our brief interview with Barbara, you know she has already prepared a long list of ideas to share with you.

If you want to learn more about Barbara and her company, you can do so by following this link:

Retail Makeover

Michael Kalscheur of Castle Wealth was the guest for the December e-ret@iler conversation. We know there were more people listening to the conversation live and online than any call we have ever had.

We discussed your plans to sell your business whether you were wanting to just get out or if you were wanting to retire. Definitely Michael will be invited to return in 2014.

The recording of our conversation with Michael is on the Profits Plus website along with the recordings of Gene Sower and Mike McCormick both of which were on the show in the fall of 2013.

You can hear these e-ret@iler conversations and most of the others from the past five years by following this link.

E-ret@iler conversations

Internet Tip of The Month

The Profits Plus 'Open to Buy' Calculator

We start 2014 with a basket load of information and tools for you. If your business sells inventory or if your business uses inventory to provide a service, you will want to read and use the Internet Tip of the Month.

With this link, you can read about, listen to a recording about it, look at a powerpoint about it, and download an Excel file which will help you to do it.

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month


A couple of thoughts starting a new year.

Many people start with a resolution; sometimes there is a resolution to lose weight or eat healthier.

While popcorn is not at the top of the list, it is definitely healthier than a candy bar or cola. In our business we always offered free popcorn to our customers. We found a local party supply business where we rented a machine and purchased the supplies.

We purchased small white bags and had a rubber stamp made with information about our business. Using bright red ink, the imprint stood out for everyone to see.

As our business was in a strip shopping center, we knew as they walked through the plaza that other customers saw our small advertisement. It surely helped that a part of the imprint message stated that the customer was enjoying free popcorn.

Sometimes the popcorn was a draw to bring people into our business; sometimes the popcorn bag was a message to other customers.

When we calculated the cost of the bag and the popcorn, the cost was just a few pennies to get our name before existing and potential customers.

You can find more ideas like this in our promotions books. You can order your copy by clicking on the link below; each book is only $9.95 plus postage.




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Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.
PO Box 1577
St. Petersburg, Fl 33731
(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179