Article of the Month
Incentives and Bonuses by Tom Shay
Do you wish that all of your staff wanted your business to excel just because they like the competition of getting better?
I have always wanted that for my business as well. It has been my experience that such is not going to just naturally happen. However, I believe you can do something to increase the results you do achieve as a result of your staff.
Let me invite you to take a look at the article of the month for February to read how some businesses have found ways to engage their staff.
Click on Article of the Month to read this article.
Book of the Month
The Discipline of Market Leaders
by Michael Treacy and Fred Wiersema
During the first month of 2013, the audiences I had the pleasure of addressing heard me use several phrases over and over. They heard me mention strategy, tactics, plan, niche, discipline, and marketing. Over and over, I said these words as key components to business success.
This month the book suggestion is one with a subtitle that states, 'Choose your customers, narrow your focus, dominate your market'.
Books like this month's suggestion are very important for the owners and managers of small businesses. These books provide great insight of how to be more successful. An investment in purchasing this book, and reading it will be a great investment for your business.
Click on Book Referral to see the list of small business books we have found that may be helpful to your business.
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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.
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Making Plans for 2013? Be sure to include Independent Retailer Month
July will again be Independent Retailer Month. What began many years ago as a demonstration of how your business or community could create a special event has now grown to where it is celebrated in several countries.
We have created a website for the event, and invite you to use this open format event for your Main Street program, your Chamber of Commerce, the business district or your individual business. Participate as a group or on an individual basis. We show the logo for the U.S. as an example of how the logo can be adapted for your country.
The website has a lot of information about the value an independent business brings to a community from a number of perspectives including taxes paid, people employed, and how well the dollars are re-spent within the community.
February is the time to begin planning your participation; to remind your customers of the value of an independent business to your community.
There was a nice size crowd that joined us for the January e-retailer conversation with our special guest Mike McCormick, CPA. Mike was with us last spring and drew a lot of participants then as well. We decided to start 2013 with Mike so that he could answer your questions about your business plans for this year.
We will continue bringing in top name experts for the conference call in February by inviting Cam Marston to join us.
Ten years ago I was a part of an educational tour during which Cam was one of the speakers. I was fascinated with what Cam had to say. He was able to explain how the owner of the business could interact with individuals of other generations so as to gain 'buy in' from them.
Cam was also able to explain how you could make your job easier in selling to individuals in each of the generations by understanding traits of each group. It was amazing how he was able to explain what to say and how to say it so that the customer heard your message as being specific to them.
Cam's message is so on target that I am already challenged as to which questions I can ask in the time we will have available. I know we will not be able to ask them all.
Want to know more about Cam? Here is the YouTube video channel he has created with some examples of selling to members of Gen X and Baby Boomers.
Cam Marston's YouTube Channel
Mark your calendar to be with us. How about having all of your staff join us for this call? The call will be Thursday, February 14 at 8pm eastern. If you missed last month's call, here is a link to where you can download it or listen to it online.
|Internet Tip of The Month
Debt to net worth calculator
There is nothing wrong with a business having debt. There is nothing wrong with a business having more debt this year than the year before. Debt in a business is relational; how much debt does the business have as compared to the net worth of a business?
As the owner of a business, the net worth (which can also be referred to as equity and several other terms) states how much of the business belongs to the owner while the debt states how much the business owes to vendors.
If the debt of the business were to increase by $10,000 over the course of the year, while the net worth of the business were to increase $30,000 over the course of the same year, then we would expect to see a business owner that is pleased with their efforts.
Any lending institution is also interested in knowing the relationship between debt and net worth. From their perspective, they want to know the owner of the business has a strong interest in the success of the business.
When it can be shown that a positive net worth exists, any lender knows that the business owner is working to not only maintain that net worth but cause it to grow. With any borrowing done by the business, there are likely components of the loan (known as covenants) that state that the lending institution will be monitoring this ratio to see that the business owner is successfully working hard.
If the lending institution is watching this calculation, you should also be watching it.
Debt to net worth calculator
| The Power Promoting Idea of the Month
There is gold to be had!
The title for this segment of our newsletter comes from a couple of presentations I have given many times over the years. In the presentations I share ideas from many businesses; ideas that are nontraditional and help to cause people to talk about the business.
After this presentation, I was approached by an individual who gave me two gold pennies and shared this story.
This business created a promotion that offered a free gold plated coin to the first 200 people that came into their business on a particular day. The message of the event can be delivered to customers by way of newsletters, print or electronic, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest or even a postcard mailed to your database.
The business owner reported that 200 seems to be the right quantity; they always run out of coins and 200 seems to be the right size of crowd they can manage. (Don't you love it when you have to determine how big of a customer crowd you have to manage?)
The beauty of the promotion is not just the response but the cost. The coin is a penny, and the cost of gold plating the penny is another few cents. You have not spent a quarter per person to get these people to visit your business.
The owner of the business reported this is not a one time event, but one that is a part of their annual marketing plan. In the red power promoting book, the second promotional book I wrote, this is idea #53.
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.
Profits Plus Resource Center