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March 2013
Volume 14 Issue 4
Article of the Month

'Unique examples of service'
by Tom Shay

How about a bit of thinking outside the box? The article of the month gives examples with regard to service and how you could make a big difference with your customers by thinking differently about how service is offered.

You can take it a bit further and think about many other ways you can beat the competition by being a bit different for your customer; a bit different because you are thinking as a customer first.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

Retail Entertainment
by Martin Pegler

This book gets it right. There are few businesses selling products and services that customers absolutely have to have.

What most sell takes a customer's discretionary income. When you are selling to discretionary income you are in the entertainment business.

This book by Pegler gives you ideas of how to appeal to the entertainment side of the customer's decision process.

Click on Book Referral to see the list of small business books we have found that may be helpful to your business.

e-retailer conversations


Hey, we are blogging, tweeting, facebooking and invite your participation.

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.

Advertising
Employee Issues
Financial ManagementGeneral DiscussionMerchandising
Sales Techniques
Vendor Issues

And you can follow my daily posts on Twitter and Facebook.

http://Twitter.com/FTomShay
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Contact Us


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

Send Tom an e-mail:
TOM SHAY

Send our staff an e-mail:

CAROLYN RAMSEY



 

 

Business Advisory

Mom and Pop Business Owner's Day is March 29
and Sam Walton would be 95 on 3/29/13

Here is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate what an independent small business means to a community.

This past week I read an article about convenience stores in the northeast part of the United States. The discussion was about the experience that individuals had during Hurricane Sandy.

Without naming the chain of convenience stores that were mentioned in the article, the comments stated that none of the chain convenience stores were open for over a week.

The independent stores were open the next day. The owners of the stores would borrow a generator from someone so they could have power to operate their store. They would drive to bring in food and ice to sell to their customers.

It could be said that these people did it for the opportunity to make money. Yet there was not a single report of price gouging. It was said that stores without having the ability to process a bank card transaction were taking 'IOU' notes.

I take it as independent business owners who made a point to take care of their customers.

I am reminded about a trip to our home in Arkansas in 2000. There was a big ice storm with the majority of people without power for several weeks. I remember that two days after the onset of the storm there was a knock at the door. It was the man who took care of the lawn. He was out in the elements checking on all of his customers. He wanted to see if anyone had branches or trees that were down.

Again, you could look at it as his capitalizing on the problems that others had. I see it as a caring provider. As I am not one to drive in the ice and snow, he offered to drive to our favorite local diner and bring back some hot meals.

This is why we celebrate Mom and Pop Business Owner's Day on March 29. On a side note, this date is also Sam Walton's birthday. He would have been 95 on March 29. It seems to me like this would be a wonderful opportunity for an independent retailer to do some kind of fun promotion.

$$$$$$

You have a great opportunity to draw a lot of attention to your business with this event.

Ask everyone in your business to bring at least one child to work. If they don't have children, perhaps they are an aunt or uncle, or even a grandparent. They can always 'borrow' a child from someone.

You could get some great press by having all of these young people in your business for a day. You can make arrangements for a local independent pizzeria to bring lunch for everyone.

Got a local bakery? Drinks and cupcakes or cookies from there would be a big hit.

Get that social media going and tell your customers they should come to visit the future leaders of the community; the future independent business owners.

If you are a service business, take a kid along with you. Send your customers a note telling them about your special work arrangements for that day.

And be sure to tell your story to the media in advance of the event so you can get some free publicity from it. Here is a link to the website for the event.

You can even order t-shirts and hats to promote the event.

Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day

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Are you making plans to participate? Have you asked your Chamber, merchants association or Main Street program to get involved? Are you a member of your trade association? Have you asked them what they are doing for Independent Retailer Month?

Join in the celebration this July.

$$$$$$

Shawna Schuh joins the e-retailer conversations for March 14 at 8pm eastern

Shawna hosts the 'Do your business' show which is a series of quick and quirky videos for business growth. Let me invite you to take a look at her website and see some of her videos.

Shawna Schuh

Want to crank it up a notch or two? Remember when people in a business were more respectful, more polite, even looked better as you did business with them?

Think that is something that has gone by with time? Mark your calendar to be with us. How about having all of your staff join us for this call?

The call will be Thursday, March 14 at 8pm eastern.

What have you missed in the last three months by not being a part of the program?

You missed talking with Joseph Michelli, NY Times best selling author on Starbucks, Zappos, and Ritz Carlton. You missed Mike McCormick, CPA; a specialist in small businesses. You missed Cam Marston, author and expert in the topic of intergenerational interaction - from the perspectives of selling and working with each other.

E-retailer conversations

Internet Tip of The Month

Debt to equity calculator

Take a look at the balance sheet of your business. Look at the bottom section of the document; in some form of wording, that bottom section represents the amount of ownership you have in your business.

The section just above that details all of the debt, both current and long term, that your business has.

This calculator is comparing the two. Any lender of money to your business is wanting to take a look at this comparison. The ratio between the two is important to confirm that you, as the owner, do have a substantial financial position in the business.

Before you borrow any money, take a look at this calculator. At the end of every month, you should take a look at this to confirm that you are making progress in your goal of owning your own business.

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

St Patrick's Day is too good of an
opportunity to pass up!

Every community has a place like Crowley's. Here in St Petersburg, the Crowley family has this awesome grill and bar in the downtown area. All of the family works there, and as good independent businesses do, they are very active in the community. They support a lot of community organizations. The food is great and the atmosphere is fun. To compare them to any of the chain restaurants would be an insult to them. They are unique.

You can easily tell how active they are just by watching all the posts they have on Facebook. They are big sponsors of the professional soccer team and are constantly having watch parties.

In your community, who has a business like the Crowley's? And tying into St Patrick's Day does not need to be a one day only event. What if you invited a place like Crowley's to bring samples of their food to your place? How about buying some gift cards to a place like Crowley's to give away as door prizes to your customers.

You do not have to be Irish to celebrate. Pretending to be Irish can be fun, and just like the Irish, green can be your favorite color. I like it because it is the color of money. 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

 


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