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A business owner has got to do what a business owner can do - sell
Tom Shay
Profits Plus Solutions
March 2017
Volume 18 Issue 4
News of the day - drones and SBDC

One of the readers of e-retailer newsletter sent an email with a picture of the Amazon Prime drone making its first delivery in London. I wasn't sure if Tony was just sharing news or expressing a concern.

Here's another one; UPS is testing a truck with a drone

UPS Truck

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mounted in the top of the truck. The initial purpose of the drone is to use it in rural areas where a single stop can be miles away from another. While making a first delivery, the driver would send the drone with a package to the second stop. The drone and truck would reunite at the third stop.

My response to Tony is that I am not ignoring the changing landscape of business. However, my point is that for there to be a delivery, there has to first be a sale. If the person buying on Amazon, or other online business, is "show-rooming" their purchase in our business then we are either lacking sales skills or we are attracting people that are solely price shoppers.

Whether you sell products or services, if customers are not beating a path to your door or calling you, then you have to sell to make a living for yourself and your employees Too many of us have unfortunately become cashiers, and that is where the drone will beat us every time.

If your business is not investing in the technology of drones, then the investment should be in creating and improving the sales skills of everyone that is a part of your business.

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Wednesday, March 22 is SBDC day. SBDC is Small Business Development Center of which there is one in your area; some cover an entire state such as Arkansas and Florida. Other states, such as Texas and California, have multiple locations. All of the locations are connected with a college or university.

These are some of the best advisors you could ask for in your business. All you have to do is initiate the conversation. You will find that each SBDC office has multiple individuals, each with an area of expertise that can help your small business.

Did I mention that these services are available to you at no cost?

Article of the Month - Using a specialty vendor

This month's article is another that puts a smile on my face as I write this. Just yesterday I was visiting with a business owner and we were discussing the products and services they offered. In one area of their business we discussed a product category in which they had selected the best known brand for their mainstay. While we agree to their offering these quality products, the challenge is that every chain store and Internet retailer has this same product line.

This business owner is attending a trade show in a couple of weeks and I mentioned the need for them to find multiple specialty wholesalers and manufacturers so they could have products that these competitors would not have. This accomplishes several things; it creates a need for your customers to be loyal to your business as your place is likely the only one in the area to have these products. The second advantage is that with unique products (or services), your margins can be increased because of the inability of the customer to price shop.

Originals - Book of the Month

In previous editions of this newsletter, I have mentioned that I have a strong tendency to see everything as a form of business and how it relates to our businesses. You may see this month's book suggestion as a stretch, but to me it still fits in that category. The book is titled, "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu. Written some 2500 years ago, this book has 13 chapters, each of which deal with a single aspect of war. If you see having a profitable business as a form of war, you will enjoy reading this book.

Internet Tool for Your Business
Operating margin per square foot

Thinking again to the business I visited yesterday, this calculator would be very appropriate for the owner and manager. Near the back of the business were several empty manufacturer's displays. They were product lines that had been discontinued. Within the first twenty five feet of the entrance to the business was a work area with a computer, printer, and other business necessities. The challenge is this is valuable sales square footage.

We should ask the owner to perform this math exercise on their business to see just how valuable each square foot is within your building.

Staff Incentive for Your Business
Time for a rally

Perhaps sports provides the best example of getting people to rally around a cause; your business is a cause. You take care of the many people who live in your area depending on your products and services, and it is the people working in your business depending on the business to provide an income for them.

In your business there should be sincere, vocal encouragement and confidence that each individual can perform the task you are asking them to do and what the business can accomplish because of the individual and group efforts. State it out loud for everyone to hear.

And my favorite? Its from Herb Brooks, coach of the US Hockey team in 1980.

"If we played 'em ten times, they might win nine. But not this game. Not tonight. Tonight, we skate with them. Tonight, we stay with them. And we shut them down because we can! Tonight, WE are the greatest hockey team in the world".

We want to recognize A Carrot A Day by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, whose book provides the basis for each month's incentive idea.

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