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Profits Plus Solutions for Small Business
Retail Expert speakers Retail Management training seminars

April 2000
Information to increase profits for retailers, dealers, jobbers, and merchants -

sent to you at your request by Tom Shay and Profits+Plus Seminars
Visit our website at

New on the Profits+Plus Seminars website this month
Each month we post a new article on the website. For the month of April, the topic is margins and pricing. The most frequently asked question during seminars is, "What should my margin be?"

There is never an answer that can be a one size fits all. This is because each business has a different customer base. I especially remember the merchant who had two stores in the same town. When I asked to see his list of the items that were price sensitive in his stores, he asked, "Which store?"

The article is titled, "How much is enough?" And you can go to the article, download it, and read it at your convenience by clicking on the tag at the end of this paragraph.
How Much is Enough?

Ideas from around the country to assist you in your business
All of us have seen commercials that begin, end, or only talk about, "dot com". Of course, this is the notation for the Internet addresses that many businesses have. I recently heard a report stating 61% of the auto repair shops have a web site. It varies from industry to industry, but the statistic is given to show how most businesses are on the Internet.

What if the domain name (that's the word before the dot com) you want is already taken? While "dot org" is supposed to be reserved for non profit organizations, you can purchase that name. (Notice that our website is a dot org because someone else had the name and wanted a healthy price to sell it to us. We declined their offer.)

There are some proposed changes on the horizon for available extensions. Two of interest to readers of this newsletter is "dot store" and "dot shop". If you already have a website, you may want to consider buying these two extensions as well just to keep away the confusion.

Creating a Loyalty Program
All types of businesses have programs that are designed to reward customers for their repeated business. What you may experience is something as simple as the corner donut shop providing you with a card that is punched every time you buy a dozen donuts. After having your card punched ten time, you get the eleventh dozen for free.

An example of a loyalty program bringing you new customers is shown with the chain of stores called Lids. These mall and airport located stores sell baseball caps with a target market of the 16-20 year old male who usually buys 10 caps a year.

In one year, their loyalty program membership went from 50,000 to 750,000. The bigger surprise was that as they added the program to their website where you can order a cap, they have found a new market in the 25-50 year old males.

SBA/IRS assistance available
The Small Business Administration and the Internal Revenue Service have teamed up to develop a CD-ROM, which is designed to assist small businesses with operations. Other areas included are closing, selling, or changing a business structure. To obtain a copy of, "Small Business Resource Guide: What You Need to Know About Tax and Other Topics", contact the IRS at 800-TAX-FORM and ask for publication #3207.

What does the money buy you?
While many employers believe that money can help them keep an employee from bolting to another job, a Yankelovic Partners study showed that 40% of workers will stay in a job they hate because the money is good. Perhaps suggesting that employers are paying too much to keep an employee.

Thanks for taking the time to read the e-retailer for April 2000. We trust we have provided you with some information that can help you manage your business. And a special thanks to those who have responded with e-mails telling how you have taken a particular piece of information from the e-retailer and used it within your business.

See you next month. And, here's for a great spring selling season.

Get your Profits Plus!

Tom Shay

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