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April 2014
Volume 15 Issue 5

Article of the Month

Being a member of your association
by Tom Shay

Two items in the past week have led me to choose this article for April.

The first was my keynote to a group this past week. The president of the group was complimenting the membership for having earned their certification and being a part of their national trade association.

When I was introduced, it was told about my membership and certification. As a CSP, I belonged to a pretty small and select group.

This was my first reminder. The second was getting the invoice to renew my membership.

How about you? Are you a part of your association?

Click on  Article of the Month to read this article.


Book of the Month

In the Owner's Chair
by Ronald Torrance

I like the subtitle of this book; 'Proven techniques for taking your business from zero to $10 million.

Like many others I suggest, this is not a new book. However, the ideas do make a lot of sense.

What is the biggest challenge I see with small business owners?

They seem to be more comfortable in the manager's chair than being in the owner's chair.

As I have frequently said, 'you can hire a manager but you cannot hire an owner'.

I hope you enjoy the book.

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

e-retailer conversations

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P.O. Box 1577
St. Petersburg, FL
33731 USA
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Business Advisory

April invites us to take another look

Thursday, April 24 is 'Take our Daughters and Sons to Work Day'. The theme for this year is 'plant a seed, grow a future'. 2014 marks the 21st anniversary of this event. 

I remember inviting our daughter to participate in this when she was in school. She was one of those who wanted to be a part of the family business; asking to have a job when she was 13. 

As I think about the theme, I know we have all heard the comments about how the younger generations don't have the motivation that a generation or two before them had. While I can surely understand this comment, I wonder if it is our older generation that has failed in passing on our values or if it is because the younger ones see things differently. Surely the 'great generation' said the same thing about us!

Several years ago I received a letter from a reader of this column. He said it so well as he asked why children would want to go into small business ownership when their parents talked about the business the way they do.

It would be better for me to share the letter with you. In our office we call it the 'letter from Ron'. My hope is that it causes you to think about yourself and your business.

Letter from Ron

When you participate in the Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, give your child a feel for the 'real' work that you do. Introduce them to your employees, fellow workers, and definitely your customers.

Tell them what you do and why you do it. 

Let them do the talking. Unfortunately I see too many parents that want to do the explaining of everything. Let the daughter or son tell what they see and what they think.

Take them to lunch.

We will be hosting the April e-retailer conversation on Thursday, April 24 at 8:00pm eastern.

Of all the guests we have had, this is the one I have probably been around the most. Her name is Jill Kline and she is head of the Small Business Development Center for the state of Wyoming.

It was truly my pleasure to spend a week with her traveling through Wyoming earlier this year. Let me tell you that Jill Kline is into small business. She loves what she does and loves to help people. 

She is a 'workaholic' because I have received emails  through out the weekend and late at night. When I worked with Jill, I was amazed at the team she had assembled and the numerous tools that were available to small business owners throughout the state. 

Inviting Jill to join us will allow you to hear how the Small Business Development Center works and how they can help your business.

Most all of the e-ret@iler conversations from the past five years are recorded and archived on the Profits Plus website. Help yourself to the free downloads.

Internet Tip of The Month

The promotion evaluator calculator

The credit to this calculator goes to a business owner in Georgia who shared his 'theory' with me.

Let me create some numbers in an example situation to make the point.

Envision a business that is going to spend $2000 in advertising in an effort to get customers to do business with them. The business resorts to the 'item and price' tactic of giving markdowns to their products and services in an effort to get people to do business with them.

At the end of the event, the business totals that the discounts given to customers were $500.

This business owner believes the promotion cost $2500. The owner then decided to reverse strategy. What if they spent a larger percentage of the budget inviting existing customers to come in? The business could use newsletters, post cards and phone calls to invite these people in for the next event.

The business decided to make the event festive and had door prizes, refreshments and decorations. Overall the business spent $500 for all of this. Then the 'markdowns' given could be a lot more. The logic is that a more special price could attract more people. 

After the second event the business totaled that the discount amount was $2000. There had been a lot more people come to do business. They bought more of the discounted items and they bought more of the regular pricef items.

Do the math; in both cases the total of the event was $2500.

Could this concept work for you? The answer will only come from your trying. Here is the calculator this business owner shared:

Promotion evaluator calculator

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

The evening preview sale

In the same line of thought as the calculator of the month, comes the power promoting idea of the month which is having an evening preview sale.        
From personal experience I can tell you this idea can be a lot of fun and produce some great results.

It starts with making the event special - music, food, prizes and something special about your business as to why a customer wants to come. The introduction of new products or services and special prices work great. Having a representative from one of your vendors can add a level of expertise to the event.

Make the place festive inside. You can even dress up for the event. I don't think you can go too far with making the business stand out. If there are windows to your business, cover them over with paper to add a bit of mystery to what is happening. 

We sent postcards of invitation to our customers. We even gave them a special deal if they brought a friend with them. We told them to get into the event, they would have to bring their invitation with them.

To top it off, we had someone at the door, standing just outside our business, to welcome them and 'check' for invitations.

The more you do to make the event special, the more memorable it will be and the more your customers will look forward to the next one.

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