Article of the Month
Our pricing strategy
by Tom Shay
Experience has shown that too many small business owners believe the way to making more money is simply working harder and working more hours.
Both of those can be components of making more money, but my preference is working smarter.
One of the smarter ways is looking at what you charge for what you do or sell. The article of the month for April shares one of the lessons we learned in our business about how we could make more money by changing the way we established prices.
Let me invite you to read this month's article for further details.
Click on Article of the Month to read this article.
Book of the Month
How Pleasure Works
by Paul Bloom
Think about all the products and/or services that your business offers. With the exception of prescription drugs that are necessary to keep you healthy, enough groceries to keep you fed, and a few clothes to wear, there is nothing that any of us offer as small business owners that is essential.
Why then, do people buy these products and services from us?
Pleasure. We spend this money for the non-essential and it is referred to as discretionary spending.
If we were to work to understand how people decide where that money is to be spent, we would have increased sales in our business.
That is why we have selected How Pleasure Works as the book of the month for April.
Click on Book Referral to see the complete list of small business books we have found that can be helpful to your business.
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That negative selling gets to me
A recent trip to Las Vegas had a couple of hours of spare time and I was staying across the street from the mall.
I took it as a sign that I should go looking. There was an experience that repeated itself multiple times. Looking back, the experience is not unique to that date, that mall, or even to businesses that only sell products.
The experience is that of 'negative selling'. I think we need to teach our staff, and ourselves, to find a different method of selling. Here is an example from my shopping on that afternoon.
The customer walks into the business and asks to see a certain brand of shoes. The response from the employee was, 'We only have a couple of pair of that brand of shoes'.
Another employee joins in the conversation and their remark was, 'Gee, I don't think we have that many on hand'.
The same experience happened at other businesses selling other products. It has also happened recently when speaking with service businesses.
I don't get it. Why the need to start the conversation with a customer in a negative manner? Logically speaking, how many pair of shoes does the salesperson think the customer is going to buy anyway?
Key to any small business beating the competition; be it the Internet, chain store, mass merchant, or another independent is the attitude by which we work with our customers.
With negative selling in the examples I have given, it sounds like the salesperson is working to find a way to get out of talking to the customer. Of course, when there is no incentive to the salesperson to sell, the negative selling works just fine for the salesperson. It just doesn't work for the business.
April and May e-ret@iler conversations
We have two great guests coming to the e-ret@iler conversations for April and May. Both are repeat guests with new ideas to share with you.
April will bring Ron Friendman back to our show. Over a year ago, Ron was the individual who told us about the impending changes to credit card processing and the new chip that was appearing in credit cards.
As the months wind down to when that change takes affect, Ron's comments have shown to be wise advice. Now he is coming back to tell us about a new book he is writing.
This book is about how your business can make gift cards become the item you sell the most of. We will look at both the selling side of this idea as well as the back side where we will learn what you need to have to make this happen.
May brings Mike McCormick back to us. Mike is the CPA who was previously a small business owner. This means Mike understands the relationship from our side of the accounting picture.
As we will be visiting with Mike in May, we are going to ask him why you should have a visit with your accountant in May as compared to how many small business owners meet with the accountant in February to review their year.
Mike has a great idea of how that relationship should work between the accountant and business owner. It will be a wise investment of your time to join us.
The program for April marks the beginning of our seventh year of the monthly e-ret@iler conversation. In the studio we will be having cake and ice cream; we hope you will have yours at home or work and join us for the program.
Previous e-ret@iler conversations are recorded and available on the Profits Plus website by following this link.
|Internet Tip of The Month
Advertising, Marketing, Promotion
The AMP Calculator
The AMP calculator was created because of my Dad. Working for him, it was an annual requirement that I create an annual budget for what was all of the spending that would be charged against the advertising budget.
Over the past 18 years of teaching small business, I find that most business owners do not have a budget or a plan for their advertising.
In addition to having written a class that I teach on how to create such a plan, I have also created an online calculator that you can use in your business to create the budget and plan for your business.
We call it the AMP calculator; short for Advertising, Marketing, and Promoting.
|The Incentive Idea of the Month
Do you love me?
Many of you have children and many of you have a spouse. How often do you tell them you love them?
Now take a look at your employees and/or those you oversee. While not expecting you to tell them you love them, how often do they get a word of appreciation for what they have done? Perhaps it is the way they took care of a customer; or took on responsibility without your having to ask them to do so.
A few words go a long way. If your family appreciates it, so will your family at work.
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.