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Book suggestion for April - Toxic Charity. What has that got to do with small business?
Tom Shay, CSP
Profits Plus Solutions
April 2017
Volume 18 Issue 5

April 27 is "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day"
How happy are you with your promotions?

The fourth Thursday of April is the traditional, "Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day". While the children at the Shay house are already on their own, we did celebrate this event in our business. When you decide to do this, let me suggest the children actually work. It does not make sense for the child to simply hang around the business. Instead they should meet your customers and the sales representatives that call on your business. They need to enjoy the challenges that we face every day. They need to see the fun of the business as well as the work it takes to make it a success.

We received recently a report from the Promotion Optimization Institute. The January 2017 report showed only 14% of respondents were satisfied with their promotions. None were extremely satisfied and 37% were somewhat satisfied.

The opposite is 4% being extremely dissatisfied and 45% dissatisfied. That is a lot of unhappiness for what is a lot of money being spent in a business to get customer attention. The follow-up question dealt with "putting together a good plan". Almost 90% had an agreement with this being an issue.

The challenge, as we see it, lies in two areas. The first being a business that does not have an annual plan but instead plans their marketing from week to week. The second challenge is that far too often the plan is dependent on "item and price" or "service and price" advertising. We are offering discounts to get customers to do business with us. And then we wonder why we have so many customers that are doing business with us with a discounted price being their driving focus. We cannot expect to drive customers to our business with a low price and then expect them to change to being a different type of customer.

Finding new staff - Article of the Month

There is an old story of small business; The good news is that revenue is increasing. The bad news is that we have to find additional staff. There is even a current day commercial for an online employment site that plays to this same issue.

This month's article has a couple of ideas of how you can find the new help your business needs.

Toxic Charity - Book of the Month

A conversation at a recent speaking engagement causes a change to the book suggestion of the month. Several business owners in the session were discussing how they contribute to their community. While I am all in favor of a local small business owner helping their community, my thought process of how to help was altered as I read this book.

There is nothing in the book about small business. The book is all about the good and bad effects of charity in a community. No specific charities are mentioned but the concept of how charities help is evaluated in depth.

The book is, "Toxic Charity" by Robert Lupton. There is a subtitle of, "How churches and charities hurt those they help, and how to reverse it". I see this book as providing insight to a business that wants to have a profound effect on the community.

Personal Productivity Ratio - Internet Tool for Your Business

Just this morning we were visiting with Mark Ryski, the guest on the April e-retailer conversation. We were discussing foot traffic counting and conversion rates for a brick and mortar business. While a frequent measurement for a business is "sales per employee", we discussed "personal productivity ratio" which is comparing your staff to the profit they produce. Want to know more of how to calculate this? Follow the link below.

Staff Incentive for Your Business - The best incentives start with the job application

Here is a key question during a job interview that can pay dividends with those you hire. "If you had a day off to do anything you wanted, what would you do"?

Listen carefully to the answer. There is a good chance their answer is something that you can provide for them. The next time you are creating an incentive for your employees, consider creating individualized rewards instead of a one prize that the owner gets. By this I mean, the prize is different for each employee.

The employee has already told you what they want. They will definitely enjoy something they know they want more than something we might dream up for them.

And for existing employees, it is as simple as asking that initial question during a conversation. Just be sure to listen carefully and note the answer in their employee file.

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
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