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Profits Plus Solutions for Small Business
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May 2013
Volume 14 Issue 6

Article of the Month

Show your financials by Tom Shay

Speaking at a conference in North Carolina this winter, an attendee whose business provided a service, told of two employees that resigned and decided to go into business as competitors.

He asked if I thought he could have done anything to prevent their leaving. My response was that the employees were probably thinking they could make more money by starting their own business.

What they would find out only after starting their own business was how expensive it is to operate a business.

Read the article for May 2013 and you will find the rest of my response.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

Instore Signage & Graphics by Larry Ruderman with Arthur Ruderman

A picture is worth 1,000 words, or so the saying goes. The book of the month was released 14 years ago.

So why would I suggest a book that is nowhere near new? Because good signage does not get old.

Our guests for the April e-retailer conversation, Kizer and Bender, spoke at length about their observations of signage. For those participating in the conference call and those downloading it, I thought you would enjoy some additional information.

Click on Book Referral to see the complete list of small business books we have found that can be helpful to your business.

e-retailer conversations

Hey, we are blogging, tweeting, facebooking and invite your participation.

Visit our e-ret@iler conversations, find the category of interest and post your comments, questions or best practices. You may also go directly to one of our categories by clicking on one of the links below.

Employee Issues
Financial ManagementGeneral DiscussionMerchandising
Sales Techniques
Vendor Issues

And you can follow my daily posts on Twitter and Facebook.
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Contact Us

Profits Plus
P.O. Box 1577
St. Petersburg, FL
33731 USA
(727) 464-2182 Voice
(727) 898-3179 Fax

Send Tom an e-mail:

Send our staff an e-mail:


Business Advisory

The Leader of the Pack

On many a morning over the past couple of months, I have run into Joseph Michelli, our guest for the December 2012 e-retailer conversation, at a local coffee shop. While I knew most all of the staff on a first name basis, I was surprised when he commented about the manager of the shop and their lack of leadership.

Joseph commented that the shop did not operate efficiently and the staff appeared to be adrift. While I knew what was going on in the personal life of the manager, I was surprised that it was that apparent.

Over the next three months I watched the staff more carefully. As I Facebook, I began to notice the comments of the manager. Definitely this was someone that was becoming more and more disconnected from the coffee shop.

Especially after reading Michelli's book on Starbucks, I watched even closer to see what was happening. Three of the staff stepped up their efforts and did their best to keep the shop going.

Starting with last Monday, the shop has a new manager. The manager we have known for the last couple of years has left and taken a job elsewhere. It will remain to be seen if this is the right manager for this place, but Michelli's point is well taken.

How about at your business? Whether you are the owner or manager, people are watching; they may not be as keen as Michelli, but they will know when things are not going right.

Sound leadership starts at the top. The way the owner or manager behaves makes its way through the rest of the staff; attitude is duplicated. You can not expect an employee to be something the owner or manager is not.


Jerry Obarski is to be our guest for the e-ret@iler conversation on Thursday, May 16 (really)

At the last moment, we had to make a change in the schedule for the e-retailer conversations.

Jerry Obarski moved from April to May while Kizer and Bender moved from the fall to April. Confusing enough?

Join us for the May call to visit with Jerry and we are going to discuss the confusing aspect of loss control.

Jerry has a lot of experience with business management. He spent 37 years with major department stores. The part of Jerry's expertise we are going to discuss is shrinkage control.

Shrinkage control means making the necessary efforts to be sure your employees are not stealing from you, losing equipment, giving 'deals' to their friends, and just about anyway possible for you to lose money or property from your business.

We will also talk from an ownership position about how you need to have certain controls in place so that you do not have situations where someone can alter your financial books to hide any stealing.

This is a very important e-ret@iler conversation; I have heard from too many of our readers who have experienced theft in one form or another.

Send your questions now and I will make sure that Jerry will give you his viewpoint on what you can do to better control your business.

The call will be Thursday, May 16 at 8pm eastern.

Join us for this call which marks the start of the 5th year of e-retailer conversations with Tom Shay and Bill Kendy.

Rich Kizer and Georganne Bender joined Bill Kendy and Tom Shay for the April conference call. There was a lot of information shared that can definitely help you in your business.

We talked about signage, what will get a customer's attention and how to sell to each generation of customers.

The e-retailer conversations are recorded and are available for download or playing with your computer speakers. They are available for you by following this link.

E-retailer conversations

Internet Tip of The Month

Break even analysis

Hopefully, someone that is opening a new business - product or service oriented - has already used this calculator.

This tool allows you to estimate just how much revenue your business has to produce to get to the point of 'break even'.

This calculator takes into consideration the expenses that are going to occur whether or not you have any revenue as well as the variable expenses that will increase as your revenue increases.

You need this calculator to help determine if you will produce the necessary revenue. You could use this calculator for a department of your business. You could use this calculator for an existing business to determine where you are in the effort to increase profits.

Frequently after a business passes the point of break even, there is an immediate and sizable upswing in the profit of your business. Wouldn't it make sense to know when that is going to happen?

Break even analysis calculator

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

How about a glass of lemonade? Warm weather is making its way toward the northern climates; spring is here with some areas of the south already getting summer weather.

How about a cold glass of lemonade? We share this idea from a business near us where they had a very unique marketing idea.

Outside the front door of their business was a table with a five gallon insulated cooler on it. The cooler was filled with fresh made lemonade. Next to the cooler was a stack of cups. Being economical, the business printed their logo and contact information on adhesive back labels. The staff attached the labels to the cups, saving the business the cost of having custom printed cups.

The sign next to the cups simply invited all to help themselves to a cold glass of lemonade with no strings attached.

The business owner reported they had done this marketing idea every year starting with the first warm weather weekend. The owner reported that people stated they would come by the business because the warm weather reminded them of the lemonade and the 'need' to visit this local business.

Think about the cost of this marketing effort; a minimal amount of expenditure and a lot of exposure to existing and potential customers.

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.

Profits Plus Resource Center


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