Article of the Month
What's in a name?
June's article of the month is one that I have written to ask you about your experiences with online companies wanting to gather your contact information.
We all know why they do it and we give that information to many if them; if there is a reason we would want to be contacted by them.
The same applies to your business. Are you gathering this contact information? My experience is that the majority of businesses allow a customer to do business with them, spend plenty of money, and then make no effort to give the customer a reason for staying in contact with that business.
Customers are hard enough to attract without our failing to follow up on those that have chosen to do business with us.
Click on Article of the Month to read this article.
Book of the Month
Kevin Freiberg and Jackie Freiberg
This book is not a new release, but if you haven't read it, now would be a good time. While it was a bit challenging at times, I found that I gained a lot of information from it.
Reading this book provides you with a lot of the logic behind Southwest Airlines and how they gain engagement from their employees. And to me that is the big key - getting employees to put a sincere effort into your business. If you aren't getting that from your employees, you should be getting this book.
We have more books to suggest for your reading. Click on Book Referral to visit this page on our site.
We have a lot of new information on the e-ret@iler conversations blog. We invite you to add your comments, ideas, and observations.
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 Management
- General Discussion
- Sales Techniques
- Vendor Issues
P.O. Box 1577
St. Petersburg, FL
(727) 464-2182 Voice
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1. National Independent Retailers Week - July 19-25
One of the important components, I believe, in teaching the management of a small business is that it should be spoken from experience. One of the most popular sessions I have created is called, Power Promoting. It is very interactive and one of the points I make is about creating special events that you can register with Chase's calendar of events. (This is the reference guide that the media use when they are talking about special occasion days)
To make my point, I explain National Independent Retailers Week which we created several years ago. The event continues to grow as it now has its own website and logo.
The artwork is free and we suggest you use it to create window posters and bumper stickers. As the media contacts you, asking you to spend money with them, prompt them to promote the event. There is a lot of support information about why it is good for people to support local businesses.
Take a look at IndieRetailerMonth and join the cause!
2. May conference call and challenges
Just as I mentioned challenges with technology in the May e-retailer, we had a problem with the new software we are using to send the announcements. Many of you got a blank email for an announcement and it sure was reflected in the attendance numbers. However the recording was made, and you can listen to the May conference call for free by following the link below to our website.
During the hour long session, I talked about a book written in the early 1800's that was about how to fight a war. The book stated that every successful army wins because they have picked the correct strategy (there are only four possible strategies) and then they developed tactics to carry out that strategy.
As examples of strategy we looked at Coke, Pepsi, 7 Up and Mountain Dew competing for a customer. Then we looked at McDonald's, Burger King, Arby's, Chick-fil-a, and Taco Bell.
Don't think this has much to do with your business? Think again as you listen to the free replay of the May e-retailer conference call
May e-retailer conference call
3. June e-retailer conference call
We will again be announcing the date of the June e-retailer conference call in the middle of the month.
The dial in number and pin number remain the same. To participate you need to dial 1-218-339-4600 and upon getting the recorded message, enter the pin number of 270985#. Pressing *6 will mute your phone so that you can continue your work while you listen, and pressing *6 again will un mute your phone so that you can ask questions and participate in the call.
Send me your questions so that I can research the answers for you. The question I will be bringing is, "What do you expect your advertising to do?"
Internet Tip of The Month
Individual Item Margin
Is it margin? Or, is it markup? It depends on how you calculate it. The important thing is that you know that when someone says 'markup' or 'margin' is that you have asked how they are doing the math so that you will understand that you are both on the same page.
As an example, one of you could be saying 'margin' with the other saying 'markup' and you think you are talking about the same thing; you are not. Mathematically, as an example a 50% markup can be the same as a 33% margin.
Individual Item Margin calculator
The Power Promoting Idea of the Month
Holding a food drive
The first book I wrote, the blue book on power promoting has some of my favorite promotions that businesses have done. This past week I listened as a local radio station had a very successful blood drive which reminded of an event that would be very timely today.
The business that was the basis for page #44 in the book had observed how many organizations hold a food drive annually. This business decided they wanted to 'own' the concept of a food drive by having one year round. There are many ways you can adapt this to your business.
To make it work, you can try several ways:
A discount on a purchase when the customer gives a certain number of non-perishable items.
A gift card in exchange for the non-perishable items.
Any combination of tie ins in which other businesses are providing a part of the 'gift' to the customer. The benefit to the other businesses is that you are introducing customers to them.
The big plus I saw in the business that was doing this came in comments from customers as they saw a food drive, usually at the holiday season, during the holiday season. The comment was, "Oh look. A food drive; just like (name of store) does."
When you have done this, you own a place in the customer's mind.
As you visit our resources center, you can order either of our power promoting books. One has a red cover and the other has a blue cover. There are also two books on 'power managing'. These books have a green cover and a yellow cover.