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June 2013
Volume 14 Issue 7

Article of the Month

Store hours and part time help
by Tom Shay

The comment on this article comes from two positions.

My first comment is that when I was invited to initially write for a trade magazine, this was the article I first wrote. I keep a framed copy of this one in my office as a reminder of how it all started.

The second is that I am concerned that the article is still relevant. Businesses need to understand that the customer of today, and the future, has no place for a 9am to 5pm business.

This article will talk about our changing hours and some ideas for promoting the change.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

Outrageous! Unforgettable Service.. Guilt Free Selling
by T. Scott Gross

In addition to suggesting this book by T. Scott Gross, I want to add a comment with regard to the title and its application to your business.

There is an old adage of business that is 'A.C.E.S.' which stands for 'Around Customers Everybody Sells'.

Whether you provide a product or service you are selling. My belief is that even a doctor is a salesperson as the doctor has to 'sell you' on the idea of taking that medicine or letting the doctor do something to your body.

You have to decide in your business just how much of an effort you are willing to make with regard to teaching someone how to sell.

Enjoy the book from T. Scott Gross and think about what your commitment will be with regard to giving outrageous customer service.

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

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Business Advisory

Too little and too late

Opening the post office box last week, there was an innocent looking form. In reading the one page, I find the US Postal System is offering three new services for their customers who have post office boxes.

The first service allows a customer to use the street address of the post office as the address for their business instead of listing their home street address. This would make a home based business look a bit more professional.

The second service is that you can put your signature on file for any items that would traditionally require your signature. Instead of going in the post office and standing in line, the customer will now find the letter or package in their post office box waiting for them.

The third service is a tip to technology and ecology. Giving the post office your cell phone number or email, they will send you a message whenever there is mail delivered to your post office box.

I thought it demonstrated that somewhere in the post office, someone was trying to put a dent in all the business the post office is losing.

However, I later heard a commercial for the UPS store. The commercial detailed services the UPS store offered to their customers. The commercial detailed the same three services.

My bet is that it was the UPS store that first offered the service. The US Postal Service is trying to play catch up.

Years ago in our business, we came to a point where we had to make a decision about adding a special computer to our business.

It would be an expensive investment. Speaking with a trusted advisor we were told that this was the first generation of this computer. When the second generation would arrive, it would easily be half the cost.

The advisor said that if we bought the computer now we had the potential to grow that part of our business. If we waited until the second generation arrived, we would definitely buy that computer because we would have to have it to save our business. (We bought the first generation computer.)

There is a lot of similarity in the post office and the computer. Perhaps it applies to your business. When you make a change, are you doing so to grow your business or because you are trying to save your business?

As composer Jim Cage said, 'I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones'.


Shelley Brander visits for the June 20 e-retailer conversation with Bill Kendy and Tom Shay

The June guest for the e-retailer conversation is going to bring some much needed information for a lot of the readers of this newsletter. I hope you will make the investment of your time (Profits Plus is giving you a toll free number to dial into, and there is no charge for participating in the event.)

The conversation for the event is going to focus on the why and how of branding your business.

Our guest for the event is an expert who co-owns the company 'Branders'. This is an excellent opportunity to listen to someone who understands why a business needs to have a 'brand', how to create a brand, and how to carry forward the branding effort in the business. We will be discussing branding for small businesses that sell products and/or services.

Shelley knows all of this from the perspective of the expert and the small business owner. Shelley owns two retail stores in Tulsa, Oklahoma called Loops. The shops also have an integrated online business.

It has been my pleasure to visit both of the Loops locations and can share with you that they are beautifully designed stores with a true flair of professionalism.

Send your questions now and I will make sure that we get them to Shelley in advance of the call. And as always, I promise that all of the questions sent in advance will be the first to be answered by Shelley.

The call will be Thursday, June 20 at 8pm eastern.

Our guest last month was Jerry Obarski, and the topic was loss prevention for your business. We will hope to have Jerry join us again for another e-retailer conversation. The hour we had with Jerry was packed with information. I have to admit I heard several ideas about loss prevention that I had never heard before.

That is the value of these conversations; experts that are gladly giving of their time to provide you with valuable information.

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

Cashflow projection

Most every business has a part of the year which is considered to be the 'down time'. In other terms, this is the time of year when revenue is less and that usually means less cash in the checking account.

It has been my experience that many small business owners find this time of year to be very unsettling. The Internet Tip of the Month is the cashflow projection calculator. This tool will allow you to accurately project your cash needs for the next 60 days.

Cashflow projection calculator

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

Celebrating Canada Day and Independence Day

While I do not remember where I was when I saw this, the day continues to be etched in my mind. In the town I was visiting, a local real estate office purchased small flags. The flags were plastic as was the staff of the flag. Attached to the staff was a note that said the flag was a gift from the real estate office. Of course, the contact information for the real estate office was on the note.

The real estate office made a donation to a local Scout troop and enlisted the Scouts to place a flag in the yard of every home in the community. The placement was near the curb so as you stood at one end of a block, you could see all the flags.

As beautiful as it was, the local newspaper ran a photo and story to tell of the event. In the coming days, there were letters to the editor with words of appreciation.

Whether you celebrate July 1 or July 4, this would be a great promotion. And you have 30 days to put it together.

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