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Profits Plus Solutions for Small Business
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Around your customers, do you and your employees strive for a great performance just because you can give a great performance?
Tom Shay
Profits Plus Solutions
July 2016
Volume 17 Issue 8
The strength of the chain in your business

There is an old saying that, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link." I always took this as a lesson on doing your best as it would be some small detail that would be the downfall of any effort. Hence the lesson of paying attention to details.

My most recent observation of a weak link came as I was dining with someone at a very nice restaurant; the kind where you can easily spend $100 per person for a dinner. What do I remember most about the evening? The check.

Not the dollar amount of the meal; it was that in presenting the bill, the waiter left for us to use, a pen that he had picked up from some motel. This experience reminded me of working with a company in the floor covering business several years ago.

All of their products were custom made. Their list of customers read from the entertainment page of most any newspaper or magazine. Their customers had money!

Yet, as their sales staff made the sale and asked the customer to sign the proposal, they also were using some pen they had picked up somewhere in their travels. The salesperson could easily be making a $250,000 sale and they wrap it up by handing the customer a pen they picked up.

That same day, we marched the owners to a pen specialty store where they ordered a monogrammed pen for each of their employees.

Your weakest link might not be the pen. It could be for a retailer, using that white plastic bag that has "thank you" written in red on the side. It could be burnt out lights or dirty restrooms or just a dirty store.

For the owner in the service industry, it could be employees that look dirty and grungy wearing tee shirts with holes in them.

It is the weakest link that people notice.

Article of the Month - Effort to Sell by Educating

Having spent the last weekend working in downtown Chicago, I was frequently reminded about a survey that showed an overwhelming majority of customer complaints were situations which could have been averted or easily resolved. The number of situations I experienced are too many to detail. Instead, let me offer an article of the month that shares some ideas of what we can do in both the product and service industry to make for a better customer experience.

And a better customer experience makes for more sales that are more profitable.
Book of the Month - 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing

This book is by two of my favorite writers -Al Ries and Jack Trout. They also wrote, "Marketing Warfare", which is a great read for any of this audience.

Whether you call it an advertising or marketing budget, most every business spends a sizable number of dollars each year trying to get their message to people. Shouldn't you get the most for the dollars you are spending? If not, most of that money would just fall to your bottom line.

Take a look at this book to see some great ideas that can help you market your business better.

Internet Tool for Your Business - If you lower your price
"If we were to lower our price, we could sell a lot more". is a frequently heard comment. While in some cases that might be true, there are two questions to be asked.

"With the increase in the number of the item being sold, will we make the same, or more, gross sales dollars?"

"Will we make the same, or more, gross profit dollars?"

This calculator can help you make the determination about the price change.
Staff Incentive for Your Business - Let's all go to the movies

Recently I observed a business in which every employee participated in a group activity. The idea was to build camaraderie among the staff. The owner said the idea was an annual event for their business. While this business involves outdoor activity products, thinking about the rest of our readers I saw this idea.

What if you took everyone to a movie? Depending on the makeup of your staff it could be a comedy, action movie, drama, or most any type with the exception of a downer.

Add some snacks, and you are sure to have a staff talking about their experience for a long time afterward.

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
Fax: (727) 898-3179