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Profits Plus Solutions for Small Business
Retail Expert speakers Retail Management training seminars

e-ret@iler from Profits+Plus and Tom Shay
ideas to sell more merchandise and services
August 2003 - Our 45th consecutive issue

The August issue of the e-ret@iler contains:

1. The article of the month: A Successful Business
is like a Dishtowel
2. e-ret@iler advisory of the month Part 1: Better than
the evening news
Part 2: An "Open to Buy"
3. Our Power Promoting idea of the month: Picture this!
4. Your e-ret@iler subscription and contacting
Profits+Plus and Tom Shay

=> Print the August issue of the e-ret@iler so
you can read it at your leisure.


Preface: The August e-ret@iler is coming to you
from New Orleans where I am attending the National
Speakers Association's annual convention and
trade show. (Yes, even we speakers have trade
shows just like those you attend.) What makes
this one very special for me is that on Sunday
morning, I will be receiving the CSP certification.
CSP stands for Certified Speaking Professional.

It is an earned distinction; one that has been earned
by less than 7% of the professional speakers
world wide. Earning the distinction is a result
of 5 years of effort - denoting my accomplishments
of continuing education, number of clients and
presentations, marketing effort, testimonial
letters, and a high level of client satisfaction.

My special thanks to all of you, as it is your
trade shows, conferences, and continuing
education events that allowed me to earn this.
I made the effort to earn the CSP because I
believe the people I have the opportunity of addressing
by way of speaking, writing books and magazine
columns, deserve the very best that I can
provide. Thank you.


1. Article of the month: A Successful Business
is like a Dishtowel

OK, even I will agree that the title of this article
does suggest a strange analogy. Maybe I should
have been paying more attention to the meal than
I was to the staff at the restaurant that night.
But the story has been written, the comparisons
have been made, and I hope you will enjoy
comparing your business to the many uses for a

Click on this link to visit the Profits+Plus
website to read the August article of the month.

A Successful Business is like a Dishtowel

0 <= After printing the August e-ret@iler, check
here if you plan to read the article of the month.


2. e-ret@iler advisory of the month: Better than
the evening news

Have you ever watched the evening news and then
wondered, "What has this got to do with my business?"
I know that I have and often wished I could see or
read a news broadcast that dealt exclusively with
our industry.

Problem solved! By way of an arrangement with
Melody Vargas and the people that create the
retail industry news on, you can now
visit our website and get an update to the
world of retail. As news develops, the
staff will update the news page on our website, so
you will probably want to mark this page as a favorite
with your web browser.

To get a quick look at the news page, click on the
link below.

Retail News

0 <= After printing the August e-ret@iler, check
here if you plan to visit the retail news page.

Part 2: An "Open to Buy"

Rod Halvorson of Laurel, Michigan faxed in a
couple of questions this month - questions that
many other readers of the e-ret@iler would
like to have the answers to as well.

You will remember that we created and offered
a free "Open to Buy" calculator on the Profits+Plus
website during last year. An "Open to Buy" is a
tool designed to help your business determine
exactly how much inventory you should have at
any given time. Consider this strategy, as compared to the
business that simply waits to see their financials
at the end of the month to see how much inventory
they have.

Without question, your making that decision is
much more desirable as compared to getting that
end of the month surprise, and then trying to
unload excessive merchandise, or perhaps understanding
that you have missed too many sales because of
a lack of inventory.

We created the tool (a Microsoft Excel template)
and put it on the site along with an explanation
of how it works, and an article explaining the
need for, and usage of an "Open to Buy" calculator.

So, the questions from Rod (along with their answers)

Is the inventory for the beginning of the month and
the desired inventory shown at cost or retail?
(All inventory shown in the "Open to Buy" calculator
is shown at cost.)

Do I use an average margin or the monthly margin?
(Assuming that you get monthly financial sheets,
you likely will see that the margin does vary from
month to month. If you create monthly financials,
you will want to use those numbers as a point of
reference. The number you will enter in the calculator
is the gross margin that you anticipate for that
particular month.)

Are purchase orders entered at cost or retail?
(Purchase orders are entered at cost. The only
place in the calculator that uses a number that is
retail is the first row which is your anticipated

Click on the link below to visit the "Open to Buy"
calculator and article.

Open to Buy

0 <= After printing the August e-ret@iler, check here
if you plan to visit the Profits+Plus website to learn
more about the "Open to Buy" calculator.


3. Our Power Promoting idea of the month: Picture this!

We don't remember where this statistic came from, but
we found to be surprising and useful. Surely, you
have had a salesperson hand you their business card,
only to find that the card really was that of someone
else and the salesperson had scratched out the name
and handwritten their's in. They probably told you
they are waiting for their cards to arrive from the
printer. Doesn't your opinion of that salesperson
diminish because the card just does not look

The Power Promoting idea of the month is not that
you should have business cards for your staff. We
know that you already know that. The idea of the
month is that the business card should have the
picture of the salesperson on it. Not only does it look
more professional, but research has shown that men
will hand out twice as many cards if their photo
is on it! (We don't have any statistics about
what happens when women have their photos on the cards)

Where in the world do we get these Power Promoting
ideas month after month? We have been collecting them
for many years and now have them available in book
format. We have so many that we even have two books
out. Vist the Profits+Plus resource center and take
a look at the Ideas series of books. The book with
the blue cover and the one with the red cover each
contain 100 of the tried and proven promotional ideas.

The book with the green cover and the book with the
gold cover each contain 100 management tips and
shortcuts that can help you to make your business
more profitable. Each book is only $9.95.

Click on the link below to visit the Profits+Plus
resource center.

Ideas Books

0 <= After printing the August e-ret@iler, check here
if you plan to visit the Resources Page to order
the Ideas books.


4. Your e-ret@iler subscription and contacting
Profits+Plus and Tom Shay

Simply stated, the e-ret@iler is free. If you
received it as a result of someone passing it to
you, you can get your own subscription by visitng
the Profits+Plus website and entering your
e-mail information to get a subscription.

Contacting us is just as easy. Our phone is
727-464-2182. The fax number is 727-898-3179.
Our mailing address is: PO Box 1577, St.
Petersburg, FL 33731 USA. If you want to send
an e-mail, you can click on this link to start the e-mail
message to us.

Thanks for taking the time this month from
your business to visit with us by way of this
e-mail newsletter, the e-ret@iler. Our goal is
to have you find a bit of information in it that
will help you make your business more profitable.

We continue to ask you to make an effort to
locate and do business with other small businesses.
You will meet some really great people and
find others who really appreciate their customers,
just the way you do!

Get your Profits+Plus, and may God bless you and
yours! See you in September.

Tom Shay

Copyright Notice

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