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The US Department of Labor and the purchase of Whole Foods by Amazon are both
trying to teach us a lesson; are we learning?

Tom Shay
Profits Plus Solutions
October 2017
Volume 18 Issue 11

A new twist on what business you are in

Few of us sell products or services that our customers must have; we may have some items customers must have (some food, some clothing, some medicines) but for the majority of what we sell and do, it is not essential.

If that is true, then why do customers buy from us?

They are spending what we call discretionary money; you spend it because you have earned the money and want to enjoy spending it. So, where does the enjoyment begin?

It should begin with you; when you walk into your business and as you transfer that enjoyment to your staff. The staff, in turn, can transfer it to your customers. The enjoyment of spending money has to begin in, or with, your business.

Let's look at an example. The current discussion online is Amazon and their purchase of Whole Foods. Now Amazon can sell food. But what made Whole Foods different?

It is the same thing that makes Trader Joe's or Fresh Market different. The experience you have in each of these is different from the experience in the traditional grocery store

Amazon, along with the rest of the Internet businesses, have simply said, "If you are not going to make it a fun experience for your customer, then we are going to make it quick and painless"?

And yes, there are economic factors that come into play as they can sell to all the world as compared to selling to a smaller demographic area.

The same can be true for those that provide a service. Are you just providing a service or are you engaging and interacting with your customer?

Information from the US Labor Department says the average household spends more on entertainment than they ever have before.

The question to each of us is, "Are we entertaining to our customer"?

Those of you in the hobby industry, there is a new trade show this year. It will be in Denver. It is the Rocky Mountain Hobby Expo. It will be at the Denver Mart (a nice expo hall) on October 28 and 29.

Attending a trade show can and should be a wise investment of your time and money. It is where you learn about new products, sales trends, and learn how to be a more profitable business.

Those wanting to exhibit can call Jim Marski at 303-345-5031 or email him at for more details.

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Staff scheduling and time management Article of the Month

If your business is a part of the independent retail world and is selling products and services, your revenue fluctuates from month to month over the course of the year. I have never seen a business that maintains the same level of sales.

Another thing I see is few businesses have a fluctuation in their staffing from month to month. While some businesses with only a couple of people working there would have the exception, for the rest of us there should be a relationship between revenue and payroll.

This month's article, while written from the perspective of a business in Florida (with minimal seasonality) can give you some ideas about examining this sizable expense in your business.

Traction: Get a grip on your business
Book of the Month

Some people are managers of their business. They may own the business but they are simply performing as a manager. There are more that do act like an owner and you can see it by the growth in their business. Then there are those few who are entrepreneurs; those are the individuals we like the most. As I write, one that comes to mind is my friend Howard who lives in the southwest Florida area.

The book for October is, "Traction: Get a grip on your business" by Gino Wickman. This book shares what you need to do to increase your efficiency and profit by moving yourself up the ladder a notch to look at where your business can go.

Enjoy this book; become an entrepreneur. There are few of them and we need some more.

Your business has a lot of assets; are they working for you? Internet Tool for Your Business

Take a quick look at your balance sheet. The top half is assets; the things you own in your business. They are the things you use to make money. However, it is not a matter of having more assets to make more money. It is how well are you using the assets you have to make more money.

This month's tool shows you how to calculate the return on assets in your business. As you understand how to perform the calculation, you should be able to see what you can change that will improve your return on assets and make more money.

What did you bring me?
Staff Incentive for Your Business

"What did you bring me"?

If you have children you have likely heard this when you return from a trip. Perhaps you have made a point of bringing something to share.

What about your staff? You are the one that got to enjoy the trip and see a different community. What could you bring back? As an example, if you visit Chicago you could bring some Garrett's popcorn. Visiting St. Louis and you could return with some Fitz root beer. Other than food, you could bring back a souvenir pen for everyone. (OK. Not the pen from the hotel room)

The souvenir says you thought of everyone as you traveled. And as the saying goes, "It is the thought that counts". 

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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