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  e-ret@iler newsletter
November 2009
Volume 10 Issue 12 Profits_Plus Solutions
Tom Shay Photo
Article of the Month

Advertising with a pencil
Tom Shay

November is the time of year when most businesses should be making their plans of how they are going to get their message across to customers in 2010. Years ago it was quite simple; local television, local radio, local newspaper and direct mail.

Today, there are many more choices; satellite radio, cable and satellite television, Internet and all of the various cause, social and viral marketing methods.

Regardless of the change, as business owners we need to be making the plans for the coming year. We should not be working on a month to month or week to week schedule.

The article of the month can give you some ideas of how budgeting can work.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

The Ambitious Generation
Barbara Schneider
& David Stevenson

This book tells us that the current generation of teenagers are the most ambitious generation. (Are they sure about that?) Thinking that many of the readers of the e-retailer newsletter are hiring teenagers for their business, I thought this book would be a good one to help you find the necessary ways to maximize their efforts as they work for you.

We have more books to suggest for your reading. Click on Book Referral to visit this page on our site.

e-ret@iler Conversations


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.

  1. Advertising
  2. Employee Issues
  3. Financial Management
  4. General Discussion
  5. Merchandising
  6. Sales Techniques
  7. Vendor Issues


Contact Us

Profits Plus
P.O. Box 1577
St. Petersburg, FL
33731 USA
(727) 464-2182 Voice
(727) 898-3179 Fax

Send Tom an e-mail:
Send our staff an e-mail:

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Business Advisory

As November starts, many of you are entering your busy selling season of the year, while others are going to enjoy your off season and prepare for a great 2010. We can hope for a great holiday season, but it helps a lot more if we are doing the necessary management steps to make it successful.

I want to remind you that while some may consider Twitter to be a fad, I am finding that by following various bloggers you can quickly and easily narrow the news you are exposed to each day to that which can affect your business. Let me invite you to look at some of those I follow on Twitter for some guidelines.

We are now posting a daily article by way of Twitter. All you need is a Twitter account and to add me to the list of those you follow. Find me at ftomshay.

There will be no e-retailer conference call for November 2009. Each of the early weeknights in November find me traveling; the date we normally meet is the evening after I have shoulder surgery; and I don't think anyone wants to meet in the days just before or after Thanksgiving. We plan to return the call in December.

Main Street videos - As a result of Twitter, I found a great video about Main Street Michigan on You Tube. When I shared it with the Main Street programs I know, there were two that immediately sent a note about videos they had created for their communities. Let me invite you to take a look at them.

Santa's Magic Dust - Here is our annual reminder about a great promotion we about from D. Wedal Attig who was a mentor and graphic designer for the early years of Profits Plus. It is a promotion that any small business could easily utilize this holiday season.

Internet Tip of The Month

Cost of goods sold (Cost of doing business)

This is probably the most understood item on the profit and loss (or income) statement of a business. Let me first say what it is NOT. Cost of goods sold is not the total of inventory received or paid for during the month. The cost of goods sold is a calculation that involves inventory - both on hand and that which you have received.

To determine the cost of goods sold you start with the amount of inventory on hand, at cost, on the first day of the month. Add to that number the dollar amount, at cost, of inventory that has been received during the month. With the resulting number, you then subtract the amount of inventory that is on hand, at cost, on the last day of the month. The resulting number is the cost of goods sold.

The cost of doing business is a calculation utilized by businesses that provide a service. As an example, think about a business that repairs your car. The cost of goods sold will likely involve parts as well as the cost of the labor for installing the part. This is done so that the business can better determine the exact cost of repairing that vehicle.

The labor that cannot be directly related to the repair of the car appears in the wages section of the operating expenses.

Click on this link to learn more as well as to use our free calculator for this and 19 other financial ratios.

Cost of goods sold

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month
Teach in day & selling the turkeys

This month's power promoting idea has a bonus with two great promotions. The first is a reminder of an event that is often held around the 19th of November. It is National Teach In Day. On this day many schools invite business people to come and teach the classes.

This is a great way to introduce students to the great opportunity of being a part of the business community. Of course you can get some great publicity from it when you are creative in the way you teach, what you teach, and what you leave behind for the students. Contact your local school system to participate.

The second promotion is one that was created here in the states but can be adapted to other countries as well. Allow me to explain it in the original format.

The event begins on the weekend before the US Thanksgiving. You use multiple tables set up near the front of your store. Decorate the table in traditional fall colors and be sure to include turkeys as a part of the decoration. The one sign on the table states you are having your 'Annual Turkey Sale' beginning on the Monday morning before Thanksgiving.

On that morning, you fill the table with the appropriate merchandise which should contain several components. Some of the merchandise should be the 'turkeys' - the merchandise you definitely want to get rid of. It should be clean and if necessary, repriced to remove any signs of a previous markdown.

The merchandise selection should also include items purchased specifically for the annual turkey sale. This is where you get your vendors involved.

If you want this to become a great event that people talk about, you have to understand that you sacrifice margins for this. You have no advertising costs involved so that should allow you to be even more lenient with markdowns. This is what gets people talking about you and more people into your business.

The tables and merchandise all disappear before you open for business on the following Monday. The idea of the timing of the sale is to get people's attention before they start heading to the mall for that weekend.

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