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November 2010
Volume 11 Issue 12

Article of the Month

Ten Steps to watching the future
Tom Shay

The article I am suggesting for you to read has an interesting story to go with it.

Only by my telling you will you know I did not write this article within the last couple of weeks. It was written because of a previous downturn in the economy, yet it is very relevant to what we are experiencing today.

There is a keynote entitled, "Where to be headin' in 2011" that I have often given to groups. Attendees tell me the information I share is very relevant to their business. It contains much of the same information as this article. To me that says that sound business strategies remain sound in every tough economy. I hope you will be like these other audiences and utilize the information in this article.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

Our Patchwork Nation
by Dante Chinni and James Gimpel

This book just came across my desk and it looks like it has a lot of great information you can use.

You will need to put on your 'analysis hat'. The book details how we are not to simply be looked at by way of our political affiliation but by 12 clearly defined types of communities.

The authors explain how some areas are defined by being a military area while another might be one of minorities or a booming area. The 12 types have titles you can easily understand and are easy to remember.

The value I see with the book is that you can see your community through a different set of eyes. It should help you in knowing what kind of people live in your community. With that information you can then better focus on your target customer.

Click on Book Referral to visit this page on our site.

e-ret@iler 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 at ftomshay

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:


Business Advisory

AMIBA and Unchained Day

Saturday, November 20 is Unchained Day. The day is promoted as an event in which independent businesses call to the attention of their customers the importance of spending their dollars with an 'unchained store'.

We could look at Unchained Day as an opportunity to tell consumers they should shop with an independent business because we want their money or because it is their 'civic responsibility' to save an independent business. I hear those reasons but I do not think they are going to work very well with the consumer. Instead we should be telling the customer how their doing business with a local independent makes sense because of the amount of money the local business puts back into the local economy; percentage wise it is a whole lot more than the mass merchant or chain store.

Need some more information about AMIBA? Here is a link to one of the information pages on their website.



The October e-retailer conversations conference call dealt with the calculators from the Profits Plus website. I believe we counted that there are now 37 calculators on the website. Over the last decade these calculators have been created to help you make strong decisions about your business. The calculators help to provide you with information about the financial data you are receiving from your accountant or in-house system. The calculators help you to make decisions about pricing, inventory levels, cashflow management and advertising. You can follow the link below to listen on-line or download the October e-retailer conversations conference call.

E-retailer conversations

The November e-retailer conversations conference call is going to be a warm up for the holiday selling season. During the session there will be several personal experiences I am going to share with you to show you how just a small detail can make such a big difference in your selling. We will talk about ways your staff can increase your holiday sales by what they say and do.

Because of Thanksgiving in the US, we will have the conference call earlier in the month. Mark your calendar now for Tuesday, November 9 at 8pm eastern. We are going to talk about making a great Christmas selling season.

You will get an invitation the weekend before the conference call and again on the morning of the call. The e-retailer conversations conference calls are always free; all you have to do is call in.

Internet Tip of The Month

'Should you lower your price?' calculator

The item was bought with the intention of selling it for $10. Now you are having second thoughts about the price and are thinking you should lower the price; should it be $8, $8.50 or $9?

While you may think you will sell more because you have lowered the price, the question is all about profit. If you lower the price, are you going to make the same gross profit? Use this free online calculator so you can make the decision that will profit your business the most.

Price change analysis calculator

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month
Here's a hint, honey

How about some additional sales help for your business for the holiday season? No, the suggestion is not that you hire additional help, but that you implement this tool to assist those that are working for you.

The 'here's a hint honey' idea begins with a card that looks like a 4" by 6" index card folded in half along the short side. Now it looks somewhat like a tent.

On the out side is the imprint, 'here's a hint honey'. The inside of the card has a message that reads, 'While I was shopping at (name of store), I saw a (customer fills in item) which I would really enjoy. The salesperson helping me was (salesperson fills in name) and the store is located at (include location, phone and hours).

Upon completing the card, the customer takes it and places it in a position where the person they are expecting will make the purchase will easily see it. From businesses that have utilized this card, they report the purchaser shows up with the card in hand looking for the salesperson. The best of salespeople make a point to track this information as well as during the transaction they gather additional information about the recipient of the gift (such as birthday and anniversary).

Some salespeople even get this information about the shopper so they can help the first customer reciprocate. This is a great tool for gathering leads. Customers are so impressed by the efforts of the salesperson that they tell their friends about this exceptional service.

In the blue power promoting book, the first promotional book I wrote, this is idea #71.

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

What's happening next month

So, what can you celebrate and promote in December? Here is what Melissa has found for you:

All of December:
Write a business plan month - Yes, this can be the busiest month of the year. This event on the calendar serves as a reminder for you to take a look at where your business has been and if your plan for the future needs any adjustments.

December 1-7 - Cookie cutter week. We find many people are amazed that we baked, gave away and sold cookies in our business. Customers enjoyed them and they gave a great smell to the place. You could use December as a test period to see if you want to continue cookies into the new year. We used Otis Spunkmeyer. Their phone is 888-ASK OTIS or outside the US 510-667-4206.

December 3 - Illinois statehood admission day

December 10 - Mississippi statehood admission day

December 10 - National Salesperson Day. We have plenty of businesses that hire what they think are salespeople; what we need are people who know how to be a salesperson. Do you have an ongoing staff education program in your business? You should.

December 11 - Indiana statehood admission day

December 14 - Alabama statehood admission day

December 21 - First day of winter and shortest day of the year. How about a one day promotion that could be your 'shortest sale on the shortest day'?

December 28 - Iowa statehood admission day

December 29 - Texas statehood admission day

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