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November 2011
Volume 12 Issue 12

Article of the Month

Not Using Tech Speak
Tom Shay

The lesson being shared in the November article of the month can be summarized in an old adage of business.

'People do not buy because they understand. People buy because they think you understand.'

A sale of a product or service is all about your understanding what the customer wants and needs. The article of the month provides more information. I know there are many businesses out there that need their employees to read, understand, and utilize this lesson.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

Visual Merchandising Presentation - VMP&Display
by Linda McKendry

This was a book I picked up several years ago at a trade show in Canada. It is an unusual looking book in that it is written on letter size paper with a spiral bound at the top.

What is inside is more interesting. I think you could hand this book to a person that has no idea of how to build a display and they would be able to create a work of art.

If that person read it cover to cover, it could not take more than a couple of hours. The book has illustrations to help make the point. I think the book is a good investment.

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

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

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Business Advisory

What's Happening for November

Global Entrepreneurship Week - November 14-20

Global Entrepreneurship Week is getting the top line mention in this month's e-retailer newsletter. Most likely if you are reading this, you are an entrepreneur; someone got that idea of owning your own business in your head some time ago. Hopefully, you are appreciative for what someone has done for you. I know I am always grateful to those generations of my family before me who showed how owning the business could be fun and profitable.

As someone has helped you, how about helping someone else? Global Entrepreneurship Week is something along those lines. The link I am providing is to the Ideas Bank page of the US version of this event. For your country, and for more information you can visit the site to find ways you can, and perhaps should, get involved.

Ideas Bank

Small Business Saturday, November 26 sponsored by American Express

Before sharing information about this event, let me say a couple of words about the American Express card. I do understand the hesitancy of any small business with regard to accepting the card. Their fees are generally higher and their payment schedule slower than the other cards. However, American Express users spend more (on average) than a Visa, Master Card, or Discover card user.

The promotion says the first 30,000 people to 'like' the Fed Ex Facebook page beginning November 1 will be given a $25 American Express gift card to be spent in a small business. Be sure to promote this to your customers and that you accept American Express. Here is the Facebook page for American Express.

Fed Ex Facebook

AMIBA Unchained Day

Saturday, November 19 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.



We were together for the October e-ret@iler conversation conference call during Game 6 of the World Series. That means attendees are either devoted to their business or are not baseball fans. We were done by the fourth inning and during our time together we discussed a form of paralysis that occurs in many businesses when the owner is faced with a challenge.

The paralysis is the inability to take action and implement a solution. Frequently, the owner of the business allows the distractions of staffing issues occupy that valuable time that should be spent taking care of 'owner duties'.

I think this was a good call in that I shared a number of ways of engaging employees as well as holding them responsible. It includes having your manager manage the business whenever they are present (even if the owner is there). Let me invite you to click on the link below to listen online, or download this call.

There is not going to be a November e-ret@iler conversation conference call. We are planning to have one in the first half of December to finish our year.

E-ret@iler conversations

Internet Tip of The Month

Days Sales Outstanding calculator

Do you like your business being a bank? You may not think of your business as a bank, but you are when you have customers that have 'house' charge accounts instead of using bank cards, checks or cash.

It gets worse if it takes a long time for you to collect that outstanding balance from your customers.

I am not suggesting these accounts all go away as they can be a way to build customer loyalty. However, outstanding balances are a form of an interest free loan to your customers.

How are you doing with regard to collecting that outstanding money? This calculator will give you an idea.

Days Sales Outstanding calculator

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

A Santa Claus letter service

We have seen this idea worked several ways. The most popular has been one with an adult focus.

Your promotion is that your business becomes the current day replacement for the place that children would send their letter to Santa. You further state that in the eyes of Santa, everyone is still a child. With signage in your business and message in your advertising, your message is for people to come into your business to send their letters to Santa.

You create a 'special Santa' letterhead and envelope that you give to each customer. You ask the customer to address the letter to the 'Santa' in their life, assuring them it will be delivered in time for Santa to have before his Christmas eve ride.

You could even create a couple of 'form' letters in which you are helping the person write the letter and suggesting some of the items your business sells. One of the best versions was a letter in which all the possible messages were on the letter and the writer was asked to simply check the appropriate boxes.

The options they had on the letter were creative, entertaining and funny. The business reported many 'Santas' showing up at the business with the letter in hand, looking for help in selecting the right item for the letter writer.

In the blue power promoting book, the first promotional book I wrote, this is idea #91.

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