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November e-reta@iler newsletter features:
* What do credit card balances have to do with continuing education?
* Small Business Saturday - November 24
* A new SBA - Small Business Advisory

* Web tip: Sales per employee
* Promoting: Magic Santa Dust
*Book of the Month: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
* Article of the month: Christmas promotions
* The November 15 e-retailer conversation conference call:
Bill Kendy, Tom Shay, and guest Ron Friedman
November 2012
Volume 13 Issue 12

Article of the Month

Christmas promotions
Tom Shay

Hopefully as you read this article, your business is ready for the Christmas selling season. Of course there are some of you that do not have these last 60 days as your best selling season.

I am not sure I understand why this is not a big selling season for some. Here's my thought on the idea.

People are going to buy gifts for the season. Most businesses sell a product or service that is purchased with discretionary income.

Why can't someone give a gift of some great accessories for that bicycle rider? Why can't someone order floor covering to be installed in January?

Why not a gift for a teenager or college student of having their car cleaned, serviced and a new set of tires? I know of several that would think that would be an awesome gift.

Simply stated, why can't any service or product you offer be a Christmas present?

As you think about these ideas, take a look at the article for this month at some ideas for Christmas promoting.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
by Stephen R. Covey

I have always thought of this book as being one of the great ones.

Not too much 'rah-rah' and a lot of solid information on how a person needs to take a look at them self to see what they can do to make improvements.

If you were to make a commitment to yourself of just 30 minutes once a week to start reading this book, my expectation is that within a few reading sessions you would soon find yourself reading a lot more of the book because it is so captivating.

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 do credit card balances have to do with continuing education?

A news story I picked up last week was one in which the statistic was about consumers paying down their credit card balances. The commentary was how this would be bad for business because it meant that discretionary income was going toward reducing debt instead of being spent in local businesses.

Let's take a closer look at that decision by our 'mutual consumer'. If they have a credit card balance they are paying down, they are also making a monthly payment of interest on that balance. That interest payment is going to some bank; not to some local business.

In the short run, the local business is not winning. In the long run, the local business can win because that interest will become additional discretionary income.

What does this have to do with continuing education? There is a similar pattern I observe with too many small businesses. These owners are looking only to the short term; learning more about how to profitably operate a business can wait until later or when there is a problem that requires immediate attention.

What is it that has gotten me so stirred up about this? Let me share just two examples from conversations I had recently.

An association has invited me to be a part of their program for early next year. A request was that I would speak with one of their directors about the content of the topic. I called the director and we had our discussion. At the conclusion of the conversation I stated that I hoped to meet this person at the event.

The response was they had been in business for many years and they had heard everything; they would not be attending the event. In addition to wondering why a person with this thought process is even on the association board, I wondered if this person has noticed how much business has changed in the last 20 years. Do they think all the changes that are going to happen have already happened?

The second person was one that I had worked with in a one-on-one basis. While progress was being made with regard to solving their challenges, the owner of the business felt they had solved the issue and could now go back to doing things the way they used to. They had shown they could make a change and that was sufficient.

My point with just these two examples is that no business should ever be looking at only the short term; just like the credit card interest, you do have to look at the long term.

And as one final example on the topic; think about how much education you get each year about how to be a profitable business. It is important to your staying on the cutting edge.

Comparatively, would you want to be taken care of by a doctor that that the same amount of medical education each year that you get in business education? Or would you rather be attended to by a doctor that makes a point to learn as much as they can about caring for their patients?

The doctor and their education is necessary for your physical and mental well being. The business education is necessary for your financial well being.


We hope you enjoyed our conversation in October with D. Wendal Attig. As was mentioned in the e-ret@iler conversation conference call, I can give first hand witness to his tremendous abilities with regard to small business.

For the November call we are going to have as our guest an individual I have had the pleasure of working with as well as having his webinars. Ron Friedman, and his wife Gloria, own Damomics, a business in New York providing the Counterpoint software system, as well as support, for many small businesses.

While there are other companies that a business can buy the software system from, I want to introduce you to Ron because of his intense interest in his customers. In addition to the webinars I previously mentioned, Ron and Gloria also have a user conference where these customers are introduced to additional software as well as individuals whose information and services can be of value to their customers.

With that in mind, allow me to invite you to join us as we ask Ron to share his information with you. Here is a video to introduce Ron and some of what he is going to share with us.

Ron Friedman and Damomics

November e-retailer conversation conference call
8pm eastern on Thursday the 15th

For those that are new to our newsletter and group, each month we have a conference call with a special guest. You pay nothing to participate and nothing for the phone call. We have the e-retailer conversation conference call because Bill and I enjoy visiting with each other as well as hearing new ideas from our special guests. This link will allow you to look at the catalog of our conference calls over the past four years. You can even download the recordings of previous sessions.

E-ret@iler conversations

We will be sending two email announcements with the call in information in the days just before the event.


Hats off to American Express for being so smart as to create Small Business Saturday which will be the 24th of November this year.

The compliments are for American Express because of their having created an event that draws in customers as well as businesses. The promotion of giving away American Express gift cards is, as it did last year, attract the attention of a lot of customers.

My observation of the smart move is that American Express did it with so many small businesses not accepting their card. I realize they have a different discount rate and a different payment schedule than the other cards.

However, an American Express card user has a higher than average purchase. To me, this says a small business should accept the card.

And for those who have said to me, 'No I will not take the card. I haven't found it necessary before to accept it, I don't need to start now', here is my response:

'You don't know what you have lost in sales. Just because no one has walked away at the point of sale, it doesn't mean they haven't gone somewhere else to spend their money'.

Accept the card and join the promotion. This website has the promotional material for your business.

Small Business Saturday


Most all of us think of SBA as an acronym for the Small Business Administration. At Profits Plus, SBA is a different acronym which is Small Business Advisory. Our SBA is a free monthly service we provide to associations, Main Street programs, Chambers of Commerce and other organizations whose website, newsletter, and magazines you would be reading.

Each month we publish an article that is relevant to your business with business ideas that can help you increase profits plus resolve challenges you face.

We created our SBA because we know organizations are wanting content to share with you. We felt this could be a great way we could help. We invite you to share this link with those organizations.

All that is needed to receive our monthly SBA is for someone from the organization to sign up to receive it.

Small Business Advisory sign up

Internet Tip of The Month

Sales per employee calculator

How much bang are you getting for your buck?

You have surely heard that expression used in a number of situations. It definitely applies to your business, whether you sell products or services. This calculation helps you to understand how productive your staff members are. The math is simple in that you take the total number of hours worked in your business by all of your employees over the course of a year and divide that number by 2000. This will convert the hours worked into a number which represents 'full time employees'. The 2000 represents someone working 40 hours a week for 50 weeks of the year.

The second step is to take the total revenue of your business and divide it by the full time employee number that was just calculated. The resulting number is the sales (or revenue) per employee.

When you decide to add a new employee to your business you should think about what that person is going to do. Are they in a revenue producing job or are they in a support role? If they are in a support role, then your 'sales per employee' is sure to decrease. If they can produce revenue, there is the possibility for a 'sales per employee' increase.

Successful businesses make a point to monitor this number and work to increase it.

Sales per employee Calculator

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

Magic Santa Dust

The Magic Santa Dust was a personal experience shared with me by our October e-retailer conversation conference call special guest, D. Wendal Attig many years ago. It was a promotion by a local business that became a family tradition for the Attigs.

Creating this promotion for your business is easy and inexpensive for the business that shares this Christmas gift with their customers. Instead of sharing the details in this segment of the e-ret@iler newsletter, I have created a page on the Profits Plus website with all the details. D. Wendal says the business that created the promotion called it Magic Santa Dust.

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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(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179