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November 2013
Volume 14 Issue 12

Article of the Month

Working long hours

Tom Shay

A commentary on the amount of hours we work in our businesses.

The article for November looks at the issue from both sides - when we work too much as well as when we work together as a team to get some project completed.

There is not an answer within the article as to exactly how many hours you should work. Instead the article invites you to consider a balance.

And perhaps therein lies the essence of the article and with life. There has to be a balance for you to enjoy your business and life.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.


Book of the Month

1010 Tested Ideas That Move Merchandise

by E.B. Weiss and Richard E. Weiss

When you look up this book online, you are likely to find a page that says this book was published in 2011.

Yet, I have a copy of this book that my father gave me from 1962. And perhaps I do not have the oldest version of this book.

With a book that has been around over 50 years, this tells me that it has to be full of content. Amazing that the ideas that worked in 1962 can still work today in your business!

Click on Book Referral to see a list of books that would make great reading for any small business owner.

e-retailer conversations

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Business Advisory


Bozeman, Montana is the home to AMIBA. The acronym AMIBA stands for American Independent Business Alliance.

AMIBA is not exclusive to the United States as they have plenty for both North American countries.

AMIBA is a great resource for your community and the independent businesses within your community to promote the cause of doing business locally. Whether you are creating a 'local first' program, 'shop local', or are a part of Independent Retailer Month, a Main Street program, or a merchant's group, AMIBA is a group you need to be aware of.

Let me provide you with a link to a page on their site which tells a lot about them.



It continues to amaze me, the number of people who visit the Profits Plus website to listen to the recordings of the monthly e-ret@iler conversation. This week someone told me they spent a Saturday afternoon listening to topics they felt related to their business. Here is a link to the recordings.

E-ret@iler conversations

Our guest for October was Mike McCormick, CPA. This was Mike's third visit to our show. During the conversation, Mike told Bill Kendy and me about the book he had written. The book provides great insight to help you select the appropriate legal entity for your business.

Here's a link to Mike's page where you can learn more about this neat CPA as well as order his book.

Cincy Tax Coach

The November e-ret@iler conversation will be Thursday, November 21 at 8:00pm eastern. Joining Bill Kendy and me will be Gene Sower of Samson Media.

During the hour we are going to talk about utilizing the social media in your marketing. Gene promises there will be no 'geek speak'. What ever you need to know about using social media, Gene will be here to answer your questions. And as always, we promise that all questions sent in advance will be answered during the show.


Every business knows that repeat and referral customers are the best because they are the easiest to sell to and they outspend your other customers.

Hopefully you make special efforts to invite these customers to return time and again. Your efforts can be grouped into two groups - explicit and implicit - with both looking at the effort from the perspective of the customer.

The explicit effort is where you are making the effort to persuade the customer to do business with you; to purchase your products and services. Some of these efforts are just a business dropping their price.  Some businesses use loyalty programs which are another way of dropping prices. Dropping prices is definitely not the most desirable way of doing business. As my Dad used to say, 'You don't want to compete with someone that is going out of business'.

This is not speaking against loyalty programs or the occasional sale price, but is meant to simply point them out. The bottom line is that your effort is direct between you and the customer.

The alternative is the implicit effort. Think about a business that you think very highly of. Likely the reasoning is because of something the business does to speak about their commitment to their community and customers. You chose to do business with them because of what you think about the business; not necessarily what the business does directly for you.

Recently I read of a company that makes eyeglasses that has followed the example of Tom's shoes; sell a pair and give a pair to someone deserving. A product that says 'made in (your country)' generally causes someone to think favorably of the company in their country. Perhaps subtle and friendly are appropriate words to describe implicit efforts.

My question is to ask if you are making the decision of how you do it. You should.


When someone says they want to beat their competition, I always ask how often you look to see what the competition is doing. My comment is, 'you can't beat them if you don't know what they are doing'.

If you want to know what is going on with holiday advertising, you will want to follow this link and sign up for their newsletters. This website posts all of the holiday print advertising by chain stores, box stores, and buying groups.

Black Friday/Gotta Deal

P.S. Next month marks the beginning of our 15th year of visiting with you. I am honored that you allow me to visit with you each month, and hope that you receive information that will help you with your business.

Internet Tip of The Month

What is your sales per square foot?

One of the biggest expenses a business has is the rent or mortgage payment. Whether you sell products or services, you should know how to compare your revenue to the amount of space your business requires for you to be able to produce that revenue.

Regardless of the type of business, the square footage used in this calculation is the total amount; this means you include office space, warehouse, restrooms, showroom, and sales floor.

This number, the square footage total, is compared to the total revenue of the business. There are some industries that have some guide numbers. While these numbers can be helpful, you should be sure to look at the quantity of businesses participating in the research.

Having seen some 'industry guide numbers' in which there were only 75 businesses participating, causes me to question the decision to use that information at an accurate guide for a business.

Instead, my suggestion is that you look at your numbers from the last 12 months and compare that to the previous 12 months. You may want to go back several years. The key question is whether or not you are increasing the sales per square foot.

Use our free calculator to find the sales per square foot for your business.

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

Santa key chain

Coming into the holiday season, there are a lot of great ideas you can use to engage your customers (think of the implicit examples mentioned above). Let me share a favorite with you.

Everyone knows that Santa comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve. What happens with the homes where there is no chimney?

I guess he has to go through the front door. Yes, some stores like Hallmark sell a 'magic key', but you could be very creative and draw a lot of positive response for your business.

It starts by finding the vendor for key blanks that are used by the neighborhood hardware store. You may want to ask the hardware store if they would sell you their 'miscuts'.

The second step is to have a key made for your business. You want the plastic one that can be imprinted on both sides. One side has your business information and the other has the message about this being the special door key for Santa.

My quick search showed you can produce the two items for 38 cents. With your newsletter, website, and other ways you speak to your customers, I see this as a very inexpensive way to get customers to contact your business.   

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.


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