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  e-ret@iler newsletter
December 2007
Volume 9 Issue 1
Profits_Plus Solutions
Tom Shay Photo
Article of the Month

Adapting to the Market

In the business advisory, I mentioned how the e-retailer had changed formats several times since the inception in 1999. In the same sense, adapting to the market is Click on Article of the Month to view and read this article.

Book of the Month

Guerrilla Retailing
Jay Conrad Levinson
Elly Valas
Orvel Ray Wilson

The Guerrilla series of books features many topics. Levinson is always the lead author on Guerrilla books, but what drew my attention to this one was the second author - Elly Valas. Elly comes from the independent retailing trade. She knows her stuff. Because of her, I highly recommend this book.

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

e-ret@iler Conversations


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

It all started in December 1999 with the first e-retailer. Over the years the format and content have changed; just as your business changes. Did you know that we have the old e-retailer newsletters on the website? Visit this link, e-retailer catalog, to see old editions.

Finishing the calendar year 2007, as well as starting the 9th year of the e-retailer, provides two excellent opportunities to stop and say thank you. You invite me to your computer desktop each month; you read the books and magazines articles that I write; and you attend the presentations I do at trade shows and conferences.

I am deeply humbled each and every time you call or write to ask a question. Because I know that you are either wanting to share an experience from your business that will help me as I learn from you, or you are asking my opinion about a challenge or opportunity within your business. I am thankful that you choose to speak to or ask me.

Thank you, for allowing me to serve. Most importantly, may you have a great selling season as we enter the new year, and a very blessed Christmas to you and yours.

Internet Tip of The Month
Gross Margin/Discount Calculator

This calculator teaches a technique that is not frequently seen with small businesses. It is however, a technique that is utilized by the larger retailers and mass merchants.

The concept is based on inventory control. Many businesses receive a new item into the store, apply an appropriate margin and then stand back to see how many they sell. If they all of the item, the retailer is likely to reorder the item.

When the item begins to slow down in sales, they decide to take a mark down on the balance of the inventory and hopes that it sells. When all the inventory is sold, the retailer will rarely sit down and calculate what the maintained gross margin was. They may know what the gross margin was when they started, but they don't know what the margin is for all of the sales of that item - both at full price and reduced price.

The gross margin/discount calculator is used for those retailers that plan ahead. The idea is that the retailer establishes a date, or a quantity sold as being the defining line as to when to take the first markdown. There is perhaps another markdown taken at another established date or quantity sold.

By working through this, the retailer predetermines that when the inventory is gone, what will be the maintained gross margin. And isn't the idea of knowing in advance a lot better than waiting for everything to be done and then being surprised? We hope you enjoy this tool. And yes, it is free!

Gross Margin/Discount Calculator

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

Magic Santa Key Chains

OK. Let's work real quick on getting this one going within the next few days. Ask the neighborhood hardware store for the name of the company that services their key cutting machine. Contact that company and ask to purchase the miscut keys they have collected from their accounts. Expect to pay only a few centers per key.

Secondly, contact one of the companies that will produce inexpensive imprinted key chains. Have your message and contact information put on one side, and a notation of "Santa's special key" on the other side. Put one of the miscut keys you have purchased on each of the imprinted key fobs and offer them to your customers as an incentive.

The idea is that for homes that do not have chimneys, Santa needs a bit of help and you provide "Santa's special key" which a child places under the door mat before they got to sleep on Christmas eve.

It is a great way to build good will with your customers as well as make sure your name is in front of them each Christmas season. It builds a great family tradition. At our house, the key is still placed on a table for everyone to see throughout the holidays.

This idea is #98 from the blue Profits Plus Ideas book. You can order your copy by clicking on the link below.

Profits Plus Resource Center

Where's Tom?

For the month of December, I am in the office finishing two new books on store management as well as completing two new educational series. And at the same time, your business is hopefully very busy as well.

In January, here is my schedule:

January 16 Mexico City
January 27 Indianapolis
January 28 Austin
January 31 Rocky Mount, NC

Copyright Notice

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