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  e-ret@iler newsletter
December 2010
Volume 12 Issue 1
Profits_Plus Solutions
Tom Shay Photo
Article of the Month

Is this a business?
Tom Shay

The article for December 2010 is one that I wrote for the trade magazine for Christian bookstores.

One of the great aspects of being an independent is that many see their work as an extension of the passions they have in life.

In this article, I acknowledge the mission aspect of the bookstore. And I also ask the question if the business is doing all it can to extend that mission.

You are invited to read this article as it is written for the original readers, but substitute your business and what you sell.

Are you doing all you can to help those that have that same passion enjoy the products and services you are offering?

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

Be The Elephant
by Steve Kaplan

Another book that was suggested by an individual attending a presentation I gave this fall.

The book has great content. The graphics, layout and examples make it easy to read and comprehend what the author is saying.

The intent of Kaplan is to help you to determine how you can build a better business. Kaplan gets high marks for his efforts; you should too!

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

e-ret@iler Conversations

We have a lot of new information on the e-ret@iler conversations blog. We invite you to add your comments, ideas, and observations.

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

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:

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Business Advisory

Rolling - Small business style

A big thanks to American Express for joining in the efforts to share the important news about the value of spending dollars with a local business. In addition to Unchained Day, created by the AMIBA group and celebrated on Saturday, November 20, National Small Business Day was the following Saturday, November 27 and included a very sizable giveaway as people were invited to spend money using the American Express card at an independent business and have the chance of getting a rebate on their monthly statement.

I personally like these two events because of the reasons they use to promote their events. Some causes and websites tell people it is their 'civic responsibility' to save an independent business. I hear those reasons but I do not think it is anyone's responsibility to save a business. Small businesses should exist on their own merit; because they are profitable and provide a product or service that members of the community need and want.

I think we are rolling as more people see the importance of small businesses in their community.

Stay tuned as we will soon have an announcement regarding Independent Retailer's Week for next summer. There are some big changes planned for the event.


The November e-retailer conversations conference call was a warm up for the holiday selling. We had good attendance. If you missed it, you can visit the link below where you can listen to it online or down load it as an MP3 file for your portable listening device. As always it is free.

E-retailer conversations

The December conference call will be Tuesday, December 14 at 8:00pm eastern. Join us as we talk about fun and games. In our business we found that staff education was a very important part of building our sales team. We also found that engaging them by way of competition and games worked very well for increasing our sales. I will be sharing some of those ideas during that e-retailer conversations conference call.

There will be two invitations sent to you; the first on the weekend before the call and the second on the morning of the call. Join us for the last e-retailer conversations conference call for 2010.


Magic Santa Dust

The link to Magic Santa Dust will share a story about a business that created a special event to help families celebrate Christmas. The promotion is easy and very inexpensive to implement. Once you start the promotion, expect people to tell others about your business.

You could get the viral marketing aspect of Magic Santa Dust going by way of Facebook, Twitter, your blog, or your newsletter.


Thanks for taking the time from your busy day to read this edition of the e-retailer newsletter. This issue begins the 12th year of my having sent you something on the first day of the month. I take it as a compliment that you would take the time to read my observations and suggestions for business.

A blessed Christmas to you and yours.

Internet Tip of The Month

Inventory control - 'Open to buy' calculator

Want to greatly increase the return on investment that your inventory represents for your business? Read about 'open to buy' on the profits plus website. The link below will show you how the free Excel chart works (you can download the chart from the same page). On the website you can also listen to an audio track from the lesson as well as see a PowerPoint presentation on the topic.

It will be time well spent when you learn how to better control inventory. Inventory that is properly managed will lead to increased turns, maintained gross margin, and fewer unplanned markdowns.

Open to buy calculator

The Power Promoting Idea of the Month

What is your New Year resolution?

Count on it; the week after Christmas, all of the media is going to talk about resolutions for 2011. While many of their stories and articles will concentrate on health aspects, you can use this interest by your customers to gain attention for your business.

Summarizing the idea that I got from the business where I first saw it being used, customers were invited to write their contact information on one side of a 3x5 index card (this is where you build your list for print or electronic newsletters).

On the other side of the card, ask the customer to write their personal resolution for the New Year. Be sure to explain that the resolution, but not their name, may be shared with the media. You award prizes to customers based on the most creative, the most unique, the most unusual, the most likely to succeed, the most unlikely to succeed, and any other categories you want to create.

Award prizes for each of the categories and let the media know about your contest. Don't forget to include the social media as a part of letting the community know about your event.

In the blue power promoting book, the first promotional book I wrote, this is idea #76.

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

Copyright Notice

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