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December 2014
Volume 16 Issue 1
Tom arms out
Article of the Month

The Philosophy of a Winning Store
by Tom Shay

The story I use to start this month's article happened in the 1980's. I remember my father and I attending a meeting in Pennsylvania and both of us being fascinated by the explanation the speaker gave of how to properly order inventory.

Inventory replenishment is wrong! If it were correct, those stores selling Christmas decorations would be buying to replace that merchandise being sold this month.

It is wrong because you do not need to replenish this inventory; you order new products to arrive much later in 2015 for the Christmas season of next year.

nstead of replenishment, you order inventory based upon what you are going to need in the coming months.

Enjoy this explanation of how you should be handling inventory control in 2015.

Click on Article of the Month to read this article.

Book of the Month

Treasure hunt: Inside the mind of the NEW customer
by Michael J. Silverstein and John Butman

Early this Cyber Monday morning of December 1, I did my online shopping.

I did so with my favorite bookstore - Powell's in Portland, Oregon. The Profits Plus library of business books is getting 18 additions as soon as the mail man visits us with a package.

We hope you take advantage of the time and effort we put into finding books that can help you in your business.

This month's book suggestion is fascinating! The book gives insight into how customers make their decisions about where they will shop, how they will shop and how much they will spend.

I think this can help any business get a better idea of how to do their marketing with the insights from this book.

Click on Book Referral to see the complete list of small business books we have found that can be helpful to your business.

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

Social Media

And you can follow my daily posts on Twitter and Facebook.
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Contact Us

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

Magic Santa Dust

Many years ago, I was introduced to a very creative individual, D. Wendal Attig. He has been a guest on e-ret@iler conversations. 

He is also responsible for a lot at Profits Plus. He created the logos, picked our company colors and designed just about everything you have seen since the 1990's.

When I was writing the first book, 100 Profits Plus Power Promoting Ideas, D. Wendal had a promotional event he wanted to suggest we add to the book.

It is a Christmas tradition that his family started in 1985. Many businesses have used the 'Magic Santa Dust' as a promotion and effort of good will toward their customers each year. There is plenty of time for you to do so this year.

Here's a link to the story.

Magic Santa Dust by D. Wendal Attig


Selling Gift Cards - Just the facts

A frequent question we get each year at this time deals with the selling and redeeming of gift cards - all from the perspective of your accounting.

When you 'sell' a gift card this month, your accounting software (Quickbooks) should not be recording this as a sale. Instead, this transaction is creating a 'deferred liability'. You are taking the customer's money, and at some point in the future, you will exchange the money you are holding for merchandise or services.

It is at that point, that the gift card is actually a sale. This is why you will see all the chain stores working to sell gift cards over the next few weeks and  the day after Christmas they will heavily advertise to get those holding gift cards to redeem them.


December e-ret@ailer 
conversation guest:
Brent Niemuth

Thursday, December 18 at 8pm eastern, our guest is going to be figuratively given a wide paint brush and big canvas. Brent Niemuth will be sharing his knowledge about direct marketing, branding, and my favorites 'new and creative thinking'. Join us for the final program of 2014; bring your 'thinking cap' as we will surely have ours on.

Here's a link to our library of previous programs. Help yourself to downloads of any of them. Of course, they are free.

E-retailer conversations


As we start the 16th year of this newsletter, let me share my deep appreciation to the thousands of you who have invited me to send you this information each month.

And to all of you, a very blessed Christmas to you and yours.

Tom Signature

Internet Tip of The Month

The 'current' ratio

We are counting down the days of 2014 and am about to embark on a new year. How's it looking for your business?

There is a way to get a pretty accurate answer to that question that is specific to your business.

To perform this exercise and learn about your 2015, get your most recent balance sheet. Look at the first section which is 'current assets'. These are all the assets that are expected to be converted to cash within the next 12 months.

The next step is to look at the bottom part of the page which is your liabilities. Within liabilities the first part you will see is 'current liabilities'. These are the bills that are expected to be paid within the next 12 months.

With these definitions, you may find that some of your assets and liabilities are incorrectly categorized.

When you compare the current assets to current liabilities, you want to have the current assets larger than current liabilities. This would mean you are expecting to have the money to pay bills for the next 12 months. 

The 'current ratio' is stated in a specific statement. As an example, if your current ratio was 1.5:1 this would mean that for every dollar of current liabilities you have $1.50 of current assets.

Of course, everyone wants to ask, 'What should my number be?'. This is where having a good accountant comes in. You should discuss this with them. And yes, you can have too much of a good thing. If your ratio was very high, this would indicate you have money that is not working for you.

Current ratio

The Incentive Idea of the Month

People leave people; not businesses

When someone quits, it is not going to be because they do not like the products or services the business provides. They leave because of who they work with, and specifically who they work for.

Just yesterday I visited a local business that has multiple locations. Working there was an employee that I knew from the location that was closer to my home. 

How unfortunate that the person said they liked working for the business but moved to this location (a longer drive for them each day) because of a manager and co-worker at the other location.

When you have only one location, or one team in a service business, you are going to lose this person.

Either way, starting with the owner of this business, it is time for a change in the way people are interacted with.

We want to recognize A Carrot A Day by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, whose book provides the basis for each month's incentive idea. 


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