Join us in these
Catalog of E-ret@iler Conversations
Each month Tom Shay, and co-host Bill Kendy, invite a guest to join them in a one hour conversation about small business. Bill and Tom search the world of small business experts to find the individual that you might not find on your own. If you did find them, you would not have the opportunity to visit with them for free as you do with the e-ret@iler conversations.
The monthly event is free. To participate, the toll free number is 855-212-0212 for those in Canada and the USA. Others can join the call by dialing 1-530-881-1212. The meeting id is 693029355#.
You can also listen to the program live online by following this link. The link works only during the event.
Those subscribing to the e-ret@iler newsletter receive an announcement with all the details of how to participate.
Bill Kendy Tom Shay
These are the recordings of the free monthly e-ret@iler conference calls in which Tom Shay and Bill Kendy invite the readers of the e-ret@iler newsletter to send in their questions and participate in a group discussion about their business. Below is a description of each of the previous calls, the date of the conference call, and a link to hear a recording of that call.
July 5, 2017 - We think Sam Allman is the master of selling. Not just because he wrote the book, "Heart and Mind Selling", but because he elevates selling to another level. Sam is a student of selling which makes him a fascinating guest; we talked about selling to the person instead of selling the product or service
June 22, 2017 - Excellence is a word that describes our June guest from Retail Excellence. Natalie Tan has an impressive resume of skills and using them to make a difference in how customers see your business and more importantly - what, and how much, they buy.
May 4, 2017 - Crystal Vilkaitis, teacher of social media was the guest on the program for this show. The discussion focused on the strategy of using social media; which to use and those to not use. This was an hour full of questions and answers that will surely help any business.
April 6, 2017 - HeadCount's Mark Ryski spoke to our listeners about important measuring points in a business. Perhaps surprising, comparing to "same day last year" is not a fair measurement. Mark shares his years of experience dealing with traffic counts and conversion rates. There is a lot to be learned from the individual who wrote, "When Retail Customers Count" and "Conversion - The last great retail metric".
March 30, 2017 - Henry Hutcheson of Family Business USA and author of Little Dirty Secrets of Family Business spent the evening with Bill and Tom as we fielded questions from listeners about challenges in their businesses. Henry also spoke to how families can prevent challenges in daily business as well as transition of ownership.
February 16, 2017 - We are joined by Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys. With only one hour to visit, we focused our conversation on marketing and staff management.
January 19, 2017 - Larry Pfarr, who spent 24 years with Bachman's of Minnesota and is know for being an extraordinary merchants was the guest for January as we discussed merchandising and displays.
December 8, 2016 - Deb Brown, the expert on small town business and communities joins us for the final program of the year. We talk about small towns, communities, Main Street programs and neighborhoods which allow a group of businesses and citizens to work together. We talk about the advantages and disadvantages of being small.
November 10, 2016 - Bill and Tom had a unique program for this evening in that they fielded questions as asked by our audience. We packed the hour with as much information as we could. It's a great session to listen to.
October 13, 2016 - Mort Haaz, creator of My OTB, visits as we discuss the concept and workings of inventory control and "open to buy". Mort has been a retailer for over 50 years and created this service that will work with your Point of Sale system to help a buyer control the inventory in their business. Unfortunately, we do not have the recording of this session.
September 8, 2016 - The Small Business Book; 10 Ways to Improve Your Small Business written by Dave Fellman. Yes, that is our guest for this e-retailer conversation. We discussed all 10 ways (you'll want to listen to this recording) of things you can do in your business to make a difference in your bottom line.
August 11, 2016 - Scott Newberger, vice-president of Regions Bank brought valuable information with regard to the relationship between a small business and the bank. We discussed borrowing money, processing credit cards, using a banker as an advisor and other aspects of your business that a bank can help with.
July 7, 2016 - Cathy Nagle-Ervin joins the conversation as we discuss how the various generations can work with, and for each other. If you think your generation is having problems with a generation older or younger than you, this is a great program to gain some insight.
June 16, 2016 - Thinking of selling your business to an employee, family member, or an outsider? How do you calculate the value of the business? Are there multiple ways of valuating the business? Mike McCormick, Certified Public Accountant and Certified Tax Coach answered questions on how to get the most from this transaction.
May 19, 2016 - Christopher Dicenso, of Growth Strategy Partners, joins Bill and Tom as we discuss the value of a business coach. Could you handle the relationship and the expectations the coach will have of you as well as your expectation of the coach. Taking advantage of our conversation with Christoper, we also discussed how to differentiate your business.
April 14, 2016 - Becky McCray, the small business survival expert, rejoins Bill and Tom as we discuss the many reports that show Wal-Mart and other big box stores as having issues. What is happening? And can your small business take advantage of it? You will want to listen to this proram.
March 10, 2016 - Scott Neal, from Fast Track Computer Solutions brought us a lot of information about the current dangers our businesses can face on the Internet. We also discussed off site storage and backup of the information of our businesses.
February 11, 2016 - Joe Waters, the leading expert on cause marketing joined us as we discussed how to maximize the efforts of your small business so that your business and the community get the most from it. A great hour of discussion with a first time guest who helps us to do more with what we are already doing.
January 14, 2016 - We start the new year with Ben Muldrow as our guest. Ben's expertise is branding. We look at the colors and fonts used for a name as well as any tag line the business may utilize. It's a great lesson of how to do things right with the image of your business.
December 10, 2015 - Every small business owner comes to that poin in time when they are thinking about getting out of the business. You may think of selling the business, closing the business, or transfering the business to a family member. There are a lot of considerations in your transitioning out of the business; from both a personal and financial standpoint. That's why we are visiting with Mike McCormick to discuss the many components you should consider with selling or closing your business.
November 12, 2015 - Jeff Milchen, co-founder and co-director of AMIBA, the American Independent Business Alliance visited with Bill and Tom as we discussed the many movements that have been started over the years to promote doing business with a local independent business.
October 8, 2015 - Randy Dean, the e-mail sanity expert, joined Tom Shay to discuss how you can get more control of your time by managing all of those things that intrude into your day - phone calls, emails, tasks, calendars, and people. There was a lot to be learned and implemented from the ideas Randy shared with us.
September 17, 2015 - Did you know that how a person sees your blog, email or website makes a big difference as to whether or not your message is even read? With an increasing number of people using their smart phone to 'showroom', 'webroom', read emails, view websites, and maybe even talk, any message you have needs to be mobile friendly.
Karl Stearns returns to the e-ret@iler conversation to discuss how to make your blog, emails, newsletters and website mobile friendly.
August 13, 2015 - Kathy Walsh of Coast to Coast Insurance in Tampa, Florida visited as an expert on small business insurance needs. We discussed how to determine what types of insurance you and your business needs as well as how to determine how much insurance you should purchase.
July 23, 2015 - July is Independent Retailer Month. Our guest for the e-ret@iler conversation was Kerry Bannigan, co-founder of the event as well as the individual who is the driving force of the event.
The big question of the night; 'What are the advantages an independent retailer has over a box store, chain store or mass merchant?'
June 11, 2015 - Joyce Weiss, an expert on conflict in the workplace is the guest for the June conversation. We are discussing conflicts between employees and customers; employees with each other; partners; siblings; and parent/child; all within the workplace.
If you have experienced any of these, you will want to listen to the wise advice that Joyce shares with listeners.
May 14, 2015 - The saying may be, 'April showers may bring you flowers'. With this call, we think it is, 'April taxes bring you May accountants'. Are you one of those who have gathered all of your tax information in the first quarter of the year and given it to your accountant? Did you also sit with your accountant during that time and discuss your taxes?
Our guest for May's conversation, Mike McCormick, CPA, tells us this may be the wrong arrangement. Mike says you should visit with the accountant after the tax season to determine how you can learn from what happened last year as well as what has happened in the first few months of the current year.
Listening to what Mike has to say may change the way you do business with your accountant.
April 9, 2015 - Ron Friedman made his second visit to the e-ret@iler conversation to tell us about a book is writing. The subject of the book is the selling and using of gift cards in your business. We talked about the accounting aspect of the transaction as well as how you can use gift cards to promote your business. Ron said a gift card can be the best selling item for any business. Listen to this recording to hear how you can do it.
March 12, 2015 - Michael Kalscheur of Castle Wealth Advisors spoke to a packed phone line that had more questions than we could cover in our hour. We talked about planning for the time you want to sell your business. We also talked about maximizing the price for the business. Surely, all small business owners will come to that point in time where they sell the business to an outsider, an employee, or transfer the business to another family member. You will want to listen to this program.
February 12, 2015 - Christine Corelli, author of Wake Up and Smell the Competition, brought an interesting topic to tonight's program. The discussion centered on her comment, 'shoppers are good but buyers are better'. This is a recording you will want all of your staff to hear - probably several times.
January 15, 2015 - Independent We Stand is a big cheerleader of independent businesses. Tonight we visited with Bill Brunelle who heads the drive. He told us how an independent business benefits the community more than the 'big guy' competition. Bill explained how to use this information as you get your message to your customers.
Whether you are product or service oriented, Bill's message will help you to get that advantage over the competition.
December 18, 2014 - Brent Niemuth of J Schmid, a boutique branding and marketing firm visited with us tonight. Brent is a recognized authority on multichannel marketing. Our discussion helped us to understand the discovery process so that a small business can do a better, and less costly job, of getting their message to their customer. It also helps so that the image of the business is retained by the customer when they are ready to make a decision about spending money.
November 13, 2014 - Becky McCray, writer of the Small Biz Survival blog, speaker, author and expert on small business in small communities is the guest on this edition of the e-ret@iler conversation. We heard Beck explain the uniqueness of a small business and community; not from the sentimental perspective but with regard to what a small business has to do to thrive within the community. This is appropriate for a small community as well as a neighborhood within a city. Unfortunately we do not have a recording of this program.
October 9, 2014 - Dr. Frank Wood, psychologist, came to the program with this concept; there is always going to be stress in your life. For some, the stress can be painful and challenging. Others may be able to have stress become a tool to help you achieve your goals.
We posed many interesting questions to Dr. Frank as we work to understand how stress is present in our daily lives.
September 25, 2014 - Don Schwerzler, founder of the Family Business Institute, and the Internet organization, Family Business Experts, joined Bill and Tom to discuss issues with businesses that have multi-generations, siblings, cousins, partners, or other situations where there is room for 'challenging discussions'. We talked about getting out of the business as well as how to deal with disputes within the business.
August 14, 2014 - Karl Stearns is an expert on digital engagement. During our hour, we discussed Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, email marketing, social media and how to have all of them work together so that your business can engage your existing customers to do more business with you. We talked about how this would also allow your business to gain new customers.
July 24, 2014 - Phil Perry has written over 3,000 columns for a wide variety of small business magazines. This conversation had us asking the writing expert about the experts he quotes in his many columns. We discussed the future of print magazines as well as what the experts are telling Phil are the biggest concerns among small business owners.
May 22, 2014 - Our favorite accountant, Mike McCormick does an encore performance as he comes to introduce his latest book, 'Why didn't my CPA tell me that? Small Business Write offs conventional tax advisors miss'. As always, Mike provides a lot of ideas that small business owners can use to keep more of that profit in their checking account while reducing their tax liabilities.
April 24, 2014 - Jill Kline, the Wyoming state director of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) spent an evening with us to tell about the SBDC and how it can help your businesses. We found there are many services that are provided, free of charge, for small businesses. Jill is a wealth of knowledge for small businesses and there could be one like her in your area.
March 20, 2014 - Ann Baldwin of Balwin Media Marketing joined Bill and Tom to discuss how a small business can utilize the media so that the business is seen as an expert within their industry. Ann also talked about crisis management; when the media is in your face and you are looking to do damage control. Ann has some great ideas. She speaks from experience as she was a part of the media for many years.
February 20, 2014 - Ron Friedman returns to discuss the new laws affecting credit card acceptance and the credit cards themselves. Ron explained what is required to accept the new cards as well as the penalties a business will incur by not being ready for the new format.
January 9, 2014 - Barbara Crowhurst of Retail Makerover in Canada visited with Bill and me. It was a whirlwind hour as we covered many, but just a piece of Barbara's knowledge of retail. Barbara was our first Canadian guest expert and we welcomed her to the program in a grand manner. You will want to listen to this replay.
December 19, 2013 - Michael Kalscheur, CFP (Certified Financial Planner) of Castle Wealth Advisors was the guest expert as we discussed the transition of a business from the current owner to a partner, child, employee, a competitor, or outside individual.
Michael commented on 'add ons' and how to prepare your business for the sale. He explained how far in advance you should be making the plans to transition out of the business.
This was an awesome hour with a lot of information being shared.
November 21, 2013 - Gene Sower of Samson Media was our guest expert. Gene's area of expertise is social media, websites and search engine optimization. Gene gave a great explanation of the social media using the making and consumption of a donut. We discussed what was free and what you paid for within the social media. Gene also explained why a business should not turn some teenager loose with handling the social media of a business just because the teenager enjoyed the social media.
October 17, 2013 - Our favorite CPA, Mike McCormick made a repeat visit to the e-ret@iler conversation. In addition to questions, Mike talked about his book, "The Entrepreneur's Guide to Forming a Business Entity'. Mike talked about the issues to be discussed when talking with your accountant about how your business show legally be established.
Mike also discussed how a business owner can outgrow their accountant and how grey is his favorite color. (You'll want to listen to the recording to understand this comment and how accounting is not all 'black and white'.
September 26, 2013 - Robert Natoli and Jeff West of Seattle Central Community College (SCCC)joined Bill Kendy and Tom Shay as they discussed a new online class being offered by the college. The 11 week class was created specifically for small business owners and prospective owners. The course details writing a business plan, budgeting and cashflow, advertising, the legal entity of a business, franchising, and all of the components of sound financial management.
The course utilizes a 201 page book written by Tom Shay. This e-retailer conversation explains how the online system, called CANVAS, works at the college and how business owners can sign up for the course.
August 15, 2013 - Steve Drake, the 'causeaholic', is the guest for this e-retailer conversation. You have likely heard of cause marketing; it is the event in which your business joins with a non-profit to raise funds or awareness. Steve will give some examples of how you can make a difference in your community as well as make your business stand out from others because of your efforts.
July 18, 2013 - Need cash? Got some inventory and equipment you need to get rid of? How about your business has multiple locations and you want to close a location? Maybe you have decided you want to just close the business as compared to selling it.
The guest was Bob Nelson of Power Retailing. Bob's company specializes in solving the very problems that was mentioned in the previous paragraph. Listen in as Bob shares has dozen steps to increasing your odds of success and his top 10 biggest mistakes that business owners make. This session is definitely worth your time.
June 20, 2013 - Branding your business; Shelly Brander (yes, that is her real last name) is an expert on the topic as well as being the owner of two retail operations and Internet based business integrated with her retail operations. During this conversation, Shelley explained how branding and advertising are linked. She also told about logos and updating them. This was an hour packed with lots of information that is invaluable to those that hear the message.
May 16, 2013 - Ever think about how much your business loses, financially, because of theft, shoplifting, losing equipment, or just not tracking inventory and equipment properly? Jerry Obarski, a 37 year veteran of loss prevention with major department stores joined Bill Kendy and Tom Shay to share ideas of what a business can do to eliminate this 'hole' in your business.
April 25, 2013 - Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer joined Bill Kendy and Tom Shay in a discussion about the differences in how women and men shop. We discussed what kind of signs are most attractive for each as well as what colors draw the most attention. This was one hour that was packed with a lot of information that you can put to use immediately.
March 14, 2013 - Shawna Schuh was the guest for March. The discussion was on professionalism. We talked about why people skills should be important to a small business; how to network at events; nametags; hand shakes; telephone usage and other things that you might not think your existing and potential customers might notice about you and your business.
February 14, 2013 - This Valentine's evening, Cam Marston brought his expertise on generation interaction to the conversation. We discussed how to sell to each of the generations as well as how to best work with people from your own generation as well as other generations. Cam shared how to recognize each of the four generations and other important insights to maximize the inter generation interaction.
January 17, 2013 - We begin a new year by inviting Mike McCormick, CPA to return to the conversation. Mike's specialty is small business. Participants were invited to send questions about their business, their plans to sell their business, their retirement, and even their 'concerns' about the accountant they are currently using. Mike has great advise and we are thrilled to have found someone who has a specialty in small business.
December 13, 2012 - Dr. Joseph Michelli, author of The Starbucks Experience, The New Gold Standard, When Fish Fly and other business books, visited with Tom Shay and Bill Kendy to discuss his experience in the research and writing of these books. You will hear how his observations of a single location small business, a chain store, and an online store are appropriate to your business.
November 15, 2012 - Ron Friedman of Damomics joins Tom Shay and Bill Kendy. Ron's company, Damomics, sells point of sale systems for small businesses. During the conversation we discussed Small Business Saturday for 2012 as well as how to create customer loyalty programs and utilizing gift cards in a number of unique ways to build your sales and customer base. This was a fast paced hour as Ron was full of great ideas.
October 18, 2012 - D. Wendal Attig was the guest. Along with Bill Kendy and Tom Shay, D. Wendal discussed his newest book, Make Your Marketing Mobile. D. Wendal and Tom Shay have known each other and worked together for many years. D. Wendal designed the Profits Plus branding materials. This call had some great questions from individual businesses who were looking for ways to take the mobile marketing of smart phones to make their business mobile marketing work even better for them.
September 13, 2012 - Tom Shay and Bill Kendy were joined by Robbie Brown as our guest. The majority of the evening was spent answering questions from businesses about their vendors. We talked about vendors understanding your business, partnering with your business, and other aspects of how they can be a part of increasing the profit in your business.
We also discussed inventory returns and writing orders. If you have any questions about your vendors, this call should address those concerns.
August 16, 2012 - Linda Cahan was our special guest as Bill Kendy and I spent the hour asking Linda about visual merchandising. Not just window displays and end caps; we talked about the social media and the presentation a person makes when they are selling - be it in a store or as an outside salesperson.
July 26, 2012 - What a change of pace with our guest during this call. Dave Doucette was our guest as we discussed business partnerships; how to pick a partner and how to divorce yourself from one. It was a great call with a lot of insight being shared that many people have asked about. If you missed the call, download it now.
June 28, 2012 - Jon Schallert, creator of the Destination University was the special guest for our June e-retailer conversation conference call. He spoke on his unique 14 process of making a business or community a destination; a business or community that is different from those who are dependent on others to bring customers in close proximity to the first business. This was a great session that you will definitely want to listen to.
May 10, 2012 - The start of our fourth year of e-retailer conversations conference calls with our special guest, Anne Obarski. Host Bill Kendy joins Anne and Tom Shay as they discuss shopping the competition, having your business shopped - by professions or individuals you select, and focus groups for your business.
April 12, 2012 - Ken Banks - Member of the Retail Advertising Hall of Fame. Head of marketing for Folgers Coffee, Circuit City, Eckerd Drugs, PetsMart, Levitz Furniture and co-author of the book Brain-Branding. Ken explains how your brand is more than a logo or advertising campaign.
March 22, 2012 - This call is taking on two individuals. The 'taxman' and the person that assists your business with issues of taxation. During part of the call we are going to discuss what this 'accountant person' should be doing for your business. In the second segment of this conference call, we are going to look at how, and why, you should conduct an interview to find the right person to be partnering with you regarding the accounting and tax issues of your business. Our special guest for the evening was CPA, Mike McCormick, the 'Cincy Tax Coach'. Mike shared some great information about how your relationship with your accountant should work.
February 16, 2012 - Ever wonder how you 'size up' a person that is applying for a job based upon their looks? Take that question as a guide as you look at a business and you are attempting to determine what the exceptional businesses do. This view point is taken from what the customer sees and from what only the owner sees.
January 19, 2012 - This is going to be a great year for a lot of businesses. Perhaps even a break through year or the year of a big bounce back from a tough economy. This call contains Tom Shay's list if what needs to be look at in the next 30 days to produce these results.
December 8, 2011 - The final e-retailer conversations conference call provided insight to the terminology that accountants and bankers use. We discussed why this information is important to you and how you can use it to increase your profits.
October 27, 2011 - This conference call had two points. The first dealt with challenges of business owners having a form of 'paralysis' set in when it comes to resolving challenges in their business. Frequently, very important decisions are not made because of this paralysis; opportunities are missed and challenges are not fixed. What I most often see are business owners that become involved with the challenges their staff cause to happen. As the business owner is kept busy with the staff issues, the important issues are not attended to. The second point dealt with how to keep your employees engaged.
September 29, 2011 - Bonnie Raite sang 'Let's give them something to talk about. Steve Martin and Dan Akroyd did a sit of 'two wild and crazy guys'. This e-retailer conversation conference call is about what a business can do to get the attention of their customers. It's gotta' be something more than just the traditional advertising. As Steve Martin would say, 'bring your happy feet' for this call.
August 25, 2011 - Are you ready for Christmas? This call discusses how every business can be a Christmas gift store. Starting with the idea of gift giving, moving to what the customer sees first from a physical store, or an Internet store, and then moving about the business. Now is the time to get ready for the holidays. Are you ready for the extra business?
July 18, 2011 - A special guest, Bill Kendy, joins Tom Shay as the remember playing the childhood game of 'King of the Hill'. Bill and Tom share stories of how this game was played and how the strategy of playing the game can be an integral part of your business today. This is an entertaining session with lots of ideas you can use to find that 'most important' customer for your business.
June 14, 2011 - Do you have a program through which you educate your staff? If not, take the invitation and listen to this conversation to learn a proven program you can easily implement to have your staff become more customer centric.
May 17, 2011 - How about a prep list to help you get ready for 2012? In this session we talk about 10 areas of business that could be focal points for increasing your business and profits in the coming year. This self evaluating session invites you to make a list of the suggested books as well as think what could help your business in these key points.
April 19, 2011 - The call from those that read the e-ret@iler newsletter was that they want to talk more about financial aspects. We utilized five of the calculators on the Profits Plus website to emphasize the points. The calculators were: Break even analysis, financial ratios, financial statement explanation, return on investment and 'what it takes to make a profit'.
March 15, 2011 - Why do business fail to do something that is so simple yet is so exceptional in the eyes of the customer? We discussed looking for additional sales, following up, asking for repeat sales and referrals. Instead of looking for new customers, what if businesses paid more attention to their existing customers?
February, 2011 - We did not have a conference call for this month.
January 11, 2011 - Some people think they should earn less because they get to do what they enjoy. I do not agree with that. Why shouldn't you enjoy what you do and make more money because you have made that sizable investment in owning your own business? This e-retailer conversation conference call was about having the passion for making money as well as the passion for what you do.
December 14, 2010 - Fun and games; We talked about games you can play with your staff that can tell your staff a lot more about selling as compared to you as the owner or manager standing before them and telling them they should try to sell more merchandise. We spent an hour talking about ways to engage your staff and finish the holiday season with increased sales.
November 9, 2010 - Getting ready for the holiday season, this e-retailer conversation conference call was about selling techniques that our staff should be practicing before the rush of holiday sales. It is easier to sell something to a customer that is in your business than to attempt to get someone else to come into your business.
October 26, 2010 - How can you make better decisions in your business? While all decisions use some degree of guessing, this e-retailer conversation conference call was a guide through the Profits Plus website and the calculators that are available for free on the site. The discussion shows what each of the calculators are designed to help you with in your business and how you can profit more from better decisions.
September 28, 2010 - This e-retailer conference call deal with finances. We discussed the profit and loss statement, balance sheet, budgeting, cashflow, and some of the ratios that an accountant is likely to mention. Listening to this session can give you a lot of insight to better financial knowledge which can definitely help you to become more profitable.
August 24, 2010 - Did you know there is both an art and a science component to selling? This evening's conference call talked about how to utilize the scientific aspects of personal interaction to make that be a part of your art form of selling. This session is for everyone in the business.
July 20, 2010 - There are so many independent businesses that are missing opportunities to make a sale. In this e-retailer conference call, I share 8 ways of making additional sales - converting a browser into a shopper, asking for repeat business, asking for a referral, upselling, add on selling, impulse selling, cross selling and suggestive selling. This session is for everyone in your business.
June 22, 2010 - Are you still taking the cost of an item and multiplying it by a particular factor to determine the price of an item? If so you are leaving too much money 'on the table' and you are overcharging on items as well. It is no wonder that independent businesses get a reputation for being high priced. Listen to this conference call and hear the strategy of how to properly price what you sell.
May 18, 2010 - Been to a trade show lately? If not, you should be making plans to attend one. The trade show is where you find new products and services. It is where you go to get that advantage over the competition. It is where you go to hear the newest ideas in the educational sessions. It is where you go to talk with other successful businesses and get charged up to return to work. This conference call is about how you can prepare for a show, what to do at the show, and what you can do after the show to increase the results.
April 29, 2010 - As the great recession continues on, why have businesses closed? Not just because they didn't have sales, but why didn't they get the sales while other businesses did? And for the survivors, what is it they are doing that allows them to continue to be in business as well as take the business from those that are failing?
March 18, 2010 - Who is your customer? Can you describe them and what they want to buy? If this is a challenge, then you want to listen to this conference call to get some ideas of how to identify your customer and what you should be selling.
February 25, 2010 - Looking for answers? I am not going to give them to you. That is how this call started. The idea is that when you give someone the answer, they come looking for the next answer and stop hunting for themselves. It is what causes our management problem.
January 14, 2010 - Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, TweetDeck, UberTwitter, AudioBlog, and a bunch more. The conference call combines what to do with each of the social media with how to do it. Tom shares the media he has chosen, the shortcuts he has found, and how little money it takes to make these work. The key is automation so that you are spending a lot of your time away from other responsibilities working on these forms of advertising for your business.
December 17, 2009 - This conversation discussed how to deal with an unhappy customer. We also discussed the return policy of a business and if you could make it work to your advantage. The third component dealt with Tom's controversial position that, "Can I help you?" is an improper statement to say to a customer. So, what could you say to them?
November 2009 - We did not have a conference call this month.
October 22, 2009 - A timely conversation in which we discussed what we can do during the holiday season to influence what the customer buys. When we know the natural tendencies of a customer it is much easier to have products and information about services in the places they are most likely to look. If you have ever heard a customer say, 'I never knew you carried that', it is an indication you were able to get a customer to look around in your business.
September 23, 2009 - The September 2009 conference call dealt with the issues of the financial statements. We discussed the balance sheet, profit and loss statement, budgets, cashflow, margins and all the components of financial management the accountant never told us.
August 27, 2009 - Pricing. This conference call had two focal points. The first one was the issue of discounting merchandise. Does the idea of creating too many sales, or decreasing the entry level price points do damage to your business? Is it the way to go? The second component of this conference call was to look at how we price items. Here's a hint: you don't apply a multiplier factor to the cost of the merchandise. Because of a storm we were experiencing in Florida during this call, the recording was knocked out during the call.
July 23, 2009 - Inventory control was the issue for the conference call. We discussed 'open to buy', close out sales, using the cost of inventory calculator from the Profits Plus website as well as calculators for return on investment, discounting and sale price determination, and several others. We covered targeting the right customers for our business, and why we should quickly mark down inventory to keep the cash circulating. Velocity coding of inventory was also discussed.
June 25, 2009 - The focal question of the conversation was to ask what a business is expecting to get from their advertising. We discussed what percentage of operating expenses to spend in advertising, and why advertising does not work. Of course, there are no final answers; only information to help a business fine tune what they are doing with their advertising, and how to do it.
May 28, 2009 - We first talked about the lack of mistakes probably means we are not trying enough new ideas. In the second part I announced, the new books on retailing that I wrote for the NSSF can be had by calling 203-426-1320. The main component of the session dealt with the strategies and tactics a business should use to be successful.
April 23, 2009 - The first part of this call focused on forms of advertising other than television, radio and newspaper. In the second part of this call Tom outlines how to develop a staff education program and what you should include in it. During the question and answer part of the call, there was a lively discussion about challenging employees.
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