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Profits Plus Solutions for Small Business
Retail Expert speakers Retail Management training seminars

Catalog of E-ret@iler Conversations

Beginning in April 2009, the e-retailer conversation is 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.

e-ret@iler conference call

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 some of our favorite e-ret@iler conversations in which Tom Shay and Bill Kendy invite the readers of the e-ret@iler newsletter to send in their questions for the guest expert. Links are provided for you to hear the program.

December 7, 2017 - Troy Patton is an expert on determining the value of a small business. All of us as owners will be leaving our business at some point. The question will be, "How much money do you get from the business?"

Whether you transition the business to a family member, an employee, or an outsider, Troy has the ability to give you insight in how to determine what your business is worth.

November 9, 2017 - Beth Carroll had an experience shopping in Charleston, South Carolina which prompted her to create a website to help people in North America find locally owned businesses to shop with. ( We discussed her experiences in retail in both corporate retail and independent retail which led her to becoming an advocate and activits for independent retailing.

October 12, 2017 - Craig Melby of LeaseSmart was our first guest who spoke on leases. Is location the most important factor? Are there other things to consider? What if you have problems with your landlord? What is "build-out"? We get answers to these as well as answers to questions from our listening audience.

September 14, 2017 - Michael Kalscheur of Castle Wealth Advisors returns. Michael had the highest rating of all guests to have visited the program. The discussion for this program is getting out of business; whether it is selling to an employee, an outside individual, or transitioning to another family member. We also discuss partnerships and buyouts.

August 17, 2017 - Pat Johnson and Dick Outcalt, co-founders of Retail Owners Institute join the August program. Pat and Dick are legends in the retail arena. Both are very knowledgeable with most everything that relates to the bottom line of your business. They have a very informative insight with lots of tools as well as hosting a weekly program called, "Topical Tuesday".

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.

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.

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.

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