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This is a collection of the hundreds of articles Tom Shay has written for over 70 trade magazines in the past 25 years.

Each article appears in the original format. The example stories in each article will often show you what type of magazine the article was written for. Regardless of the examples from specific businesses, the underlying principle of each article remains true for any business.

And for every component of business management or sales, there are multiple articles. Some are simply looking at a single challenge from two different directions.

We invite you to read them, share them with your staff, and forward them to those you believe will benefit from the information contained in them.

21st century profitability - Selecting a new computer system

5to1 or 1to5 - What happens when you learn from other businesses

8 steps to solving customer complaints - Establishing a strategy for dealing with customer complaints

A 9 point customer service plan - Creating a distinction between you and your competition

Abbott and Costello teach business strategy - How businesses should determine what they do

Adapting to the market - Putting the best products where the customers are

Adding sales - Adding to a strong sales department

Advertising with a pencil - Changing your advertising plan

Advertising with a talk show - Talk radio, talk hardware

A good deal for both sides - Working to eliminate challenges with vendors

Always ON - Being ON for your customers

A master salesman - The story of Walt and Asylum records

Analogies, ideas and making money - Learning through the mistakes of others

Animals and chain stores - What can your business learn from animals?

A slice of the pie - Enjoying being a part of an American tradition

A successful business is like a dishtowel - Knowing when to work and when to enjoy

Are they ever coming back? - Establishing a strategy for customer retention

A way to turn more profit - How inventory controls can increase your profitability

Are we having fun yet? - Deciding to sell your business

Are you a 'My'? - Getting the personal ownership in a business

Are you doing what you say? - How to make great customer service a reality

Are you making an investment - Or are you buying yourself a job?

Are you using what you bought? - Maximizing the computer system

Ask questions with a purpose - How to get the most out of questions to the customer

Assumed sales - Making assumptions for sales

Attitude will determine business success - A 5 point self examination

Banking on the house - Advertising in unique places

Bank loan - Understanding how to apply for a bank loan

Be a hero - Understanding our purpose as salespeople

Bears and alligators - Knowing where to compete

Beating the summer doldrums - What to do to drum up some business

Before you sign that order - There may be details you are missing

Being a professional - Making yourself different from the competition

Belt tightening in a tight economy - A different way of examining costs

Birds do it - The value of consistency

Boosting your sales - Making a difference in the sale

Branding in the next millennium - How to distinguish your business from the competition

Breakfast with a purpose - A unique style of staff meetings

Bridal registry with a gift shop - Opportunities and taking advantage of them

Building a team - The importance of employees working together

Building the team - Looking for qualified employee applicants

Calling on commercial accounts - A technique for increasing your commercial business

Call in the SWOT team - Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats

Can you create a service? - Adding to your bottom line with something new

Carve more market share - Maximizing your share of the market

Change starts at the beginning - The problem with commodity selling

Changing rules of retail - Purchasing inventory is not as easy as it once was

Changing what a store sells - Looking for new products and services

Changing your buying strategy - You do not have to buy like a big business

Characteristics of a successful business - 10 traits of successful businesses

Cheaper is not better - Deciding if you want to be the cheapest

Checking for the exits - Planning for the sale of your business

Churchill's Marketing - There has to be something better than traditional advertising

Click and mortar retailing - How to increase your business with the Internet

Comparing apples to apples - More competition is not a good thing

Comparing turnover and margin - There is more than one way to profit

Consulting with other dealers - Having a 'power lunch' merchant style

Coping with a cash crunch - The challenges can be seen before they occur

Creating a cashflow chart - As simple as 1-2-3

Creating an open house - Hosting a profitable special holiday event for your business

Creating a partnership - Working with sales representatives

Creating a procedure manual - A rule book for running the business

Creating a school to demo products - Radical thinking of growing the business

Creating an 'open to buy' - Spending wiser with inventory control

Cultivating vendors that help - Getting the help you need

Customer service at its' best - Creating rewards for great customer service

Defining an independent retailer - In celebration of Independent Retailer Month

Details make the difference - Changing your advertising style to maximize results

Developing a database - Marketing instead of advertising

Developing a profitable relationship - Working with sales representatives

Developing a resourceful sales team - How and why to have a great sales team

Developing highly effective retailers - Seven strategies to improve yourself as a business person

Does it work for you? - Understanding your return on assets

Doing it by the book - Having a store owner's manual

Doing more with less - Maximizing in a minimal time

Doing your market homework - Productive things to do after attending a market

Dreaming and planning - Working ON your business

Effort to sell by educating - Increasing the value of the sale

Eliminating crisis management - Changing your leadership style

Eliminating dead inventory - Why you should want your money back

Eliminating expenses - Finding ways to control expenses

Eliminating the sound of silence - Great things to say to a customer

Exclusive or elitist - Choosing what makes you unique

Extended service - Creating the added value

Extreme customer service - How competition causes businesses to change

Facing your fear - In the face of competition

Fighting city hall - In this corner is your business

Find 'em, hire 'em, groom 'em, keep 'em - It is all about good employees

Finding a new accountant - When we are not playing on the same team

Finding new staff - In search of a job applicant

Finding profits through the back door - Eliminating expenses to increase the bottom line

Finding the puck - Establishing where the customer is in the marketplace

Finding the right management tool - Changing your management style

First class service department - Making the most of a spring opportunity

Five signs to takeoff - Preparing your business for a sale

Fixing flat tires - Examining the four 'tires' of your business

Frontrunner - Setting your business apart from competition

Game Over - Thinking about retirement

Get an attitude - Deciding you are going to have a great event

Getting extraordinary results from ordinary people - Management techniques that really work

Gift basket open house - Opening a different form of advertising

Give 'em a call - Using telemarketing in your business

Giving employees directions - Creating customer service instructions

Giving management skills to others - Getting others involved in your business

Giving the boss a job review - Inviting employees to provide input to the owner or manager

Halt! Who goes there? Friend or foe? - Dealing with a problematic sales representative

Happy, healthy and productive - Who's in charge of you?

Having a loaner - Down time not allowed when servicing customers

Having the right tools - Keys to better management

Healthy, wealthy and wise - A 5 point self-examination of your business

Here's looking at you - Keys to visual merchandising

Hiring non-traditional employees - Some unique options in selecting new employees

Hiring outside the box - Finding new employees in nontraditional ways

Hiring techniques - More than hide and seek

Hiring the right employee - Proven techniques to improve your hiring

Hiring well - How to hire the right person and improve the ones you already have

How are you counting your music? - A different way of inventory control

How do you do that? - Why directions are important in a customer relationship

How much is enough? - Deciding what your overall margin should be

How stores niche - An itch for a niche

How to become extinct - Focusing on 'who' instead of 'what'

How to wait on customers - Having the right attitude and viewpoint

How's your vision? - Why you should have a business plan

Hunt for lost customers - Bringing back old customers

If not price? - The necessities for selling

If Patton ran your business - The strategy and warfare of business

Impulse buys and effective displays - Making the POP! work in your business

I read your book - Developing your strategy against the competition

Incentive Games and Bonuses - Increasing your dividends

Installing a new computer - Time for a new computer

In-store advertising - Advertising inside your store on a tight budget

Inventory: the right investment - Why you should invest your money in inventory

Is it e-tailing or retailing? - Making the Internet a part of your business

Is this a business? - Merchandising the business of a mission

It is a matter of position - Do you want your business to be different?

It is all fun and games - Developing a system of rewards for your employees

It is just a tool - That is all money is

Jack's phone call technique - Calling to ask for additional business

Jerry, Jeff and David - Are they really entrepreneurs?

Job descriptions - Giving a job description to your employees

Job specifications - A tool that will help you manage

Just do it - part one - Getting employees to do the things you want them to do

Just do it - part two - Getting employees to do the things you want them to do

Keeping score - Knowing how to measure business success

Keys to motivate employees - The basics of what employees need

KISS - Keep it simple, sir

Know your financials - There is a lot of profit in the financial statements

Knowing how to exit - When you want to sell the business

Last minute Christmas sales ideas - 15 last minute ideas for making music at the register

Learning from mistakes - A voice of experience

Learning how to promote - Doing things to earn your customer's business

Legacy of the family business - Reflecting on being a part of a wonderful industry

Lessons from Opal, Pearlie and Fred - Learning from three store managers

Leveling the playing field - Competing with the mass merchants

Little ideas that make a difference - Ways of dealing with new competition

Looking for customers - What it takes to get customers to return

Looking out of the bucket - Seeing opportunities within challenges

Loyalty between vendors and retailers - Be true to your school

Ma Bell works here - Maximizing the usage of the telephone

Make a plan - Have you written a business plan?

Making life simpler with job specifications - A great management tool for any business

Making management jobs easier - Maximizing your POS for profit

Making the extra effort for sales - Keeping the customer in the fold

Making the first impression - The value of an attractive store front

Making the pass - Learning how the owner or manager can involve their staff in waiting on customers

Making your direct mail work - How to make sale circulars a more profitable advertising method

Managing by the numbers - Why financial statements are important to use

Managing by 'what if' - What if you knew the future in making decisions?

Managing with your financial statements - Using your monthly financial statements to make profitable decisions

Marking it down - A method to controlling markdowns

Mattresses, wine and inventory - Learning to do a better job of controlling inventory

Measuring up to financials - 4 financial tools every business should use

Membership has its' benefits - Why you should be a member of your trade association

Minefields and mindfields - Determining where the real battles are

Minefields and mindfields revisited - Is the problem in your head?

Mission impossible - possible mission - 6 suggestions to help deal with competition

More than 20 tips that move merchandise - Easy promotions that move inventory

More than a piece of paper - Utilizing your cashflow sheet

More than just a business - Seeing it from the customer's perspective

Never forget a customer - A year round promotion idea

New glasses - Looking at business in a new way

Niche departments, niche people - Creating departments that feature your employees

No more tears - When enough is enough for inventory

No Plan B - Are you sure you want to close your business?

Not changing product lines or reps - Selecting products and sales representatives

Not using tech speak - Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care

Offering extended hours - Opportunities for more sales

Our pricing strategy - How much can you charge?

Our store newsletter - Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

Outside sales - Looking for sales in other places

Owners, managers and entrepreneurs - There is a difference in what you do

Paint by number - Purchasing a paint computer

Party time! - Socializing with your employees to improve performance

Patrons or customers - Solve the problem instead of making the sale

Payroll done backwards - How are you calculating what you spend on payroll?

Permanent customers - Take me, I'm yours to keep

Philosophy of a winning store - An open mind on open to buy

Pick your customer - You can't be everything to everybody

Planning sales for a new season - Planning sales mean fewer markdowns

Policy and procedure manual - Using a manual to help you manage

Polishing the crystal ball - Utilizing a cashflow chart

Potato chips - Is your sales floor arranged like a bag of potato chips?

Power promoting - Doing something different to earn the customer's business

Preparing for spring sales - Spring pricing has sprung

Pretty as a picture - Keys to visual merchandising

Pricing for profit - Developing a pricing strategy

Pricing your services - More than two ways to get the job done

Problem solving with SARA - A proven technique for solving a customer's needs

Profitability through structure - Creating policies and procedures

Profitable wedding flowers - Having confidence in your wedding prices

Promoting bicycle helmets - Participating in the community

Promoting your business - Promoting instead of advertising your business

Promoting your charge accounts - Turning your charge accounts into a sales tool

Properly stating your profit - Understanding components of the financial statement

Putting your best foot forward - Utilizing fixtures

Reading is fundamental - What you can learn by reading trade magazines

Redefining your market strategy - Redefining your strategy as the market evolves

Remodeling the store - Giving the store a new look

Removing the mystery of cost of goods sold - Options for determining this very important number

Repairing all makes and brands - A strategy for gaining more business

Reset and rebuild a department - Changing the product mix in your business

Retailing is not third grade math - Why we need to learn margins, turn and dollar contribution

Retail math 101 - Calculating the cost of business

Rethinking a way to more profit - Looking at turn over, margins and dollar contribution

Return on investment - Knowing how your business is performing

Reviewing your business insurance - Looking at ways to prevent problems while saving dollars

Ring it up - Owners and managers working on the sales floor

Round up the usual suspects - Marketing to the customers you already have

Sales and the green monster - How business growth eats cash

Scheduling your staff - So you can manage your time

Second fiddle - Rethinking your management strategy

Selecting coaches and advisors - Making the team

Selling as an art form - A salesperson has to earn their pay

Selling every customer - S.E.R.V.I.C.E.

Selling flags and banners - Still waving, still selling

Selling rental consumables - Add on sales create add on profits

Selling your business - What's your long term plan?

Service for the box store - Doing business with a mass merchant

Should margin be the main consideration? - Margin might not be the key consideration in profit

Should you be flying solo - Where do you need assistance in your business?

Show your financials - Reasons to show your financial information to your employees

Shred some of those old ideas - It can be easy to impress your customers

Silence is not golden - The value of a customer survey

Small businesses don't die, they just commit suicide - 10 reasons why businesses often fail

Solution by committee - One person does not have all the answers

Solving problems and making sales - Solving a customer's problem can increase sales

Some great reading material - Staying in contact with your customers

Some tools of the trade - Having an instruction manual

Sounds of silence - What we hear in stores

So, what is it? - The 'it' an owner should do

So, who are you? - Defining your business

So you want to be a buyer - How to maximize your time at a trade show

Staff scheduling and time management - Strategically making staff decisions

Staying involved - Keeping in contact with our customers

Store hours and part time help - How to perform the best scheduling for your business

Store without an owner - The story of a personal crisis

Strategies to win in a challenging economy - Ideas of how to win

Tag team selling - Techniques for salespeople working together

Take control of your cashflow - Utilizing your cashflow sheet

Taking care of your town - Promoting smoke detectors

Taking the last two steps - Solving customer complaints

Taking time for recognition - Acknowledging your staff and your efforts

Talk, talk, talk! - Using a talk radio show to advertise

Team talk - Better communication with our customers

Teaching your customers - Doing more than selling products or services

Ten steps to watching the future - Preparing for challenges in a tough economy

Ten things to do for a profitable year - Taking a step toward extraordinary

The add on sale - Techniques for achieving the add on sale

The answer is relevancy - And we are looking for the question

The call to sell the store - Changing careers

The cream floats to the top - Are tasks being assigned to your subordinates?

The eight percent factor - Which customer are you targeting?

The emblem of a business - How the owner or manager is symbolic of your business

The Johnny Appleseed theory - A different way of marketing to your customers

The key ingredient - Having your staff involved in your business

The letter - A letter to association managers

The masters of legendary service - What the best salespeople do

The master's technique - Observations of a master salesperson

The need to show pride in your employees - Great employees are hard to come by

The opposite of NO - Ideas for increasing customer loyalty

The owner's manual - Creating a guide to help you operate more profitably

The price is getting right - Establishing a pricing strategy for your business

The promo price list - Working with variable pricing and promotional price lists

The sky is not falling! - Being proactive about a mass merchant competitor

The value formula - The formula for success

The value of a good employee - Creating and developing good employees

The walls of fame - Recognizing your 'famous' customers

There is a Season - A time to keep and a time to get rid of inventory

They went that a-way - Basics of helping customers in your business

The 'why' for education - How an educated staff can bring you profit

This little piggy goes to market - Ideas for attending a trade show

Three tips to thrive - Financial statements, marketing and staff education

Tie up extra business - Tying in with other businesses

Time for a reality check - Your customers' shopping in other stores

Timing the technician - Whose time is it?

Tips for a challenging time - Experiences of businesses during a rough economy

To bee or not to bee - Thinking outside the box

Trends in customers moving - Who and where are they now?

Traits of the Great - What great business owners do

Traits of the Great Part 2 - More of what great business owners do

Understanding velocity coding - Inventory control is more than abc

Using a computer - Learning to work smarter with information

Using a specialty vendor - Specialized needs for your business

Using an old building - Making your building an attraction

Using demographics - Gathering information about the customer who shops with you

Using signs and end caps - Sign them up!

Using tools wisely - Should you have a line of credit?

Using your website - Stats from website usage

Unique examples of service - What if you offered to...?

Value of a good salesman - Using the tools of the trade

Variable pricing and promo pricing - Creating a basketful of profitability

Visiting other stores - Taking a busman's holiday

Visual merchandising - Cooking up a retail success

Was George or Ewing right? - Is it right for buying groups to raid other businesses?

Was Michelangelo trained? - Looking at overly trained employees

We are not playing on the same team - Selecting an accountant

What I learned from buying soap - All the missed opportunities to keep a customer

What we've got here is a failure to communicate - Are you getting what your point of sale system has to say?

What are you doing? - Having a transforming experience

What do you say? - Making a sale by knowing what to say

What do you sell? - Determining what type of business you are in

What do you want to ride? - Customers who use coupons

What friends are for - Developing employees that show their concern for employees

What if? - Unique examples of service

What is the price? - Developing a pricing strategy

What makes a great store - Doing things that make a difference

What you can learn from the movies - Learning to follow up with your customers

What you do speaks so loud - Walking the walk with customer service

What you learn from questions - A demographic study within a question

What's in a name? - The value of a customer

What's in your wallet? - A story about discretionary income

What's in your margins? - Alternative ideas for increasing margins

What's wrong with this picture? - Providing the necessary ingredients to develop great store managers

When it is time to make a change - Deciding to make a change in the product lines you carry

When one square is better than another - Not all square footage is created equal

When the old way of order writing no longer works - Some different ideas for writing an order

When the old way no longer works - Changing the way you interview job applicants

Where are the hidden savings - Cutting expenses can also increase profits

Which customer is theirs? - Knowing which customer to target

Which flag should they raise? - Knowing when to surrender

Who has the big hat? - Understanding that customers are the responsibility of everyone

Who is your customer? - Targeting your business to the right customer

Wholesaler's duties to dealers - The other side of the coin

Who's talking? - Do you notice the customers who talk the most?

Why ask why? - Asking questions of your customers to make a sale

Why local? - Reasons to shop with an independent business

Why not? - Why not try something different?

Wind, sneezers and Marriah - Giving great customer service a name

With a smile on your face - Establishing a personal strategy for your business

With this ring - The commitment of business ownership

Working long hours - What time is it, anyway?

Working with sales reps - Developing a personal and profitable relationship

Writing your customer - Showing your customers that you care

Year end accounting - Three reasons to utilize an accountant

You can hire a manager - ...but you can't hire an owner

You say you give great customer service - Do you have a staff education program?

Your new year resolutions - Making plans to start your new year

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