Monday, December 28, 2015

The Small Business Buddy System!

The idea of two companies working together under one marketing plan is not new. It is sometimes referred to as co-branding, which happens when the two products become synonymous with each other. Two great examples are how Dell computes boast Intel processors or how Kellogg's PopTarts uses Smucker's jelly. This strategy adds value to each of the products and also lightens the cost of marketing for each. On the other hand, co-marketing is when two businesses share the marketing and advertising load in order to improve visibility and decrease advertising costs, while retaining their unique identity.

So how can a small business use these tactics? Here are a few ideas to get you started:
  1. Find a Complement. Team up with a business that complements your product or service to share advertising. A pet store teaming with a pet groomer or a spa with a nail salon are more obvious ways to market complementary services, but it can also be accomplished in other creative ways. If you are a small bookseller, ask the local coffee shop two doors down if each can advertise for the other, or run promos for customer referrals. An apparel shop and jewelry store can co-market their products. Even a small butcher shop may do well to pair with the neighboring wine seller. Whether it’s as simple as putting a stack of business cards in each other’s stores, or lending inventory to display – start building up relationships like these.
  2. Market Together. Include your partnered business’s promotional material with yours in direct mailings (and vice versa) – this splits the budget and may bring in a new customer base. You can also try running an online promotion on social media with your newfound partner – to grow followers on both companies’ platforms.
  3. Swap Ads. If you have a website, contact other businesses in your locale with websites to see if you can exchange links or place advertising banners on each other’s sites. Many times, even unrelated business owners are willing to cross-link with other businesses for increased website visibility. I scratch your back, you scratch mine!
In any collaborative marketing effort, it is important to make sure your co-business is reputable and has the same high standards for its customers that your business would have. But well-oiled and well-fed partnerships can take businesses to new levels.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Small Biz Technology: Keeping Up With Big Business

The main goal in retail, or any kind of business, is to keep up with the competition. Small retail chains face much difficulty with this goal due to their small sizes. But that doesn't mean your small retail chain can't compete with the bigger ones. It just means you have to be creative and use technology to your advantage. Below are some technology trends your small business should jump on board with to be able to keep up with big business.
  • Move to the Cloud: According to an article in Entrepreneur, "many small-service companies still juggle a combination of paper, spreadsheets and calendars to stay organized." A lot of businesses are making the move to cloud computing, which allows paper documents and data to be stored electronically. It will make work easier for you and provide good service to your customers. You will also be right in line with your biggest retail competitors.
  • Go Mobile: Mobile technology now allows businesspeople to access their office from anywhere using their phones or tablets. No longer being limited to your brick-and-mortar store opens up new avenues for strengthening your business and reaching out to old and new customers. Mobile apps are a great way to keep in touch with customers as well
  • Start a Customer Loyalty Program: According to Entrepreneur, "in the past, only big corporations had the resources to offer elaborate loyalty rewards programs." However, your small business can offer these programs on a smaller scale, or through new online services that are more cost effective – here is a list to get you started! 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Promotional Strategies to Make 2016 a Success!

How does define “entrepreneur?”
A person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
Entrepreneurs take on a certain amount of risk every day, with every business decision they make. What are some ways to reduce that risk? Smart, cost-effective marketing and promotional strategies to grow the business! Below are some easy, cost-effective promotional and marketing ideas to help you grow your business in 2016, whether you’ve been an entrepreneur for one day or one decade.

1.) Begin a Podcast. Welcome to the era of digital marketing! A podcast is an audio file, usually done in a series, that anyone can download. It could consist of interviews, insight on products, or any idea to help people better understand your company and how it benefits them. Be sure to make it content-driven, not product-driven.

2.) Support a Cause. The old saying, you catch more flies with honey, holds true here. People are easily drawn to kindness. By supporting a cause, you'll spark attention from people with similar beliefs. Include a link to donate in your email marketing campaigns, and include information on how you support the cause on your website, in your emails, or on social media.

3.) Send Targeted Email Campaigns. Similar to the podcast, use your email marketing to get important messages out to your target audience – including deals, giveaways, upcoming events, or important industry topics/news. Again, make sure to mix it up between product/service promotions and interesting content. 

4.) Create giveaways. Who doesn't love free stuff? A friendly competition between customers is a fun way to encourage sales, as such contests spread quickly via word of mouth. Also, people get to try your services risk-free!

5.) Customize Your Packaging. Last but not least, something near and dear to our hearts - a customized packaging program, so people will carry your brand with them wherever they go. Contact us to learn more about how to increase your brand awareness with customized packaging.

Monday, November 30, 2015

How to Turn Your Salon into a Spa!

A successful salon is one that is constantly seeking new ways to improve their services, decor, and profits. Turning your salon into a spa can produce a significant return on your investment if executed correctly. If you are willing to invest the time and money to expand your business, consider the following suggestions to make a smooth, rewarding transition.
  • BUDGET: Take a careful look at your finances to decide if you have the money to expand your services, and if so, how much can you afford to invest in your renovation and the salaries for additional employees? If you have an accountant, ask him or her to help you decide on a budget that will not endanger your company's current well-being, and if needed, plan the transition in phases!
  • PLANNING: The first step is deciding what spa-like services you would like to offer in the future. Would you like a massage room for customers? How about a nail salon? Another option is offering facials and make-up services for customers. What feedback have you received you’re your customers? You should also take in to account whether your current facilities have the available room to house the spa or whether an addition will have to be made to the building, or new space found. The funding budgeted for this expansion can help you decide whether to go with one of these alternatives or all of them.
  • DESIGN: If you are creative and can envision how to redesign your salon to incorporate the new services being offered, you can save money by planning the redesign yourself. Otherwise, you will need to engage the services of an interior designer or construction company. The next step is to contact 2-3 reputable contractors to obtain bids or estimates on the remodel and decide how much of an overhaul you can afford to make.
  • STAFFING: Once the work is being done to convert your salon into a salon and spa combination, you can then focus on staffing. Just having a license for aesthetics, nails, or massage does not necessarily mean that the applicant is a good fit for your new addition. Since the main purpose of a spa is to offer relaxing, luxurious amenities, you will be requiring employees whose qualifications and personalities harmonize with your business goal.
  • ADVERTISING: As the date comes close for the grand opening of your new establishment, the big question is how to make the public aware of the beautiful new spa and its services. Begin by planning a festive grand re-opening to give people in the community the opportunity to tour the new salon/spa combination. Have postcards printed with details of the changes you've made that will serve as invitations. Advertise in the local newspaper. Use social media to your advantage by sharing the event with customers, family, and friends. Finally, consider creating a new logo for your salon/spa to use for advertising purposes.
  • THE EXTRAS: With the addition of a spa, you will probably be selling new merchandise such as nail polish, makeup, and skin products. Nothing says "luxury" like beautiful packaging to send the spa goods home in. Personalizing it with your new logo will add a special touch. Stock matching tissue paper, ribbon, and wrapping paper to gift wrap for customers buying for a special occasion.

Adding spa services to your hair salon can be a big jump. Doing your homework by planning carefully and adding those extra little touches of glamour can take your business to a new level. Contact us for help with your packaging needs to ensure that your patrons leave the spa feeling pampered and content.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Closed...on Black Friday!?

REI announced it will not only be closed Thanksgiving Day, but it will not open its doors for Black Friday sales either! Many other retailers are following suit regarding staying closed on Thanksgiving night (but will be open for Black Friday), including Staples, Game Stop, Home Depot, and DSW, to
name a few.

A recent poll revealed that 47% of the participating shoppers think retail stores should stay closed on Thanksgiving, and not open their doors after the leftover turkey is put away. But, it is well-known that the day after Thanksgiving is the biggest shopping day of the year, bringing most retailers out of the red and safely into the black. So why is REI breaking the mold this year?

REI's announcement may have shocked fellow retailers, but it should not have come as that big of a surprise. REI’s mission focuses on their employees, with many employee-first policies, great health coverage, tools for wellness, and even sabbaticals. So, naturally, they would want to give them this time off to be with their families, celebrating the holiday.

It has been said that only well-known, big-box chains can afford to consider a drastic move such as closing on Black Friday. So, how could a small business or “mom and pop” shop survive – or even benefit from – such a closing?
  • With social media, early promotion of holiday sales before Black Friday for the first week of December could encourage shoppers to wait for the better price on a less crazy day; also, if you have e-commerce capabilities – you can promote and run sales any time you want!
  • Small communities, in particular, take note of businesses that care about their employees, and will be more inclined to shop there – during normal working hours!
  • Happy employees translate into more productive work, which leads to better customer service – and that will keep customers coming back again and again – whether you are open on Black Friday or not!
There's no doubt the risk is great in closing on the biggest shopping day of the year, but perhaps REI is on to something. Maybe if more retailers shift to employee health and family time first, big sales and a healthy business profile will follow.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Secret Retail Weapon? Set the Mood!

Your brand is your baby and the tone you set in your store – from the layout to the lighting to the color scheme – embodies what means the most to you. But do you have this same control over how your store feels to customers? What are the subtle nuances—the ambience—that can make customers want to linger—or lunge for the door?

A lot of it has to do with music! You probably already know that music has a marked effect on a customer’s shopping and purchasing decisions. If you’ve ever noticed how the ambiance can suddenly shift in your store when that perfect, magical song comes to an end, then you’ve already seen how music has tremendous control over the human mood. But you might not be aware of studies that have been conducted in this area, which can help you pinpoint exactly which elements of music have the best retail-friendly effects on your customers.

The European Journal of Scientific Research found the following in their study titled “Effect of Background Music on Consumer’s Behavior:”
1.      Mood. Through tempo and volume, music can affect a customer’s mood – which can be positive or negative – leading customers to stay in the store longer and potentially buy more, or leave sooner.  
2.      Perception of Time. Music can also affect a customer’s perception of time, causing them to stay in the store longer – although this may not necessarily increase the probability of a sale.
3.      Perception of Merchandise Worth. Certain types of music can, through an association with an elite segment of society, create a perception of enhanced product worth, which could result in a sale.

·         Studies regarding the loudness of music have shown that customers left more quickly from supermarkets where loud music was being played, but that this did not necessarily affect sales
·         Studies in tempo have indicated a relationship between slower-tempo music and a lower traffic flow—yet a paradoxical increase in sales
·         Studies also indicate that while they’re listening to music, customers have a more realistic perception of passing time—meaning they could end up lingering in your store because they don’t have that nagging feeling that they’ve been in there longer than they really have.

So the big question is, with something as subjective as music, how to best create a playlist that will keep customers shopping long enough to appreciate everything your store has to offer! The answer might be a bit more scientific than simply plugging in your sales clerk’s favorite band. Music might well be just as important an aspect of merchandising as fixtures, lighting, and attractive window displays!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Build Your Brand This Holiday Season!

Tis’ the season! Retailers love the end of the calendar year as it brings several different holidays that increase sales and can spell the difference between a successful year and a mediocre one. Instead of simply focusing on how you can increase sales, however, the winter holidays are also an ideal time to build your brand through retail packaging.
  1. Put Your Logo On It! Packaging, gift wrap and bags in which shoppers take home their treasures can go a long way toward keeping your brand in front of customers all year long. Consistency is one of the keys toward brand identification. Company logo and slogan are important elements in packaging, and should appear on all items in your lineup.
  2. Choose Multi-Use Items! Take a look at what large successful retailers like Victoria's Secret or Bath & Body Works do during the holiday season – both provide special collections often placed inside sturdy, attractive packaging that not only displays the brand's products in the store, but may also be reused by the consumer during the year to store toiletries, knickknacks and the like. Packaging your product line in similarly suitable containers will keep your brand in front of customers throughout the year.
  3. Glamorize Your Everyday Packaging! Already have a large stock of everyday bags or boxes? Add holiday flare in the form of a belly band, hang-tag, or festive ribbons and bows. This will allow customers to reuse the bags and boxes throughout the year, and will allow you to continue to give out your everyday, branded bag, but with an additional holiday touch.
Action Bag can customize your store's packaging and help you increase your brand this holiday season! Call us to discuss your options today!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Retail Color Trends for Fall

Fall has arrived and while that might mean colder weather in parts of the country, it also means new retail color trends. The Fall 2015 Fashion Color Report from Pantone has come out with a set of new colors you need to keep an eye on this season.  According to the report:
"This season displays an umbrella of accord that weaves earthy neutrals with a range of bold color statements and patterns to reflect a landscape of hope, fun, fantasy and all things natural."
And the most exciting thing?  Both men and women can get in on the color action.  Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute® Leatrice Eiseman states in the report that:
"The Fall 2015 palette is rooted in multi-faceted, androgynous colors that can be worn to portray effortless sophistication across men’s and women’s fashion; it is the first time we are seeing a truly unisex color palette."
So what are the hot new colors for this season?  Here are the main ones Pantone lists in their report:
  • Desert Sage: This is a gray-green shade that embodies the earthy tone look reported to be hot this season.  It's "timeless and unobtrusive, yet powerful enough to make a statement on its own."
  •  Stormy Weather: A dark gray color perfect for those stormy fall days and nights.  Described as "strong, protective and enduring." 
  • Marsala: The burgundy color that is only worn best in the fall. “A wine-inspired red-brown that adds finesse and savoir faire to the palette."
  • Biscay Bay:A lush and elegant teal... combining the serene qualities of blue with the invigorating aspects of green.”  A bright yet deep bluish green that adds beautiful color to the reds, browns, and oranges of Fall.
  • Cadmium Orange: Remember the shade of orange that was so popular in the hippie days of the '60s and '70s?  It's made a comeback.  “Cadmium Orange is a warm, welcoming and subtly dramatic hue that is striking enough to stand on its own or act as a bold contrast.”
  • Reflecting Pond: “A cooling blue that adds dimension and intrigue… a serious shade that speaks to the need for stability and security.” This dark blue has a grayish tint that is all the rage this season.
  • Amethyst Orchid: Described as “the jewel in the crown of the Fall 2015 palette.”  Purple appears every season in some shade or another, and this fall, it's a darker shade of lavender.
     Let us know if we can help you incorporate these fabulous fall colors into your coordinated packaging.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Get the Most Out of the Holidays!

The holiday season is retail's busiest time of year -- exceed your sales goals and get the most out of the holidays by tapping into your customers' psyche. Whether they know it or not, product placement, staffing, and decorations all play a role in creating the perfect environment for holiday spending. This year, implement the following practices in your store, and prepare to generate revenue AND holiday cheer.

Incorporate Holiday Packaging
So what makes shopping during the holidays different from any other time of year? The excitement of gift giving. Help your customers anticipate the joy on their loved one's faces by adding holiday specific gift tags, wrap, or bags to your everyday packaging options. Brightly colored holiday wrapping paper and shiny bows in trendy colors just help to put everyone in the holiday spirit.

Staff Your Store with Merriment.
Holiday shopping can be stressful and your customers are likely to head home if they feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, your staff members can ease the strain by providing expert-level advice on your product line. Make sure your staff is trained and prepared to help holiday customers with exceptional service and a jolly attitude.

Deck the Halls.
Get into the holiday spirit by making sure that your holiday decorations drive sales. Try using pre-wrapped packages of common holiday gifts to create a dramatic presentation near your cash registers or end-aisles. Even a pretty ribbon or bow can entice a customer to make that purchase.

If you are looking to spruce up your holiday marketing strategies this year, contact us to discover the perfect seasonal looks to fill your store with cheer.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Fashion Trends for Fall - Winter 2015

Straight off the runways and into the big box stores, these seasonal trends will be popping up everywhere.  Take advantage of consumer interest and incorporate them into your store’s packaging, decor, and products. 

Fall Color Guide
The gender-bending androgyny inspired color pallet reigns supreme this fall.  Hot colors include navy, black and gray with some touches of khaki and browns.

Adventure Style
Gear up for a mountain hike or trek across the globe.  Dramatic layers, faux fur, scarves, and subtle animal prints are hitting the market.  Tackle this trend in your packaging using textured alligator totes, animal print frosted bags, and layer bags with different color and textured tissue paper. 

Masculine Energy
Menswear for woman and gender-neutral fashion is heating up. Think uniforms, button down shirts, and blazers. To run with this trend in your packaging choose bags with clean lines and in more masculine colors such as black and white. 

Far Out Fashion
Brightening up the season is throwback seventy’s style. Dresses with a bit of fringe, turtlenecks, and muted retro paisley or floral prints are top styles. Use paisley or floral printed tissue with your neutral color retail bags. Tie tulle or organza ribbon into fluffy bows around boxes to create the softer flowing look.

Trends are used to enhance your current brand image.  You don’t need to overhaul your whole look or product line.  Subtle touches such as using an on-trend color imprint on your bags or retail accessories such as ribbon or tissue can make you business look fashion forward while still holding the integrity of your brand.

How are you incorporating the fall trends into your business? Please share your ideas below!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

5 Ways to Retain Customers

Building a loyal customer base is a key component to a successful retail business.  Loyal customers will spend more money and will refer your business. Here are 5 ways to increase your custom retention and enjoy customers who keep coming back for more!

Loyalty Program
Never under estimate the value of your existing customers.  Many businesses spend a lot of time attempting to gain new customers, they forget the current ones keeping their doors open.  Reward them with a loyalty program. Offer a VIP program providing special promotions, or run a simple points program for every dollar spent they earn a point.  Points can be redeemed for discounts or special gifts.  Provide a loyalty card to all customers. This makes the customer feel like a VIP and allows you to track program participation via your POS or software system.

Mine your Data
Collect your customer data. Determine how many of your customers are repeat buyers, what products or services are moving, and how many of your promotions are being redeemed.  Another way to obtain good information is to ask your customers directly. Create a quick online survey. Offer a discount or free gift for completing the survey.  You will gain inspiration on ways to improve your customer experience and increase loyalty.

Be in Service
Excellent service isn’t just the right product at the right price.  Make the customer's life easier by anticipating needs or challenges. Wowing customers goes a long way to securing their business. Hire mystery shoppers to uncover any snags in the buying experience and fix them.  Be quick to admit mistakes, apologize and offer amends.  Thanking a customer for uncovering an issue builds customer trust.

Be the Expert
Become “the” source for the latest products or services in your industry.  Invest in continuing education, webinars, new technology and new products to make your business cutting edge.  Customers want to go where all their questions are answered by knowledgeable and friendly staff.  Stand out from the crowd by being the trusted expert.

Get Connected
Engage with your customers beyond the storefront.  Collect emails and mailing addresses. Create an email campaign calendar.  Have dedicated staff updating all your website and social media sites.  Frequent postings on Facebook or Twitter keep customers interested. You send customers polls or showcase new offerings. Hold contests for free products or services to get followers involved. Pinterest is also a great way to showcase visual products. Direct mail can grab attention in the over saturated digital space.  Target low cost postcards for holiday or special offers.

Retaining your customers creates a consistent profit base and builds credibility.  What has your business done to help improve customer loyalty? Please share below!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Money Saving Tips for your Business

Running a business can be expensive.  Supplies, people, technology, all add up.  Here are some tips to help you save money while still driving your business to success!

Employees are vital to making a business run, but come with salary and benefit costs.  You can conserve by using part-time employees with no benefits.  Explore internships or mentoring programs that cost little to nothing. You can have the human resources but for less.

Penny Pinching Promotions
Advertising can be pricey, especially when you don’t always know what will create a return on marketing investment. Partner with your neighbors for shared radio and print ads. Drawing attention to your area can be a win-win for both of your piggy banks. 

Never take list price as your price. Work to negotiate savings. Things to consider are increasing the volume of your purchase to secure a price break. Explore free or discounted shipping. Review payment terms. The longer you have to use the money before it is in your vendor’s hands the better.  Get competitive quotes and don’t be afraid to pit vendor against vendor. It will keep your vendors honest and help you secure additional savings.

Bulk Buying
Evaluate buying supplies in bulk. Items like janitorial supplies, printer toner, or paper are great options to stock up on. Compare prices and look at the per unit price to be sure you are getting a value.  Factor in your availability of storage space for these bigger purchases.

Explore bartering services or products.  This allows cash to stay in the business while you provide inventory or services in exchange for something you need.  Do the math to verify you are doing an even exchange. This is a great option to keep money within the business.

Get Involved
Research trade associations and local community business groups.  Networking is the key to many successful businesses.  You will meet other like-minded professionals who can share tips on vendors, split advertising costs, or might be willing to barter.  You never know until you ask, but you first need to build your business connections.

Saving money takes a little effort, but well worth it when the benefits hit your bottom line!  Do you have additional savings tip? Please share below.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Be a Lifelong Learner

The world changes at a continually faster pace.  Staying up to date on trends is vital to the success of your business. Lagging behind in the latest products, fashions, or styles can cost you sales and damage your brand.  Continuing education offers you the ability to stay up to date on techniques, new business models, or new ways of thinking.  This broadens your skill set and could help you branch out into new areas.  Check out these sources for the continuing education that fits your needs.

Product Training
Vendors often provide training free of charge. Learn product specifications and benefits. Many vendors unveil new items in their training programs. This will assure you are offering the right product to the right client.

Online Sources
In today’s digital age, there are a variety of online based classes. Research topics that are specific to your industry or customer needs. If using a new education source, read class reviews, instructors’ bios, and verify the schools' accreditation status. Many classes are low cost and provide continuing education credits that are a requirement in many professions.

Community College or Local Classes
If the in-person classroom setting is more your style, look into local schools.  Most offer evening and weekend classes due to the demand for flexible education. This is an excellent option for busy professionals or working parents. Confirm the class content and if CEU credits are offered. 

Industry Events
Many industry trade shows offer seminars and classes during the event.  If you are investing in attending, look into any education available. Typically the educators are leaders in the industry offering first-hand knowledge.  Take advantage of learning from the experts.

Life is the process of forever learning. Continuing education allows you to stay engaged in your profession, expands your resume, and can help you sell more.  Become a lifelong learner today!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Color Trends for 2015

Trends impact retail sales.  Take a trip to any big box retailer and you will start seeing designs and colors repeat across bedding, dinner plates, to clothing. Psychology of color impacts consumers emotions about a brand and influence buying behavior. Color is a powerful tool that can help you ring up more sales.
2015 Colors
Here are the 2015 colors of the year straight from the fashion runway.
  • Marsala 
  • Aquamarine
  • Scuba Blue
  • Lucite Green
  • Classic Blue
  • Toasted Almond
  • Strawberry Ice
  • Tangerine
  • Custard
  • Glacier Gray

To learn more about these colors or to view packaging products that incorporate these colors, click here.

Color Science
Unique uses of color and patterns create interest. Use these to your advantage to focus attention on your retail products.  Most of us are over saturated with stimuli especially in the mobile age. Being creative with color will draw the eyes and help pull customer attention away from their glowing rectangles. This increased attention will make customers notice your retail products. More engagement with the products will drive more sales.

How to use Color
Incorporate trending colors through your retail areas and on promotional pieces.  Update your retail bags for the season.  Choose a 2015 colored tote bag as a gift with purchase.  Add labels or ribbon with splashes of these targeted tones to your retail products.  Another fun and inexpensive idea is to line your retail display shelves with tissue paper. This can give it a whole new look for pennies and can be easily changed out as trends come and go.

We would love to see how you are using color to promote your brand and increase sales.  Share thoughts below or snap a pic and post it our Facebook page.  Let your color shine!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Retail Business Trends for 2015

Your business needs to stay relevant.  Sometimes we get caught up in the passion of the business that we forget to keep our operational efforts moving forward.  The new year is a perfect time to evaluate and launch new endeavors. Stay on top of your game with these must have items for your retail business.

Software system
Gone are the days of hand written appointment books and ringing up purchases by price tags.  A retail necessity is a software system that allows computerized tracking of bookings, services, and financial information.  These systems can run all types of reports to help you keep focus on the business verses the books. You will know what is selling and adjust your marketing plans as needed. Reach out to similar businesses for the systems they recommend.  Look to your professional associations. Generally they have a few software partners they work with.  You could score a discount and have access to expertise to overcome potential hurdles for a new system launch.

Digital Marketing
The pace of technology isn’t slowing down. We are all on our mobile devices, tablets, websites, text messages and emails almost all day long – some people occasionally stop to sleep.  Your business needs to communicate where your customers are.  Do you have a mobile friendly website, do you an email marketing schedule, are you texting clients to remind them of appointments? Reach out to students or reach out a community college for support. Another option is partnering with a marketing agency.  You work to create the marketing plan and tactics and they set it in motion.  Have a monthly check in and evaluate results.

Your business can’t be everything to everyone.  Offering specialized products or services can be one key to success for smaller retailers.  If you are a day spa, become the expert in facials.  If you are baker, be the cupcake extraordinaire.  Reflect on what your business does best.  Use that special product or service and promote it on all your marketing efforts.

Retail Revamp
Take a hard look at your product lines. Do you have items that aren't moving? If you have items for a significant period of time, its time to mark them down and move them out.  Review all the products that you carrying.  Considered your own private label line.  Speak to your staff, survey customers, and look at your competitors.  Use this info to make educated decisions on your next bit sellers.
Fight complacency in your business. Stay on top of trends and business best practices.  It will keep your business growing and your profits rising. 

What is your biggest business struggle?

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