“Buy Local” may have once been a notion for trendsetters, but now it’s common practice for many consumers. Last holiday season saw huge growth in sales for independent retailers. Last year’s overall retail holiday sales were 4.1% higher than in 2010. But independent retailers saw a 6.7% increase.
On November 22nd, after the table has been cleared and the last of the pie has been eaten, families all over the country will sit down with the shopping ads and make a game plan for the biggest shopping event of the year: Black Friday weekend. This is a huge money-making weekend for large companies like Walmart and Target. But how about small businesses? Read More
This month, trade shows are on the top of our priority list. First we traveled to Cincinnati for the Signage Foundation Conference. Then we headed off to Las Vegas last week for the SGIA (Specialty Graphic Imaging Association) Expo. We saw plenty of great signage. And we also found some fabulous examples of how to create an effective display that generates excitement and produces sales. Read More
The zombies are coming to a retail store near you . . . your retail store. They’re not the undead; they’re very much alive. And soon they’ll be swarming your store with their zombie-like pursuit of just one thing . . . will you be prepared for the zombie invasion? Read More
I’m not one of those people who has to “check in” on my Facebook page whenever I go out with friends. I don’t update my status to tell people what I ate for breakfast, if I have a headache, or if I’m excited about the latest TV show. I don’t post an Instagram of my dinner when I go to a restaurant. But I do use Facebook to keep up with friends and relatives. And I have “Liked” some companies, musical artists and organizations.
I see signs in stores and restaurants all the time, asking me to “Like” their Facebook pages. And most of the time I don’t do it. But every once in awhile, I’ll whip out my phone and “Like” a company on the spot. What compels me to action on these occasions? I’ve come up with a few reasons. Read More
Think about all of the ways to market a product or service these days – there’s search engine optimization, pay-per-click ads, social media, content marketing, trade shows, seminars, radio, television, newspaper . . . the list goes on.
I firmly believe that a business should be open to any and all forms of marketing, and must be both proactive and reactive to the changing competitive landscape.
We are a society of judgmental people; we’re quick to form opinions about people, places and experiences within seconds of our first contact. Think about the last time you met someone. You quickly scanned his appearance and drew conclusions based on the way he was dressed, how his hair was cut, his posture, body language and speech. Read More
When thinking about pricing your merchandise or services you might be tempted to look around at your competitors and then price your stuff the lowest. You figure, this way, customers will choose your company and you’ll make tons of money. But is this strategy the best?
Breaking it down into the most simple terms, there are three ways to do business:
1) Sell a few items at a high price
This strategy works well for craftspeople. If you’re building custom cabinets in your workshop, hand-weaving rugs or making custom-fitted suits, you’re not selling to 10 customers per day. It takes awhile to create your product, so you’re limited in inventory.
When I took my daughter back-to-school shopping this fall, it seemed like every retailer had a “Preferred Customer” program. I was encouraged to sign up for the free programs and assured that they afforded me special discounts several times a year. So I willingly gave three different companies my personal information, including my email address. I figured that it might be a wise idea to get “special discounts,” given that I have a teenaged daughter that has turned out to be somewhat of a fashionista.
Of all the strategies you’re thinking of for your new business, pricing is the one that can truly make or break your business. Price too high and your competition will get all the business. Price too low and you won’t make enough money. Super-smart business economists have come up with dozens of pricing models – any of which can be used to help bump up your profit while keeping the customers happy.