Did you know that by Halloween, you should have your holiday hiring in place?  Even seasonal employees need a few weeks to get settled in and become familiar with your store, merchandise and procedures.  But don’t panic — in this economy, you should be able to find qualified candidates eager to work. The key is… Read More

Just four years ago, American Express started a program called Small Business Saturday — an effort that had enormous impact on the success of local retailers on the busy shopping weekend after Thanksgiving. According to the History of Shop Small on the American Express website, last year’s  consumer spending was an incredible $5.5 billion. One… Read More

A large percentage of retail workers, especially those working part-time, do not have any health insurance.  No matter what your political thoughts on this subject, hopefully we all agree that in an ideal world everyone should have access to good health care. Our businesses perform better when our employees are not sick (or spreading illness),… Read More

The changing of the seasons are a great excuse to re-merchandise your store, moving displays around and adding some new colors and themes. Even if you don’t sell seasonal merchandise, such as the Halloween goods in our shop display (above), you can give your store a fresh look with autumn leaves and pumpkins.  With consumers… Read More

Buy One Get One is such a common promotion that even shoppers now recognize the meaning of BOGO. (It’s also sometimes referred to as BOGOF, for Buy One Get One Free, but that sounds a bit like an insect repellant, doesn’t it?)  If you are thinking of marking something down to half price, but want… Read More

Buy one, get one free and the baker’s dozen are technically both examples of lagniappe. But I would consider these to be promotions rather than a true lagniappe (pronounced LAN yap), which is defined as a small gift at the time of purchase.  We get the term from New Orleans, where the Louisiana French adapted… Read More

PINTEREST DISPLAY INSPIRATION Halloween is less than two months away — have you come up with a clever idea for your window, and for in-store displays? Have you started planning your holiday look for your shop? Our shop has been doing windows for almost 40 years, and we keep albums of all our past displays… Read More

“Positive people power is fundamental to overall success of any business.” This simple message is at the core of the book, Hug Your Customers, by Jack Mitchell — a work that is now celebrating its 10th anniversary, but contains ideas for customer service that are timeless. Jack Mitchell and family own the most successful independent… Read More

Looking for a way to perk up your Twitter and Facebook postings? You might want to try Vine, a free new iPhone app that allows you to create continuous videos in less than a minute. These six second loops work best if you have the same starting and ending point so that they seem to… Read More

Why is it that so many shopkeepers act as if they’re in a witness protection program when it comes to their web sites?  One of the reasons shoppers support a local business is because they like to know the people behind the business.  Greet visitors to your site with a personal welcome, just as you… Read More