In baseball jargon, the wheelhouse is the “sweet spot” of a baseball player’s strike zone where the a hit delivers the most power and strength.  (Of course in reality a wheelhouse is a nautical term referring to the part of a boat where the ship’s wheel is housed, but that’s another story.) In business the… Read More

“Everybody loves a winner,” as the song says.  And everyone loves to win.  Winning is at the heart of the new trend called “gamification” — using game dynamics to motivate behavior on the part of your employees or customers.  Even the simplest customer rewards program (such as a punch card at your local coffee shop)… Read More

It’s the season for trade shows and other travel, which means you hopefully  will have time to visit shops in another part of the country (or world).  That does make it a bit of a “busman’s holiday” — a phrase which was coined 110 years ago to indicate a person doing the same thing on… Read More

There is a common misconception among small business owners that if an employee is paid a salary rather than an hourly wage, overtime rules don’t apply.  But in many instances, time and a half is still required for any time worked beyond 40 hours in a seven day period. We found out about this the… Read More

An employee discount is one of the least expensive "perks" you can offer, so it pays to be generous.  It helps you attract and keep good employees, and we all know the high cost of finding and training a valuable staff member.   At our shop we offer our employees all merchandise at cost plus 10%… Read More

As you head off to the trade shows this summer, your smart phone may be as important a tool as a good supply of business cards and comfortable walking shoes.  Think of the phone as a mini computer and camera in one, and plan ahead to make the best use of these features. The New… Read More

Independent retailers nationwide are basking in the glow of the attention focused our way by Small Business Week. A full roster of activities in major cities around the country is being sponsored by the SBA, and many local organizations are saluting the top small businesses in their area. Google is even providing a place for… Read More

Did you know that YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the world? The first is of course Google, which not accidentally owns YouTube.  If you want your shop to have a robust presence online, you undoubtedly already have a web site with good SEO (search engine optimization) so that your store comes… Read More

Setting prices is sometimes more of an art than a science, but MAP pricing is a tool that manufacturers use to try to standardize the retail prices for their products in all outlets.  MAP stands for minimum advertised price, which is different than MSRP — the manufacturer’s suggested retail (or list) price.  Suggested retail prices… Read More

“Start your day a little bit better” was a sales slogan for cereal back in the day (here’s a video, in case you’re curious).  But unless you are running a big box store that is open 24/7, your store could undoubtedly benefit by getting each day off to a little bit better start — and… Read More