What RTB do you present to your customers?   For the uninitiated, RTB stands for Reason to Believe — and it’s the latest term I learned during my eleven years on the United Way of Dane County (Wisconsin) marketing committee.  I can heartily recommend volunteering as a way of increasing your skill set. I can’t… Read More

I like the fact that Facebook allows us to select a target market when we pay to “boost” a post.  (Never mind the rather irritating fact that the limit to the amount of text in an illustration sometimes means that it can’t be boosted.) When you boost a Facebook post, you can select people who like… Read More

One of the basic tenets of retailing is that you can’t sell from an empty cart. In order to be successful, we need merchandise. And we need merchandise that is the right goods at the right price, delivered at the right time.   Here are ten ways that a vendor can earn the “Best of the… Read More

It’s hard to think beyond the busy holiday season, but in just a few weeks it will be a be 2016.  If you don’t take a moment now to prepare, January may catch you unaware. Here are a few tips: The first two months of the year are show season for many of us. Have you decided… Read More

“Make hay when the sun shines” is an old adage usually applied to farming, but our banker once remarked that our gift shop’s business was more seasonal than agriculture.  That may not be true (we are at least not as dependent on good weather), but it is important that we make the most of the… Read More

Every so often you have to venture into the world of big box retailing, if for no other reason than to see which of your vendors is also selling to Target or Walmart. (If the product is exactly the same, this counts as a negative when considering a reorder.)  But when the search for large… Read More

There are actually entire courses on the subject of retail math (and you can take a short one for free online). But what I find most fascinating is the mix of psychology and mathematics that goes into setting prices. Many special offers take advantage of the fact that most of us aren’t very good at… Read More

“The Beanie craze was a lifeline…to mom-and-pop retailers who were struggling the late 1990s”, according to Zac Bissonnette in his recent book entitled The Great Beanie Baby Bubble: Mass Delusion and the Dark Side of Cute (Portfolio/Penguin, 2015).  Our shop was among the thousands who benefited from Ty Warner’s decision to only sell Beanie Babies… Read More

Thanks to American Express, the concept of Small Business Saturday on Thanksgiving weekend is getting to be as well known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. And although one of the main purposes of SSS is to encourage consumers to use American Express cards — and to have more small businesses accept them — this… Read More

“Overtime” refers to the requirement that workers be paid at the rate of one and a half times their regular pay rate for time worked over 40 hours in a 7 day period. This practice, commonly referred to as “time and a half”, is a federal regulation administered by the Department of Labor. However all employees… Read More