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You’ll Never Have Enough Staff Until you _____ Enough Stuff.

Business Friends,

I’m taking the liberty to call all of you friends as some of you have taken the liberty to give me a new name when I checked out at your store. But before I tell you about that let’s begin at the beginning of my visit and work to the end.

As I shop this spring it is obvious that one of the biggest opportunities you have is to sell more stuff to the customers in your store right now. So what’s getting in the way of that?

Just the same as in previous years, I walk through stores from front to back and then back to the front and repeat the process. I am NEVER (okay, rarely) spoken to even though there are plenty of employees that I walk by as they are busy adding more stuff apparently for someone else who arrives after I leave to buy.

Instead of selling more of what you already have to customers already in your store, everyone is focused on adding more stuff that won’t be bought by the customers who are already there.

In my estimation, the lost opportunity from this lack of proper focus is in the 15-25% range. Can you really afford to miss that much? Are you confident that enough customers will keep on coming in to make up for what you’re missing now?

When you’re really busy you can’t have enough people to help every customer. I get that. Still, there is opportunity, but you’ll have to stop making it harder for the customers already in your store to shop. As I fight to get my cart through your stores I have to think that it might be better if you saved some room for me to get through to see more of less stuff. Think about it.

When I do manage to buy something and go to the checkout I am essentially ignored there too. The most recognition I get is to have my apparently new name printed on the receipt – “Cash Customer”. Since this is my last impression of your store, it is the most recent impression. If it is underwhelming I am highly unlikely to return soon, much less to excitedly tell friends why they should come to you.

So, what are you going to do about it?

Someday is Here And You Still Don’t Need That Stuff

image of a Round Tuit

Click Image for Larger Readable Version

“No one else sells this anymore.”

“People come in our store looking for stuff like this.”

“You can’t buy stuff like this anywhere else.”

“I might need that someday.”

These are all famous last words of hoarders. I know YOU are not one, in the extreme sense of those portrayed on the A&E hit television show. But are you a hoarder of a different kind?

Continue reading

Why not go to WORK while you’re going to work?

Don Eaton, owner of Eaton Farms

Don Eaton, guest blogger

“Hey, you’re going to work anyway,

why not ‘go to work’ while you’re there?”

Try this approach to work for the next 30-days

Guest Blogger – Don Eaton

The difficulty you and I face every day in running our businesses during these worrisome times can be overwhelming to say the least.  In many instances it seems as though we have little control over what actions we take or directions we head. This may be true in many areas of our businesses, where we are forced into reaction in place of action. If your anything like me, this becomes very tiring and can wear you down especially when we give in to foolish worry about what is to come, next year or even years after that, foolish worry about things out of our control or our ability to effect change. Continue reading

Yes, I AM definitely talking TO YOU.

Yes, as a matter of fact, I AM definitely talking TO YOU.

When I see clients and readers of my magazine articles, blog, email news, and other printed words people often tell me that what I write makes them feel like I’m talking directly to them. I hope that is true for you. If it is you’re right.

No, YOU may not actually be THE client I’m talking about in any specific article or discussion, but believe it or not, all the mistakes you have made have most likely been made by others before you.I write to the situations I see other clients get into that I wish for you to avoid or take supreme advantage of, depending on the situation. Continue reading

Don’t Follow Them, They’re Lost Too

  

 Don't follow me, I'm lost too!

Don't follow me, I'm lost too!

 

“Don’t follow me, I’m lost too.” 

It’s more than a bumper sticker. But not everyone who doesn’t know where they are going wears this bumper sticker. Think about it. 

We tend to assume that the ideas and trends others are following are the right direction. They and their ideas are talked about in the media, at conferences, and by salespeople who sell the stuff they sell. Sometimes those folks are just doing something they didn’t really think about, or that makes no good sense, financially or otherwise. But it is something different to talk about, write about, and follow. Continue reading

“Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

In a competitive world you must stand for something and stand out.You must, as Steve Martin said, “Be so good they can’t ignore you.”

Most small businesses have a difficult enough time figuring out what to sell. They often become a “wandering generality” of their business type. They by default become “A jack of all trades and master of none”. To the general public they are second citizens to the predictable although not perfect national brand experiences whether carpet cleaner, lawn care operator, security alarm system, garden center, restaurant, etc. Don’t you also find it to be  easier, faster, and “safer” to choose the national brand over the mom & pop motel? One of the reasons the general pull of national brands is true is that the better brands re-invent themselves the way Holiday Inn has been doing.

How do you rise to the top in the customers mind?”

Steve Martin achieved outrageous success by developing a unique method to his apparent madness, which led to his becoming “so good that the entertainment world couldn’t ignore him”. And, as they say, the rest is history.

The same wisdom applies to steady growth, taking a step to the elusive “next level”, or catapulting to even higher levels.

The Steve Martin Method Continue reading

Time to Push Your Reset Button!

Press This Button for Help!Time to Press the Reset Button!

This is not a question, it is a statement! There are times that life becomes so confused that it is just better to press the reset button and reprogram our lives rather than try to make-do while the darned thing is out of whack.

Recently I was talking with Matt Horn, owner of Matterhorn Nursery about his plans to totally reinvent his garden center. While Matt has been one undisputed leader of innovation in the garden center business over the years he realizes that it is time to re-engineer the concept of Matterhorn Nursery. The story has something to do with goats, and you’ll have to ask Matt about that. Continue reading

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