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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?

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

Don’t Wait – Investigate

Porsche Panamera

I can't remember who gave me this car!

From the Unbelievable file comes a laughable story of the short memory of the North Miami Mayor Andre Pierre about exactly who loaned him a Porsche reported in the Miami Herald.

But not so laughable is the story about a former buyer for The Home Depot sentenced to 2 years 3 months in prison for accepting kickbacks.

Other than fueling some much needed laughing these stories inspired me to remind you that its a good time to take note of situations in your company that just don’t seem, feel, or look right, and to carefully dig into them. Get some help from your friendly local prosecutor’s office. 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

The Second Half

Still Keeping Score?

Welcome to the Second-Half of the Business Year

This is the second half of the fiscal year for most garden centers, aka the un-profitable half according to one client.

The second half of a ball game is where it all happens most of the time. The second half of the calendar fiscal year of a garden center is not so exciting, but it is still where the game is won or lost. Although I’ve never seen a garden center add even one dollar to their bottom line after June 30 (in any year), every dollar that is preserved from July 1 forward is preserved for profitability.

BUT, if you want to end up with a small pile of profit at the end of the year begin with the biggest possible pile of profit by the end of the first half of the year. You can quote me on that.

Maximizing Second-Half Profit Starts in the First Half of the Year

Even though every dollar of margin earning income from the second half is to the good, there are no lines at the concession stand during the second half of the game, and thus, limited  potential to accumulate significantly more margin dollars. Continue reading

Give Me A Break

Is it time to Take a Break?

It has been said that a pilot that is landing a jet airplane is really conducting a controlled crash. I’ve heard that piloting a plane during takeoff is a 3-minutes of pure emotional rush and the landing is 3-minutes of sheer terror. In that way, explaining spring in this business is like spreading out the five minutes of controlled crash landing of a jet on an AIRCRAFT CARRIER into five weeks of pure adrenalin rush mixed with moments of sheer terror. Continue reading

Saving Money IS Making Money

Saving Money IS Making Money

It is a simple principle: Saving Money IS Making Money.

When it comes to making money there is no faster way to do it than to hold on to what you have already earned.

We’ll discuss that for sure, but hold on because there is more to it than simply holding on to what you have and we’re going to discuss that as well.

A Penny Earned

You’ve heard the adage “a penny saved is a penny earned”, which is true, but would you consider that holding tightly to a dollar may also mean saving your company from the brink of bankruptcy.

Continue reading

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