Advertisement Ideas: Jump To It!!!
The key in business is to make your customer’s experience so good that when they see you are doing a special campaign or project that they jump to it and come to you every time they seek the type of product or service that you offer. It is important that each time they see your name in an advertisement that they think oh I need to get to that business or I plan to attend that event. The idea is to create such an awesome experience that they become customers for life. Advertising is a great way to enhance their experience by offering specials that you can track and rewarding existing customers for their business. Remember you spent time and money to acquire the customer now you must do what you can to retain the customer. If you are going to continue to build your customer base you need to have great brand awareness and recognition while also creating a buzz about your business giving people a reason to continue to shop with you. In all my retail experience I have made it a point to create good relationships with customers realizing that one oh shit will ruin one thousand at a boys so you must avoid the oh shit moments. Many times it is all about finding ways to enhance the customer experience so as to create customer loyalty. When I was working for a sports apparel, accessories, and memorabilia store I greeted the customer and asked questions so that I could facilitate a sale so that when they came back or we had a item from their team I could show them and build rapport.
Advertisement Ideas: Getting High!!!
If you want to get high in business you must commit to working hard and maximizing your message. If you want high revenue and high brand recognition you must have a strategic plan that defines what type of business you are going to have, who your target audience is going to be, and how you are going to cultivate that target audience. In today’s business world the sole-proprietor is the underdog and thus has to work that much higher having a definitive vision for their business so as to get a percentage of the niche market that will create sustainability. As you continue to open the doors to your sole proprietorship it is important that you are listening to those you have hired as some of those people may have ideas that increase sales and also increase brand recognition. It is important to check your EGO at the door and realize that you may not know everything and the day you think you know everything is the day you lose everything. Make sure you know the demographics of the area you decide to do business in so that you can have the merchandise that they desire. Make sure you know the competition that is around you so that you can create your own unique selling proposition to attract and keep customers.
When I was a member of The Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce) we had what we called a Chairman’s Planning Guide which was really a small business plan that served as a road map so you could have a successful project.It asked what the primary purpose of the project was, what the goals and objectives were, who was responsible for certain tasks, the budget, and the items needed to bring the project to fruition. It also asked questions as to things that could have been done differently and what changes you would make. Many people used the CPG to secure small business loans and continued to plan their work and work their plan making adjustments that they now have thriving businesses. It is imperative to plan your work and work your plan. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Listen Up!!!
As I turned in my key after being let go by Sinbad Sports I started to think that it was time to listen up and pay attention to the signs that GOD was delivering. I found myself like the character Billy Jack as I have become a tin soldier in the fight to help businesses grow. I have run into some obstacles like stubborn business owners who think they know everything and have not realized that the day you think you know everything is the day you start to lose everything. In my 40 years of marketing, sales, advertising, media relations, public relations, and non-profit experience I have found that many of those in ownership roles and leadership roles do not listen and as a result leave a lot of money on the table. The really good business owners gather input from their employees and value that the employees may have a better feel for what the consumer seeks. The key is to listen up and not take anything personally when an employee comes to you with something that makes sense. When an employees sees what the trends in the market place and comes to you with the trends you as a business owner should be aware and formulate a plan that will help you strengthen your brand and increase your revenue by staying ahead of the trends.
As a business owner it is important to listen to your employees especially the employees who have a working knowledge of the industry and a proven track record of success. When you find an employee who truly has a dedication to your business make sure you are listening and keeping that employee happy for if you let them go they may just go out and follow their dreams and become your competitor and thus take business away from you. When customers are bragging about an employee and tell you that the reason they are coming to the store is that particular employee don’t say oh they would have come any way as it is the merchandise not the employee that they are coming for. Remember people do business with people they know, like, and trust and if an employee is cultivating those customer relationships you keep them and you listen to them. When you empower an employee and allow them to thrive your business will grow and your revenue will increase. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Being Open To Change!!!
In the business environment that is ever evolving we as business leaders must be open to change. As we all know the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. In my 40 years of working on special events, helping business owners to excel, and fundraising I have recognized so many people who were not willing to make changes or listen to alternatives. These people kept struggling and many went out of business. I have witnessed many a successful entrepreneur or marketing executive gather input from employees and put some of the ideas into action and as a result they have had success as their revenue went up and their brand recognition increased. I have come to realize that when someone is not willing to make changes or listen to ideas that have their best interest in mind you simply have to let go and let GOD knowing you did the best you could to improve their business. In recognizing that changes must be made to create a viable business you will grow your business.
Sometimes in order to make a positive change you must look at the person in the mirror and realize that you may be part of the problem. The first step to solving a problem is recognizing that you have one. In recognizing the flaws that have created the issues you can work on eliminating the flaws and thus grow your business. I have stated it many times that the day you think you know everything is the day you start to lose everything. If you continue to point fingers and blame everyone else eventually your business will be so flawed that you either close it or change your ways and improve it. When evaluating your business you must look at problem areas and make a change. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Diversity Is A Necessity!!!
In a sports apparel, accessories, and memorabilia store diversity is a necessity. Many entrepreneurs of these type of stores get caught up in what they like that they do not diversify their offerings and as a result lose sales. The key is to see what is selling and to order accordingly. I saw a store where it appeared that FSU Seminoles items were outselling University of Miami Hurricanes items at a 2 to 1 ratio yet the entrepreneur of the store insisted on stocking up on Hurricanes items. This same store had only 3 hats for Notre Dame where Notre Dame is one of the top-selling schools in America. The key to having a successful sports apparel, accessories, and memorabilia store is to have a diverse selection of teams that the consumer is seeking with full size runs. If you have one item that is selling well make sure you are replenishing that item regularly so that when a customer comes looking for it you have it so you can make the sale.
Advertisement Ideas: Ways to Create Diversity!!!
One way to create diversity is to look at your Point of Sales Reports and see what are your top sellers and to stock items for those teams. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Time To Wake The F Up!!!
Do you know just how many times I wanted to scream this at entrepreneurs that I have worked with? I often have an experience where the entrepreneur thinks they know everything and refuses to listen to the employee that is working in the business on a regular business. The entrepreneur needs to wake the f up and understand that maybe they don’t know everything and that despite the fact that the employee doesn’t have a fancy car or live in an expensive home or doesn’t live lavishly they just might have a working knowledge to help the entrepreneur exceed their revenue goals. I was working with someone and asked what are your revenue goals. I was told none of your business. This entrepreneur ending up closing the business dissolving the corporation and then reopening in another location under a new name. He still hasn’t set up a website or done any advertising. he didn’t even update his Facebook Page. Then this entrepreneur wonders why his business struggles. The answer is because you don’t have a strategic plan to market and thus exceed your revenue goals. When I worked for Footlocker we had daily goals and the corporate marketing people had plans in place to drive people to the store and once they were in the store it was my job to make the sales. I remember how bad I wanted to tell the DM to wake the f up when he told me you can’t put the new Jordan release sneakers aside for people they are on a first come first serve basis. I called bullshit on that one and explained I have a customer who buys a size 8, a size, 11, and a size 13 in adults and a size 3 and 6 in kids plus matching socks and jerseys when the new Jordan’s are released which meant about $1000 in business. I asked the DM if you have a guaranteed sale of $1000 each time the Jordan’s are released why wouldn’t you put them aside. Well I left Footlocker and guess what I found out when I left and the store would put the Jordan’s aside for this customer he stopped doing business with the store. This is why those in power need to wake the f up. Look at the way you are doing business and ask yourself what can I do to wake the f up and make changes that will strengthen my brand and increase my revenue. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Action, Action, We Want Action!!!
If you are going to succeed in any business especially in the retail business you must commit to becoming an action taker. Over the years I have approached many new business owners as well as experienced business owners who are opening a new location to ask them about their strategic marketing and advertising plans as I have become quite astute at promoting local businesses. I am always surprised by the response of I haven’t set up a budget for that or I spent so much on the build out and opening that I don’t have money to advertise. My look on my face usually says it all when I hear this as it shows a wow you got to be kidding me look. In today’s day ad age I am bewildered by how many so-called business people lack the basic principles to build and grow a business. When I work with entrepreneurs I am brutally honest and I peel back the onion so as to see where we can overcome the blockages that are keeping them in the lack mode instead of the abundance mode. Most times I find it that it is their lack of organization and inability to take proper action as they have an attitude as I am the owner and I am doing my way and I know what I am doing. When in reality they have put up the money but had no realistic plan to market to attract and keep customers. I have witnessed many tines a business owner fly by the seat of their pants only to lose those pants. If you open a business and you do not have a daily, weekly, or monthly action plan you are destined to struggle. If you open a business and do not take input from your employees who have experience you will continue to struggle. The key is to be an action taker and understand that the day you think you know everything is the day you begin to lose everything.
Every action you take should be guided by the concept of positively affecting your business. The first action you need to take is getting to know who your customer base will be and then marketing to that customer base. The next action you need to take especially with a retail store is what you will be known for as a business.Previously I wrote about having a unique selling proposition and this concept is very important to the success of your business as you must ask what is it that I want to be known for when attracting new business and retaining old business. It is great to have a diverse product offering but make sure you are too diverse. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: The View Only Changes For The Lead Dog!!!
Have you noticed that business is much like a dogsled as the scenery only changes for the lead dog? Think about it in business you have three choices you can lead, you can follow, or you can get out of the way. If you are truly going to be successful with your advertising campaigns and build your brand while increasing your revenue you must become the lead dog. How do you become the lead dog you may ask. The answer is simple by being ahead of the trends and setting your own trends, buy having unique selling propositions that attract your desired target audience, by being where your competitors aren’t. When you sit down to open your business in the morning you should have a way in place to drive sales and exceed revenue goals. You should know what is happening in the market place and find ways to attract people in the market to come and shop with you.
One of the biggest flaws that I have seen from entrepreneurs is that they do not lead they dictate and expect their employees to follow. This is not how you become the lead dog. The lead dog will work hard and show how the hard work pays off. The lead dog is given a plan and the trainer in this case the entrepreneur works the dog properly so as to utilize the skill set of the lead dog. One of the biggest mistakes I have witnessed from entrepreneurs that struggle is that they have a tendency to think they know everything forgetting that the day you think you know everything is the day you begin to lose everything. In many cases you may have an employee who knows what is selling and what is being demanded because they are in the store on a regular basis. A successful entrepreneur takes the input from the employee and begins to implement it thus become a lead dog in their respective industry. JC Penny once stated show me a janitor with vision and I will show you a VP of our company show me a VP with no vision and I will show you a janitor. The key to being a lead dog is to engage your employees, implement their concepts see if they work and the ones that work and the one that do not either scrap or find a way to improve them. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: The Power Of Goodwill!!!
In business there is a very intangible component that is hard to measure called goodwill. It is a simple act of making your customer happy or serving the community. It is hard to measure as some goodwill is done without fan fare and you never know the power of goodwill until it someone mentions that they heard about what you did for a charity or how you went out of your way for a customer. The power of goodwill is amazing and can lead to increased brand awareness and revenue. In sacrificing a profit today by doing goodwill you will increase future profits.
The other day I had a customer come into Sinbad Sports located at 2164 S. University Drive in The Tower Shops next to Best Buy in Davie, FL and they asked about The Nike Vapor Knit Gloves as their son needed gloves to match his school uniform. I told them they are normally $100 but I could sell them to them for $75. They came back the next day and bought the gloves. The following day one of the players teammates came to the store and bought a pair. I gave him the same deal. Now word is getting around and I anticipate selling The Seahawks gloves out. In giving a little I was able to move a product that had been stagnant. It is in extended goodwill and extending excellent customer service that you drive sales. Remember people will forget what you said or did but they will remember how you made them feel. In extending goodwill to all you create customers who will share their positive experience and thus you will exceed your revenue goals.
Recently Sinbad Sports hosted Reshad Jones, Safety of The Miami Dolphins. As a result we had a few footballs to give away. One was presented to the winner of a contest we sponsored on WQAM and another was given to The Divas For The Cure of The American Cancer Society Relay For Life of Pembroke Pines to use in a fundraiser. As a result of this goodwill we received some publicity that drove people to come to the store to shop. In doing goodwill the word gets a round and people begin to support your business. Read More→
Advertisement Ideas: Spending Your Money Wisely!!!
On of the things I have noticed from entrepreneurs while working in The Sports Apparel and Memorabilia Industry is how ineffectively they tend to spend money. I have seen this happen in many businesses as the entrepreneur will buy items that he or she likes thinking they will sell and they do not leaving them with what I call dead merchandise. I witnessed one entrepreneur buy a Dolphins Pool Table and then tell employees he didn’t have funds for items that customers were requesting. I thought wow here you have a pool table that is going to be hard to sell when you could have bought items that were being sought after and turned then into cash flow quickly and turned a profit that would have been frequent and consistent. I witnessed one entrepreneur who refused to put up a website with his memorabilia and then stopped paying rent and as a result was forced to dissolve his business and settle with the landlord and then change names and relocate. This same owner still doesn’t have a website and guess what isn’t making the sales as he should be. I have always said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Read More→