Mistakes That Drive Off Good Employees

Nov. 9, 2015, 12:56 p.m.

A savvy business owner knows there are few things more costly and disruptive than good employees quitting unexpectedly. The turnover problem is typically blamed on a range of imagined problems that ignore the real issue: management.

The unfortunate truth is that mistreatment by management is one of the most common causes of people leaving their jobs. Fortunately, though, this is easily avoided. It just requires a bit of effort from managers.

We'll take a look at some of the worst things managers do to drive away good employees.

Overworking People

The quickest way to burn out a good employee is overworking them. It seems only natural to work your best people harder, and plenty of managers fall into this trap. The problem is, it makes them feel like they're being punished for performing well.

According to new research from Stanford, overworking employees is counterproductive. Productivity drops sharply when the workweek ...

Finding The Perfect Retail Location

Nov. 2, 2015, 1:59 p.m.

Anyone thinking about opening a retail store has invariably heard the age old real estate mantra "location, location, location."

And for good reason. It's true that the location of your retail store is one of the most important factors governing success or failure. After all, a great product and great customer service won't mean anything if your store is so out of the way that no one even sees it.

Study Demographics

So where do you begin? There are a number of factors to consider, but we'll start with demographics. Who are your target customers? Is your appeal strongly mainstream, or are you going more of a specialty route?

The broader your target market, the more competition you'll face. Meaning, you'll have to be located right alongside your competitors. As a specialty store, you can concern yourself more with locating closer to your target customers and less with competitive position.

...

Gearing Up For Black Friday

Oct. 26, 2015, 12:56 p.m.

The holiday season is fast approaching! Black Friday and Cyber Monday once again promise to be the busiest shopping days of the year. This is an exciting time for consumers, and naturally, it should be an exciting time for retailers.

Are you doing everything you can to maximize your sales on these key shopping days? Here are a few tips to consider as you begin preparing for the holiday sales season.

Start Making Seasonal Hires

Don't wait until the last minute to start looking to expand your workforce. The best seasonal employees are always snatched up quickly. Not only that, but if your seasonal help is brought in too late, they won't have enough time to learn about your products, policies, and technology. If you have employees learning to use a cash register just days before a major sale, customers will not be happy.

Be Smart About Employee Training

Employee ...

Why Walmart Is Losing The Retail Crown

Oct. 19, 2015, 12:46 p.m.

Walmart In Trouble

This past Wednesday, Walmart Stores Inc. saw a plunge in stock price that wiped out $18 billion of the company's market value. This happened on the back of news from senior management that the company expected to suffer a 6% to 12% earnings drop in 2017.

As Walmart continues to lose market share, other retailers benefit. And not just the Targets and Costcos of the world, either; small independent retail stores are becoming an increasingly serious threat to Walmart.

What Happened?

There are many factors effecting Walmart's decline, but some are simply too big to ignore.

Slow Domestic Growth

The goal for any retailer is to build stores that grow their sales and expand their footprint. To measure a retailer's success, we look at both the overall growth rate and the same-store sales growth.

Walmart's overall U.S. sales have not been growing as fast as overall U.S. ...

The Full Cost Of Franchising

Oct. 12, 2015, 5:11 p.m.

For anyone thinking about starting a business, the idea of franchising can appear to be a strong option.

But how much does it actually cost to get a franchise up and running?

Before signing an agreement, it's crucial for anyone investing in a franchise to understand the entire cost of that franchise, both before and after opening.

To begin with, nearly all franchises will require significant financial reserves held by the franchisee. Most franchisors typically look at an individual's available liquid assets as well as their total net worth.

For example, Burger King franchises are available if you meet the requirements of $500,000 in liquid assets and $1.5 million in net worth.

Some franchisees don't realize the extent of the costs that will be incurred prior to opening a franchise. At a minimum, there are attorney's fees to review your contract with the franchisor, and accountant's fees to work the ...

Consumers Still Prefer to Shop Local

Oct. 5, 2015, 9:46 a.m.

Despite all the perks and value behemoth online retailers like Amazon can give to customers, local businesses are still a preferred shopping destination. A slew of recent surveys show that consumers are spending locally and plan to for a long time.

Customer Service is King

Most local businesses can’t hope to compete with the prices at big box retailers or online stores, but customers are willing to pay a bit more if they feel that a local business can serve other needs. In one survey, 96 percent of consumers felt that local retailers were better at personalizing their services. They also believe that customer service in general is better with local stores, and that they are more likely to be treated fairly.

It’s Your Community

Good customer service isn’t the only reason consumers flock to local establishments. Over 70 percent of survey respondents felt that it was important to buy ...

Effective Strategies For Keeping Quality Employees

Sept. 28, 2015, 10:43 a.m.

Do you have great employees? Hiring competent, capable people whom you can trust is essential to your success as a small business owner. But what about after the hire? Are you doing enough to make sure your valuable employees are committed to your business?

It may be tempting to think that with a down economy and a difficult job market, anyone who lands a job will be happy just to keep it. Unfortunately, this isn't truly the case.

In a recent survey of 1,000 full-time employees between the ages of 22 and 35, conducted by RecruitiFi, 86% of respondents expressed no concern over leaving a job to better pursue their professional or personal interests.

So what can you do? What types of strategies are successfully earning employee commitments beyond a year or two? Fortunately, there is data to help you make decisions.

LinkedIn ...

Improve Your Customer Service for the Holidays

Sept. 21, 2015, 12:30 p.m.

There are less than 100 shopping days left until Christmas. Are you ready? Here at Discount Retail Store Services, we stress that the holiday months are absolutely vital to the health of your business. It’s when a majority of sales occur, but it’s also when you get a chance to impress the most customers and convert them to regular patrons.

Starting with Halloween, marching through Black Friday and all the way up to Christmas Eve, the holiday season is when brick and mortar stores see a ton of foot traffic. So how do you make a good impression that brings them back year round?

Bolster your Staff

When customers have questions, they want a knowledgeable answer, and they want it fast. If no one is there to help them, expect a lot of rolled eyes and lost sales. If you’ve been in business for a few years, looking at ...

Using Coupons Effectively For Your Small Business

Sept. 14, 2015, 10:14 a.m.

Most shoppers are always on the lookout to save a dollar. As a small business owner of a retail store, one of the most effective ways to engage with value-oriented customers is by issuing coupons.

For their ability to bring in business, coupons have achieved wide reaching popularity among marketers. This popularity, in turn, comes from consumers’ broad acceptance of coupons. Advertising Age reports that 87% of all shoppers use coupons, while A.C. Nielson Co. has determined that 95% of consumers like coupons, and 60% actively seek them out.

So, how can a small business use coupons to drive higher profit? There are many ideas to start with.

Using coupons is a great way to get customers through the door in the first place.

A good coupon can bring customers in from further away, effectively expanding your market area. Given a valuable coupon, customers who have frequented your competitors can ...

Red Scare 2015: What Recent Market Volatility Means For Your Bottom Line

Sept. 8, 2015, 11:12 a.m.

You may have heard the news; the sky is falling! China has started an international currency war and the global economy is doomed for the foreseeable future. Mass hysteria!

Not so fast. While it has been difficult ride for investors unable to stomach mounting losses in their portfolios, as of September 1st, 2015, worldwide GDP is still forecasted to grow by 2.6% in 2016(Moody’s). This tells us anyone predicting an economic calamity of 2008 proportions, where global GDP actually decreased by 0.7% in 2009, should be met with a bit of skepticism. Sensationalism sells, but it doesn’t inform.

So, what is going on with the Chinese economy?

The Chinese currency (CNY or Yuan), is normally valued at a fixed amount set by the country’s central bank. However, on August 11th, 2015, The People’s Bank of China announced measures that would ostensibly allow for the free market to influence their currency ...

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