Customers First!

Dec. 9, 2016, 8:16 a.m.

Did you hear that customer’s complaint?

Are you hearing the message that can help you improve?

While every company wants to improve, typically the measurement is sales and profits. Often the opportunity rests in the improvement of service levels and simply is a question of what can be improved and where to start. The fact is that your customers are probably telling you every day, but employees may not be listening for key phrases that give some tips. You may even have employees that have picked up on the signals and just haven’t communicated them so that your team can improve. Changing an experience in customer engagement from “Are you finding everything alright?” to “Are there any items you were looking for today that we didn’t have?” can show your customers that you are listening to them.

Often, a Big Box response to the question if you can order something ...


Dec. 8, 2016, 7:12 a.m.

Dollar Store Services, North America’s largest developer of independent dollar stores, is working with its store owners nationwide to mount a massive toy drive for those less fortunate members of their communities this holiday season. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s spokesperson Ellen Thrasher, “A small business is part of the heartbeat of the larger community.”

Dollar stores across the country are partnering with local charities in this effort. Customers at the checkouts at every store will be encouraged to purchase a toy for donation to a specific local charity as they complete their purchases. Through this effort, stores will be supporting their individual communities; everyone agrees that “Charity begins at home”. According to the 3/50 Project, a Minneapolis-based small business advocacy organization, "for every $100 spent at local independent stores, $68 returns to the community.” This is much higher than the average $43 remaining in the community for ...

Small Business Saturday!

Dec. 7, 2016, 8:36 a.m.

Every year since 2010, American Express and communities around the country have promoted SHOP SMALL on small business Saturday, the day after “Black Friday” which is the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season. Participation in, and recognition of this event has grown nationally every year since its inception.

Recently, Dollar Store Services, a nationwide dollar store developer with over 3,000 stores nationwide, encouraged all of their store owners to promote this annual event, and reach out to the local communities to support locally owned small businesses.

Small businesses, such as Dollar Stores, represent 54% of all US sales, and provide 55% of all jobs, and have since the 70’s. Moreover, over 60% of revenue from local businesses remains in their communities. This is much greater than the typical 43% for chain stores. Independent store owners understand how vital their businesses are to their communities; Small Business Saturday is a ...

Black Friday Sales in Dollar Stores

Dec. 6, 2016, 7:43 a.m.

Black Friday has certainly lost some of its luster. This year it may even lose its title as the biggest shopping day of the year.

But one type of retailer is predicted to thrive this Thanksgiving week: dollar stores!

According to data from location tracking company Foursquare, discount stores, such as dollar stores, are gaining in foot traffic this year as Black Friday approaches. While most retailers are expecting a slump in foot traffic, Foursquare predicts that the number of visits to dollar stores this year will exceed the last two years.

Typically, discount stores don't experience the Black Friday boost that retailers like Macy's and Walmart rely on to increase sales, according to Foursquare. Dollar stores and other similarly deeply-discounted retailers usually gain momentum later in the holiday season.

But this year, dollar stores are predicted to pull off a Black Friday ...


Nov. 14, 2016, 1:35 p.m.

Central to President-Elect Trump’s plans for jump-starting the economy hold huge benefits for small business, both existing and start-ups. 

Reducing burdensome regulations (Trump’s Contract with the American Voter promises that for each new Federal regulation proposed, two must be eliminated), a more favorable tax plan that will foster growth and re-investment, and the potential streamlining of Obamacare will all provide small businesses with increased profit potential. 

“…More people are going to enter small business, more profits are going to be made.  This is exciting,” said, Jon Taffer, host of  “Bar Rescue”, told  Stuart Varney on FOX Business Network today.

The message is clear.  The path to independent business ownership is becoming more inviting; now is the time to invest in your personal and your nation’s future.


Written / Released by by John LaFronz, General Manager, Dollar Store Services



Nov. 14, 2016, 1:02 p.m.

Did small business owners successfully predict a Trump victory ?  Recent history says YES !  A (Manta) poll of small business owners taken after the first debate showed 58.7% believed Trump won the first debate.  Why ?, because they felt that Trump was sensitive to “Main Street” issues, had the most favorable tax plan, and was most likely to reduce regulations that burden small business owners.

Small businesses, such as Dollar Stores, represent 54% of all US sales, and provide 55% of all jobs, and have since the 70’s.  Trump clearly recognizes this, and his plans for re-vitalizing the economy involve de-regulation and freeing up funds for small business start-ups.

As our country begins to climb out of the slowest economic recovery in recent history, the time is ripe for small business start-ups; independent Dollar Stores are a key component of this group.  These businesses establish themselves quickly, can thrive ...

The Importance of Having a Great Location for your Business

Nov. 4, 2016, 10:07 a.m.

In the Real Estate world, it has long been the mantra that the three most important factors in Acquiring, Buying, and Selling real estate are 1) Location, 2) Location, and 3) surprise, Location!!! Location has “value” that cannot be upgraded by property improvements; it is inherent in the physical environment, and circumstances, of the subject property. Whether the business, property has “extra” value derived from its location in terms of ease of access, adjacent “anchor stores”, ample parking, thriving economic community, or any of a myriad of features that are important to you (or the real estate market) it is a fact of life – it is real, and can be quantified! So, when looking for a property to establish your business, there are many factors to be evaluated, and (sadly, but realistically) often compromises to be made.


Given your personal parameters of features, location, and price; the optimum ...


April 30, 2016, 8:06 p.m.

To achieve the level of success that you've been planning for, it's essential to raise awareness for your business and promote it. This task is now easier than it's ever been, thanks to social media.

With around 80% of Americans actively participating on social media, sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become the ideal venue for entrepreneurs to engage with existing and potential customers.

However, it's no longer enough for your business to simply be present on social media. The major platforms have recently implemented changes in how they display content. Those changes are sometimes detrimental to small businesses. That's why the owners of small businesses must now consider advertising on the social networks in addition to regular posting.

Algorithmic Feeds

When social media marketing was a new pursuit, entrepreneurs flocked to it because it was typically free. While that is still ...

Grow Your Business By Focusing On Employees

April 22, 2016, 10:24 p.m.

Your employees are key to your business' success. They're the contact point with your customers and as such, they define your brand and customer experience.

It can be a challenge for a small business owner to keep employees content and productive. Obviously you can't offer the same benefits that a giant company can, but by considering employee needs, you can make them feel like part of a team.

By keeping your employees happy, you'll see improvements in many aspects of your business. Here are some suggestions to get started.

Empower Your Employees

Giving your employees more responsibility is a great way to motivate them. By giving employees ample opportunities to use their skills, you help them feel more connected and committed to their work.

Offer Them Perks

You don't have to have the budget of a big corporation to offer financial ...

Tips for Small Businesses to Promote Online Content

April 10, 2016, 11:52 p.m.

Okay, so you've done keyword research, created a backlog of blog posts and set up a calendar so that all of your content will roll out on schedule.

But you're competing with countless posts every day. How do you get the first visitors to check you out? How does your content earn the attention it deserves?

Friends and Family

Start by asking friends and family to spread your message.

You can only do this so many times, so only ask for help specifically with big events. The initial launch of your site would be a good time, as well as when you're promoting content that has a wider potential interest base than your key demographic.

Help your close people be confident in sharing your content by educating them in the ways you help the customer. When they can make informed remarks ...

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