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Small Businesses Can Sell the Black Friday Way

black_fridayHere we are … it’s Black Friday – the day when, historically, retailers get into the black. So they’re hoping that people shop, shop, shop.

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marylynnBlack Friday has almost become a sporting event. I just don’t enjoy shopping that much so it’s not for me. But plenty of people sure do enjoy trying to find that irresistible bargain.

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georgeI don’t like standing in line for anything but I especially don’t like doing it to spend money! Crowds are great – at a concert or a ball game!

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In honor of Black Friday, we want to talk about merchandising in your business. We’ll discuss four lessons you can learn from retailers about selling your wares.

Price check in Lane 123
If you’re a true retailer – you buy goods at wholesale and resell them – it’s easy to determine your cost.

If you’re a service business, it’s more difficult. But you have to know how much anything you sell costs or you risk charging too little. A lot of small business owners fail for this very reason. 

Attention K-Mart Shoppers. There’s a blue light special on …
K-Mart had scrapped this program. They brought it back earlier this year.

Surprise your good customers with a special deal now and then. We heard about a car dealer who would occasionally pick a customer whose car was getting serviced and give them their service that day for free. It created tremendous goodwill.

It would be a customer who had bought the car from him and did all their service with him. In other words, a customer on whom he made a lot of money. Occasionally giving them free service was just a small rebate.

But it paid dividends to the car dealer as well – he got a lot of word of mouth advertising.

Manager on duty to the front of the store please
The front of the store makes us think about the psychology of buyers. Have you ever noticed how most grocery stores have a fairly similar layout?

Research shows that most people walk into a store and turn to the right. So what do you want to put in the front of the store on the right side?

High margin items, of course!

In a grocery store, you notice the milk and eggs are usually in the back – nowhere near the bread. They want you to walk through the whole store so you see more things you might buy on impulse.

Every business has customers who behave in similar ways. Get to understand how you can naturally show your customers more of your products and services.

Clean up in aisle 5
Just about every business that handles inventory ends up with some slow moving items. You need to clean them out so you can get new inventory in that will turn faster so you make more money.

The mistake some small business owners make is being afraid to discount an item – especially for lower than cost. But the sooner you get an item that isn’t selling off your shelf, the better.

Another version of this is displaying a discounted item with a full-priced item. Think about it …

How many times do you see a skirt that’s on sale displayed with a full-priced top?

You like the combination so you buy it. You may be able to do the same type of thing in your business.

Retailers have become pretty sophisticated at discounting items to draw people to their store. They know the law of averages means these people will buy a lot more than just the sale items. Find the lures to bring in your customers and you’ll be a bigg success!

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Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time when we’ll look at the only three ways to get more done. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

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A Lesson on Crowds from Glee

tutors on tvWe did another installment of Tutors on TV on the show today. Here’s a summary of the conversation:

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We caught a recent episode of Glee. The phenomenal Jane Lynch plays the hard-nosed, track-suit wearing cheerleader coach Sue Sylvester. Sue also does a segment on leadership and problem solving for a local television station. A quote from that show caught our attention. She said:

"There's not much of a difference between a stadium full of cheering fans and an angry crowd screaming abuse at you. They're both just making a lot of noise. How you take it is up to you. Convince yourself they're cheering for you. You do that, and some day, they will."

Isn’t that a profound way to looking at the crowd? It made us think of our definition of bigg success – life on your own terms.

The crowd could be your friends, your family or your co-workers. It may be people you just met.

There’s a lot of noise out there and sometimes it drowns out the voice that you need to listen to the most – your own!

You'll have those in the crowd that cheer. And those in the crowd that discourage.

You'll have people in the crowd that cheer while they talk with you. Then they jeer when talking about you with someone else behind your back.

You’ll have some individuals in the crowd who will literally call you out. Why are you doing it that way? Why are you doing it at all? Why do you do it differently than everyone else?

You'll also have your own cheerleaders. They lift you up during introductions at networking events. They point to your expertise on social media sites and recommend you to friends and colleagues.

Your crowd will also consist of your competition. They think they can do it better than you. They aren't better than you but they may market better than you.

And there will be those in the crowd who are just plain lazy. They will lie about you in an attempt to beat you.

You can't please everyone so crowd control is very important to help you keep pushing towards the goals you have set for yourself. Here are five tips to control your crowd:

Turn your back on the crowd

Sometimes you just have to turn away and tune them out to stay true to yourself.

Work the crowd
State your goals plainly so they can cheer you on. Make sure they know when you have achieved one of your goals.

Beware of the roar of the crowd
Be careful that you don't become addicted to their praise. Remember you are doing this for you. If you rely on their cheers, you may fall off your path.

Run with the right crowd
Surround yourself with people who are passionate about achieving their goals. We call these people bigg goal-getters.

Stand out in the crowd
Don't be afraid to be different. Show the crowd that it can be done, your way. After all it’s your life on your terms. That's bigg success!

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Would you like more tips and tools to live your life on your own terms?
Subscribe to the Bigg Success Weekly – it’s FREE!

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Thanks so much for checking in with us today. Please join us next time when we offer up some tips on cutting overhead. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Subscribe to The Bigg Success Show in iTunes. 

Subscribe to the Bigg Success feed.

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00491-092909.mp3

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Mania in the Market and Rising Above the Crowd

buy_sell If you listen to our leaders, be they in business or government, it seems there’s a competition to frame our financial situation in the direst terms. Our media hypes the times so that we stay tuned in. We hear terms like meltdown, nose-dive, crash, collapse, and Great Depression.

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We found a great white paper by Marvin Bolt of Alpha Plus Advisors [PDF]. It’s well worth your time to read the full paper to understand historical mutual fund flows and market performance.

Specifically, he looks specifically at what individual investors did with their money during four recent periods:

Stock market crash

In the first quarter of 1987, individual investors placed a then-record amount into the market as stock prices rose. Of course, in October of that year, the stock market crashed. Individual investors responded by withdrawing record amounts of money as the market hit a low we haven’t seen since.

Gulf War & recession

In the second quarter of 1990, there was a huge inflow of funds as the market hit its high for the period. By the third quarter, investors were pulling money out just as the market hit another low point.

Dot.com bubble and 9/11

At the height of the dot.com bubble, investors poured a new record amount of money into the market in the first quarter of 2000. The S&P 500 hit a high in that same quarter. Things soon changed as the market began falling, reaching a low in the third quarter of 2002, just when individual investors were withdrawing record amounts of money.

Housing bubble & mortgage crisis
The market hit its high in 2007 as investors poured money in again amidst the euphoria. While all the data is not yet in, it appears that in October of this year, a new record amount of money was pulled out of the stock market.

Rising above the crowd
We want to buy low and sell high. History shows that the crowds tend to do the opposite – they buy high and sell low. They invest heavily during the bubble and get out during what we’ll call the crater.

Think about what’s happening right now. Stock prices have been falling. But for every seller, there has to be a buyer! Who’s buying and who’s selling? Morningstar has a great video that’s well worth your time to gain the proper perspective on this crucial point.

To rise above the crowd, you can’t think like the crowd. You have to do the opposite.

So take a deep breath. If you don’t need the money for five to seven years, the odds are heavily in your favor. If you need the money sooner than that, stocks probably aren’t the best investment for that money. Because we’ve relearned just how risky stocks can be in the short-run.

Educate yourself to maintain the proper perspective.
We can’t count on our media or our leaders to do this for us. Knight Kiplinger wrote a fantastic piece explaining all of the differences between today’s situation and the Great Depression. We highly recommend that you read this article to see why he thinks we’re not ready to jump over the cliff.

Market timing is a risky game. Since the crowd tends to get it wrong, perhaps the best way to get it right is to keep investing through the whole cycle. You’ll buy fewer shares when the market is up. You’ll get some great deals when the market is down like it is now. Over time, you’ll end up with a decent return.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Join us next time as we discuss overcoming guilt about how you choose to spend your time. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00271-112408.mp3

 

(Image by svilen001)