Today’s Retail Fundamental is: You need Retail Math knowledge to run your business profitably.

Retail organizations – in fact, any type of organization – must have figured out this equation early on….

Sales – Expenses = Profits

Or have they?

Plenty of businesses go ‘Out of Business’. Maybe they didn’t have it figured out.
While that is surprising, to say the least, it’s not that far-fetched when you think about it. Not everyone is a numbers person. Sometimes enthusiasm for a great idea overshadows the reality.

Suffice to say that any business person needs to understand how to figure out how they are doing in terms of dollars and cents. The end result will always be the same if no one is paying attention to the numbers – failure.

Even a company that is selling their products like hotcakes can’t rest on the fact that they have a product that everyone wants. Perhaps the hotcakes cost more to make than they are selling for. Perhaps there are way too many people working in the hotcake store and all of the profit is being spent on wages.

It only makes sense that we have to know these things, right? There are sayings that come to mind here: “Look after the cents and the dollars will take care of themselves.” And, “A fool and his money are soon parted.”

If your store is part of a chain, chances are pretty good that your Head Office personnel are watching the financial picture pretty closely.

But that would be the big picture.

As a Store/District/Region Manager you still need to measure, monitor and follow up on all KPI’s determined to be relevant for your store(s).

So, let’s say you track and review all of your KPI’s regularly. What do you do with what you learn? Do you sit down with each staff member and talk about your findings?And during those sessions, do you hold the employee accountable and discuss ways to achieve more?

If you answered yes to these questions you are ahead of a lot of other Store/District/Region Managers out there.
If you answered no, you would benefit from some training on retail math, metrics and KPI’s. And if you do talk to your employees about KPI’s but come up short when it comes to how to improve any metric, then you should seek help for that.

To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your complimentary copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click: www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon Skaliotis direct on (+61) 0425 83 3344  or email: leon@retailfundamentals.com.au

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Challenges

August 27, 2012

To really help people in extraordinary ways, learn to deal in challenges. That is what sports is all about: challenges. That is what music is all about. The challenge to play so well, someone is inspired. The challenge to say it so well, someone gets it. The challenge to be so gifted in language that someone sees it. Insight is unbelievable; only human beings can do this.

The man closes his eyes and puts his hands over his eyes and says, “I see it.” You say, “No, you don’t; you’ve got your eyes closed.” No. There is more than one way to see. And all someone has to do is to see an answer that they can start on immediately, and within six months, their life could start to multiply and change. Within one year, the difference will be extraordinary, and a person who was lost now becomes a person of influence—just because someone helped them to see for the moment what was wrong and the possibility to change it. And then the challenge to go do it and do it well.

 Now, here is the best challenge of all: “Let’s go do it.” Don’t always say, “You go do it. You change.” But rather, “Let’s get healthy. Let’s go change the world. Let’s build an enterprise. Let’s work on this together.” See, I always respond better to “let’s.” Sometimes it is hard to lift yourself out. It’s hard to be self-inspired at first. And if someone says, “Come on, let’s start a new program.” “Come on, let’s do exercises.” “Come on, let’s get healthy.” “Come on, let’s start something. I’ll be there, you be there, and you bring a guest and I’ll bring a guest—let’s start something.” That is so inspiring to have somebody say “let’s.” “Let’s do it.” “Let’s build a team.” “Let’s win the championship.” “Let’s walk off with the trophy.”

“Let’s.” Wow, there is something about that that can keep you awake at nights. There is something about that that turns on the juices. There is something about that that reaches deep in the soul. For a person could do extraordinary things when somebody says “Let’s.” “Let’s do it.” “I’ve got two with me already; if you’ll be the next one, we can conquer the world.” You say, “Whoa, together nobody is a match for us.” By yourself, you’re vulnerable; but with us, nobody is a match. You say, “Wow! I want to belong to that team.” So figure out ways to say “Let’s.”

To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your complimentary copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click: www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon Skaliotis direct on (+61) 0425 83 3344  or email: leon@retailfundamentals.com.au

The key is to manage time better by identifying what your most important priorities are, and then completing them in the most effective way. Here’s what to do:

 Lesson 1: Prioritise

Instead of just listing what needs to be done, rank tasks from most to least important, and complete them in that order. Create extra mental space by putting some activities on hold temporarily – allowing you to focus on the most important priorities.

Lesson 2: Be ruthless with email

Use a private email address for clients and customers. Get everything else sent to a generic or alternate email address. That way you can deal with your client issues first, and the rest when you have time. Only reply to your emails at set times during the day, rather than respond the instant every email comes in. And turn off that audio email alert!

Lesson 3: Restrict your use of the telephone to particular times

Work more effectively by restricting calls to set periods during the day – for example – one period in the morning to make all your calls and another in the afternoon to return calls and do follow-up.

Lesson 4: If you don’t have time for something, just say so

There is no need to listen politely if you’ve already decided the conversation is not of interest. Simply say – “I am sorry to interrupt you, but I don’t have time for this right now.” There’s no point wasting time you don’t have.

Lesson 5: Limit your availability

Unexpected and unplanned interruptions and distractions can “steal” your day. Schedule time when you can’t be interrupted, and don’t answer your email or telephones. Just do whatever it is you’ve got to do – no interruptions.

Lesson 6: Protect your productive time

We all know when our most productive times are. Make sure you are uninterrupted at that time, and use it for the activities that need your brain the most.

Lesson 7: Plan your day the night before

Spend 5 minutes at the end of the day preparing for the next day. Do whatever works for you – make lists of activities, check your calendar or enter tasks into your electronic task list. In the morning, you’ll be ready to go.

Lesson 8: Don’t get buried by paper

When possible, try to “touch” each piece of paper only once. As the saying goes: “Do it, ditch it, or delegate it!”

Lesson 9: Group your appointments

If you have several appointments or errands, try to group them all in the same day so that all of your external travel and time is scheduled for one or two days in the week.

Lesson 10: Confirm your appointments

Never assume that your 1 o’clock is on! A simple phone call or e-mail message saves time, energy and anxiety.

Time is not scarce – it’s uniform and constant- but success depends on your ability to manage it.

To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your complimentary copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click: www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon Skaliotis direct on (+61) 0425 83 3344  or email: leon@retailfundamentals.com.au

 

 

“I know it’s important, but I’m too busy to measure my business results.” Sound familiar? Then it’s time to change!

Sadly, you don’t have to look far to see the nasty consequences of being too busy to measure your business results: vague and fluffy goals, projects not being completed, never finding time for holidays or mini-breaks and money spent on things that don’t make a difference.

Well-designed measures make priorities clear, give specific and definite direction to activity and provide feedback so you can avoid wasting time and money. Measuring your business results is even more important when things are busy and chaotic.

Naturally, though, you don’t want to spend hours and hours assessing. The trick is to make just enough space for some meaningful measuring that will help you take the control back. Want some expert help? Click here

The first strategy for finding time to measure your business results is to reduce the rest of your workload. What is the one thing you are doing now that is less important than getting more control over your workload and your business performance?

  • Is it a project that you’ve lost passion for, that just isn’t getting the results you need or that you feel compelled to finish just because you started it?
  • Are you still doing administrative work that you can easily delegate to an assistant, like typing and formatting documents, internet research, managing emails and organising meetings?
  • How many hours a day do you give to distractions like answering the phone every time it rings, checking your email every 15 minutes, starting new tasks that you didn’t even plan to do?
  • Are you driven by your priorities, or the priorities of other people? Which tasks are you doing that really are not the best use of your time and not adding value to your business?

Once you identify just one thing less important than tracking your business results, muster up your self-discipline and stop doing it.

Then, allocate the freed up time to measuring one important business result that really does matter. Perhaps it’s attracting new customers, or reducing expenses or increasing your training time. Not sure which one is more important? Click here

The second strategy for finding time to measure business results is to reduce the measurement workload itself: How can you save time in setting up your measure right now and start making it a natural part of your work?

  • What is the best time of week for you to focus on measuring your business results? Is it Monday morning, Friday afternoon or some other quieter time of the week?
  • Allocate just 30 minutes or one hour each week to fully give your attention to setting up and using your most important measure. Do your best to keep to that time.
  • What data can you already access or very easily collect to track your most important measure?
  • Are you collecting data from everyone or everything, where instead random samples could work well enough?
  • Do you really need to put all that effort into an electronic reporting dashboard when some Excel charts will do the job for now?

Build your momentum for measuring your business results and worry about perfection further down the track. Starting small and deliberately will lay a solid foundation to build more and better measures upon, as you get faster and more skilful at tracking the drivers of success for your business.

To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your complimentary copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click: www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon Skaliotis direct on (+61) 0425 83 3344  or email: leon@retailfundamentals.com.au

All of us are looking for success in our retail businesses. Apart from and beyond everything else, sustainable success requires consistency. What do we mean by that?

We mean being consistently great in all aspects of our retail business.

Short term successes are possible due to some lucky combination of factors. But, we can not rely on lucky combinations. They are too far in between.

What we need to do is to set the fundamentals of our business right so that we can repeat our successes consistently. It all starts when you click here.

This also has a profound impact on customer satisfaction. Your customers expect a certain level of performance from you on the basis of perception you created. By being consistent at your skill set and service levels, you at minimum, satisfy the expectations. And if you put a degree of constant improvement process in place, you have created a winning combination for your retail operation.

At minimum, some of the areas you must deliver on a consistent basis:

1. Sales Skills (Trained staff on professional retail sales skills)

2. Good to Great Products and/or Services

3. Quick response to all sorts of customer issues (Rapid response procedures in place)

4. Clean, tidy and efficient store environment (Great visual merchandising and maintenance)

5. Streamlined and customer friendly checkout process.

Pretty basic right? Yet, just wander around a shopping centre and see for yourself how many retailers are failing in consistent delivery of the basics. Companies who understood this simple philosophy went on to create retail empires…

Anyhow, once you graduate from the basics and ready to consistently deliver on a more sophisticated and profitable level, you may need some solid resources… there is always My Retail Success to give you all the hints, techniques, advice and the methods. It all starts  when you click here.

To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your complimentary copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click: www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon Skaliotis direct on (+61) 0425 83 3344  or email: leon@retailfundamentals.com.au

A good marketing plan can shape the way you connect to your existing customers and attract new ones. It can also help you determine the types of customers you should target, how to reach them and how to track the results so you learn what works to increase business. Follows these basic sales and marketing practices and develop a tactical marketing plan and sales process that works for your business.

 Step one: position your product or services

To start your plan, keep in mind the four “Ps” of marketing: product, price, promotion and place. Your goal is to put the right product or service in front of the right customers, at the right price and at the right time and place. A good way to get started is to answer some basic questions about your business to help you develop a solid foundation on which to build your marketing plan.

  • Who are you selling to?
  • What do those customers need?
  • What distinguishes your product or service from the competition?
  • Are there marketing tactics that work best for your business?

 

Step two: ask for input from trusted advisors

To ensure that you have a clear sense of your own business, it is a valuable practice to gather information from those around you. Set up meetings with trusted friends, staff, advisors and peers, and ask for their input on the following. Getting feedback on these aspects of your business can help you prepare your marketing strategy as well as create targeted materials.

  • Who is your business selling to?
  • What do your customers need?
  • What distinguishes your products or services from the competition?
  • When and how often should you employ marketing efforts?
  • Where should your company be one year from now?

 

Step three: ask for input from customers and prospective customers

To successfully market to customers, you need to learn how they react to your product, pricing, brand or service — anything related to your business. Ask several of your current and prospective customers what they think about your business, products and services, potential to sell to them, and competitors. You can ask them by e-mail, telephone or marketing postcards. Incentives, such as discounts or samples, can encourage feedback.

Step four: draft your plan

Now that you have feedback and an outline, you can draft your marketing plan. Start by summarizing your market position and goals, and define what you expect to accomplish in a specific time period. A typical marketing plan might be organized in the following way:

  • Market summary
  • Competitive landscape
  • Product comparison and positioning
  • Communication strategies
  • Launch strategies
  • Packaging and fulfillment
  • Success metrics
  • Marketing schedule

 

With a marketing plan in place, you have a structure you can use to help keep your business on track. Make sure you review your plan every six months to help you determine whether it is producing the results you need. You should also update your plan regularly to respond to changing market conditions.

To your abundant success,

 Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your complimentary copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click: www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon Skaliotis direct on (+61) 0425 83 3344  or email: leon@retailfundamentals.com.au

My friends, I hope that your week has been a good one.

Here are thirty three quotes  from some great minds which I hope will inspire and invigorate you for the week to come.

1. Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop. – Ovid

2. I seldom end up where I wanted to go, but almost always end up where I need to be. – Douglas Adams

3. Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people. –  Eleanor Roosevelt

4. God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. – Reinhold Niebuhr

5. When you are through changing, you are through. – Bruce Barton

6. A man always has two reasons for doing anything: a good reason and the real reason. – J. P. Morgan

7. Every man builds his world in his own image. He has the power to choose, but no power to escape the necessity of choice. – Ayn Rand

 8. Don’t find fault, find a remedy. – Henry Ford

9. Doing is a quantum leap from imagining. – Barbara Sher

10. You have to think anyway, so why not think big? – Donald Trump

11. You’re only as good as the people you hire. – Ray Kroc

12. Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment. – Jim Rohn

13. Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

14. A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. – John Barrymore

15. So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable. – Christopher Reeve

16. Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them? – Abraham Lincoln

17. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

18. The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it. – Henry David Thoreau

19. Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. – Ayn Rand

20. I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk. – Tony Robbins

21. A goal properly set is halfway reached. – Zig Ziglar

22. Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. – Helen Keller

23. Dreams pass into the reality of action. From the actions stems the dream again; and this interdependence produces the highest form of living. – Anais Nin

24. Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. – Joseph Campbell

25. A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. – Winston Churchill

26. Determine never to be idle. No person will have occasion to complain of the want of time who never loses any. It is wonderful how much may be done if we are always doing. – Thomas Jefferson

27. I will not take “but” for an answer. – Langston Hughes

28. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. – Ayn Rand

29. Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. – William James

30. Go big or go home. Because it’s true. What do you have to lose? – Eliza Dushku

31. I can, therefore I am. – Simone Weil

32. In motivating people, you’ve got to engage their minds and their hearts. I motivate people, I hope, by example – and perhaps by excitement, by having productive ideas to make others feel involved. – Rupert Murdoch

33. What you get by achieving your goals is to as important as what you become by achieving your goals. – Henry David Thoreau

To your abundant success,

Leon Skaliotis – Founder, Retail Fundamentals.

Leon is an accomplished retail specialist in Melbourne, Australia, who  successfully coaches Melbourne retail owners on how to create highly profitable businesses by attracting shoppers and converting them into loyal fans.

To receive your complimentary copy of “Retail Secrets Every Owner Should Know” click: www.retailfundamentals.com.au

You can contact Leon Skaliotis direct on (+61) 0425 83 3344  or email: leon@retailfundamentals.com.au