Start & Run a Retail Business


Thirty-five years ago, opening and operating a retail business was a fairly straightforward process. But things have changed dramatically.
Owner-operated retailers now face competition from category killers,
multinational big-box retailers, and even "stores" that exist only on the Internet. Recognizing just how much the retail business has changed, authors Jim Dion and Ted Topping offer a different kind of how-to book, painting a clear ...
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Thirty-five years ago, opening and operating a retail business was a fairly straightforward process. But things have changed dramatically.
Owner-operated retailers now face competition from category killers,
multinational big-box retailers, and even "stores" that exist only on the Internet. Recognizing just how much the retail business has changed, authors Jim Dion and Ted Topping offer a different kind of how-to book, painting a clear picture of how an owner-operated retail business can thrive in today’s competitive marketplace. They even help you take the first concrete steps toward your dream–a bonus that has made this title a consistent seller. Start and Run a Retail Business is as much a valuable guide for owner-operated retailers working now as it is for people just starting out. With a practical and real world approach, the authors describe in detail the major aspects of running a profitable retail business. By examining retail from a customer's perspective—and focusing on the in-store experience—this book will help you meet the challenges of today?s retail world head on. Topics covered include: the basics of retail; merchandising; buying; human resources; sales management; technology; customer service and the in-store experience
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781551808178
  • Publisher: Self-Counsel Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/15/2008
  • Series: Start and Run A Series
  • Edition description: 3rd Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 769,128
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 9.86 (h) x 0.48 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Dion, PHD, has been involved in all levels of retail - as a buyer, brand manager, and department store executive VP. He is also a popular retail workshop leader throughout North America.Ted Topping, MBA, has worked as a retailer on both a local and national level. Currently a consultant, he has led highly successful workshops across North America.

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Table of Contents

Learning to Be a Generalist xvii
How to Use This Book xviii
Understanding the Six Rights of Retail 2
Your Profit and Loss Statement 2
Preparing a pro forma profit and loss statement 8
Adding Value to the Products You Sell by Adopting a Best-Service Strategy 10
Developing a Strategic Framework 13
Developing your secret weapon 14
Developing a Clear Vision of Your Business 16
Identifying and Studying Your Three Most Important Direct Competitors 19
Conveying Your Strategic Message Through Your Store Location 24
Conveying Your Strategic Message Through Your Store Design and Layout 26
Conveying Your Strategic Message Through Your Advertising 29
Your Advertising Plan 32
Grouping Merchandise into Departments and Classifications 38
Learning from Your Customers What They Want to Buy from You 39
v vi Start & run a retail business
Using the Retail Method of Accounting 43
Monitoring Your Business Using a Monthly Maintained Margin Report 44
Controlling Your Business with Four Key Operating Ratios 51
Turnover 51
Stock-to-sales ratio 53
Gross margin return on inventory investment (GMROII) 54
Sales per square foot 55
Using Markdowns Effectively 56
Using promotional markdowns to stimulate your sales 57
Using regular markdowns to adjust your inventory to market value 58
Increasing Your Credibility by Using Seasonal Markdowns 61
Seeing Your Products Through Your Customers’ Eyes 66
Building Win-Win Relationships with Suppliers 66
Buying Terms Are Often More Important Than Price 69
Following Eight Proven Buying Guidelines 72
Implementing a Price-Point Discipline 73
Establishing a Credit History with Each Supplier 75
Striving to Reach “Sell and Buy” by Choosing Payment Terms 77
Calculating an “Open to Buy” for Every Classification, Every Month 78
Forecasting and Creating Six-Month Merchandise Plans 80
Buying with a “Just in Time” Philosophy 85
Demonstrating That People Are Your Most Important Asset 90
Developing a Written Job Description 92
Determining duties by priority 93
Identifying relevant characteristics and qualifications 97
Sales-per-hour and average transaction objectives 99
Creating Win-Win Employment Relationships Through Employee Benefits 101
Paying Your Sales Associates 103
Following Established Guidelines for Effective Interviewing 105
Five-step interviewing 107
Evaluating the candidates 111
Contents vii
Budgeting Wages and Benefits as a Percentage of Sales 118
Bringing Productivity to Your Store with Four Key Ratios 121
Selling cost 121
Conversion rate 123
Average transaction 125
Items per transaction 127
Using the Apprenticeship Method of Staff Training for All New Employees 129
Providing Guidance and Additional Training 130
Following Six Steps to Become an Effective Coach 133
Using Praise 135
Adjusting Training Methods 136
Matching Goals and Incentives to Your Sales Associates’ Needs 138
Embracing the Relevant Trends in Retail and Internet Technology 144
Using a computer and retail software as a cash register 144
Automatic replenishment 145
Multimedia 145
Executive information systems 146
UPC and EDI technology 146
The Internet 148
Budgeting for Technology 151
Selecting the Right Integrated POS/Merchandising/CRM Package 154
Understanding the Many Things Your Integrated Package Should Do 155
Using Technology Wisely to Run a Profitable Business 158
Keeping Your Inventory, Sales, Profit, and Space in the Correct Balance 160
Making an Informed Decision About POS Software Suppliers 161
Questions for potential POS software suppliers 162
POS questions for retailers 165
Knowing Your Customers 170
Competing with Vending-Machine Retailers by Adding Significant Value 173
viii Start & run a retail business
Creating Top-of-Mind Customer Awareness 175
Providing Extra-Mile Service 177
Giving Customers What They Want 179
Identifying extra-mile service opportunities 181
Offering a Make-It-Right Refund Policy 183
Implementing Relationship Marketing and One-to-One Communication 186
Identifying Your Best Customers and Creating a VIP Club 189
Stepping to the Other Side of the Counter 196
Keeping Up to Date in All Areas 198
Acting Like a Premium Brand That Customers Will Choose 200
Presenting Merchandise Like a Theater Company Would 202
Creating an Optimal Retail Environment 204
Focus customers’ attention 204
Eliminate all distractions 206
Establish a feeling with music 209
Have professional sales associates play their roles 211
Differentiate onstage and offstage areas 214
Contents ix
1 Supplier Checklist 76
2 Job Interview Evaluation Checklist 112
3 Preferred-Customer Database Fields 191
1 Added-Value Strategies 11
2 Store Location Considerations 24
3 Advertising Options 30
4 Classifying Your Merchandise 41
5 How to Structure an Interview 110
1 Profit and Loss Statement 4
2 Three Profit and Loss Scenarios 6
3 Comparing the Value of Locations 26
4 Advertising Plan 33
5 Monthly Maintained Margin Report 45
6 Six-Month Merchandise Plan 82
7 Job Description of a Sales Associate 94
8 Weekly Payroll Budget 120
1 Developing a Clear Vision 17
2 Analyzing Your Competitors 21
3 Customer Experience Scorecard 176
4 Evaluating Extra-Mile Service 182
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