Category Archives: Retail

Top 7 Steps For Strengthening Sales and Profits In The Restaurant Industry….Actually Applies To Most Businesses:

Top 7 Steps For Strengthen Sales and Profit In The Restaurant Industry….Actually Applies To Most Businesses:

1. Know your customer!  People coming thought the door and buying should be acknowledged with an email or card and possibly more. How do you do this?  You need to have their contact information and specifically an email address and now ideally their cell phone number.

Here is an idea on how you do that: Buy them a drink or a dessert in exchange for their information.  Here is the key: when you identify a particularly important person, the owner comes to the table, welcomes them and offers to buy their dinner in exchange for the cell phone number so they can be alerted for a very special event. Now before you say this ticket could be $200 or more I ask you how worth it is to have the cell phone number for key text messages with VIP’s and I mean people whose net worth is in 8 figures. This is huge

2. Have a plan. Your financial plan should be an annual target that can then be detailed to a weekly plan.

3. Know your numbers. Traffic and sales by time of day. Track your trends. Use this information to market to your list. Invite them to slower times using incentives.

4. Use all proven marketing tools to help grow your business. These include direct mail to targeted zip codes and ads with a “hook” in publications your target customer reads and other venues like radio, participation at key charitable events, local/regional festivals that are for your target audience, on line promotions and more.

5. Have your on line credibility in place meaning a website and social media presence

6. Use a referral marketing system. Reward people for inviting their friends and colleagues.

7. Monitor the variances from plan in all areas of your business. Nothing is excluded: payroll, food costs, utilities….the gold is in the detailed analysis of the variances.

Now You Know…Success Is In The Details.  Failure is almost always a result of not consistently following the steps that have been proven to lead to success.

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

Twitter

Facebook

Linked in

MySpace

727-587-7871

Email

About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of  major domestic and international companies.  Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.  Steve offers his  business building experience to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting.  His  focus is on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.   All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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Harry Potter, Millenia Mall, Illusions

While working with a coaching client on site in Orlando, Florida I observed packed parking lots, traffic jams around Millenia Mall and filled restaurants. My comment was ” they have not heard there is a world wide recession!”

We discussed why the area seemed particularly crowded. The number one reason seemed to be that the new Harry Potter attraction had just opened at Universal Studios and it seemed be a huge draw.  So now I knew that my observation of the market could be distorted by a special event.

Later that day, I was invited to join a group at a very popular “upscale restaurant”. This place is very near Tiger Wood’s home.  My definition of an upscale restaurant is one where the dinner check for two including tip is in the $200 plus range.

After a marvelous dinner, I met the owner. I had a comment and a question. My comment was about the wonderful dining experienced I just finished. I assured him I really enjoyed it as did the  business people dining with me. My second remark was that his business is  actually an economic indicator…a barometer of how well people are doing.  Given that I asked how his business was doing on a comparable basis with last year.

Comparable analysis in business is where you compare the same period this year with the same period last year. In this example I was asking about business this year to date vs last year. He told me his business was down 30% and that the “upscale restaurant market” was down 40%.  He felt good as he was fairing better than the competition. I was not feeling that good about it considering the economic slide began accelerating in 2008.  This means the numbers in 2009 used as a comparison have already been on a decline so the decline in 2010 is particularly disturbing.

I mentioned to my client  and his key person in Orlando that I would send them a list of what I would recommend this restaurant business owner do to strengthen the business. I decided these 7 Steps could help many other business owners so I am using my blog for the action plan and I will email my friends to let them know about these ideas for their Orlando restaurant owner friend.

Top 7 Steps For Strengthen Sales and Profit In The Restaurant Industry….Actually Applies To Most Businesses:

1. Know your customer!  People coming thought the door and buying should be acknowledged with an email or card and possibly more. How do you do this?  You need to have their contact information and specifically an email address and now ideally their cell phone number.

Here is an idea on how you do that: Buy them a drink or a dessert in exchange for their information.  Here is the key: when you identify a particularly important person, the owner comes to the table, welcomes them and offers to buy their dinner in exchange for the cell phone number so they can be alerted for a very special event. Now before you say this ticket could be $200 or more I ask you how worth it is to have the cell phone number for key text messages with VIP’s and I mean people whose net worth is in 8 figures. This is huge

2. Have a plan. Your financial plan should be an annual target that can then be detailed to a weekly plan.

3. Know your numbers. Traffic and sales by time of day. Track your trends. Use this information to market to your list. Invite them to slower times using incentives.

4. Use all proven marketing tools to help grow your business. These include direct mail to targeted zip codes and ads with a “hook” in publications your target customer reads and other venues like radio, participation at key charitable events, local/regional festivals that are for your target audience, on line promotions and more.

5. Have your on line credibility in place meaning a website and social media presence

6. Use a referral marketing system. Reward people for inviting their friends and colleagues.

7. Monitor the variances from plan in all areas of your business. Nothing is excluded: payroll, food costs, utilities….the gold is in the detailed analysis of the variances.

Now You Know…Success Is In The Details.  Failure is almost always a result of not consistently following the steps that have been proven to lead to success.

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

Twitter

Facebook

Linked in

MySpace

727-587-7871

Email

About: Steve Pohlit CPA,MBA has been the CFO and COO of  major domestic and international companies.  Steve has extensive business ownership experience having purchased and started off line and on line businesses.  Steve offers his  business building experience to companies and entrepreneurs with business coaching and business consulting.  His  focus is on building business  profits and net asset value at above average rates.   All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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The Truth About Retail Sales Reporting

Retail sales during the  Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season are followed by the news media very closely.  This is because consumer spending is a key economic barometer and the annual holiday season accounts for a large  percentage of total annual retail sales. Some estimates are that the fourth quarter retail sales account for more than 30% of total retail sales reported by department stores, specialty stores and mass merchandisers. The percentages can vary widely. For example December sales for jewelry stores account for 23% of the total annual sales.

“This November, (same-store) sales are going to be incredibly important to gauge the state of consumer spending, and thus fourth-quarter earnings and stock trajectory, and it’s also an important statement about the economic recovery,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Bill Dreher.

Comments like this from Bill and others may not be accurate.  I learned how to analyze retail performance from experts responsible for running multi-billion dollar international businesses.  These lessons helped me tremendously in operating my own retail business and in my business consulting work with other retail companies.  Consider the following:

Same Store Sales Can Be Very Misleading

Same store sales are when you compare the sales in one period, for example November, with the sales from that same location the previous year. Seems simple enough but it is not always straight forward. For example, consider one store.  What is your conclusion if the store just opened the first of  November last year or if a major competitor closed a location near you this year?  There are many variables that can affect same store sales and you have to be careful in knowing you have true comparability.

Consider 2009, the same store sales that will be reported this year are being compared to 2008 which is considered one of  the weakest retail sales periods ever. At the company level a moderate increase in same store sales this year may not be a reason to celebrate except that of course it is better than a decline.  Regardless of the results, retailers must go deeper than looking at the aggregate numbers.  They must keep “peeling back  the onion” until the lowest common denominator is evaluated and that is at the item level.

Same Store Sales Are Not A Direct Indicator of Profits

Many retailers promote heavily in the holiday season. This is part of the marketing funnel.  Hot items sold at or below cost  are used as lead generators.  The Internet has educated shoppers on finding the best deals.  This has resulted in  add on sales  dropping which means more of the sales being reported on a monthly basis have lower profit margins.

Keys To Successful Retailing In This Economy

First point is the foundation of  a profitable business in any industry is largely the same.  Companies make money when they offer what people want at a profitable price.  In retail, customers often want a shopping experience that goes beyond price. For example, a recent testimonial from a customers experience on Black Friday demonstrated the success of a much smaller retailer with this customer vs. the major competitor. While having a slightly lower price for the laptop offered, the major retailer did not have any “unallocated laptops”   at 5 in the morning even though the item was heavily promoted. On top of that the crowds there were not pleasant to navigate.  The competing smaller chain, had inventory available and a more pleasant shopping experience.  So you know who got the business and a repeat customer.

Off line, location is increasingly important as well as the overall appearance inside and outside.  Large retailers win the game store by store.  When demographics and traffic patterns change, and they always are, the store needs to change as well.

Customer shopping experience is major for building customer loyalty.  This is mostly how customers are treated by staff when shopping.  This is the one area where many retailers fail.  There are great examples of customer service but they are not the norm.  On line, ease of navigation, speed of checkout and access to customer service are key. Many retailers with web sites pay little attention to the customer service that is needed.  People have questions and at times returns or exchanges may be needed. How this is handled is key.

Have you noticed the most ridiculous new message you get when calling larger customer support lines?  It goes something like this: “Due to heavy call volume, your wait may be longer than normal. Many questions can be answered at our web site.”  I don’t know about you but when I hear that message, which I do with increasing frequency, I think …this company has problems.

At The End of The Day, Profit Must Be Made

As a business consultant and coach, I always look to the profit trends and what is the practical near term strategy for strengthening profits.  Every  business must earn a profit to survive and grow.   There is always an opportunity to improve business performance.  It requires defining the performance targets then establishing  a disciplined process for meeting or exceeding those targets.  That process always works when the process is worked.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coach
Turnaround/Crisis Management
Temporary CEO, CFO, Controller Services
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is a business owner and an expert business consultant focused on building profits and net asset value. He is very experienced with Internet marketing and social media marketing.  All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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Carl's Jr. Very Effective Use of Social Media, Internet Marketing, Video, More

Carl’s Jr. has over 1100 locations with 772 in California. They have no locations in my current home state of Florida. However, because of my business consulting experience in the restaurant industry along with a controversial video commercial released by Carl’s several years ago, I became aware of this restaurant business. I learned it was  founded with the purchase of one hot dog cart for less than $500  in 1941.

While reviewing a Facebook  application recommended by a friend I noticed an ad on the site for Carl’s.  Of course I remembered the original video that was absolutely outrageous and wondered if they had posted it on Facebook.  (They did not.)  What I did notice was they have almost 68,000 fans, they are promoting a new sandwich, offering an incentive coupon and their fan page wall is extremely active.

I went a little deeper and clicked to their website.  I stayed there maybe 5-8 minutes watching all their video commercials. They are very entertaining. I registered for their newsletter. The visuals, sounds and messages of the videos and the images of the graphics are terrific. If there was a location nearby I would be a customer.  I also feel that the next time I visit the West Coast I will look them up. Their presentation is that good.

Carl’s Jr has links to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flicker on their website.  I am not sure if they have expanded onto other social media sites. If  asked I would  recommend they be on every major social media venue. Clearly the visuals and sound are huge assets for their messages about their food.

Food isn’t the only attraction as evidenced by one YouTube video with Audriana Partridge in a hot gold bikini eating one of Carl’s Jr.’s famous sandwiches. This video has already been viewed over 545 thousand times with most others by Carl’s Jr.  being viewed in the range of 20 thousand.  Think about the value of one YouTube video being viewed over one half million times.

I did a brief review of Facebook to see if key competitors are using social media. Facebook members have activated McDonald’s and Wendy’s fan pages. Neither company seems to have an active Facebook presence.

I am a major advocate for using social media to build business profits. But here is the key as demonstrated by Carl’s Jr.: you have got to have a hook.  Carl’s is kicking butt in their ads for size, quality and price vs. McDonald’s.  Then they add amazing visuals, incentives, and are definitely on top of their game when it comes to strengthening social relationships.  So they are hitting on all cylinders including the use of a well toned body wearing little excited about a huge order of food. What an amazing contrast and Carl’s Jr. pulls it off marvelously just as they did a few years back with a famous celebrity promoting their food wearing near nothing on the hood of a car.  It was amazing.

On video and in pictures, Carl’s Jr. looks like  great tasting food. I assume that is the case with more than 1,100 locations. Of course that is key for sustained growth in same store sales as well as sustained growth in the number of locations. Somehow I suspect the food experience is great and I will confirm that one of these days. If you have eaten at Carl’s Jr. please share your experiences including what you ordered.

Great  example Carl’s Jr. of executing very well on fundamentals.

Sending you energy of health, happiness, prosperity

Steve Pohlit

Business Consulting, Executive Coaching
International Business Resources

Social Media Services
New Digital Media, Inc.

727-587-7871
Email

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Comments On The WSJ August Retail Sales

The Headline Reads: Retailers Report Weak Sales For August (Click For The Story) Then highlight is:

“Industrywide, same-store sales fell for a 12th straight month — highlighting the woes retailers have been under as consumer spending continues to decline.”

Then there is discussion as to what will happen this holiday season as well as the impact of the clunker program. This is followed by reports of what key public companies in the retail industry reported. Remember there is a lot that is not reported. Also remember, economic recovery is driven by consumer spending and there is little evidence that is strengthening.

The point made that I commented on was that going forward the monthly same store comparisons will look better because you are comparing against increasingly weak numbers from last year as retailers tanked in the fall of 2008. Here is what I wrote:

The comparison may show less dramatic declines and even a greater number of positive percentages when current year sales are compared against months last year when retailers began to experience sharp declines. Those may be feel good metrics. However, the key is what are the volumes and margins that are planned in connection with an acceptable profit plan and how are actual revenue and profits doing against that?

Typically that information is a bit more difficult to extract. The well run retailers have a profit plan by location that is based on category proformas. The key is to be profitable at each location and in each category within that location. I still see very little advancement in the use of direct response marketing and social media marketing. Tools and technology that have been readily available and proven to work for quite some time.

There is a lot of the “same ol same ol” and that is not going to work in an economic climate likely to be very soft for quite awhile.

Steve Pohlit
http://newdigitalmediainc.com
http://stevepohlit.com

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This Restaurant Industry Headline Is No Surprise

“The Restaurant Industry suffered Its Worst Quarterly Decline In Customer Traffic In 28 years In the Second Quarter 2009″

I love the retail industry and I consider restaurants part of that overall industry. I recognize restaurants are distinguished in the financial press for reporting purposes.  I also recognize that if you are a restaurant then you should be studying how you are doing in comparison to others.

The business of retail is so much fun because there is a tremendous amount of valuable information available and generally with the volume of customer traffic, you can test just about anything and receive feedback quickly as to whether it is working or not.  In retail the most energy should be devoted to marketing and in all fairness it usually is.  No whether that marketing is effective or not is a topic of debate. My view is that it isn’t and the view of the people dong it is that it is.

That brings us back to the overall results reported for the Second Quarter of 2009.  I wrote that the decline is written in a headline like it is a surprise.  Many may be thinking my view was based on the state of the economy with unemployment still running high and consumer confidence still running low. But actually my view is based on dismal failure of restaurants to pay close attention to the details of what is important to customers.

To support my view, I look at the exceptions. Here is one reported on by Fare Magazine. That exception is Panera Bread. They  have not cut prices, they have not gone promotional and the company continues to grow profitably. Click Here for the complete article.

There is always value in studying what is working for others and, for that matter what isn’t. Look within your industry and outside of your industry.  I forget what bank was the first, but I remember the story of a bank president looking at the success of drive thru windows in the fast food industry.  He tried in banking and it rapidly became very successful.

In any economy there are always companies that do well and those that fail.  The ones that do well are those who consistently pay attention to the details important to their customers.  This is the value exchange principle.  The more value I give you the more you are willing to pay for it.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high. If  your company is not growing revenue and profits,  if your company is not cash flow positive Click Here for more information about Turnaround Consulting Services for Business In Crisis

Follow Me and I Follow You http://Twitter.com/BuildProfits

FREE Report:
How To Increase Business Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less

Connect with me on Facebook Click Here

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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How Successful Retailers Earn Customer Loyalty

Mark Albright, staff writer for the St. Petersburg Times published an article in the Sunday paper a while back on retailers struggling to win back customers. He does an excellent job at identifying the key issues customers face when shopping in many stores. In summary, customers know what they want from their shopping experience and they don’t get what they want most of the time.

Two charts were provided in the article. One showed that 68.4% of those responding to a recent poll said knowledgeable, helpful, friendly staff was the most important criteria for a positive shopping experience. The other chart reported that 50% of the people surveyed reported retail service has gotten worse.

Shoppers have always wanted a friendly environment with knowledgeable staff. What is most alarming is how poorly retailers continue to meet the expectations of their customers. With almost 70% of the customers ranking knowledgeable, friendly staff as most important, why is it that so many retailers continue to be obsessed with having compelling price? Studies have consistently shown and Mark points this out in his article as well, that less than 10% of the shoppers name price as the most important reason they shop a store.

Let’s examine pricing and promotion a bit deeper. The paper that Mark Albright writes for has a daily circulation of about 1 million. On Sunday, like all large metropolitan areas, the paper is thick. Most of it is advertising circulars. Most have between 4 – 20 or more color glossy pages and this format is used by most of the major retail chains. Stores attempt to show items attractive to the largest number of people and offer special buys or sale pricing. The goal is to drive traffic to the stores.

Normally on a store by store basis, retailers are able to tell how effective a particular circular was by measuring customer count (customers that actually buy), average sale and items sold. Most retailers have these statistics, but there is one critical piece of information they do not have. They do not know who it was that purchased something. They do not know their physical address, they do not know their email address and do not know their customer’s phone number. There are exceptions and I will address those shortly. However, in general, large and small retailers spend huge amounts of money on print advertising to drive customers into their stores and they don’t even know who their customer is. Consequently, they are unable to thank the buyers, hear their comments and suggestions and they are not able to personally invite them back.

Even more serious: with the development of preferred buying programs, membership programs like those used by Sam’s Club and Costco and even those retailers that have captured customer information, the way that data is used is pathetic.

Here is a brief summary of the issues so far: consumers want knowledgeable and friendly sales staff and over 90% of them place importance on knowledge and friendliness over price. On the other hand, retailers spend a lot of resources developing promotions based on price to drive traffic to their stores. When the customer gets there, not just the price shopper but the loyal customers as well, the retailer is not properly staffed and the staff that is working is not properly trained and managed. I call this a mismatch in expectations and delivery. The result of that formula is a high rate of retail business failure with stores that fail being replaced by new ones that operate the same way. You know what you get when you keep doing things the same way. What is the solution? Keep reading.

When the subject of price in retailing is mentioned, Wal-Mart’s name always comes up. Here are just a couple of things I noticed about Wal-Mart recently. First they are increasing the number of more upscale items offered. Why are they doing this? It is because they understand that appealing just to the low price crowd long term is a risky business model. No retail chain founded on the low price model has ever survived long term. None. What else have I noticed? The other day I noticed a Wal-Mart banner on the front page of Yahoo.com This particular ad was what is known in the Internet Marketing circles and Direct Response Marketing circles as a lead generation ad. I followed it through and noticed interesting “bribes” to get you to register for on line information. You could even categorize the information you were interested in receiving. Wal-Mart promised to give you advance notice of their best deals for the store closest to you. Notice I said store closest to you. When you entered your information they asked for your zip code so they could match you with relevant regional promotion.

Wal-Mart is taking the lead again in building their customer data base. I don’t think they have taken this to the store level, which where it really needs to be implemented. But they are headed in the right direction.

Do you need to have Wal-Mart’s system to implement a similar program? Last September I was testing the implementation of program with a small retailer in a small market. We used incentives as a motivator to provide their contact information. This program was hugely successful in a short period of time and confirmed the value of capturing the contact information of your customers and communicating with them. That is the first step in bridging the gap between what customers want and what retailers deliver. Note: if you are a grocery store, restaurant, nightclub, shoe repair store, dry cleaner or any business that has customers, this applies to you.

If you are a local or regional chain of stores, outsourcing this customer contact program is the most cost effective approach. If you are not sure that is a true statement Email Me and I will prove it to you. National Chains should outsource this program in the test phase and then it is likely that in-house technology will be needed long term. Regardless, it is easy to build your customer list, easy to communicate with them and this communication builds loyalty and value. This communication process is the critical link that breaks down when this process is managed internally. In summary, outsource this entire program initially; bring the technology piece in house if and when that makes sense but keep the communication program outsourced. Does this sound like Direct Response Marketing 101? Yes ..well that is because it is and you know what…basic blocking and tackling work all the time.

Does all of this solve the problem of bridging the gap of what the customer wants and what the retailer delivers? Absolutely not! All of the fundamentals successful retailers are paying attention to today must continue. Having the right product in the right place at the right time is a good goal. Having staff properly trained and managed is a great goal.

But this is the planet earth folks. When all the best logistical systems and human resource development processes fail .. and they will from time to time, a strong binding relationship with your customer will overcome any isolated execution failures.

Are there any examples of anyone doing this more right than wrong? I remember in 1996 when I was in my second year of operating an Internet Service Provider company that I founded. I was focusing on industries likely to benefit a lot quickly from using the tools of the Internet. One of them was mail order. I knew there would be huge benefits to catalog retailers from using the internet. Of course when I contacted many of them and they had no idea in 1996 what I was talking about. So I let it slide instead of pursuing that idea along with a number of other billion dollar ideas I had in the early days of the commercial Internet.

Today there are numerous examples of catalog retailers doing a great job of communicating with their customer base. Now the big gains are coming from the “brick and mortar” companies who are communicating like catalog retailers. Who are they? Circuit City gets a vote. Circuit City sends me wonderful emails in addition to their weekly print advertising circulars. Wal-Mart used to do a good job now that I am on their list but not any longer. In the catalog retail business, one of the best is Fredericks of Hollywood. There are other catalog retailers that have an effective communication program in place. In fact if you order on line from any catalog company and give them your email address, I would bet you start getting information from them. Even if you don’t order, sign up for some of these lists to see what they send you.

The biggest mistake made by companies that have you in their data base, is dropping your contact information when you have not purchased for awhile. I know of one very popular retailer with a huge mail order division that sends me tons of catalogs but not one email. When asked about this I was told I no longer receive emails because I am not a current buyer. But they continue sending me expensive to print and mail catalogs. Go figure! Recently.

In summary, study the companies that are doing this well. Look at your own business. If you are not sure what I am advising you to do will work, call or email me and let’s “kick it around”.  All contact information is at the end of the article.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, Expert Business Consulting

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high. If  your company is not growing revenue and profits,  if your company is not cash flow positive Click Here for more information about Turnaround Consulting Services for Business In Crisis

Follow Me and I Follow You http://Twitter.com/BuildProfits

FREE Report:
How To Increase Business Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less

Connect with me on Facebook Click Here

About: Steve Pohlit is a CPA,MBA and has been the CFO of several major domestic and international companies.  Steve is business owner and an expert business consultant, direct response and social media marketing  and social networking security expert . Steve is  focused on helping companies improve their business performance. All articles published by Steve unless specifically restricted may be freely published with this resource information.

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The Business Building Principle At The Core of Local AdLinks

The goal of any business project is increased revenue and profits. If in some way the idea, project, technology is not able to be measured in terms of increased profitability why bother?  A key marketing principle is the best customer is one you already have while you work on programs to bring in more profitable customers.  Profitable business is earned one customer at at time which is why even the largest global companies that are very successful have a laser beam focus on customer satisfaction.

Local AdLink is an emerging business with a tool that is intended to help grow revenue and profits. It is an exciting idea and I became intrigued because their business model aligns with the business purpose of connecting with local customers and  prospects.

A couple years ago I purchased an ebook for I think $17 or something like and it was about a guy implement local business to customer marketing.  I looked at what he was doing and concluded it made sense.  So I set up a program at http://localretailmarketing.com  Very shortly after that a guy contacted me about a car wash and related services business he had in the Midwest. So  we tested this and in six weeks a credible list of 1400 subscribers was developed. Ultimately his business was sold and one of the assets was this list.

Unless You Are Building An Asset, Marketing Dollars Are Essentially Being Flushed Down The Toilet

When I noticed Local AdLinks I concluded that it fit well with the asset building model I advocate.  I also concluded my skill set was best directed to teaching Business Builder how to do this.  We are just starting. However the people who join Local AdLinks with my my team receive an amazing income earning potential business model and support.

The following letter was sent to a local business today (hand delivered) and demonstrates the basic program I advocate.  Notice the entry fee.  Team members who sell this receive 40 %  of the revenue. Do the math.  If you don’t join my group, you should steal this letter and program because it is the one that will work for any (for profit) company.  That is right – any.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, The Profit Expert

Now Here Is The Letter I Mentioned

I R Consulting, Inc.
Steve Pohlit, President
Websites:
http://localretailmarketing.com
http://stevepohlit1.LocalAdLink.net
http://irconsultinginc.com
http://stevepohlit.com

Dry Cleaners and Car Wash

Executive Summary of Business To Consumer Marketing System and Pricing

Business Goal : Increase revenue and profits using proven on line marketing tools and techniques.

Implementation: Jean Levy will coordinate the detailed implementation plan. Steve Pohlit is accountable for final product and implementation.

Tools and Techniques

Website descriptive and keyword search engine optimized: Ex Largo Florida Dry Cleaner. I understand the business has a domain name. For this program, the dns addresses of the domain should point to my server to allow access for design and edits.

Customer Contact Form on web page: normally we use first name, email address and phone number. The phone number is optional. The contact form is designed using an autoresponder system which essentially is a system that automates messages to people who register.

Autoresponder Sequence: generally a series of messages designed to entice people to the business. We draft these messages and there will be 8 developed delivered at a rate of approximately two per week during the first month. Then 2-4 per month in subsequent months. We rely on the business to help us with the content and promotions for these messages .

Local Adlink 10 Zip code package: this is an innovative system where local companies receive ad placement on 129 search engines and the Local Adlink website. Upon acceptance of this proposal, Jean Levi will meet with you to review all the advantages of Local Adlink which are extensive. This should be tested for a minimum of 3-6 months. All ads we design will include an image and an incentive for tracking purposes. The incentive will be a coupon with an offer defined by Capri. We suggest 20% your next dry cleaning order, Free Car Wash with dry cleaning order receipts totaling $100 and 20% off your next car wash. Note all customers taking advantage of the promotion agree to provide a valid email address for the discount.

Point of Sale Customer Contact Program: Use a 20% off your next order coupon in exchange for name and valid email. Incentive to front desk staff. Offer $.50 for each valid name and email address form submitted.

Pricing:

$1,900 paid up front. For this price:

1-2 page website – you own the site
customer contact form
autoresponder and message sequence
Local AdLink ad
Consultation on implementing Point of Sale Customer Contact Program

Monthly – following the first month of implementation
$100. 00 Maintenance of customer contact program, autoresponder account and messaging
$100.00 Local Ad Link test for 3-6 months

We accept PayPal or a check. If paying by check, we will give the deposit information for the Wachovia Bank next door.

Comments:

This is a powerful program when worked consistently and normally takes 60-90 days to see meaningful results and return on investment. The key to success is consistent implementation which actually builds the asset base of your business.

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Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.  Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high.

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When Business Sucks, Look In The Mirror

All the solutions are waiting for you to attract them.  That’s right and if you disagree, you are correct.  What you believe is true for you.  For me, I know what I focus on expands. That is The Law of Attraction and it is always working even in business.  If you expect problems you will attract problems. If you look outside for the reasons there are issues in your business, then you will always be finding someone or something to blame.  All this solutions for your business start with your knowing there is a solution. Consider these examples:

Last week I began working with a rather large business that finds itself in a cash crunch.  The first meeting I had with the owners of this business asked the single most important question relative to this situation. “Do you feel this situation can be solved?”  Without a consensus yes answer, there would be no reason to continue.  We continued.

I called a meeting on the second day right at the beginning of the day with these owners. I asked them to begin focusing on the picture of success.  I guided them to shift their thoughts from all the issues that are pressing to the picture of a well coordinated profitable business with plenty of cash.  I said to them we would have this meeting every day that I was on sight and I encouraged them to hold the meeting when I was not there.  This week I will give more clear directions on imaging specific success for their business.

In business there are three situations: First there is the current situation. Second there is a situation that is more negative than the current situation and if that trend continues it could lead to what people describe as a worst case. Third, there is the going forward picture of what it is that the team of people in the company will create.  Of course my work is primarily focused on the third picture. Since I am not able to discern what others are intending, I spend some time on a worse case scenario designed to protect the business should events proceed quickly to the negative. On balance,  I usually spend 90% of my time on designing and implementing the going forward plan.

Solutions to business situations vary depending on the conditions being addressed. The second day into this project calls were received that represented huge opportunities. Day three another call came in that also represented a marvelous opportunity.  None of these seemed to be in motion until the owners began focusing on success.  They are responsible for their business and they are responsible for attracting success. My work is to help them attract success and optimize revenue and profits. I  show them how to continue that process once the project they hired me for  is complete.

Does their business suck?  Well actually it did up until a week ago. The owners are beginning to see they are responsible. They are no longer blaming external people, places and things. Once you accept responsibility that your are the reason for the state of your business, then you can begin to paint a new picture.

I experience more examples of how business sucks  in one week that I could possibly write about in a month. I’ll bet you do to and I’ll bet you have a short list of what they could do to improve the situation fast.

Consider this  example:  in the town of my  most recent client referenced above,  there is a very nice building exterior that is a home of a restaurant.  From all outward appearances, I anticipated a very good dining experience. Inside told a different story.  First the atmosphere was very institutional.  However, it appeared to be clean.  The appearance of the staff was not one where you knew they had much pride in themselves and so they didn’t have pride in servicing customers. I am sure there were exceptions. But I didn’t attract any that evening.  The food was not even close to the pictures on the menu.  The beer selection was good and it was good.

That is just one example of  “When Business Sucks, Look In The Mirror”.  Each of the issues described are fixable in a very short period of time.  There are so many opportunities in business for “doing it better”  without having to spend a lot of money.  The solution starts from within. It starts with the mindset “I am responsible for the outcome of my business.”

In operations, I work with companies on fundamentals.  In marketing I recommend solutions and have do it for you solutions. The do it for you solutions are particularly valuable in the social media marketing arena. In all cases I stay focused on proven business principles.  These are the ones that are ignored the most because the discipline required t0 execute the fundamentals is routine and boring.  It  just so happens those fundamentals are where the gold is mined.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit, The Profit Expert

Designer: Local Business Marketing This program is outstanding because it builds  long term relationships and profits.

Email Me, Steve Pohlit to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.  Need more customers? Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high.

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How To Increase Business Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less

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The WSJ Reports On McDonalds. My Report On The Key Success Factors

McDonald’s is doing well in the current economic climate as reported by the WSJ and a lot of credit is given to the leadership of Ralph Averez, President.  Readers have a number of reactions to this story including some not so flattering.

However the are a number of principles being followed by Mr. Alverez that are well worth paying attention to. These include:

“I love numbers,” Mr. Alvarez says. “I think data used well really tells a story.”  He acts to create a continually improving story.  For example, modifying  menu offering and prices almost in real time. That is a great lesson.

He uses a baseball cap and sunglasses to disguise himself when visiting stores and testing food and service against the standards. There are two lessons here: one stay close to your customer’s experience and two, for awhile people who wear ballcaps and sunglasses and look like Mr. Alverez in disguise, may get outstanding service. :)

You don’t win and maintain customer loyalty by cutting the size of the serving. You eliminate all unnecessary costs and them some and keep focusing on increasing the value of the customer’s experience.

For the complete article Click Here.

My comments posted to this article on the site of the WSJ are republished now:

This is an excellent presentation by Janet Adamy. I really appreciate the statement “I love numbers,” Mr. Alvarez says. “I think data used well really tells a story.” He acts to create a continually improving story. That is a great lesson.

There is a huge opportunity for McDonald’s and others in using social media to increase sales and profits. I suspect that the large companies will turn to their marketing executives who will turn to their ad agencies and say let’s invest in social media. I recommend new thinking as social media is new landscape.

Steve Pohlit
http://stevereports.com

One reader suggests McDonald’s has got it all right.  I think they are not in step with on line social media treads. This represents a huge opportunity for them.

Sharing with all my readers the energy of peace, happiness and abundance

Steve Pohlit
The Profit Expert

Email Steve to schedule A No Obligation Consultation On Building Your Business Profits.  Let’s discuss how to use cutting edge Social Media Marketing, Internet Marketing and Direct Response Marketing in the revenue building cycle of your business to drive your profits sky high.

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FREE Report:

How To Increase Business Profits by 30% or More in 90 Days or Less

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