Fandeck of Features
Palette of Departments
By Hans Mugler, Publisher
By Sikkens ProLuxe
By John Tschohl, Contributing Writer
By Mark Lipton, Contributing Writer
By Hans Mugler,
Speed Up a Slow Summer
Here at Mug Pub Inc, summer can be a very slow time of year, but for our readers who own and maintain their independent paint and sundries stores, summertime can and should be a whirlwind of activity…and not just because you are selling lots of paint and sundries during your busiest time of year.
Rhonda Abrams, who writes a wonderful Small Business column for the USA Today newspaper, recently pointed out six “Must-Dos” for your small business this summer.
#1: Get a Mobile Website. Rhonda says this is your most important task this summer! Did you know that two-thirds of all Americans access the web from their smart phones, and about 40% use their phones as their preferred or only access to the web? And don’t forget that your site must be able to be seen on Apple’s iPhones as well as Samsung Galaxy phones, because if they can’t view the content on your site, they will absolutely go elsewhere.
#2: Make a list of your top prospects. Have a list of your top prospects posted in a place where it is visible to you all the time. Use the web to research your prospects, especially LinkedIn, and determine who of your contacts has the potential to be really big customers by the end of the year.
#3: Develop your fall marketing plan. Once summer travel and vacations have run their course, you want to be ready to tackle some big customers. Do your strategic planning now so when fall gets here you are hitting the ground running. Summer months are great for clarifying and narrowing your target market, while at the same time developing a marketing budget and a sound marketing strategy that will help attract these very important prospects to your business.
#4: Redo your own marketing materials. If you’ve done the first three steps, your head is already in marketing mode. This makes summer an excellent time to update or change your marketing materials. Do your business cards need updating? How are your store brochures looking? Do your marketing materials reflect your current business offerings, and do you list your contact info on them, e.g.: websites, phone and fax numbers, hours of operation?
#5: Update your operations. This is more of a technical thing, but Rhonda points out that summer is an excellent time to move any soon-to-be-upgraded software programs to cloud-based applications…and if you don’t know what “the cloud” is, look it up because it’s all about data storage and it’s important for your business.
#6: Tackle a project. Abrams points out that summer months are a great time to address your store’s “wish list.” These are the things you want to do with or in your store but can’t ever seem to find the time for. Clean out that old storage room and dump that lead paint you’ve been holding onto since the ’70s. Get some additional training on new products. Work on a new way to show stock on your shelves or display inventory. Summer is also a great time to re-energize yourself and your mind. Sipping a Mai Tai by the pool is not a bad start if it helps you relax before the fall buying season hits you in the forehead. Rhonda points out the word “recreation” comes from “re-create,” so get a bit of down time for yourself so you can recharge your own batteries and mind!
#7: Read Mark Lipton’s column. This wasn’t Rhonda’s idea, but Mark’s retail observations are helpful for everyone.
If you have some ideas for getting the most out of your business this summer, we’d love to hear them!
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