information is the sole opinion of the author and is simply intended to
offer alternative points of view for the consideration of newcomers, not
the experienced, profitable professionals.
#1 Retailing is a exciting, liquid art form, not a cut & dried science!
there are 3 objectives that are cut in stone at all times!
#1. Get the money!
Objective #2. Get the money!
Objective #3. Get the money!
mission is to separate your customers from their money - on the spot. That
means at the first opportunity, not the second or third chance
that might never come. How do we do this? What's the secret?
make them an offer they can't refuse!
is a lot like baseball. All the coach is concerned about is getting all
his players to first base. (He doesn't tell them to swing for the fences
and try to hit a homerun).
does this translate to retailing? Go for the quick/easy sales, go for the
volume, not the high prices. A common mistake for newcomers to the business
is that they think they're supposed to double or triple their cost on everything.
If Sam Walton thought this way, people never would have heard of WalMart.
Very few realize that if they pay $7, they're better off selling it for
$12 each or 2 for $20, capturing new customers & CASH. It's easy to
beat chain store competition with WMS merchandise!
is king, and the retailer must convert to cash at every opportunity.
Live each retailing day like it is your last! The benefits of cash flow
are too numerous to mention here, but the consumer must see new merchandise
everytime they come into the store. Forget about percentages, margins,
and markup, and collect as many profit dollars as possible in one day
it or not, it's even o.k. to sell below cost when necessary. Nobody can
make a profit on every item, everyday - Sears can't do it, Penny's can't
do it, we can't do it, and you can't do it, but that's o.k. - it's the
big picture that counts, and with a growing customer base, and making them
offers they can't refuse, WMS customers can do extremely well!
remember, CASH IS KING! Always, always, always get the
cash -- NOW!!!
2 Look at your profit picture as a group of items coming from each
supplier rather than individual items coming from that supplier.
other words, focus on how much money you have already made on that order
that came in, rather than focusing on the items that are left over and
haven't sold. Sell off those remaining items at any price because at this
point they are 100% profit! So if 60% of the merchandise sold itself and
paid for the whole order, sell the other 40% at any price necessary to
get that remaining 100% profit money in your pocket as fast as possible.
bank account doesn't care if the dollars in it came from merchandise sold
at a profit or at cost or at below cost. Again, all we care about is collecting
as many dollars as possible each and every day.
doesn't make any difference if some items in a shipment don't sell and
we actually throw them away (donate to charity and take a tax write off),
as long as, WE MADE OUR PROFIT ON THE STUFF THAT DID SELL!!! ps. - you
might change your mind about which suppliers are really giving the best
#3 The Lease Trap
do you spell "lease"?
spell it "L-A-W-Y-E-R-S"!
entreprenuers make a nice profit until they sign a lease and are then obligated
by the terms of that lease. Paying rent is not recommended if your business
can operate for free - out of our house, car, selling on the job, house
parties, consignment, fundraises, street fairs, etc.
rent must be paid, a month to month agreement is recommended. If a lease
must be signed, get a lawyer on your team first - tell your lawyer you
want some kind of an "out" clause - before you sign!
#4 Taking a booth at the local fund raiser (church, school,etc) usually
pays off big time! Buyers love to support the event & go there to
spend money. Booths are cheap? 10% of sales or very low rent, check 'em
out! When you're there, make sure to network with other exhibitors and
find out about other events, street fairs, etc.
#5 "I just got ripped off"! How do you handle it?
Answer - Amortize it! Always look at the big picture.
you lost $300 today - well that doesn't mean you're going to loose $300
every day. Take that $300 loss and decide how many more years you're going
to be in business. Let's say your answer is 10 more years - well that means
you're going to make $30 per year less for the next 10 years. The big picture
says you loss $300 at the end of being in business 10 years later! Not
bad at all now.
We already know ahead of time that we're going to have good days and bad days,
so when a bad day comes along, don't let it ruin your whole day because we
already knew that a bad day is going to come along now an then. Keep your personal
emotions, especially fear, out of your business.
do the right thing in the next 5 minutes, have faith, truly believe everythings
going to be ok, and sleep good at night, or, if you can't do that, consider
getting out of the business.
Secret #6 - What's the single biggest reason a business will fail?
Answer - Undercapitalization. In simple words - not enough money for the scale
of operation. (The second reason for failure is not enough experience, but
with "enough" money behind you, most people can learn to survive.)
much money is enough? That depends on the expenses involved. It's obvious
that less money is needed for a flea market than for a retail store, but
what's not so obvious?
talk about a major ingredient - inventory. Does the appearance of your
inventory make you look like an amateur or a pro? Customers don't like
to give their money to an operation that looks like it may not be there
tomorrow, instead, they're happy to give their money to a sucessful operation
that will be around for many more years to come.
- have the faith & the good sense to give yourself the best odds at
winning, not the worst! Make
a 110% commitment to yourself and absolutely jam pack your business with
as much selection/inventory as you can possibly afford (even borrow) to
maximize the odds of having the selection & professional appearance
to make a sale!
people think they're being smart with minimal inventory purchases/displays,
I think they're cutting their own throat! We see it all the time - minimal
orders bring back minimal results! HOW COULD IT BE OTHERWISE? Put your
money into inventory/bigger selection, where it can give you a return of
30% plus per week instead of letting it sit in the bank earning 2% per