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Welcome to my blog! In this video series, you’ll learn simple, straightforward and tested strategies and tactics to help you run a better business, have more fun and make more money.

Your questions, comments, and shares are always appreciated!

Real Retail TV Episodes:

Sleep Easy This Holiday Season… Literally

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I share some of my favorite hacks to get a good night’s rest. This is especially important during this busy season. Getting a good night’s sleep will have you ready to take on the holiday rush.

Keep Your Cool This Holiday

The holidays can be stressful! In this episode of Real Retail TV, I discuss some of my favorite techniques to use when you’re dealing with a difficult customer or having a frustrating day.

Want To Print Money?

To be able to “print money” you need to have an amazing marketing plan. When you’re building a great marketing plan, it’s not just about finding good ideas. You have to want to learn the mindset, skillset, and structure that it will take to get to that next level.

Fast & Easy Black Friday Promotions

Black Friday is just a few days away! In this episode of Real Retail TV, I share a few simple gift card promotion ideas that you can execute quickly, without a lot of extra work.

Your Real Retail Superpower

In this week’s Real Retail TV, I take a deeper dive into last week’s topic on change. Every time you make a decision to change, you are exhibiting courage. Taking these steps will not only expand your comfort zone but also boost your confidence.

A Simple Strategy To Get Different Results

Wishing for your business to grow isn’t enough. In order to get different, better results, you need to change. You have to change your habits and skills to learn how to get to the next level. It can sometimes feel unsettling to fall into a new routine, but it’s necessary to step up your game as a retailer.

Big Disruption = Big Opportunity

You’ve probably heard me say that there has never been a better time to be an independent retailer. After the lockdowns of 2020 you saw an outpouring of love from your communities like never before. That disruption has opened up an incredible opportunity for independent retailers. Don’t miss out on this moment in history!

The Truth About Creating A Great Culture

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I share one of the biggest takeaways from our recent Platinum Mastermind Group meeting. The truth is, there is no silver bullet to creating a great culture. It’s all of the little things that add up over time that create the team and ultimately, the lifestyle you want.

You Don’t Have To Discount!

With the holiday season quickly approaching, it’s important to recognize that you do not have to have storewide discounts associated with your promotions. The best retailers have a robust calendar of promotions and events that don’t include markdowns.

Selling = Great Customer Service

One lesson you need to learn as a retailer is that selling isn’t sleazy. In fact, when done correctly, selling is just another form of great customer service. When you’re interacting with your customers, the end goal should always be to get them to the perfect purchase. Getting them to that purchase may even require adding on more items to ensure they leave with everything they need to feel satisfied. Becoming a great salesperson doesn’t happen overnight, it’s a skill that requires training and practice.

Your Value Is Not Determined By Your Business

This is one of the most important lessons you can learn as an entrepreneur. You are not your business. The success of your business does not determine your value. It’s important to remember that there are so many other parts of you that make up who you are as a person.

The Ultimate Holiday Bounce Back

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I share one of the best ways to get your holiday shoppers coming back long after the season is over. The opportunity to turn casual shoppers into lifelong customers is huge and Blizzard Bucks makes it far less challenging. This is a great way to grow your business by increasing your number of transactions per customer.

Your Holiday Mindset

In the tricky world we live in, your beliefs and your thoughts surrounding your retail business are not to be overlooked. If you think the right way and do the right things, the success of your store is imminent.

6 Ways To Build Your Margins This Holiday Season

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I share some of my favorite ways to build your margins for the holidays. Often retailers focus on building sales alone without giving much thought to margins. The holiday season is a great time to not only boost your sales but build your margins as well.

The Importance Of Building A Deep Bench This Holiday Season

Competition for independent retailers is getting tougher every day. Your #1 competitive advantage is providing a great experience for your customers. In this episode of Real Retail TV, I go over the importance of building your bench, aka, recruiting skillfully, and training your staff to sell so that you’re prepared when the holiday season arrives.

You MUST Take Time Off!

As a business owner, you need to take care of yourself first. If you’re neglecting your own needs, your store will ultimately suffer. This means taking time off to relax, reset, and think about the ultimate vision you have for your business by getting out of the day-to-day tasks

Tiny Details That Can Make Or Break Your Promotion

In one of my previous episodes of Real Retail TV, I talked about how we created a “Yo-yo boom” when my brother Steve and I owned Mackinaw Kite Company. In this episode, I want to share some of the pitfalls we ran into with our promotions and the tiny tweaks that made a dramatic difference in our sales.

3 Local Legends Serving Up Retail Lessons

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I highlight 3 local farmers who are doing things right when it comes to keeping great hours, bundling, and sampling to sell. Take these lessons and use them in your store to make more money!

Expand: New Opportunities For Independent Retailers

For this week’s episode of Real Retail TV, we’re excited to be sharing a clip from the keynote address from the 2022 Retail Success Summit. In it, you’ll discover the opportunities available today for independent retailers like you. All you have to do is go out and take advantage of them!  

How To React Like A Boss

As a store owner dealing with vendors, customers, and employees, chances are you are going to run into annoying situations. I learned this tactic from Ken Barr Jr., a Gallup Certified Strengths coach, who came into the office to work with our team. Once I heard it, I knew I needed to share it with you. The method is simple, yet powerful.

Aspire To Be This Type Of Store Owner

It takes guts to make changes and try something new, but that’s the only way to get real results. If you are stuck in a rut of complaining or just hoping for the best, it’s time to level up.

How I Sold Millions With A Teenage Sales Team

How did I get 100+ teenagers to sell millions of dollars worth of Yo-yo’s when I owned the Mackinaw Kite Company? The answer is simple, it all came down to training. When your staff knows what to do and has the confidence and tools to do it correctly, you will be amazed at the change you see and the new freedom you have.

Do You Feel Trapped In Your Business?

How would you like to take a vacation or sit down for a family dinner without thinking about the stresses of running your store? I have broken it down into 4 Freedoms that every store owner desires: time freedom, mind freedom, physical freedom, and financial freedom. Training is the key to building the business of your dreams.

4 Reasons They Don’t Do What You Want Them To Do

Do you struggle to get your employees to do what you want them to do? Learning these reasons will help you start moving your team in the right direction. Giving your staff the tools they need to get the job done is half the battle.

WhizBang! Cause Marketing

If you want to get your local non-profit organizations enthusiastically sending their members and supporters into your store then this episode of Real Retail TV is for you.

Build Your Average Sale By Increasing Margins

There are only three ways to grow your business, one of which is building your average sale. An easy and effective way to do this is by increasing your margins.

Recession-Proof Your Retail Business

Recently there has been a lot of uncertainty and discussion around a possible recession. I am here to tell you that I have personally lived through 4 recessions while owning a retail business. An important thing to remember is that just because there is a recession, it does not mean that it will have a huge impact on your business.

You Have The Opportunity To Change Lives Everyday

When you switch to customer-focused sales training you realize that everyone has a story. Since you never know what is going on in someone’s life, the best strategy is to always be kind.

My Best Habit Revisited

Creating habits that contribute to your personal development is one of the best things you can do to improve your life as a business owner. Journaling has been a practice I have kept for 25 years.

How To Build The Business Of Your Dreams

If you want to create the business of your dreams, a business that serves your life and helps you build your best life. Then, this episode of Real Retail TV is for you!

5 Ways To Overcome Retail Burnout

Burnout can be a huge problem for independent retailers. In this episode of Real Retail TV, I go over 5 easy ways to beat burnout and get your creative juices flowing again!

It’s Hard To Expand When You Think Small

In this episode, we’re going to discuss why it’s natural to think small. I’ll share a single simple shift you can make to start thinking differently, to start thinking and growing bigger.

Let’s Talk Leases

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I address a question from our WhizBang! Retailers Facebook group on negotiating leases for your business. When it comes to legal advice, you want to make sure you are talking to a professional.

Retail Success Summit- 10 Ideas In 10 Minutes

One of the most-loved parts of the Retail Success Summit is the Retail Rumble where Susan and I battle it out giving you a lightning round of 60 ideas in 60 minutes. One of our clients saved $30,000 in one year using just ONE of those ideas we shared. I hope this short 10-minute clip from the 2018 Retail Rubble will show you just how valuable it is to be there in person!

Why Your Branding Is More important Than Ever

Earlier this week, I did a Facebook live with Kaila Piepkow from Dox Design and she shared three of her top tips for retailers on branding. She shared that you branding is more than just pretty images and colors, it’s the emotional connection your customers have with your business.

The Perpetual Improvement Process

The Retail Success Summit has been such a successful event because we always use this Perpetual Improvement Process. It’s simple, after you host any event or promotion, be sure to sit down with your team to discuss what worked and what needs tweaked for the next year!

Manage Your Marketing In 1 Day A Month

In this episode of Real Retail TV you will get to see an actual clip from the Retail Success Summit in 2018 where Susan teaches you how you can manage your marketing in just one day per month!

The Success Curve

You deserve to have success in your business. You deserve to have more fun in your business. In this episode of Real Retail TV, I implore you to take a look at what it will take to get you to the inflection point on that success curve.

World’s Best Loyalty Program

In this Retail Retail TV, you’re going to discover the simplest (and best) customer loyalty program for independent, brick and mortar retail stores.

Quit Beating Yourself Up

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I discuss a concept from Dan Sullivan’s book, The Gap And The Gain. The idea is to measure your success backwards and focus on all of the things you have accomplished. Get out of the gap and focus on the gain.

The Give 2 Get System To Grow Your Business

My ‘Give 2 Get’ System to grow your business asks, “What can I give to get what I want?” This goes back to the rule of reciprocity, meaning that when you give someone something they will feel the psychological need to reciprocate.

Is Your Ladder Propped Against The Wrong Wall?

It is very important to create a vision for your business because if you build your business the wrong way, if you prop your ladder on the wrong wall, you will end up with a business that isn’t serving you. Watch this Real Retail TV to learn more now!

The Most Common and Costly Mistake Retailers Make

In this episode of Real Retail TV I explore one of the biggest and most common mistake retailers make. Make sure you’re putting your money where it matters most by investing in your team.

The Best Strategy To Build Your Business

In this episode of Real Retail TV I discuss what I believe to be the best strategy and philosophy to help build your business. When you adopt this strategy everything in your business will start to become easier and more fun.

How Changing A Single Belief Transformed A Business

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I sit down with Tammy Beideman from Sweet Elizabeth Jane in Ellicott City, Maryland to discuss how shifting her beliefs made all of the difference in her business.

Lessons You Can Learn From My Favorite Retail Store

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I take a detailed look at one of my favorite independent retail stores. The takeaways I found are great lessons for any retailer looking to improve their customer experience.

How To Quit Working So Hard

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I explore the idea of working less and thinking more. As we head into the new year, one of the best things you can do as a business owner is to take a personal inventory to find out what problems you want to solve once and for all.

The Get It Done Planning Process For The New Year

This Real Retail TV episode is a replay, but the planning process I share is still relevant and just as important as ever. Use this “down and dirty” planning process for the new year to properly manage your time and actually get things checked off of your to-do list in 2022.

Leverage Your Holiday Returns

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I explain why you should look at holiday returns as an opportunity to gain new customers and increase loyalty. The great news is, returns mean more and possibly new customers walking into your store. 

Tips For The Holiday Homestretch

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I go over some of my top tips to help get you successfully through the last few weeks of the holiday season. Take care of yourself, take care of your staff, and be sure to enjoy time with family and friends. You’ve earned it! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

A Tale Of Adversity And What It Means For You

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I examine a story about overcoming adversity. It is no secret that for retailers these last two years have been filled with difficult situations that needed quick solutions and tenacity. If you are watching this video, the odds are you have made it through, you still have your store and here you are going through another holiday season. I am here to tell you that you’ve got this.

The Good, The Gone, And The Mediocre Middle

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I take a brief look at the history of retail and how it has evolved. There is no longer room for “hobbyists” or “shopkeepers” in the new omni-experiential world. Those who do not accept the change and challenges of the future will be left behind.

2 Tips To Make Your Holidays Easier

The holidays are stressful, no matter what you do, or who you are. And as a retailer, they are particularly stressful and challenging, especially this year. In this episode of Real Retail TV, I’ll share two tips to make your holidays easier.

How To Get Better Sleep

In this episode of Real Retail TV, we’re going to take a deep dive into how entrepreneurs can get the best sleep. Follow these tips and you’ll be bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to greet more holiday shoppers.

How To Have Your Best Holiday Season Ever

In this episode of Real Retail TV, we’re going to explore how to make the 2021 holiday season your best ever. This holiday season is going to be tricky between supply chain issues, labor challenges, and the fact that the pandemic is still among us. Here are four ways to really make this holiday season a great one because there is a tremendous opportunity. You just have to be prepared to take advantage of it.

Asking About Price During The Holidays

In this episode of Real Retail TV, we’ll discuss why it’s so important to talk to each of your customers about how much they want to spend when they are shopping with you during the holidays. This video came directly from Holiday Selling Course inside the Retail Sales Academy.

The 3 Mindsets Of Successful Retailers

In this episode of Real Retail TV, we are going to explore the three mindsets of successful retailers. I have worked with literally thousands upon thousands of independent retailers like you and have discovered the mindsets that distinguish the most successful. I want you to think about whether you have these mindsets, if you do, how do you strengthen them and if you don’t, how do you develop them?

Dealing With Partner Problems

This episode of Real Retail TV is coming to you from San Antonio, Texas, where Susan and I are with the members of the Platinum Mastermind Group for our fall meeting. In it, we are going to explore problems with partners and how to solve them.

Dealing With Tricky Times In The Supply Chain

This holiday season is going to be challenging. You’ve seen the pictures of the freighters lined up to get into port to unload the goods, the goods that could or should be coming to your store. In this episode, we’ll talk about what you can do to make sure that you have merchandise to sell to your customers and make this fourth quarter the best that it can be.

Your Ultimate Retail Selling System

In this episode, you are going to learn the ultimate retail selling system. We call it, The 6 Steps To The Perfect Purchase. But, before we begin, I just want you to think about and recognize that selling is service. It isn’t pushy or manipulative. It’s about getting your customer everything they want need and desire when they are shopping with you.

This Management Concept Will Change Your Life

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I’m going to share with you the management concept that changed my life. What I’m talking about here is the idea of a non-negotiable standard. Watch now to learn more.

Retail Promotions – The Big Picture

In this episode of Real Retail TV, we’re going to discuss the big picture and promotions. By the end, you will have a much deeper understanding of why promotions are so important, how they work and how the different dynamics in promotions all fit together.

How To Find And Keep A Great Retail Team

I don’t need to tell you that there is a labor shortage right now, so in this episode of Real Retail TV, we’re going to explore how to find and keep the best retail employees.

Dealing With Frustration

In this episode of Real Retail TV, you’re going to learn an on-the-floor, on-the-fly stress reduction technique that I think you’re going to find really, really helpful.

5 Kinds Of Promotions For Your Store

If you ever get caught in the trap of running too many sales in your store, then this episode of Real Retail TV is for you! In working with thousands of independent retailers just like you, one of the things I know for a fact is that the best retailers have lots and lots of promotions. They have a robust full calendar full of interesting, fun, crazy things that they can do to drive people into the store. Promotions are important and they should not always be sales.

Start Thinking & Growing Bigger

Mindset matters when it comes to the growth of your retail business. In this episode, we’re going to discuss why it’s natural to think small and a single simple shift to start thinking differently and growing bigger.

The #1 Hiring Strategy You Haven’t Tried Yet

Here’s a fact, the best retail stores have the best team members but finding the right people can be incredibly challenging. In this episode, you’re going to discover an important but often overlooked strategy for finding and hiring great people.

One Subtle Shift That Saved My Business

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I am going to share with you something I learned the hard way so hopefully, you don’t make the same mistake I made. It was just a subtle shift that made all the difference to my business.

The Only 3 Ways To Grow Your Business

There are only three ways to grow a business, and in this episode of Real Retail TV, I’ll share what they are, what they mean for your business, and how they work together for the future growth of your business.

Get Your Team To Do What You Want

As a guy who owned a retail business for 19 years, I know the frustration that people experience when their employees don’t do what you want them to do. In this episode of Real Retail TV, I’m going to share with you exactly why people don’t do what you want them to do and what you can do about it.

Dealing With Retail Theft

Theft and fraud are a reality. As a business person, one of your jobs is critically thinking about and dealing with these issues. In today’s Real Retail TV, we’ll talk openly about this often painful reality.

Fear Or Courage: Your Choice

In this episode of Real Retail TV, we are going to explore a really important choice – fear or courage. When fear is driving your decisions, you’re not playing big. Courage is recognizing there are so many opportunities right now, that you might have to step out of my comfort zone, but when you do good things are going to happen.

Three People You Should Have In Your Life

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I’m going to share with you three people you really should have in your life. You need somebody smarter than you, somebody who is at the same level as you, and somebody to mentor.

My Summer Reading Strategy

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I share how I approach reading on vacation with the strategy I’ve found that really works for me. It allows me to rest and recover and recuperate, but yet still leaves me room for the inspiration that comes from a great business book.

Is In-Store Traffic Down Forever?

In today’s Real Retail TV we’re going to explore whether in-store foot traffic is going to return to its pre-pandemic levels.

When Life Goes Sideways

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I’m going to talk about when life goes sideways, sometimes you need to muddle and/or move.

The Upward Spiral of Prosperity

In today’s Real Retail TV, I’m going to share with you one of my favorite retail concepts… The idea of an upward spiral of prosperity. If you want to be very, very successful then this episode is for you.

A Powerful Post-Pandemic Strategy

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I am going to share with you an incredibly important post-pandemic strategy. You need to build a plan to get in
touch with your customers, to reactivate them to shop with you.

12 Traits of Successful Independent Retailers

After observing thousands of independent retailers, what I’ve found is that the most successful share 12 common traits. In this episode of Real Retail TV, you’ll learn all twelve, and, for good measure, you’ll get a bonus trait I think you’ll like.

Kissing Frogs

In today’s episode of Real Retail TV, I’m going to share a piece of advice that I heard 20 years ago and has certainly served me well. Kissing frogs is a great metaphor for the need to move on from people, situations, products, services that don’t work, but still try again!

A Radical Rule For Retail Success

Before we get to this week’s Real Retail TV, I’d like to wish my wife and partner, Susan, a very happy birthday! Now on to today’s episode where I’m going to explore a perhaps radical rule for retail success.

12 Ideas In 12 Minutes

This episode of Real Retail TV is an excerpt from the Retail Rumble at last year’s [Virtual] Retail Success Summit. The Retail Rumble is when Susan and I face off and each of us gets one minute to share one idea. You’ll get 10 ideas that we shared last year plus I’m going to throw in two new ideas giving you 12 ideas in 12 minutes!

Front of House vs. Back of House

In today’s episode of Real Retail TV, we’re going to explore an important way of looking at your business. Building your back of house correctly is so important to the success of your front of house. Watch now to find out why!

The Secret To Finding High Quality Employees

Right now lots of our clients are sharing that they are becoming frustrated that they’re not finding good candidates for open jobs in their store. In today’s Real Retail TV, you’ll learn the secret to having a team filled with the highest quality employees.

The New Retail Super Power

In this episode of Real Retail TV, you’re going to discover the new retail super power. When you tap into this super power all of a sudden your ability to do important work will go up dramatically.

Do This Right Now!

In this episode of Real Retail TV, you’re going to discover three shifts from reactive to proactive that you should be making right now.

Impact The Quality Of Your Outputs

In today’s episode of Real Retail TV, we’re going to talk about two really important things: inputs and outputs. Discover what kind of inputs you need to get the outputs that you desire to build the quality of life that you deserve.

What A Long Strange Year It’s Been

This has been a long, strange year. In this episode of Real Retail TV, I’ll reflect on how all of the uncertainty, stress, and anxiety of this past year will serve you well in the future.

A Contrarian View Of Retail Success

If I were to put 100 retailers in a room and ask, “What does success mean to you?” My guess is that 90% to 95% of the retailers that I was talking to would say a number of stores or profitability or annual sales. Their view of retail success is measured by some sort of objective standard. In this episode of Real Retail TV, I want to share my contrarian view of retail success.

My Predictions For The Future Of Retail

The future of independent retail has never, ever been brighter. Competitive advantages of the big department stores and Amazon have been diminished, if not eliminated and small to mid-sized brick and mortar independent retailers have new advantages. Watch this week’s episode of Real Retail TV to discover my predictions for the future of retail.

How To Make Your Promotions 10X More Profitable

Promotions do not only have to be about driving people into your store. You can make them omni-experiential! Using the ideas you’ll discover in this episode of Real Retail TV, you’ll be able to make your promotions ten times more profitable.

Dealing With Those Pesky Donation Requests

When I had my retail business, the sheer quantity of donation requests absolutely drove me crazy. I mean, it wasn’t just my local organizations that wanted money or donated merchandise, I found that I was getting requests from organizations 30, 40, 50 miles away that I didn’t even know. So, if those pesky donation requests are driving you crazy, then this episode of Real Retail TV is for you.

Don’t Make This Huge Mistake With Social Media

In this episode of Real Retail TV, I’m going to talk to you about a huge mistake a lot of people make with their social media marketing. You spend a lot of time, energy, and money on building your social media communities and it is so important to turn those relationships into contact information.

How To Prepare For The Post-Pandemic Future

The end of the pandemic is in sight! For most independent brick and mortar retailers, when this pandemic ends, sales are going to explode and there are going to be more opportunities for you than ever had before. So, in this episode of Real Retail TV, you’ll discover how you can prepare for the post-pandemic future!

How To Successfully Navigate Minimum Wage Increases

The upcoming minimum wage increases are causing a lot of consternation on the part of many independent retailers. In our WhizBang! Retailers Facebook group, someone asked, “What are you going to do about it?” There were over 200 comments, which means it’s a topic that needs to be addressed. So, in this episode of Real Retail TV, we’re going to talk about how to think about the wage increases and even more importantly, what you can do about it.

How To Get Off The Hamster Wheel

Do you sometimes feel like a hamster on a wheel who is running, running, running, and can’t get off? Or maybe like a juggler with too many balls in the air? This episode of Real Retail TV will teach you how to solve your big problems once and for all!

The Acceleration of Retail – Prediction For 2021

This episode of Real Retail TV, shares predictions for retail in 2021. It goes without saying that 2020 was an interesting year and 2021 will prove to be one also. Trends that we saw forming in 2019 will only accelerate in 2021. Watch now to discover what those trends are and what they mean for you.

Planning and Goal Setting For 2021 – It’s Going To Be Tricky

You don’t need to be told that planning and goal setting for 2021 is going to more difficult than it’s ever been. Today’s Real Retail TV will explore the idea of moving away from setting the traditional financial goals and focusing instead on process goals.

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