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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!
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!
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.
Are you making deposits in your customer’s emotional bank account or are you always making withdrawals? This is such an important aspect of your marketing efforts that many people ignore. You must give to get.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
I always say, “Love your customers, and the money will follow.” This week I was given a true example of this message at our local health food store, The Health Hut.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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!
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 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!
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!
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.
In this Retail Retail TV, you’re going to discover the simplest (and best) customer loyalty program for independent, brick and mortar retail stores.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.