Members only Follow Us:

Are You Tapping All Your Resources?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

(GIFTBEAT)So, what's a retailer to do when the economic chips are down? Throw in the towel, or become even more determined to make his or her business succeed? If you're in the "survive-and-thrive" category, read on as Sam Geist, president of Markham, Ontario-based Geist & Associates Inc., entrepreneur, marketing specialist and author of "Execute…or Be Executed," talks about the untapped resources a retailer can use in a down economy.

No business is an island. We rely on each other. Capitalize on external and internal resources. Have coffee [and a roundtable discussion] with a dozen of your best customers. Make a deal with your bank or chamber of commerce to do a display in their offices.

Talk to vendors. Utilize the technology that is transforming our lives. How many retailers reading this article have a customer database but don't use it to keep in touch with their customers? How many "milk" their database effectively? A focused retailer milks his or her database by sitting down with a vendor, [deciding on a] promotion and sending email invitations to customers. Promote a new line, a special week, or the hottest colors and styles.

Remember that "leadership" is a verb, not a noun …and that "teamwork" is more than two words stuck together. Keep meetings well planned and sharply focused, communicate clearly and effectively, and challenge and stimulate your staff to execute [your plans].

Geist can be reached at Log on to to order his book "Execute…or Be Executed: Eighteen Ways to Move Strategic Thinking to Strategic Doing" (2008).

Sign Up for
Joyce Washnik's
Top Tips & Picks
a FREE alert featuring retail tips & fave product picks

Categories we're tracking
In This Month's

  • Summer/Seasonal
  • Message Gifts
  • Stationery Accessories
  • Non-Jar Candles
  • T-shirts
  • Fashion Accessories
  • Reorders
  • Personal Care

While coloring books and related products were all the rage in Stationery Accessories last year, this year it's back to basics: note cards, journals and planners.

* Every month Giftbeat tracks sales in a a variety of product categories (more than 50 categories throughout the year). SIGN UP NOW to receive this vital information on which gift items are moving off store shelves.