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306 Parker Circle
Lawrence, KS 66049
Phone: 785-760-5071
Email: mike@clnonline.com


A view of the industry through the eyes of independent and chain retailers.

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Stake Your Claim … Don't Play the Recession Game!

Attitude makes all the difference.

by Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender (June 15, 2009)

We're so sick of hearing the "R" word. No matter where we are people tell us: "Business is down. It's tougher than usual, but what do you expect? We're in a Recession!"

Well, we're not playing the recession game, and we hope that you aren't either.

We read recently that the retail industry in the U.S. represents a whopping four trillion dollars. Now, let's think this through. Yes, business can be hard at times, but even if the retail industry took a devastating one trillion dollar hit, there would still be three trillion dollars worth of business being done. Stake your claim to those dollars by adopting a power approach to growing your business. Let everyone else cry recession – you can't shrink your way to greatness!

How you stake your claim on your portion of that multi-trillion dollar pie is up to you; the answer lies in how you see your business and your opportunities.

1. You can move from the Defiance Syndrome to Positive Expectancy. Statements like, "This can't be happening to me. I've been in business for 15 years!" is a sure sign the defiance syndrome has set in. It's far better to adopt an attitude of Positive Expectancy and look for opportunity instead of failure. You can't give up in recessionary times; now more than ever you need a positive can-do attitude.

2. Stop Placing Blame and Accept Responsibility. Some people will blame the business environment or the economy on their store's lackluster performance. They think there's nothing they can do about it; it's not their fault business is slow, so they "suck it in and tough it out." Unfortunately, the only thing this creates is a self-fulfilling prophesy. Instead, accept the realities of today's business environment and decide now what you can do to prosper in turbulent times. Don't pull back, plan ahead; anticipate what needs to be done in your store to attract shoppers, and then do it.

3. Stop haggling with yourself and go with Accountability and Creativity. Self-Haggling is negotiating with yourself to do as little as possible; minimizing risk to get over a dilemma. "Well, I suppose if I just do this …" Self-Haggling is merely tweaking your business; making only small changes.

Accountability and Creativity is all about re-invention. Retailers with this attitude have a strong desire to make the customers' experience different; better, using events and promotions, new ideas, and new applications as strategies to lure customers back to the store.

4. When despair is in the air; when everyone's talking about what's wrong, go in the opposite direction. Despair breeds destruction. It robs you of the desire to step up and do what needs to be done. Adopting and maintaining a Positive Atmosphere in your store is hard when everyone else is complaining, but adopt it you must. Put a positive spin on things. Look for opportunities, not disasters. This is essential: your attitude is reflected in your people, and their attitude is reflected in how your customers feel about your store.

5. Embrace a "One More Thing" Attitude. Ask yourself, "What one more thing could we do to go above and beyond what our customers' expect?" We do. When we send our press kit to perspective clients, we shrink wrap all kinds of goodies in a big basket so the client can't wait to open it. We add a bag of popcorn, a theater-size box of Dots®, and cotton candy for the client to nosh on watching our preview DVD. We send freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with birthday cards. We pride ourselves on the fact that we're crazier about this "One more thing" attitude than our competitors are, and that's a good kind of crazy!

Regardless of what the naysayers tell you, you can prosper in turbulent times. Believe in yourself and your ability to do whatever it takes to keep your business healthy. Turbulent times call for leaders, not followers. Stake your sales claim now! And if you're fresh out of ideas, give us a call. You know we're always good for an idea or two. Or 200.

Upcoming Seminars.

CHA Summer Show, Orlando.

A."4th Quarter Calendar: EVERYTHING You Need to Run In-Store Events that Build Sales!" Mon., July 27, 2:00-3:00 pm. Business Seminar S103

B. "Retail Rescue: How to Find Opportunity in Tough Economic Times," Tues., July 28, 12:00-1:00 pm. Business Seminar S106

C. "Stories of Triumph & Success: Meet Successful Independent Retailers and Learn What They Do Right!" Wed., July 29: 12:00-1:00 pm. Business Seminar S112. Visit www.chashow.org.

(Note: Professional speakers, authors, and consultants, Rich Kizer & Georganne Bender are nationally recognized experts on customer diversity, marketing & promotion, and everything that affects and interacts with consumers in the retail environment. Each year Kizer & Bender speak to thousands through their "Retail Adventures in the REAL World™" keynotes and seminars. Their unique consumer insights are widely featured in the media, including the ABC National News special report, "How Stores Hook You." Their book, Champagne Strategies on a Beer Budget!, has helped thousands of retailers improve their bottom line, and their "Retail Adventures™" Blog is visited by tens of thousands of readers each month. In 2004 they were named two of the "Most Influential People in Retail Today," and their popular magazine column, "Georganne & Rich on the Road," won the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) Award of Excellence in 2004 and again in 2006.

You'll find thousands of strategies, tactics, tips. and techniques to help you grow your business on their Retail Adventures™ blog: http://www.kizerandbender.blogspot.com. They mean it when they say to call if you want to talk about your store. They know how tough it is right now, and they're happy to brainstorm ideas with you – they want you to succeed! To read previous articles by Rich and Georganne, click on the titles in the right-hand column.).




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