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Business Tools

Starting a business is more than just hanging a sign and opening your doors, but as a savvy business owner you already know that. Some of the most talented folks we see opening retail spaces are intimidated by e-blasts, customer service or marketing plans. We also know that putting in some power planning early in your launch will enable you to achieve a strong start and stay on track.

We’ve worked with some of the best organizations and bloggers for small business to create a virtual library of forms, documents and information that will give you an advantage. Sit back, grab a coffee, picture what your business looks like, and put it into words. These examples should help get your mojo flowing.

Business Plans

We created this plan for you, with the help of Microsoft Office.

The SBA provides a lot of great resources for getting your business started, whether you are interested in securing a loan or not. Learn more on their site.

SCORE has a good business plan, too.

Glossary of Key Terms

Even business leaders can get tripped up talking the talk of demographics, mission statements, etc. Curious about the difference between goals, objectives and tactics? Here’s an easy-to-print list to help guide you through the potential confusion.

Price Products for Affordability and Profit

Ensure you are covering your cost of goods sold and making enough of a margin to gain a profit.  Not sure how to do that?  Here’s a great article on pricing for maximum benefit, without pricing your product out of the market.

Key Performance Indicators

KPIs are indicators that help retailers track trends, analyze sales data and break down profitability road blocks for some quick fix opportunities. For example, using your point of sale software (POS) to pull reports on a weekly or monthly basis can help you identify your busiest days (and your slowest, when a dinner special or % off sale might drive needed traffic to your shop), or how an add-on item can put your revenue into overdrive, just by grouping items (e.g. the ones that sell well, with some that might not sell too well…). Learn more from a document we worked on with Angel Cicerone, here.

Budget Worksheet

Even if you can’t balance your own checkbook (does anyone still use a checkbook?), a budget worksheet will help you identify where income is excelling, what costs seem to be out-of-wack and opportunities to fine tune your business spending. To get you started, we created an excel document for you to use.

We like this website for profit/loss examples for budgets.

Potential Pitfalls

Prepare like a boy scout and you’ll be less likely to fall short of your goals. We like this advice from seasoned professional, Steve Strauss.

Steve says these 5 liabilities are common:

  1. You need more money than you think.
  2. You need to start the buzz -online and in person- before you open.
  3. You need skills. Starting a business means wearing lots of hats; accounting, marketing, merchandising, management, customer service, and more.
  4. You need customers. Start thinking about 5 ways to reach your potential buyers and start before you open.
  5. You need patience. Time will be your friend, but work diligently and the rewards will come in time.

 

If you’re at the point where you are ready for a professional to take you to the next level, we’ve learned a ton from Angel Cicerone’s Tenant Mentorship company- maybe they’re right for you.

Let us know how these work for you. And feel free to share your own finds with us at strategicmarketing@ircretailcenters.com.

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Fabulous In Omaha
Monique Trosper