Money Pillar

Take control of how money flows into, around and through your store


5 business lessons learned from tv’s Shark Tank

Facebook-f Instagram Linkedin I don’t watch an awful lot of tv*. And the stuff I do watch is vary rarely live. Thank goodness for catch-up, right? So Shark Tank, I mean, business, startups, and a healthy dose of reality tv. What more could an entreprenur want from a tv show? Sitting down last night, with the TV all to myself, glass of wine in hand, I was ready. Watching the show, though, I could see some major factors that were letting down the contestants (is that what they’re called?) In fact, I was so stirred up, I grabbed a ratty old envelope and a pen that were on the floor, and started making notes. Disclaimer – there is nothing new here! It’s all about presentation From the minute you walk in the door, or your client walks in your door. When they look at your website, when they meet you in person. First impressions last. It’s easy to be swayed by someone’s appearance. It’s even easier to make a financial investment when you feel secure in an environment, when you feel this person across from you, is a match for what you want to achieve. They have a vested interest


My 3 Questions That Always Make A Customer Purchase

I have a secret I want to share with you today. I call it the rule of threes, and it will definitely help you get more sales. It’s easy to fall into the old line of “can I help you” when a customer walks in the door. But you know the answer is most likely going to just be “I’m just looking”, right? Greeting a customer, and actually being able to help them, is about asking the right questions. Don’t pepper someone as soon as they walk in Forgo the “can I help you” and try “what brings you into the store today” Better yet, if the customer isn’t familiar to you, try, “is this your first time in store”. This will then give you the chance, to point out the benefits of shopping in your store, and start developing rapport with your customer. So, that’s my first question – the one that builds rapport with the customer and makes them feel welcome, but for the purposes of this video, I’m not counting it, ok? So don’t start sending me emails and commenting on Facebook, that there are actually 4 questions. When it comes to helping them select a product,


The Importance of A Perpetual Ecommerce Cart

Does this sound familiar to you? You’ve just sat down in front of your computer. There’s a cup of tea, or maybe a sneaky glass of wine by your side, and you’re ready to settle into an evening of online shopping. Then, the kids start crying, or there’s some kind of random emergency that seems to befall your household, just when you’ve sat down. Right? Happens to me All. The. Time. When you finally get around to heading back to your favourite online store, you find all of the things you’ve added to your cart are gone. Pouf. If you’ve had this happen to you, you’ve probably decided it’s not worth the bother to try and remember everything that you added to you cart. If you weren’t buying specific, items that you realllly wanted or needed, you’ve literally put those purchases in the too hard basket and that store has lost your sale. Even worse for said business, you could have gone back and added even MORE things to your cart, when you had a few spare minutes, and the sale would have been bigger. As the retailer, not only did you lose the money, but if you don’t have


Backing Up Your Retail Systems To The Cloud

One of the most disastrous things that can happen to your business, is losing all of your data. No longer able to access your customer database, your sales records, your inventory, your images and files, could potentially ruin your retail store. In the least, it would set you back weeks, trying to recover all of the lost information, and the lost sales that would happen as a result. I know businesses that have lost thousands of dollars in lost sales, when their website has been hacked, others that have lost tens of thousands of dollars in lost time, and not to mention, the potential legal issues that can arise, when you don’t have access to your business files. We’re talking about your point of sale system, your website, client information, internal files, employee data, bookkeeping files, images and blog posts, all gone. What would that do to your business? And yet, the answer to fix all of this is relatively simple and inexpensive. It just takes a bit of time to set it all up, and then it will automatically run in the background. So what am I talking about? Backing up your data to the cloud. Having an offsite,


How to get repeat customers from a trade fair

Trade fairs are a whirlwind of people, products and hopefully, sales. You’re high on excitement, surrounded by thousands of potential customers. You’re ready to sell anything and everything. But trade fairs are a funny thing. Customers are oftened hyped up and ready to spend, and the old fear of missing out, drives them to buy things that they may not normally have purchased. Now, the reason you do trade fairs, is mainly to attract new customers, right? But a new customer once, is not going to change your bottom line. In order to have a sustainable business model, you need to focus on repeat business. And, you can rock your customer’s world, if you offer a great customer experience. So what I’m going to tell you today, isn’t rocket science. They’re simple things that you can put in place, to make a one off customer into a repeat buyer, and hopefully, one that tells everyone about you, because word of mouth is the most positive form of advertising. So first off, skip the scanner. Those trade fair supplied systems that cost hundreds of dollars, really aren’t going to get you your perfect customer. What they’re going to do, is clog


Using the competitive advantage of your B&M store

Are you using your B&M store, market stall, or pop up shop, to the best of it’s ability. Whilst a lot of retailers shy away from the overheads and the responsibility that comes with having a bricks and mortar store, the fact is, with the overheads, comes a distinct competitive advantage. But, are you using that, to the best of it’s ability. When you have a bricks and mortar store, not only do you need to exploit every piece of real estate in and around it, but you also need to fully utilise the people you hire, and their skills. Open a customer’s eyes to what else is out there. If a customer comes in for a specific product, you have the ability to show them products that they may not have ever come across. It’s your job, as the retailer, to make the shopping experience as fulfilling as possible. This means offering cross sells. If a customer comes in for new dinnerware, show them placemats, a fruit bowl or a gravy boat. When opened up to new possibilities, a customer is likely to enjoy the experience more. Trust me, if they’re not interested, they’ll tell you. Educate them a


Hedging Currency As A Small Business Retailer

When I went to New York recently, I was looking forward to some amazing shopping, but, not looking forward to those pesky currency conversion charges on my credit card, that can add up super quickly. So when I found that my airline Frequent Flyer card could also be used as a pre-paid credit card in local currency, I immediately transferred some cash into it, and watched the exchange rates daily. Exchange rate fluctuations can seriously affect the profitability of a product in your store. Not only is there the actual unit cost, but also the freight to get it to you, and both of those amounts will change, depending on the exchange rate for the day. I’ve seen many small businesses that order a small shipment of stock, for say, a thousand dollars, but by the time the payment comes due, the price may have changed by hundreds of dollars. Those dollars could mean the difference between a profitable product, and one that ends up costing you money. There are a few options that you can utilise, when it comes to hedging your currency. If you have the funds upfront, you can use a pre-paid card, like the one I


How to Make Pre-selling Work For Your Retail store

Should you sell stock before it arrives in your store? What are the pros and cons? Pre selling stock before it comes into your store can generate significant cash flow for you. Just look at any Apple product. People line up, sometimes for days, in order to purchase their products, and quite often, they don’t even get to walk away with a physical product . Sometimes it’s months, before they receive the goods they’re pre-purchasing. Apart from having an amazing brand, Apple creates demand by releasing snippets of information in the lead up to the event. They don’t just go hey, here’s a new product, you can have it in 3 months. They create hype and demand. They trade on FOMO, the fear of missing out. Apple use this as a status indicator. Another benefit of preselling, is that it creates scarcity. Similar to FOMO, creating scarcity increases a product’s desirability, and prompts customers buy, even if the product hasn’t arrived. Preselling an item can also validate the viability of a product. If lots of people are talking about it, and buying that product, it gives the product credibility. We call that social proof. Speaking of validation, when you presell


Why Reviews Are Important For Your Retail Store and How to Get them

If you shop at Amazon or eBay, you’ve probably checked the seller’s reviews before you went ahead and purchased. Why, well, if you’re anything like me, it’s so that you can see the credibility of the seller, or the actual product, the have the security that you weren’t the first to buy, that others liked the product. When I say that reviews are important, I’m stating the obvious. You already know that, because you read them when you shop online, before you go to a restaurant or before you book a hotel. Word of mouth, and the power of the digital pen, make the need for reviews on your website, pretty much a given, if you want to increase your sales and traffic to your site. How do you feel about these statistics. 9 out of 10 people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations 7 out of 10 people say that reviews help them make the decision to purchase a product So apart from the fact that having reviews can mean the difference between a sale and not, what other benefits do reviews have for your retail business? They allow you to become an expert Reviews allow you