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Five Steps for Contented Content

June 6, 2016

As you have been expanding your marketing to increase your presence online, you may have added a blog to your website. Of course now that you have your blog, you’re probably struggling to maintain a high level of high-interest content. For everyone who’s ever been faced with producing a regular blog, content is probably one of your biggest challenges (along with just maintaining a regular schedule). Read more


5 Steps to Master the Art of the Everyday Deal

May 30, 2016

When you ask most people what was the last deal they negotiated, they’ll probably tell you it was buying a car.  And certainly there will be a horror story to go along with it.  No doubt, it involved some extended back-and-forth with the salesman and sales manager ending in an outcome.

But when you think about it most of us negotiate every day.  Each of us negotiates in business and in life.  You negotiate when asking for a raise, when purchasing a home or car, when hiring a new employee or when dealing with a supplier. So it couldn’t hurt to get few more ideas on how to master the art of the everyday deal. Read more

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What’s in Store For Stores

May 23, 2016

If you read trade journals and newspapers, you start to get the feeling the future of retail may be dramatically shaped by two things: technology and the Millennials.  If Walgreens is now located at the corner of Happy and Healthy, then future retail will soon live at the corner of Technology and Millennial. It pretty apparent that technology and Millennials go hand-in-hand.

Okay, I know, yet another blog musing on the affect Millennials may have on the future, but stick with me on this.  So far, many of the predictions made about the Millennial’s impact have been surprisingly accurate. Read more


Technologies That Will Shape the Future

May 9, 2016

If you’re regular reader of this blog, you know we like to try to guess the future of retail. Of course no one can predict the future, but that’s never stopped us from trying. A recent article on the Chain Store Age website, Study: Three Technologies That Will Shape Retail and One That Won’t, took a look at a study that tries to predict the future of retail for the next 10 years.

Of course the study was conducted by Ovum, a technology company commissioned by Criteo, which is also a technology marketing company, so it focused only on technology.   Included in the study was Hyper-Connectivity, Wearables, Augmented Reality, and 3-D printing. Read more


Six Tips from the Best in the Business

May 2, 2016

Last week, the Business Journals interviewed 11 of the top small business owners and asked them for tips for success in running a successful company.

These business owners were honored as last year’s Small Business Persons of the Year in their respective areas.  While their businesses may differ from an operation like a nonprofit retail store, it is easy to apply much of their advice to all types of operations. Let’s see how we can adapt their ideas to boost your museum and institutional stores. Read more


5 Ways to Grow Your Business and Yourself

April 11, 2016

As the operator of an institutional store, you’re in a unique position to grow both your business and your professional self… often at the same time.  In retail, you never know what the future will bring.  Every day is a new adventure, every year is a new challenge, and fortunately, every challenge is a new opportunity.  But you have to be ready.

The Business Journals recently ran an article, Six Quick and Affordable Tips to Grow New Business.  After reading the article, you begin to understand that the success of the business and the success of the business manager are often inherently linked.  If you follow professional sports, you begin understand that when a team wins, the value of the individual players usually goes up.   In business, being associated with a winning team and a successful enterprise, often increases the value of the people who are directly responsible for the store’s success. Read more

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The Perils of Pricing

April 4, 2016

Boutique grocer, Trader Joe’s recently reported that they would be reducing prices.  This is in response to a new pricing strategy announced by Whole Foods… or as they are sometimes referred to – Whole Paycheck.  While Whole Foods has thrived over the years despite their reputation as being the pricey alternative, even they aren’t immune to the risks they face by losing price-sensitive shoppers.

In retail, correctly pricing the items in your store is both the key to your profit, and probably your biggest minefield.  Obviously, you have to set a price with enough margin to cover your operating expenses and hopefully show a profit at the end of the year.  But if you price too high, you’ll be babysitting the items on your shelves for a long time. Read more


The Pareto Principle and Your Store

March 21, 2016

Marketers have long relied on the Pareto principle, or the 80/20 rule, which states that 80% of your revenue comes from 20% of your customers.

The theory is tempered by the fact that museums rely less on a local customer base than conventional retail locations do; many of us draw a lot of revenue from tourists, including international or out-of-region visitors. Our biggest spenders may only be in town once. But even if the top-20 spending group doesn’t always comprise the same individuals, if you analyze visitorship and spending, you will find that customers in that 20% have a lot in common. Read more

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I Hate Marketing


March 14, 2016

I’m not ashamed to admit it, but I hate marketing. On the surface, marketing sounds like it should be fun.  You know, coming up with fun slogans or filling balloons with helium and tying them to the front door, or maybe creating a cool sign with some flashy graphics.  You know, marketing… like they do on Madison Avenue.

When you’re doing marketing you get to tap into your inner Mad Men.  Of course, after you try it, you begin to understand why Don Draper drank a little too much. Read more

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8 Apps To Make Your Day Better

With both Apple and Google each offering more than 1.5 million apps a piece, chances are you might have missed one or two that could come in handy.  A smartphone in your pocket is an amazing tool, made even more powerful when equipped with the right apps.  Better yet, most of the basic apps are free. While most apps offer Pro or expanded versions for a price, the free versions usually give you everything you need.  So, the investment in most apps is in taking the time to learn how to use them. 

Whether you work with an iPad, iPhone, or with an Android/Google platform (or some combination), you’ll find most of these apps are available no matter which operating system you prefer. The apps on this list might make your day-to-day life easier (or more complicated, depending on your technological prowess).

Read more