“How To Avoid Hearing A Customer’s “No, I’m Just Looking” Ever Again” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

“How To Avoid Hearing A Customer’s “No, I’m Just Looking” Ever Again” by Bob Phibbs (The Retail Doctor)

Were you ever picked by a teacher to come up in front of class when you weren’t prepared to speak? It felt like hell, I bet. There’s an area of your retail store shoppers will avoid; it is the first eight feet after your doors. Some call it the decompression zone, some call it the threshold area—it should be called The Hell Zone. The Hell Zone because shoppers don’t want to go there. They might remember a past experience where an aggressive employee pounced on them wanting to shake their hand. Or they might remember another employee asking them a question, when all they wanted to do was get their bearings.  They had to blurt out a No just to get rid of the pesky employee. It’s hell because employees don’t want to go there either. They’ve asked a stranger in their most helpful way, Can I help you? and those darn shoppers always answer No! or No, I’m just looking! After weeks of this rejection, your employee gives up trying, says nothing, and retreats to the counter to text a friend. Because shoppers answer these greetings over and over with a negative, employees feel dehumanized. That negativity and lack of connection also opens the door to rudeness. Customers turn their back and walk away; they talk on the phone at the register; they haggle over prices or make unrealistic demands. It’s hell too because owners and managers see this happening time and time again but don’t know what to do to change it.  Until now… Discover how to create your best retail sales strategy with this comprehensive primer Use these steps to avoid, “No, I’m just looking.” First,...
“New PPP Loans For Businesses With 20 Employees Or Less” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

“New PPP Loans For Businesses With 20 Employees Or Less” by Krystina Morgan via Independent Retailer

The Biden administration announced five major changes in the Payroll Protection Program this week to make access to PPP loans more equitable, which could make a big difference for small businesses. Starting February 24, 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration will begin accepting applications for PPP loans exclusively for businesses under 20 employees and sole proprietors. The application period will occur over two weeks, with the SBA accepting program applications through March 10, 2021. If your business has 20 employees or less, check the SBA’s website to find a lender, find the right loan for you, and more. Borrowers may also be eligible for PPP loan forgiveness here. These changes are critical for small business nationally, considering only an estimated 5 percent of small businesses have received support thus far. According to USA Today, we have said goodbye to 400,000 small businesses since the start of the pandemic. To help prevent these numbers from continuing to climb, it is vital that indie retailers receive the help and support they need to push through the pandemic. SBA also announced four additional changes to open the PPP to more underserved small businesses than ever before. While these changes are being implemented, SBA will work with community partners to improve the emergency relief “digital front door” and conduct extensive stakeholder outreach. The organization will also strengthen its relationships with lender partners to advance equity goals, deliver funding efficiently, and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse. Here are the four additional changes: Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicantsEliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access...
“Jump on Board with Locally” by Callista Tufankjian

“Jump on Board with Locally” by Callista Tufankjian

 Come ride the Locally wave Are you Looking for a new way to connect brands, shoppers and retailers? Locally is your answer. Locally is a dynamic store and product locator company with thousands of retailers integrated providing shoppers with nearby, in stock products throughout multiple channels. Retailers, if you haven’t already heard of Locally, let’s dive in and learn more about our latest technology and advancements. How will this help your business?  Locally’s mission is to help retailers surface their in-stock merchandise to nearby online shoppers by using digital marketing tactics, merging brand-provided digital product content with POS stock information. We connect shoppers to local stores that currently have the product they are looking for in-stock. Our platform keeps the workload for stores low, while driving new online shoppers into the door. Our platform closes the gap between retailers, shoppers and brands. We strive to bring everyone together.  Keep your customers happy  It is key to keep your shoppers happy, especially during a pandemic. Locally is all about convenience. We make it simple for any size retailer to offer in-store or curbside pickup and/or same day delivery to their community. Locally also displays local events, store hours and many more features. These advancements will help keep your customers satisfied. People live very busy lifestyles and Locally will save everyone time. Locally is here to simplify the shopping experience for the consumer and the retailer!   Shopping Locally is the way to be Shopping at your favorite local shop is the best way to support your community. Locally permits retailers to broadcast what they have in stock to local consumers. Without...
“You Might Not Need to Worry About Breaking a Brand New Surfboard Ever Again” via The Inertia

“You Might Not Need to Worry About Breaking a Brand New Surfboard Ever Again” via The Inertia

Editor’s Note: Just bought a new surfboard? Check out Surfcare, a new option for peace of mind. You just dropped an unforgiving grand(ish) on a creamy white hunk of fiberglass – straight off the rack from your local surf shop. It’s silky to the touch. Your eye skims its clean eyes with adoration. You’re beaming with pride. You’re also a little sheepish about the purchase. The expense to fragility ratio is merciless. The reef doesn’t care about your investment. Nor does the minefield of surfboards at crowded spots like Malibu. Nope. They’ll happily break your board for you and kill that joy at no cost. The fragility of expensive surfboards has long defied logic for addicted, cash-constrained surfers. But a sensible solution may have just hit the market. Enter Surfcare: insurance for your brand new surfboard. “I was on a six-month trip to Indonesia when I had my ‘aha’ moment,” says Surfcare Founder Nick Stolz. “I showed up to the tiny Island of Sipura in the Mentawais with a brand new quiver of boards. Within a couple weeks, however, I broke every single one of them surfing HT’s and waves on neighboring islands. That’s when I decided to make Surfcare a reality.” Surfcare cofounder Nick Stolz charging Nias prior to breaking all of his surfboards and deciding to do something capitalist about it. Photo: Courtesy Stolz According to Stolz, the brand launched last month after three years of development and hoop-jumping to abide by regulations in the understandably no-nonsense insurance industry. Insurance is not a bro-bro industry.  Warranties must be vetted and maintained. “To get a little into the weeds, I didn’t know what I was...
“Did you miss the live M1 webinar session this week? Not to worry, we recorded it for you!” via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Management One

“Did you miss the live M1 webinar session this week? Not to worry, we recorded it for you!” via BRA Supporting Vendor Partner Management One

In this free educational webinar we sat down with industry experts to discuss changes to round 2 of the PPP geared towards helping small businesses. What does this mean for YOUR retail business? We cover everything you need to know on our live webinar session. In December, the PPP loan program was given new life, but that’s not the only source of financial assistance available to retailers in this crisis. Join Management One as we invited a panel of financial experts to discuss the levers available to retailers to optimize access to government stimulus options and evolve their merchandise strategies. Financial Keys to Retail Success in 2021 PPP and Beyond Webinar on Demand Download the PPP Worksheet here: https://www.management-one.com/ppp-lo…​ Thank you for attending our live session as we sat down with industry experts to discuss changes to round 2 of the PPP geared towards helping small businesses. What does this mean for YOUR retail business? We’ll cover everything you need to know on our live webinar session. In December, the PPP loan program was given new life, but that’s not the only source of financial assistance available to retailers in this crisis. Join Management One as we invite a panel of financial experts to discuss the levers available to retailers to optimize access to government stimulus options and evolve their merchandise strategies. View this free, live discussion with Rich Rose of Rainstar Capital and Missy Waites of Alliant Group as we talk through the various financial options retailers have at their disposal. Marc Weiss, Erin King and Paul Erickson from M1 will also offer key insights into how these...
BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – published on March 23, 2020 / last updated with links to recently enacted State and Federal level small business relief (PPP2 and more) as well as new PPP instructional webinar on February 24, 2021

BRA Covid-19 Retailer Resource Guide (strategies, webinars, loans and more) – published on March 23, 2020 / last updated with links to recently enacted State and Federal level small business relief (PPP2 and more) as well as new PPP instructional webinar on February 24, 2021

Welcome to the BRA COVID-19 Resource Guide. Below you will find resources for the benefit of all board specialty retailers (BRA Retail Members and non-members alike) during this challenging period. The Board Retailers Association is actively aggregating resources to assist you in navigating these uncharted waters. We update this page with additional resources regularly. If you are interested in contributing relevant information or helpful resources that will benefit other board specialty retailers, please email our Executive Director at doug@boardretailers.org Relevant and trustworthy online resources providing facts related to transmission of Covid-19 (Corona Virus) and strategies to battle the spread #spreadthestokenotthevirus Center for Disease Control (CDC) – Official Website Flatten The Curve – Everything you and your customers need to know to battle COVID-19 is on this website World Health Organization – Mental health and psychosocial considerations during the COVID-19 outbreak This epic and relevant drawing was created by Reddit User Darth Voter Relevant educational webinars (on-demand) > Crystal Media – 3 Tips To Get Started With Social Selling Today and Staying Top-of-Mind and Connected to Customers During a Pandemic > Management One – 1) “The Retailer’s Guide to the Economic Stimulus Package & Financial Options to Address COVID-19” – The CARES Act is a complex mix of government aid and bank loans each with their own timelines and requirements. The parameters and regulations for these loans is changing hourly! 2) With rent being one of the highest monthly expenses for brick and mortar retail businesses, it’s a good idea to approach the subject of temporarily altering the structure of your agreement – The Art of Landlord Negotiation to Ease the Highest...