Podcast 015: Fabulous Friday: Theming your Days – Email Resend, Mastermind Group, Time on the Floor

Block Scheduling – Theme your Days
Fabulous Friday: Prepare Email Resend, Mastermind Meeting,Time on the Floor

This episode was originally recorded as a LIVE Periscope Episode, #122

We’ve been talking a lot about Theming Your Days here at Remarkable Retailer!
If you’re new to the Remarkable Retailer, today’s episode is the sixth part of a series on Theming Your Work Week and in case you missed either the introduction, or the first 5 episodes, you can easily get caught up by going back through the podcast episodes posted here on Remaarkable Retailer.

Several months ago I implemented a simple technique that has helped me become more efficient, get more done and makes my life a little less hectic. After a conversation with a member of my Mastermind Group, Carol Keplinger, from Timeless Traditions last week, I recorded Episode 117 as an overview of how to block schedule your work, and have decided to focus on this subject on our scopes each day this week.

It’s called theming your days.

Whether you love planning and execution or hate it, theming your days can help you do both without having to hold actual planning sessions and meetings with yourself every day. There’s nothing complicated about it…in fact, this has become a habit in my life that has almost become second nature. Although never perfect, it is a way that even when you are super busy and can be pulled into a million directions, it brings you back into focus, at least once per day.

Today we’re going to focus on Friday’s theme: Prepare Email Resend, EntreLeadership Class & Time on the Floor

In our business, our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are slower, and business picks up Thursday, Friday & Saturday. This is why in the “Theming Your Days” plan that I use, the first part of the week is used for concentrated, detail work. Financials on Monday, Email & Social Media Marketing on Tuesday & Connection – Building professional relationships & education on Wednesday. Things change later in the week! The last half of the week we are busier with customers in the store, getting ready for weekend events, sometimes we have an outside retail show on the weekend, etc.

So here’s what our Fabulous Friday looks like: What is going on for the weekend (we call the weekend Thursday, Friday & Saturday) in our shop. Many times we have an event going on and that really determines what our day looks like. If possible, I like to be on the floor as much as I can be on Friday’s, but here is what goes on behind the scenes in the office…

Email: 2nd Chance at Success
I love to give our weekly email (created this last Tuesday) a second chance at success! We re-send this email to only the people that DID NOT OPEN it earlier in the week, and we usually get an additional 600 – 900 opens on that email. It takes 5-10 minutes to do this and is well worth it! I have a little step-by-step tutorial on exactly how to do this that I will be happy to email out to you. Just email Vicki@RemarkableRetailer.com with 2nd Chance in the subject line and I will get it right out for you.

Maybe your earlier email just didn’t hit them at the right time of the week…by sending out to only those that didn’t open earlier, you’re not “over-emailing” to the clients that do open your weekly emails! This has been a great method for us and we have consistently done this for over a year now.

There is also catching up that will need to be done in the office, a couple of quick Facebook posts to keep it “real” (remember that most of our Facebook posts were done back on Tuesday for the week), and just making sure that any essential emails are answered, schedules are done, etc.

Today’s ACTION Plan:

Like I’ve pointed out in previous episodes, I want to be in full disclosure here…just in case you think that my week runs in perfectly with the themes I have on each day, it just doesn’t work out like that! My life has it’s fair share of craziness just like yours does. We’re all about keeping it REAL here on Remarkable Retailer!

However, by theming your days, you know right where to get back on to get your most important work done! Another thing to keep in mind is that if you get “off schedule” you just start back with today’s theme! Make up only those tasks that are essential to running your business and move along…you will catch up next week.

Also, I don’t spend all day working only on the “theme” for that day. The change I have made though, is that I am not jumping around from theme to theme as I know that if it is marketing work, it will be done on Tuesday. If it is financial, I will take care of it on Monday, etc. Of course, there are always going to be exceptions and you must personalize this to your business!

Whatever business you are in, I would encourage you to give “Theming” a try! Our goal is to encourage retailers and entrepreneurs to have a successful business and a somewhat
well balanced life.

Also, if you’re interested in the Step by Step Tutorial on giving your weekly emails a second chance at success, just email Vicki@RemarkableRetailer.com with “2nd Chance” in the subject line, and I will get it right out for you! 

I know TIME is your MOST VALUABLE ASSET, and I never want to waste a single minute… THANK YOU so much for joining me today! I love being a part of this group of Remarkable Retailers!

My goal is to bring daily energy, experience and insight along with tips and tactics to help you grow your business!

If you’ve just discovered us here at Remarkable Retailer, let me introduce myself: my name is Vicki Adrian…I have been a small business owner of Adrian’s Boutique in the community of Buhler, Kansas for over 33 years. I love to brainstorm and bring experience and insight to help small business owners thrive in today’s economy. I believe that the BEST way to build a successful business is to create a Rock Solid Client List and then to take care of those customers for life!  

If you would like to work with me to Build Daily Habits and grow your business, You can get in touch with me at Vicki@RemarkableRetailer.com. I would love to set up a time for an appointment to “Talk Shop” with you!

If you would prefer to watch the video of this episode, just click image below.

Podcast 013: Theme Your Work Days – Wednesday – Connect! Educate! Read!

Block Scheduling – Theme your Days – Wednesday – Connect! Educate! Read!

This episode was taken from a LIVE Periscope Training: Episode 120

If you’re just joining us, today’s Scope is the fourth part of a series on Theming Your Work Week and in case you missed either the introduction, or the first 3 episodes, let me give you a very quick synopsis… 

Several months ago I implemented a simple technique that has helped me become more efficient, get more done and makes my life a little less hectic. After a conversation with my friend & colleague, Carol Keplinger from Timeless Traditions last week, I recorded Episode 117 as an overview of how to block schedule your work, and have decided to focus on this subject on our scopes this week.

Screenshot 2016-05-11 13.41.59It’s called theming your days.

Whether you love planning and execution or hate it, theming your days can help you do both without having to hold actual planning sessions and meetings with yourself every day. There’s nothing complicated about it…in fact, this has become a habit in my life that has almost become second nature. Although never perfect, it is a way that even when you are super busy and can be pulled into a million directions, it brings you back into focus, at least once per day.

I do want to insert right hear a big shout out to my rock star friend and fellow retailer, Carol Keplinger, owner of Timeless Traditions in Overland Park, Kansas. She sent me a screenshot of the dashboard on her new MacBook Pro last night with perfect little sticky notes that she Themed her days on… I love it and of course, had to copy it right away! I’ll post a photo over on the Remarkable Retailer Facebook page so you can see how she did it. LOVE that our RR community is not only listening, but TAKING ACTION! Great job miss Carol!

OK, Back to today’s episode!

Today we’re going to focus on Wednesday’s theme: Connect! Educate! Read!

I have been a retailer for 33 years, in a very small town in central Kansas… Just for a little background, I actually grew up in southern California, in the LA area, and married a Buhler, Kansas boy…then found myself in the middle of nowhere for the past 33 years! Many of those first years, I felt very isolated, didn’t know very many other retailers, and built this business on a lot of trial and error, with many mistakes made along the way.

I give you this background to help you understand how much I value connection with other small business owners and retailers. Several years ago, I began to intentionally connect with other retailers. This takes effort and sometimes it can feel like trying to make a new friend in Junior High…but I want to encourage you to hang in there and reach out to others in your profession!

One of my first retail connections was over the phone lines through a mini-mastermind group that Bob Negan of Whiz Bang Training had done. I think there were 4 retailers plus Bob as our facilitator who met once a week on a group phone call. There was another attendee, a lady named Terri King, that I really resonated with… after the program ended we stayed in touch and bounced ideas back and forth, and after months of “phone-dating” planned to meet at the next market that we were both attending.

We have been uber-connected and supported each other in many ways since then. I have gotten to know Terri’s husband, ooh and ahh over her darling little grandson, met several of her staff members, and have learned so much from this lady! Through the years, Terri has introduced me to several of her retail friends, who have become my friends as well…I in turn, have introduced Terri to some rock-star retailers that I had connected with… Terri was one of the first members of our MasterMind Group, and I am so grateful for her!

These relationships don’t just happen. You must be intentional about reaching out and connecting with others. I would go for months at times and realize that I hadn’t really talked to anyone from the group of professionals I had met. There were times that I felt really alone, frustrated and burnt out while trying to do retail alone. Let’s face it, unless they are involved in the business, our family and circle of friends just do not talk in our retail language. They don’t care what your IAT is, how your last coupon or catalog performed, or what exciting new products you have ordered.

I decided to make it a part of my LIFE to reach out and connect with another retailer at least once per week, and in order to make that a HABIT, set Wednesday morning drive time (my drive time is only 8 minutes, by the way) to call another retailer. Usually these phone calls went out to someone east of Kansas because of the time difference, but over the last couple of years, I also call someone west of here in the afternoon.

I cannot even describe how valuable this has been to our business! First of all, those retailers you call are usually feeling just as lonely as you did and they love to hear from you. If you’re thinking, “I don’t even know anyone to call…how did she meet these people?” I exchange business cards with people I meet at market, or vendors, or sales reps. Many times I will make a little note on the card so I can remember what they looked like. Other times, I ask to take a photo with them, so I can remember. If you don’t know anyone, you can always give me a call…I love to talk retail!

OK, back to Wednesday and theming your week. So, although at this point, there’s really never a day that I’m not talking or texting with another retailer, I still set aside time on Wednesday to be INTENTIONAL about it. Last week I had a great conversation with Tami Anderson, owner of Tapestry Boutique in Winnemucca, Nevada. Yesterday, I reached out to Kristen Holbrook from the Mole Hole in Michigan…I had never met her, but follow her store through emails and social media. She does a great job!

The other part that makes Wednesday so valuable is that this is also the day that I try to watch tutorials, videos, take an online class, read blog posts, etc. I have always been a firm believer in educating yourself, and could make an entire year’s worth of Periscopes on that subject because the world is changing so rapidly, you must take time out of your week to FOCUS on EDUCATION!

Today’s ACTION Plan:

I want to be in full disclosure here…just in case you think that my week runs in perfect accord with what themes I have on each day, it just doesn’t work out like that! My life has it’s fair share of craziness just like yours does. Things go wrong. Ice Storms Hit. A staff member gets sick. You have a week of market and get off schedule…that’s real life.

However, by theming your days, you know right where to get back on to get your most important work done! Also, I don’t spend all day working only on the “theme” for that day. The change I have made though, is that I am not jumping around from theme to theme as I know that if it is marketing work, it will be done on Tuesday. If it is financial, I will take care of it on Monday, etc. Of course, there are always exceptions!

 

Do the work! Get out a calendar and pencil in some major themes of work that you must get done on a weekly basis. Most everything you do will fall under 5 or 6 “umbrella themes.”

To quickly recap…Wednesday’s theme is Connect! Educate! Read!
(Leaders are Readers!)

Get specific! Instead of me just saying “On Wednesday I’m going to call someone”, I might say “On Wednesday I’m going to call Genia Vineyard & Connie Gauntt. I will also watch Michael Hyatt’s latest video, and will read 3 chapters in my current book, The Power of Habit.” This way I can check it off of my list and know I am accomplishing my goals.

Also, keep a folder on your computer or in a file with the names and contact information of other business owners that you meet, and make a note of when you talked to them last. Don’t put this off! Start to connect with someone in your profession TODAY! I cannot even stress enough how important this is to the long term success of your business.

If you would like to work with me to Build Daily Habits and grow your business, just go to the Remarkable Retailer Website and click on the “Work With Vicki” tab at the top. I would love to set up an appointment to “Talk Shop” with you!

My goal is to bring daily energy, experience and insight along with tips and tactics to help you grow your business!

If you’ve just discovered Remarkable Retailer, let me introduce myself: my name is Vicki Adrian…I have been a small business owner of Adrian’s Boutique in the community of Buhler, Kansas for over 33 years. I love to brainstorm and bring experience and insight to help small business owners thrive in today’s economy. I believe that the BEST way to build a successful business is to create a Rock Solid Client List and then to take care of those customers for life!

Prefer to watch this episode on video? Just click image below!

A Peek inside my Toolbox… Software: Part Two of Two

You can’t expect to meet the challenges of today with yesterday’s tools and expect to be in business tomorrow.
~Unknown


Software
There is new software on the market every single day that is promising to make your life easier, run your business smoother, and all you need to do is provide your credit card information.  I have personally purchased many software programs over the years that were above my ability to learn how to use them, or just were not a good fit for retailers. Today, I’m going to introduce you to a few programs that we use on a daily basis whether we’re working at home or traveling.

I want you to know that my qualifications to recommend these products come ONLY from using them.  I don’t hold a degree in computer technology, computer science or programming.  These are all software solutions to problems I have experienced as a retailer.

I know there are plenty of choices out there with both hardware and software, and this list is by no way, exclusive.

Tools that travel well are very important to our business! As the owner and buyer for our retail store, I spend plenty of time on the road at markets, seminars and other business meetings during the year, but we also take our store “on the road” and set up shop to sell at retail Women’s Shows, regional Art & Craft Fairs, and the Kansas State Fair.

Great tools allow me to continue to stay in touch with our clients and staff and do the marketing work that is important to our business no matter where we are in the country!

We’re going to jump right in and explore some of my favorites!

A Peek inside my Toolbox… Hardware: Part One of Two

Do not wait; the time will never be ‘just right.’ Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.

~George Huebert


We get a lot of questions from people asking what tools and pieces of technology we use everyday in our business. Today, we’re going to cover some of that as we share what we use both when we’re working at home and traveling.

First of all, let me explain that I am not a “techie” guru or anything even close!  These “tools” have been collected over time, and have proven to work well for me. I know there are plenty of choices out there with both hardware and software, and this list is by no way, exclusive.

Tools that travel well are very important to our business! As the owner and buyer for our retail store, I spend plenty of time on the road at markets, seminars and other business meetings during the year, but we also take our store “on the road” and set up shop to sell at retail Women’s Shows, regional Art & Craft Fairs, and the Kansas State Fair.  Great tools allow me to continue to stay in touch with our clients and staff and do the marketing work that is important to our business no matter where we are in the country!

We’re going to jump right in and explore some of my favorites!

Lessons Learned from a Taco Trailer

Welcome to El Parasol!


I’ve discovered throughout my life, every family is different. In fact, one of the life lessons we tried to teach our children was that “Every Family Is Weird” and especially OURS! This was to prepare them for life and eventually marriage to someone from another family that has its own idiosyncrasies, and also to save us from embarrassment when they were little.

Road Trips
One thing our weird family enjoys is Road Trips, and as small business owners, we have always done our best to support local restaurants, both at home and on a road trip, along with staying at local hotels, and shopping at local businesses. Our track record with choosing local is pretty good as most local businesses cannot survive if they are not doing things right…at least they don’t survive for very long!

Keeping it Local
We have found that the very best place to find out where the stellar local eateries are is to stop at a fruit stand.  As the owners of fruit stands are the same people who supply restaurants with FRESH produce, these people have an inside track to the very best locally owned restaurants, and they know “fresh & local” like no one else!  This is exactly how we arrived at El Parasol in Espanola, New Mexico many years (and many road trips) ago.

Introduction to El Parasol
Now, El Parasol is not somewhere you would choose from it’s elegant exterior.  It is an 8’ x 10’ Taco Trailer that has somehow that has been serving local and regional visitors for over 50 years now. The food is amazing, the service extraordinary and this tiny Taco Trailer is legendary.

Podcast 009: TJ Reid ~ The FASHION Advantage

“So glad you’re here!”

With her warm southern accent and lady-like charm shining through, this is the way today’s guest, TJ Reid, greets store owners as they arrive at one of her many seminars across the country. Today, I am excited to introduce you to a woman who is one of America’s most knowledgeable experts on the topics of fashion retail, small business, promotions, advertising, and customer service.

Fashion AdvantageT.J. Reid has commanded over 2,000 successful workshops, written many best-selling retail business books, and is now Editor/Publisher of FASHION ADVANTAGE, the only magazine for small specialty stores, in its 26th year of publication with thousands of readers throughout the U.S.A. and Canada. FASHION ADVANTAGE is considered “The voice of today’s small retailer.”

I have personally been a long time subscriber to Fashion Advantage and read each issue from cover to cover.  TJ’s knowledge and hands-on advice comes from her over 50 years of experience (she started very young!) in this industry as a small store owner, QVC on-air personality, buyer, accessory designer, sales trainer, special events planner,  and consultant. (Add wife & mother!)  Click the link above to listen to the interview.

Podcast 008: Terri King ~ Creativity Reigns!

Terri King
Chief Creative Officer & Owner 
My Secret Garden ~ Bay City, Michigan

Today’s podcast guest is one of the most creative, gifted, savvy, smart and yes, REMARKABLE retailers that I have ever met, and she is a great friend and retail accountability partner! Terri King is the owner of My Secret Garden in Bay City, Michigan. Today you’ll hear some words of wisdom from this exceptional entrepreneur!

Terri King, My Secret Garden

Pure Imagination!
Terri brings passion and incredible creativity to her beautiful store in Bay City, Michigan.  Her store encompasses over 7,000 square feet and the displays are absolutely delightful!

Terri scours markets in Atlanta, Las Vegas, Chicago, High Point and locally to bring the best selection of unique products to her customers. Constantly changing merchandise and displays keep My Secret Garden fresh and exciting!

She is highly respected within the Retail Community and has been featured in several publications including GiftBeat and the Off-Price Market Magazine, along with many articles in her local market area.  Her shop is a true destination shopping location for locals and those who travel to the Bay City, Michigan area. Her shop buzzes with creative displays and fun events for customers!
~Click “Continue Reading” for photos and details!