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 012: Theme your Work Days – Tuesday – Marketing & Social Media Focus

This episode was originally recorded during a LIVE Periscope. Episode #119

Block Scheduling – Theme your Days – Tuesday – Marketing & Social Media

If you’re just joining us, today’s Scope is the third part of a series on Theming Your Work Week and in case you missed either the introduction, or part two, I have provided a very quick synopsis at the bottom of this post.

Today we’re going to focus on Tuesday’s Theme: Marketing & Social Media.

Tuesday is probably my favorite day of the week, because I naturally love marketing and am fueled up by the creativity that this day allows.

Here is where I like to start on Tuesdays…
Write, produce and schedule our stores weekly email newsletter. This takes at least an hour, as our store’s emails are very informative, full of things that I know my customers like, such as how to videos, delicious recipes, features on new products that are coming out, sharing of what we found at market, highlights from a recent event in the store, or promotion of one that is soon to happen, etc.

Keep it interesting!
I will put 10-15 links throughout the newsletter and use lots of photos. I want our emails to be opened…so I treat it as if I am writing to just one customer (our avatar, who I named Connie years ago.) I try to include things that I know “Connie” would like. The purpose of our weekly email is to invest in relationships with our clients. We reward them for opening the emails through coupons, gift certificates and “email only” offers. This is the bread and butter of marketing for our business.

The promotions in our store run from Wednesday through the following Monday or Tuesday, so my weekly email goes out either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. There are a few exceptions to this schedule because of events we are holding, but this is our schedule for most of the year.

I know for many of you, you don’t run promotions for a full week, but because of where we are located (out in the boondocks) most of our customers have to drive 15-60 miles to come to see us! I want to be sure that we are serving them by making it convenient for them to plan a time to come to the store. Of course, you will need to adjust this to meet the needs of your clientele.

Start with Email:
The reason that I start with our weekly email newsletter, is that it gives me great content to re-purpose into social media posts. I can link several recipes into Facebook and Pinterest that will run over the next week. I can also schedule out links to our how-to videos onto Facebook.

My goal is to pre-populate our Facebook schedule with at least 2-3 posts ahead of time (done on Tuesday for the next week) and still be able to pop in “LIVE” posts of photos of customers, new arrivals, local happenings, etc.

Tuesday is also the day that I look ahead to plan other marketing. We also do traditional forms of advertising such as television, radio, newspaper, catalogs, postcards, brochures, etc. so Tuesday is the day that I devote to creating our ads, meeting deadlines, setting our marketing schedule, etc. This way, my mind stays on the same path, and I am better at coordinating our advertising efforts across all of these mediums.

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
Tuesday’s theme is Creative work. Marketing, writing weekly Email, create and schedule out Facebook posts, Pinterest and Instagram. Write Blog Post, etc.

Tuesday’s are my creative days, so whether it’s a blog post, an email newsletter, or social media posts that I’m working on, Tuesday is when I’m going to be focusing in on that single theme and getting everything I need for that week (or the next) completed.

Get specific! Instead of me just saying “On Tuesday I’m going to write”, I might say “On Tuesday I’m going to write 1 email newsletter, 1 blog post and 12 Facebook Posts. This way I can check it off of my list and know I am accomplishing my goals.

We’ve got a helpful FREE resource for you today! Would you take a minute after this Podcast ends and stop by RemarkableRetailer.com? On the right side of the page, you’ll see my picture…click the button to sign up for our email list and you’ll get a link to our Remarkable Retailer Resource book right away. I think you’ll find some great information there!

Are there any questions today? What are you struggling with as a business owner? How do you deal with your inbox? Do you have any great event ideas that you would like to share?

 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 Periscope, or these Podcasts, 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 32 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 “Talk Shop” with you!

If you would rather watch this episode on Video, click image below.

Recap of Previous Episodes in this series:

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.

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.

Establish your themes:

First part is simple: what tasks are required in your business in order to make it run? Or, in other words, what do you do on a regular basis that actually creates your business? Get out a piece of paper and make a list of the things that you MUST DO so that your business runs smoothly…

Some examples might be:

  • Creating a marketing plan
  • Writing Facebook posts
  • Emailing a weekly newsletter to my list
  • Hosting Events
  • Placing orders for product
  • Email Management
  • Social Media
  • Financials & Paying Bills
  • Time on the Floor with Customers
  • Sales Training for Staff
  • Morning Meetings

…you get the idea.

Now pick 4 to 5 themes that are recurring for you and that, together, create your business.

Then schedule it. Get it written down on paper! Once you have your themes, create a Monday – Saturday schedule around them, giving each day of your “work week” a theme.

We are working hard on something NEW that is just around the corner. I can’t wait to launch our “Remarkable U Academy” online membership group. This will be a private Membership Community of self employed, entrepreneurs…including retailers, local restaurant, service business & salon owners, who work hard to be exceptional entrepreneurs and savvy shopkeepers!

Of course, I would love to have the opportunity to work with you personally! Just Go to www.RemarkableRetailer.com , Click on “Work with Vicki” and you can schedule a 15 minute Complimentary Coaching Session.

Again, the book we’ve been talking about this week is called “HQ: The Hope Quotient” by Ray Johnston. l have posted it over on RemarkableRetailer.com and on our Facebook page.

 

I look forward to seeing you right here next time! Until then, whatever you choose to do in life, make it REMARKABLE!

Incentives to Shop?

Set your business apart with “Extras!”

INTERVIEW-79

 

 

 

 

 

Click HERE for today’s Video:
Incentives to Shop? Set your Business Apart with “Extras!” from Vicki Adrian on Vimeo.

Small gestures can go a long way toward giving a customer a positive shopping experience that can turn into repeat business. In our retail store, we offer incentives year ’round to reward our shoppers for doing business with us. Many of these things can be done “on the fly” and with social media, you can quickly get your message out to your clients.

Here are a few examples…

Screenshot 2016-02-10 16.24.42Last Valentine’s Day, we had received a large order of stuffed white bears late in the game for Valentine’s Day, so had quite a few leftover. Over the past couple of days, we offered our customers one of these cute bears for $5 (original price $17.99) with any purchase of $25 or more. This was a win-win as we moved that older product out the door to clear up storage space, and it made our customers happy!

We also offer complimentary gift wrap on every purchase. I know a lot of our Periscope listeners have Hallmark stores, and that you sell a lot of gift wrap, so this might not be an area that you want to introduce… however, for us, we shop really hard to find inexpensive ways that we can wrap, so that we can offer this as a free service. We use both plain and printed cellophane bags that cost just pennies, along with colored tissue and curling ribbon. We have larger gift bags for items that need something larger, but we are happy to offer this to our clients.

On a day like today, (the day before Valentine’s Day), even if you don’t offer FREE gift wrap, offer to wrap the item using the bag that you just sold those men so they don’t have to do it! It truly takes just a minute to do this! You will make them look like Valentine Hero’s!

Our friend, Terri King from My Secret Garden in Bay City, Michigan uses a punch card that, when completely punched, get’s customers $20 in free merchandise. She also promotes a 5th Saturday event (usually there are 4 or 5 5th Saturday’s in a year) where her customer’s EARN a nice shopping bag when they redeem their punched card. They can then bring that bag back on a 5th Saturday and save 20% on their entire purchase. Several members of our Mastermind Group have adapted this for our own businesses.

Screenshot 2016-02-02 16.32.11Choose one category or line in your store to feature and discount each week. In our business, and in many of the businesses I work with, we have something on special each and every week. This past week, we have had all of our FASHION jewelry…necklaces, bracelets, earrings, etc. on a Buy One, Get One FREE special. Make it a good special with a definite beginning and end date.

We have also done things like 25% off all Tops or 30% off all home decor. You can also choose one of your main vendors to put on special for a week… We have done this with candle lines, clothing lines, categories like games etc. This gives you something to promote and talk about in your emails, on social media, etc. Take a calendar and pencil in a promotion each week for the next 6 weeks. This gives you a place to start…you can always change it!

 

A VIP Club is another way to add value and incentive to your customers to shop with YOU! We consider our VIP’s to be any customer who is in our Email List. We send out weekly emails, and many times pop in a “Reader Reward” at the bottom. This can be a Gift Certificate with no strings attached…(take a deep breath)…or a FREE Gift with purchase of $35 or $50 or whatever. We want to make it fun and EASY for our customers shop with us.

Now if you’ve been in business a long time like we have, you will remember back to the days that “Specialty Stores & Boutiques” never discount. Well, those days are over! If you’re not offering incentives to your customers, you can be sure that your competitor, whether they’re down the street or an online business, as handy as your customer’s phone… certainly is! Be a smart shopper and look for items that you can use as specials for your customers. Today’s retailer will only survive by being a very savvy buyer! The profit is made in how you BUY as much as in how you SELL.

Action Item for TODAY…

What item could you move out the door today as a $5 with purchase of $25 or more? You can take a photo of that item, post it to Facebook and be off to the races. If you run out of that item, take a photo of another one, and post that to Facebook! Maybe you have some scarves, or a jewelry item, or a candle in the back room that you need to move out…

TODAY IS THE DAY! You will have BUYERS, not just SHOPPERS coming in the door today! Make it a memorable shopping experience for them. Be absolutely SURE that you are capturing their contact information including email address, so that you can start to build a relationship with them.

Next week, send out Thank You cards on Monday to your shoppers to let them know that you APPRECIATE their business, followed by an email on Wednesday to let them know what incentives you have for them to stop back by next weekend!

~Vicki Adrian

Catch Vicki on the Remarkable Retailer Periscope LIVE most mornings about 8:15 central time for tips, tools and inspiration for retailers, and savvy entrepreneurs.  It is “boots on the ground” – “in the trenches” training! Vicki Adrian is a 33 year veteran retailer who is hands-on in her retail business, Adrians Boutique in Buhler, Kansas. If you’re NEW to the Periscope App, click HERE to quickly set up your account.

View Episode 133 Here:

Incentives to Shop? Set your Business Apart with “Extras!” from Vicki Adrian on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

10 Ways to Engage with your Clients TODAY!

Genuine Engagement!

One of the things that sets independently owned businesses apart from the cookie cutter chain stores is that we are more likely to converse and engage on a personal level with our clients.  At least that is the goal of most store owners and managers!  However, unless you have a PLAN that can be executed, and your team knows exactly what you are expecting from them in the area of customer interaction, this important technique for building a Rock Solid Client List may not be happening in your business.

Remarkable Retailer-2Have you strategically engaged with your clients today, this week, this month?  Today, we’re going to talk about 10 Ways you can Engage with Your Clients TODAY! 

We’ve been talking about Customer Service being the PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY of every member of your team from the CEO down to the people on the front line.  So today, we’re going to share some ideas for how each person on your team can contribute to improving your Client Engagement.

 

Our first 5 are ways we can engage with our clients BEHIND THE SCENES, and the second 5 are ways we can engage with our clients when they are INSIDE our business.

Countdown to 10 Top Ways you can Engage with Your Clients TODAY!

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.