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!

Email Marketing: Second Chance at Success! (Part Two of Two)

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.

~Chinese Proverb


“The botanical basis of this proverb is clear enough. Because it takes a long time to grow a tree, to have a nice-sized tree today, one should have planted it 20 years ago. But the second part of the proverb makes it clear that there is no sense in putting off planting a tree into the future because they take so long to grow. In fact, because they take so long to grow, the sooner they are planted the better, and planting a tree today is preferable to planting one next week.” David Mermin

Second Chance Email Marketing

So what does all of this talk about planting trees have to do with running a small business?

In talking with retailers and small business owners from around the country, I hear a very common theme when it comes to Email Marketing…they know that they should do it, they just don’t get it done! Despite all of the statistics and research that proves that email is an extremely effective tool to communicate with their clients, most retailers are not getting a regular, weekly email out to their customers. We need to find a way to simplify the process and maximize the time investment!

In Part One of this series, we provided you with a FREE E-Book on Email Marketing. Today we’re going to give you an easy method that I accidentally stumbled upon to get up to 50% more opens from the emails that you do create. It’s worth clicking the link and reading the rest of this post!

Email Marketing: Second Chance at Success! (Part One of Two)

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is today.
~Chinese Proverb


I’ve always liked this proverb and find it applies to many common dilemmas. The best time to see a doctor about a worrisome symptom was probably the day after you noticed the symptom. The next best time is today. The best time to start a large project at work or a term paper at school was shortly after the task was assigned. The next best time is today. And for our subject today, the best time to start building your email list was the day you opened your business, but the second best time is today!

Email Marketing ~ Second Chances, Part 1 of 2

Today we look back into our email archives to the very beginning of our Email Marketing Story, and give you a place to START.

We’ve also included a link to our FREE Email Marketing Ebook to give you that push and help you get started.

As the quote above suggests, TODAY is the second best day to get going with consistent email marketing!

5 Strategies to Beat the First Quarter Retailer Blues

In the dim background of our mind, we know what we ought to be doing but somehow we cannot start.

~William James


Unless your business is located somewhere the Snowbirds flock to for the winter months like Florida, Arizona, California, or you’re running a business in a busy ski resort area, like me, you may experiencing a bit of the First Quarter Retailer Blues.

Where just one month ago, you couldn’t find a parking space within several city blocks, the streets and parking lots are now mostly empty, and our shoppers are snuggled up at home.  This is always disheartening to me and it seems that even after being an independent retailer for 32 January’s, I tend to struggle with my confidence as a business woman during these first couple of months of the year. This post really is a first quarter 2015 To-Do list for myself as I need a bit of coaching to remind me to get my mind back in the game! Like the quote above relates, I know what I ought to be doing, I just need to GET STARTED!

Podcast 007: Molly Wilson ~ Rock Star Entrepreneur!

Today’s Remarkable Retailer episode features an interview with long time friend and exceptional entrepreneur, Molly Wilson who owns molly & drew – The Beer Bread Company.

Screenshot 2014-12-30 20.14.03

The Beer Bread Company’s fearless leader is a small-town girl with a big-city spirit. After ten years in retail, she brought that spirit, heart, and experience to her new role as owner of molly & drew. Molly’s young family is ‘on the team’ – daughter Samantha loves to add strawberry soda to American Original Beer Bread Mix while her son Wilson craves the BLT dip with crackers.

molly & drew had their beginning in small-town Iowa with 100 bags of homemade beer bread mix at a craft show. Today, they’re in thousands of retail stores around the country, BUT they’re still inspired by the small town values and work ethic that started them on this amazing journey.

“Born and BREAD (we couldn’t resist!) in the heartland, our products, just like our people, are INSPIRED! We are inspired daily by our families, our friends, our work, and our customers.” ~Molly

If you listened to Remarkable Retailer’s Podcast Episode 006, you heard about our decision several years ago to set our store apart by offering gourmet foods and totally committing to that department as a way to enhance the shopping experience for our customers at Adrian’s Boutique. molly & drew – The Beer Bread Company has been an important part of our gourmet department and a consistent top seller!

I think you will LOVE this interview! Be sure to stay till the end where we’ll have a special offer from Molly and some great tips for the upcoming Atlanta Market.

Podcast 006: 5 Great Reasons to Get Going With Gourmet!

Be Our Guest!

I am on the same journey and quest to become a Remarkable Retailer that you are on…and have tried many different approaches to product selection over the years, but one decision that we made many years ago has continued to pay off in a variety of ways. To be a Remarkable Retailer or an Exceptional Entrepreneur, you must step outside of your comfort zone and do something that other businesses are NOT doing!

Honey Apple Pecan Dessert

Honey Apple Pecan Dessert…Click Image for Recipe

Zig when everyone else Zags!

My friend and co-worker, Sandy Brooks gave me a book titled “Crazy is a Compliment: The Power of Zigging when everyone else Zags” by Linda Rottenberg (I mentioned this in an earlier post as well), and I think adding a Gourmet & Kitchenware department to your existing store may seem a little “Crazy” to some store owners. However, you need to take steps to set your store apart from all of the other cookie-cutter businesses that are out there!

That one decision I mentioned earlier was the decision to commit to a Gourmet Foods/Kitchenware Department in our retail store, stop dabbling in gourmet foods and take our selection and our service to a new level. We made this decision several years ago and it has been a game changer for our store!  It changes the atmosphere of your business when you offer drinks and a small snack to the customers shopping in your store.

Today we’re going to talk about 5 Great Reasons to Go Gourmet!!!