Should you sell online?

Shopping CartWhen it comes to games like Powerball and MegaMillions, we can just about guarantee you two things:

  • Somebody has got to win.
  • It sure as Hell won’t be you!

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Four daily reminders

ReminderWant a simple way to increase your sales every single day? You can. Just take the list appearing here and post it by your cash register or POS system. Then begin each day by reviewing the list and thinking about how you can integrate it into your daily interaction with customers. (A link to download this list in PDF format appears at the end of this article.) Here is the list:

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Building your mailing list

Mailing ListIn 1997 — approximately four decades ago in Internet years — Dave Farrar of Gypsy Divers in Raleigh, North Carolina, invited me to qualify his staff instructors to teach Nitrox. To help make the trip worth my while, he suggested I teach a consumer-level Nitrox course at the same time.

In so far as this took place on short notice, I had little hope of seeing more than a handful of divers in addition to the instructor staff. Imagine my surprise when I arrived at the store to find the classroom filled with over 20 smiling faces.

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Just How Often?

 How Often?The issue of how often to send out promotional information is an important one. If you don’t do it often enough, you’ll lose sales. If you do it too often, your customers will start ignoring what you send them and, instead, relegate your printed or e-mail newsletters to the wastebasket or spam filter.

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“Just In Time” Advertising

Just in TimeThe trip you’ve been promoting all year is coming down to the wire — and you still have three spaces left to fill. Fill those spaces and you’ll make money. Leave them empty and you are going to take it in the shorts. What do you do?

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The escape clause

EscapeEverywhere you look, advertisers seem to be bending over backwards to remind consumers how bad the economy is. “We understand times are tough,” they tell us, “so we’re cutting prices…”

As dive retailers, there are a number of ways we can profit by following the example of large, successful retailers. Folks, this ain’t one of them.

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The qualities of leadership

LeadershipAs a dive store owner or manager, there are things you can manage and things you can’t. Things you can manage include time, money, effort, resources, projects, trips, classes and events. The one thing you cannot“manage,” however, is people.

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Increase your bottom line now

Bottom LineIt’s not how much you make that matters; it’s how much you keep. If you want to keep more of the money that comes in your door, here are five steps that can bring an immediate increase in profitability.

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Business 101: Opportunity cost

Opportunity CostOver the years, I’ve attended countless classes and seminars on everything ranging from merchandising and display to advertising and promotion. What never ceases to amaze me, however, is that some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learn about dive retailing did not come from any of these specialized programs. Instead, it came during my freshman year at University of Maryland, in Mr. Johnson’s Business 101 course. Among the very first topics covered was that of opportunity cost — a concept that helps explain why inventory turnover is vital.

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Don’t be blindsided

BlindThe accompanying ad for Marriott’s Courtyard hotels appeared in an issue of Wired magazine. It is supposed to promote the fact that all Courtyard rooms come with high-speed Internet access. Is that what you get from the ad?

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