Monday, September 30, 2013

Reminder--- we take money to the bank, not percentages!

This past weekend, Mirabella sold $100,000 at two trade shows.  In a weekend, we set up a store within the trade show floor that is shoppable.  Plus we have 9 makeup artists to do quick touch ups for stylists, owners and estheticians. 

We have beautiful products.  Our team is passionate about the brand.  And we do an excellent job of branding ourselves at the event. 
If the product were a snake, it could actually bite the client!

Put a product on a client and let them hold it... they will buy every time!
Because we have this excitement, we generate a lot of interest.  This interest draws women to our booth.  Then our team turns that interest into sales.

But the one thing that helps us generate interest is that we ALWAYS have free stuff!  And do you know what that free stuff is?  It's our discontinued products that we have remade into a free gift.

Many of our salons are sitting on old promotions, discontinued products or items that just don't sell very well.


Too many owners would tell me, "I cannot do that, I paid $15 for that."  To make a large sale would you give it away?  Sadly, these types of products are literally just collecting dust.

Look at your inventory, segregate those items that are in this dead category.  If you are like MOST retailers, this could be up to 20% of your inventory!  Put the products in a basket up at the front desk with a sign, "Buy $50, get a FREE product".  Or put a few products into a basket with a sign, "Every purchase enters you into a drawing to win this free basket.  New drawing every week!"

You could get creative.  If you have a lot of lipsticks, do a buy 2 get one free sale.

Several years ago, I found we had 15,000 beach bags from an old promotion.  They had been sitting in the warehouse for years collecting dust and taking up space.  We began bringing these to trade shows to use as a free gift.  These DOGS quickly became the most exciting thing we had to offer!

Last but not least, for every deal you do, don't let it last longer than a few weeks.  If your clients come back the next time and you are still offering the same deal, it will begin to feel junky to them.  Constantly change it up.  Do buy 2 get 1 free this month.  Next month, buy $50 get this product free (and frankly it doesn't matter what you give away free... everyone LOVES a free gift.)  Then the next month offer the dead product for a $1 with any purchase.  And finally, put all your WORST sellers into a basket for a weekly drawing.  Shockingly, clients will actually MAKE a purchase to get those DOGS!

If you have purchased an item and it doesn't sell within 90 days, consider it dead.  Begin promoting it.  That cash that you laid out is gone.  Do something to keep the dollars flowing.  You are better off turning your products quickly even though you make a smaller percentage than you are worrying about keeping the highest profit margin on each sale.

Don't get me wrong.  I do not believe in discounting.  I just believe you need to keep an eye on your inventory all the time.  And that means, when items hang around too long, you need to blow them out.  Replace them with the next cool thing.

You take cash to the bank, not percentages.  Also its true, you cannot put your inventory in the bank, but you can turn bad inventory into cash if you use it creatively!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

What takes years to attain and seconds to lose?

If you are dedicated to a successful career, you have likely worked hard at developing technical skills like sales, marketing, finance, accounting or a specific trade.  You have also spent time on communication skills, both written and oral, as these skills will traditionally be the most important skills you have.

However, you develop your reputation with every word you say, action you take, or non-verbal cue you make.  This reputation can be positive, full of integrity, and thorough.  Your reputation is what is being built with each of those interactions.  Over many years people come to trust and depend upon you for exactly this sort of character. 

Several years ago, we sold our family business to L'Oreal.  One of my key people came to me and say, "John, you have spent 18 years developing your relationship with your employees.  But the thing they will remember most is how you leave the company."  He was right.  For all the good things I tried to do, if I left the wrong impression on my exit, THAT would be what people remembered.

So think carefully about your reputation.  Are you consistently the person that you are hoping they remember?  Or are you one person one day and another the next based upon the circumstances of the day?

In Steven Covey's book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he has a chapter about keeping the end in mind.  He asks you to think what it would be like to be at your own funeral.  Would the person giving the Eulogy be expounding upon your stellar reputation?  Would there be a long line of people that would like to say a positive word about their relationship with you?

It is during the challenging, stressful times of life that this reputation comes most clearly in view for others.  People say, challenges don't make your character.  Challenges reveal your character!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Some things I learned from a really rich guy!

Growing up I read a book called See You At the Top by Zig Ziglar.  It is a great motivational book.  A few years later, I actually had breakfast with Zig.  Much of my first years in business were inspired by this book and many other motivational books.  I could quote lines from this motivational material today.

But frankly, as a Christian man, these books teach you to depend upon yourself.  I used this line a lot, "If it is to be, it is up to me."  The 10 2 letter words to success.  As a Christian, you are taught to depend upon God.  

So over time, I have really tried to be able to quote the Bible better than I can quote all my motivational inspirations.

Several years ago, a person that was running one of my companies told me about a book I had to read, The Richest Man Who Ever Lived by Steven K. Scott.  It sounded like another motivational book, so I avoided it.

But recently, I bought this book.  It is very powerful!  Steven uses the wisdom of Solomon as a guide for helping to live a better life.  As you might know, when Solomon became the King of Israel, God came to him and asked him what one thing He could give him.  Solomon asked for wisdom.  God said that since he asked for wisdom and not wealth and long life, that he would give him all 3.

Solomon wrote 3 books in the Bible; Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon.  And Scott uses this wisdom to back up all he teaches in the book.

I highly encourage you to read this book!  I bought 3 more copies for my kids. 

What have I learned?

First, it is a great push.  It is very motivating!
  • To have success you need to be diligent!  No surprise, but I enjoy and was challenged by how he said it.
  • The things I did wrong when I didn't succeed, laziness in due diligence and moving with to much haste.  Definitely helps me to think clearly for any new things I attempt.
  • How to avoid or resolve conflicts; either to seek counsel before engaging in a conflict and keeping my eye on always trying to achieve the best possible outcome for all parties.  So often we want to assume WE are right...
  • Improving relationships by avoiding anger... by eliminating unresolved anger.  This was a huge concept.  Much of the reason we are stirred to anger quickly is because of this anger that hasn't been properly dealt with.

Pick it up, you'll love it!