Be a Millionaire Shopkeeper: How Your Independent Shop Can Compete with the Big Guys, by Joanna Bradshaw, provides practical, step-by-step business guidance for independent shopkeepers. In the book, Bradshaw, whose 45-year career includes senior executive positions with Bloomingdales, Macy’s Inc., Simmons and Abraham & Straus, reveals the tricks of the trade that increase sales and profitability, of which many independents may not be aware. Available in softcover for $20.95 and in hardcover for $30.95, Be a Millionaire Shopkeeper: How Your Independent Shop Can Compete with the Big Guys, discusses the characteristics of successful independent retailers as well as the income an average independent shopkeeper can expect to earn. In addition, from “Developing Your Mission and Competitive Edge,” to “Measuring Your Business with Three Key Ratios,” the book shares information in 13 critical business areas.
“I tried to write the book on a couple of different levels,” Bradshaw explains, “including some very simple things to do if independents are more on the beginning side as well as more sophisticated levels, like how to measure their business.” An inexperienced shopkeeper, she points out, may not know how to utilize their vendors, while someone in business for a long time may have learned the tricks to get the best out of their vendors. “All retailers should look at this area because vendors can be such a tremendous help if you utilize them properly. First of all, use their expertise. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen, particularly with young buyers, is that they go into a vendor’s space and look to find the things they like instead of asking the vendor what is selling and what people are buying this season. They should pick the vendor’s brain. Most vendors love their business and they are happy to share their knowledge.” Many beginner buyers are more interested in what they, themselves, think, like and want to buy, she continues. “They have to put in the effort and time to figure out what their customers really like and want. It’s a matter of being aware and learning.”
The same is true with trends. They are all around and retailers just have to look for them, Bradshaw remarks. “Today with the web, the whole world is at the retailer’s feet. It’s a tremendous aid for all retailers, but particularly for the little guy. They can communicate with their customers as well as conduct research.” Be a Millionaire Shopkeeper: How Your Independent Shop Can Compete with the Big Guys states several easy ways independents can look for trends. These include newspapers, magazines, trade journals, museum exhibits, television programs, websites and tradeshows. Shopping the competition is another critical area for independent retailers. “Some people run out and do their comparison shopping to prove to themselves how much better they are,” Bradshaw laments, “when they should be asking, “what can I really learn from these people?”.
Retailers in general are doing fairly well but there is tremendous competition out there and the competition grows every day. “It becomes more and more important for the independent to really work on their differentiation—what makes them special and wanted in the marketplace; what sets them apart,” Bradshaw shares. With the ease of online buying, retailers need to take special steps to be sure they attract shoppers to their stores. “In every communication they have, starting with their website, independents should be as crystal clear as they can about what sets them apart. That message should be defined in all their communications.”
“Under this Democratic president, retail has been one of the brighter spots in the economy,” Bradshaw continues. “I’m heavily committed to the market and half of my stocks are retail stocks and they are doing fantastically. The economy is getting better and I think the next four years of this will auger well for retailers in general. I think this administration will prove positive for retailers.” To learn more or to order a copy of the book, visit Bradshaw’s website.