From your original inspiration...To your thriving retail operation...
You need to "see" ahead.
"What if I...?"
"And – would that be profitable?!"
The Retailer's PROFITS Center will be your friend at every step.
I. Just Starting Up? (You'll need profits!)
• Every dream can be realized with enough luck, perseverence...and this website!
While there's much information out there about "small business", there is very little about the special requirements of retail businesses.
That's where this site comes in. It makes the financial know-how needed for profitability readily accessible to any retailer, anywhere.
Think of it as sharpening your retail Profit–ABILITY.
Your First Store
You can picture it perfectly.
What your store would look like. How the displays would look - and change.
Going to buying shows, finding just the right items. The excited customers who see those items. And making those bank deposits. Sweet!!
Plus, you can be your own boss. Hire a great team. Mean something in the community.
Sound familiar? Been dreaming about owning your own store?
You're not alone. In fact, each year in the United States, about 100,000 new stores start up. Every hour, every day, 11 new retail businesses switch on the Now Open! sign for the first time!
Who are these new retailers?
People just like you.
Some choose to start with a business partner who shares their dream and ambitions. Even better, someone who complements their own set of skills.
Others prefer to do it all on their own.
Whatever those differences might be, there is a shared experience: they all Dreamed the Dream!
Be honest now. Can you answer a resounding "YES!" to all three of these questions?
Do I have the capacity to be in retail?
That is, talent, money, locations, merchandise, systems, people, business sense, etcetera?
Do I have the appetite to be in retail?
Owning a retail store, like any other business, demands desire, drive, ambition. Do you have that?
Do I have the stomach to be in retail?
Ahh, the true test. Just like all other business owners, you must deal with uncertainties.
But, as a retailer, you must do all this as if in a goldfish bowl!
Do the Homework!
Work in a relevant retail store.
Sounds pretty basic, doesn't it? If you can't get a job in the kind of store you think you want to own, consider offering to work as an unpaid intern for 2 to 3 months. (Recognize that the owners will still have to train you, and of course, may regard you as competition as well.)
Work in any retail store in the neighborhood or mall you are considering for your store's location.
Your goal now is to see for yourself - firsthand! - the customers in that area.
Become a student of the "theater of retail".
Pay close attention to the design of all kinds of retail businesses. Spend time in stores and malls as an observant student, not just a shopper.
Then, go to a business library or online to learn more about store design and layout, visual merchandising, displays, fixtures, shopping bags, digital signage, and much more.
Know the heroes – and the has-beens – of your chosen retail segment.
Learn as much as you can about the greatest success stories of retailers in your chosen segment, as well as those who no longer are in business.
What drives the (continuing) success of the winners?
And what caused the demise of the others?
"If you think being small means you can't have an impact,
try going to bed with a mosquito."
---Anita Roddick, Founder, The Body Shop
The world likes to talk about "small retailers." Hmm.
Here's our view: every retailer faces the same strategic management issues, no matter how big or small their sales volume. And none of these is a "small" issue!
But to survive, retailers must be able to control profits, debt, inventory, and cash flow. And for that, they need ready access to retail-specific financial tools and know-how.
The "big retailers" typically have people to whom to delegate these concerns.
The challenge for the so-called "small retailers": you have to do it all yourself! And all while keeping appearances up and expenses down!
The Retailer's PROFITS Center includes unlimited access to time-saving online profit-planning calculators for retailers.
Plus, empowering How-To Profit Kits, packed with explanatory articles, lively Co-Founders webinars, self-paced online training courses, glossary of retail financial terms, and yes, much more!
Used and loved by retailers worldwide!
"We ARE going to make a profit, right?"
Now, find out for yourself – in minutes – without having to ask your accountant or bookkeeper. Use the PROFITS Trend Tracker, a special Profit & Loss projecting and monitoring tool developed specifically for retailers.
For projecting, not accounting!
Remember, accountants are really historians. They keep track – often to the penny! – of what has happened already. That's okay, especially for purposes like paying your taxes and such.
But it's not particularly helpful for making management decisions about going forward.
That's where this site comes in.
All of the resources and tools at the Retailer's PROFITS Center are all about the future.
Built specially for busy retailers.
Enabling you to see ahead. Compare your choices. All on your own!
Then, making it easy for you to keep tabs on the results, so you can make adjustments as needed.
III. Growing/Expanding Retailer? (You'll surely need profits!)
Considering additional locations? Testing a new retail concept? Launching a robust e-commerce site? Or...? Or...?
Any of these approaches to growth demands that you develop your plans, explore real estate or web hosting opportunities, evaluate systems, identify mid-management talent, line up financing, and so on.
Before you get too far down the road on expanding, you first must decide on your fundamental growth strategy.
The Four (Only!) Ways That Retailers Grow
How Much Change?
There is one other factor to keep in mind: how much change does each growth mode require of your organization?
Each of these Growth Modes demands different amounts of changes.
And therefore, different levels of stress.
Remember, change = "stress". Even "good change" involves added stress.
No matter which way you choose to grow, all of your resources - financial capital, and especially human capital – will be impacted.
Indeed, even trying to make as few changes as possible still involves stress!
Why Does It Matter?
Knowing which way you intend to grow, or, recognizing which Growth Mode you are in when in the midst of a growth spurt, gives you the greatest opportunity to exercise leadership and apply controls.
Or, in other words, the best opportunity to choose your own future!
Want to relieve stress? Resolve uncertainty? Of course you do!
That's why we've built this Retailer's PROFITS Center. We want to empower every retailer to "Turn on your financial headlights!"
Because we know that any retailer who can see ahead will make appropriate adjustments.
And now, any – and every! – retailer can do that, all on your own.
This remarkable online calculator – the SPEEDY Profits & Cash Forecaster – makes quick work of knowing in advance the answers to these 3 crucial questions for retailers:
How much profit?
How much inventory?
How much cash?
Help me remember about this
From start-up to advanced.
How-to profit training and
"Just do it!" calculators
Get started now!
For as little as 41¢ a day!
two online profit-planning calculators, developed specifically for retailers,
each with its own How-To Profit kit.
Used and loved by hundreds of retailers!
click here • compare plans
PROFITS Forecaster with built-in Trend Tracker
Great for Start-Up Retailers and Small Retailers
more info • click here
Integrated Profits, Inventory & Cash Forecaster combo
perfect for Small Retailers and Growing/Expanding Retailers
click here • see more
Look at all you can get. Used and loved by retailers worldwide!
The Retailer's PROFITS Center includes:
Unlimited access to time-saving online profit-planning calculators for retailers;
Empowering How-To Profit Kits, packed with explanatory articles, lively Co-Founders webinars, self-paced online training courses, glossary of retail financial terms, and yes, much more!
PROFITS Trend Tracker, with How-To Profit Kit (15 how-to resources; click for info)
Great answer for Start-Up Retailers and Small Retailers
SPEEDY PROFITS and CASH Forecaster, with Expanded Kit (24 time-saving resources; click for info)
Great answer for Small Retailers and Growing/Expanding Retailers
All the training and tools you'll need to grow your retail profit-ability.
Go here • Start now
The first 5 days are free! No risk to try!
All at Retailer-Friendly Pricing!
It is easy and inexpensive (as little as 41¢ a day!) to take advantage of these resources for your retail operation.
We have two Access Plans, both featuring what we call "Retailer-Friendly Pricing."
And, you have your choice of payment options.
Like to try before you buy? No problem!
All plans start with a 5-Day free trial; your credit card is not charged until after that free trial has concluded. If you decide this isn't for you, just cancel within the first 5 days, and you will not be charged.
Go here to subscribe now • Get immediate access
MONTHS - Start with any month of a 12 month period. Select your Start month from the drop-down menu.
Estimated SALES - Round all entries to the thousands.
Examples: $42,385.22 becomes 42.4; $5,787.92 becomes 5.8; $385.33 becomes 0.4
GROSS MARGIN % - Enter estimated Gross Margin (Gross Profit) percent for each month of the 12 month period
(Maintained margin, after markdowns.) Can be up to one decimal place (tenths of percent).
Examples: Enter 44, becomes 44.0%; enter 38.5, becomes 38.5%
EXPENSES - The Calculator needs just one entry for each expense "bucket".
Variable expenses are entered as a percent of sales. Use whole numbers to one decimal place
Examples: Enter 12.5, becomes 12.5%; enter 10, becomes 10%
Fixed expenses are a flat $ amount for each month. (Take totals for the year and divide by 12 to get an estimate of yours.) Round all $ entries to nearest thousand.
Examples: $8,673 becomes 8.7; $12,229 becomes 12.2
When projecting, it is easier to group expenses into 5 major categories, or "buckets".
Variable expenses are a percent of sales; the monthly dollar amount rises and falls as sales fluctuate.
Fixed expenses average essentially the same dollar amount each month.
(If you've not yet set up these categories on your P&L, use the SPEEDY Expense Analyzer.)
SELLING Expenses -
Examples: Store payroll, including taxes and benefits; Advertising; Bags & boxes; Special events; etc.
OCCUPANCY Expenses - Fixed expense, essentially flat $ amount each month
Examples: Rent; Utilities; Maintenance; Security; CAM charges; etc.
ADMINISTRATIVE Expenses - Fixed expense, essentially flat $ amount each month
Examples: Management salaries (Owner; General Manager; Buyer) including taxes and benefits; Support staff/services (bookkeeping; IT; warehouse; marketing); Interest on borrowed money; Professional services (legal, accounting); Training; Travel; All other expenses not included elsewhere.
TAXES - Federal, State, Local taxes not included elsewhere.
DEPRECIATION/AMORTIZATION - Fixed expense, essentially flat $ amount each month.
These are non-cash expenses, and must be kept separate in order to project the Cash Flow.
SPECIAL Access Plan
15 proven how-to resources:
Online Calculator to Project and Monitor Retail Profits - Automagically!
PROFITS Trend Tracker
Explanatory How-To Articles - Used and loved by retailers worldwide!
Myth of the Bottom Line
How to Read and Use Your Financial Statement
Retail STRATA:G® Wheel
Rate Your Store from the Shoppers' Perspective
Measure, Monitor, Manage Your Store's Vital Signs
Webinars from The Co-Founders - Lively and empowering!
How to Project Your P&L
The TREND TRACKER - Up? Down? Sideways?
Online, Self-Paced eLearning Course - Learn it once. Use it forever!
Projecting and Controlling Profits
Short How-To Videos - See it in action!
How to Use the "Bucketizer"
How to Project Retail Sales and Expenses
Online "Gadgets" -Get Quick Insights
Trend Tracker form (.pdf)
The Store Rater
Glossary of Retail Financial Terms
DELUXE Access with Cash Flow
includes 24 time-saving resources:
Online Calculator to Project Retail Profits and Cash Flow - Integrated!
SPEEDY PROFITS and CASH Forecaster
Explanatory How-To Articles - Used and loved by retailers worldwide!
Four (Only!) Ways Retail Businesses Grow
Sales Forecasting: Part Art, Part Science
Top Five Killers of Retail Businesses
How to Manage Your Most Valuable Asset
Teaching Salespeople to Sell
Webinars from The Co-Founders - Lively and empowering!
The Four Financial Wheels Under Every Retail Business
The Remarkable Retail STRATA:G® Wheel
Using SPEEDY Profits & Cash Forecaster
Online, Self-Paced eLearning Courses - Learn it once. Use it forever!
Projecting and Controlling PROFITS
Projecting and Controlling CASH FLOW
Online "Gadgets" - Get Quick Insights
Your growth strategy and your tactics must align!
Is one of these Four Ways to Grow better than the others?
No, not at all! Like most things in retailing, there is not one “right” answer for everybody.
In fact, when we ask retailers "Which way are your stores growing?", sometimes they discover they are trying to grow in two or three (or even four!) ways, all at once.
No wonder they feel like the taffy in the taffy pull!
Knowing which way you intend to grow (based on your analysis of your company's capacity and appetite for change), or, when in the midst of a growth spurt, recognizing which Growth Mode you are in, gives you the greatest opportunity to exercise leadership and apply controls.
The PROFITS Trend Tracker is a special retail Profit & Loss projecting tool developed by The Retail Owners Institute specifically for retailers and The Retailers PROFITS Center.
All the formulas are built-in. No spreadsheets for you to have to set up. Available online, 24/7.
Nothing to install! It just works!
In just minutes, see whether your planned combination of sales, margins and expenses would produce a profit for your business.
You enter the numbers you already know: what you expect Sales and Gross Margin percents to be each month.
The Expenses go in very quickly, by "buckets", or major categories.
(Use the SPEEDY Expense Analyzer to sort your numbers, if need be. It happens very quickly.)
5 minutes - maximum - for the inputs. Really!
Plus, see "the Big Picture" of the year's expenses, including as a percent of sales.
Makes comparisons to prior years much easier (what are the trends?)
Readily identify trouble spots – and opportunities.
more info about Profit Planning INPUTS
more info about Expense "BUCKETS"