Reasons to Consider Opening a Dollar Plus Store

For those examining the potential of starting a dollar store there are many, many strategic decisions to be made. Each of those decisions inevitably affects the final overall success of the business. Dollar store costs and ultimately dollar store profits ride in the balance as the final make-up of the business is determined. One of the most challenging decisions involves determining whether you are opening a dollar plus store or you will stay with the tradition everything is only one dollar format. In this article I will examine some of the reasons this might be the right time to open a dollar plus retail business.

Reason #1) As your dollar store costs continue to increase for everything from merchandise to freight, rent to payroll, and almost everything else, the tradition dollar only format doesn’t provide the room required for adjusting your retail prices to reflect the increases you are experiencing. It traps you into a set price and your dollar store profits are squeezed – potentially over time to the point where none remain.

Reason #2) Dollar plus format enables you to generate much higher average sales per item sold. In a dollar only format the sale price of a single item averages $1. Yet in the dollar plus format, your average sale can be much higher. Depending on your final decision regarding the types, brands and overall quality of items sold, your average sale price per item can amount to $2, $3, or even $5 or more.

Reason #3) If your average shopper purchases 6 items, your total sale is $6.00 in a dollar only format store. Yet in the dollar plus format, even if the average number of items purchased is reduced to 4 items with an average sale price of $3 your average sale is $12. In fact you could have a reduction to 2 items per sale and still sell exactly the same amount in gross sales. Imagine the reduction in dollar store costs associated with labor if you sold 1/3 less items through your store. Many of your other expenses will also drop based on less merchandise being handled.

Reason #4) In the dollar only format if your cost of goods sold is 60%, your gross profit is 40-cents per item sold. Maintaining the same 40% gross profit, but with dollar plus sales changes the number of items required to achieve the same total gross profits. In fact, your average gross profit per item on a $3 average sale becomes $1.20. Build sales in a dollar plus store and you have much greater leverage to build your dollar store profits as well.

All of these reasons combine to make opening a dollar plus store a viable format option worthy of consideration. There are no guarantees when you open a business. Do your research. Study the marketplace. Analyze the data. Make the decision that works best for you and your specific situation. Just remember to consider dollar plus as you go through the decision making process. Your dollar store costs and your dollar store profits ride in the balance.

To your dollar plus store success!

What an Energy Broker Does, and How They Can Save Your Business Dollars

So what does an energy broker do, and how can they potentially save you money in your business?

If your business is spending thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars a year on energy, whether it be gas or electricity, there is a great deal of money that you could be saving on your energy spend by simply allowing an expert to negotiate the terms of your energy purchasing.

How You Traditionally Buy Energy

Traditionally when you purchase energy, you do it through a retailer. That retailer has a markup in order to make a profit in their business, but there is room for negotiation if you have the right information and someone with the right skills and knowledge to deal on your behalf.

Energy markets are somewhat like the stock market, in that energy prices are prone to fluctuations, sometimes very large fluctuations, which means if you purchase your energy at the wrong time, and are locked into a contract, that it can have major cost implications for your business.

But what if you had a way purchase your electricity or gas, but have an energy broker watching the ‘market’ so that you can purchase at the best time? A broker can also building a profile of your energy usage to take to energy retailers in order to get you the best deal.

The Role of the Energy Broker

Different businesses have different energy requirements, so some businesses may prefer to lock in their energy price with a contract, while others prefer to have more flexibility in their approach. Either way, with an energy specialist working with you, your purchase options can be explored and the broker can garner significant savings in several key areas;

• Getting you a better deal with Australian energy retailers

• Negotiating on your behalf

• Preparing ‘critical load’ data for energy retailers

Energy markets are complicated, as a business owner or manager, you may not have the expertise or knowledge in the nuances of the market to be able to negotiate the best pricing and structure for your business energy needs.

A better result can be achieved by someone who is an energy management expert, without you having to feel like you need to understand the intricacies of the marketplace. Your broker can advise you on both how to best purchase energy for your specific needs, as well as finding the best timing within a given time frame, so that you are buying at the best price available.

How to Save Potentially Thousands of Business Dollars Each Month – Telecom Expense Management

In today’s economy, it is essential to wring every penny of profit available into your company’s bottom line. Efficiency is the key. Unfortunately, sometimes that means reducing your workforce, but there are other ways to stay profitable without needing to become Mr. Scrooge and laying off people.

Tell Me How

As I said above, efficiency can be the key. One of the top 3 expenditures of most companies nowadays is their telecom usage. Your business might be different, but telecom is still a large part of your expenses. The technology we have today has allowed us conduct business better than ever before, but paying for that technology shouldn’t negate the positive effects, should it?

No

If you have more than a handful of wireless devices in your company, you know that each month the mailman drops a stack of telecom provider bills on your desk, most of which simply get paid without any scrutiny. It’s just easier to send a check to them than to attempt to decipher the bill. Don’t let the fact that 10-15% of all invoices contain errors, most of which are in favor of the vendor bother you.

Another problem is wireless devices. Who controls the acquisition? Do you just trust your employee to sashay into the local cell phone dealer and get the right equipment? Tell me you don’t! If so, have you ever thought about how many lost or damaged devices you are still paying for because the employee didn’t bother to tell anyone? Don’t. It could cause you to have nightmares.

Vendors (bless their hearts) are out to make a buck like any business. If they can sell the most expensive service contract along with a device that has more whistles and bells than a NASA space shuttle, they will do it. Unfortunately, you are paying for the whistles and bells, but you aren’t realizing any benefit from them. If you could ensure that certain categories of employees could acquire only approved devices and contracts, you could save a bundle.

One other facet of telecom usage that can result in chaos is asset management. If you have no idea what equipment you have, or who has it, you might as well give up and just pay the monthly bills and hope they aren’t too far out of whack. It is critical to have an accurate and constantly updated inventory.

The Answer

One word. “Telecom Expense Management.” OK, that’s three words, but it is one important phrase. Telecom Expense Management (TEM) professionals have the skill, training and tools to comb though your telecom systems to find and eliminate waste. Some companies, such as H&R Block, save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year using the services of a TEM team. Obviously it isn’t a free service. TEM companies make it worth your while, though. Often they will charge a percentage of the savings they discover, so their incentive to make you telecom usage as lean and mean as possible is great. That way, everyone wins. Your company’s bottom line looks better, and the Telecom Expense Management company comes out smelling like a rose, too.

Contact a reputable TEM organization to find out more details about what they can do for your company.