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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!

Opening A Dollar Store – The Risks of Your own Business

Are you considering opening a dollar store? If so, have you examined all of the risks that you will face by starting a business of your own? Have you determined that those risks are simply outweighed by the rewards of business ownership? Most true entrepreneurs carefully analyze the situation. After that analysis they determine whether they will or will not be able to overcome the risks. Finally they assess whether the rewards outweigh the time, effort and money that is required to address the risks. They determine that they can and will be a success in their operation.

As with owning any business, dollar stores involve both risks and rewards. Just what are the risks associated with opening a dollar store? The personal risks can include personal sacrifice, cash investment, personal guarantees on financing, hours and hours of hard work and more. Business risks include those associated with competition, financing, and management of the business. Careful examination and analysis of the risks is required of the entrepreneur who is opening a dollar store.

All potential risks need to be identified and then strategies for minimizing those risks need to be developed. The question is really whether the risks can be minimized to the point that they will not be a risk to business success. Those risks must also be outweighed by the rewards. Only then should opening a dollar store be seriously pursued.

Are you considering opening a dollar store? If so, carefully identify the risks associated with moving forward. Develop strategies that will allow you to address, or at least minimize the risks. Then assess whether the risks are outweighed by the rewards.

To Your Dollar Store Success!

Staying on Top in Challenging Times – 5 Essential Elements For Growing Connecticut Businesses

As the current state of our economy is a challenge for nearly every small business owner, it is important to keep in mind basic strategies to help attract customers.

Offering specials to lure in customers is a great first place to start, but there are other easy actions that business owners can take to be proactive and attract more commerce. Take R.J. Julia’s in Madison, Connecticut for example; this bookstore hosts events such as readings and get-togethers by the authors they sell, and they create a sense of community for their readers.

Staying in Touch: What’s Important to your local business customer?
Consumers are looking to save money by reducing their spending. Malone’s Sandwich and Coffee shop in Clinton’s center is a quaint little cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and an array of snacks and coffee concoctions at small town prices, a necessity that has kept the Connecticut small business on track. Although many higher priced fast food places have lost business, ‘dollar menu’ sales have soared for McDonald’s and Burger King…and smart Connecticut restaurant and cafe owners are able to take these lessons to heart.

Another local business, the Cooking Company in Killingworth and Haddam, CT offers a mix of freshly prepared sandwiches and salads prepared as take out or, for those with more time available, a nice area to sit down and eat. The dinner menu is also full of great food, and is prepared for those that need a delicious and healthy quick meal. This upscale Connecticut restaurant also offers desserts that could be found at a fancy bakery! And for those with a busy schedule, the take out option for the freshly prepared food is a great incentive.

Five Small Business Marketing Tips for Our Times
Business owners may not have found solace in this recession, but many agree on some tried and true tips that can make the most out of the current market place. Many Connecticut businesses are finding this challenging environment the jump start needed to really think creatively.

Smart restaurateurs, salon owners, contractors, and shop proprietors need to ask themselves: What makes my customer excited? Where do they hang out, both online and around town? Who are the people in town that others listen to… the ones that ‘spread the news’?

1. Motivation. Despite the economy, it takes some serious motivation to keep a small business running. It starts with the owner: Lead by Example. Workers will follow the lead of an owner full of dedication and enthusiasm. An atmosphere of friendly competition can stimulate higher sales and productivity. Encourage more by rewarding your employees for new ideas and creativity!

2. Build customer loyalty. This is a main goal for any growing business owner, but this loyalty may be what keeps a business going during the recession. If the 80/20 rule holds true (which says that successful companies get about 80 percent of their business from 20 percent of customers), then a mix between exceeding expectations and really getting to know these customers will be the perfect blend to keep you’re them coming back. Remember…It’s a lot easier and more cost-effective to keep an existing customer than it is to find a new one.

3. Keep up with the marketing campaign. Active marketing is absolutely essential in this climate. The reality is that customers are being very careful with their dollars…they take more time to make decisions and they look at more options first. You can bet your competition is working hard for your customer, too! Businesses that aren’t aggressive in their marketing can face the grim reality of a dwindling customer base and lack of new sales.

How to market your local business in this economic climate? Well, that’s another whole article in itself!

4. Utilize the Internet. Don’t Wait another Moment. With all of the technology we have today, its imperative to get online, build a website, and market It. Be aware that this is where a large percentage of people start looking for what they want. The internet can be a powerful tool to reach new audiences for business owners. An experienced marketing professional can be invaluable in this economy; having a versatile specialist in the online marketing world can greatly improve a business campaign.

5. Have confidence. Keep a positive attitude. Try new ideas. Build a clear Brand presence that defines your business. Ask the advice of other entrepreneurs you respect. Many Connecticut small businesses are thriving right now and yours can be one of them.