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|Thursday, February 01, 2007|
There is always a lot of speculation and discussion regarding who is at fault when a small retailer fails. Many people cite higher fuel prices, poor location, shrinking labor markets and even the weather as reasons why it is more difficult to succeed today. However, a great many point directly at the influx of mega retailers, superstores and category killers — a.k.a. Big Boxes — into the area.
This includes the management team, organizational structure, job descriptions, employee commitment and training. If the employees don’t believe in the mission or don’t understand the company vision they won’t compete favorably over time with anybody.
Successful companies have a knack for hiring, developing and retaining knowledgeable employees, thereby rendering better customer service in sharp contrast to the Big-Box approach of (under)staffing the store with poorly trained part-timers. The important questions owners need to ask are:
This includes customer satisfaction, market segmentation, profit-center development, product and service mix, company branding, promotion and pricing. Unfortunately, pricing is a very common whipping boy and gets the blame for many small retailers’ failure to compete. Nothing could be further from the truth. Price is only a differentiator in a commodity-driven market and customers understand that a company cannot be the lowest priced and still be the best.
The third and most important aspect of a successful small business is positive cash flow and reliable cash flow projections. These financial indicators don’t lie and really give the true financial condition of the company.
There is no doubt that the changes and efforts required of small-business retailers to be successful in today’s competitive environment are demanding, difficult and oftentimes painful. But that is exactly what makes these efforts so valuable and sets certain retailers apart from the rest.
Friday, November 20, 2015
BY JASON NORRIS AND MARY FAULKNER
It’s been a volatile year in equities and heading into the holiday season, it doesn’t look like these market extremes will dissipate.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
Several Portland entrepreneurs make appearance in patently silly "The Dream of the Startup is Alive in Oregon" promo.
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN
Oregon's first generation of food entrepreneurs created a brand based on quality and craftsmanship. Can the second generation sustain it?
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
BY KIM MOORE
Striving for social equity is the mission of many nonprofits, and this year’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon survey shows employees are most satisfied with their organizations’ fair treatment of differing racial, gender, disability, age and economic groups. But as a national discourse about racial discrimination and equity for low-income groups takes center stage, data show Oregon’s 100 Best Nonprofits to Work For still need to make progress on addressing these issues within their own organizations.
Thursday, November 05, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Gov. Kate Brown delivered the keynote speech at the Associated Oregon Industries annual policy forum yesterday. Speaking to a Republican-aligned audience of about 100 business and public policy leaders, the governor was out of her comfort zone.
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
The past month has been marked by upheaval in the health insurance markets. I also check in on clients of the Export-Import bank, a federal credit agency that subsidizes, and insures, foreign exports.
|The Love Boat|
|The Food Pod Grows Up|
|The High Road|
|Tinker, Tailor, Portland Maker|
|The Shift to Community Health Care|
|The Harder They Fall|
|Another chapter to the Bezos/Musk space race story|
|Thanksgiving travel: Fuel costs low, terrorism anxiety high|
|Costco chicken salad linked to E. coli case in Washington|
|Nestle comes clean about benefitting from slave labor|
|Enormous drugmaker emerges from Pfizer, Allergan deal|
|Startups joining lobbying game|
|Merchants complain as Square goes public|
Economic diversity has proven a smart strategy for the Port of Hood River. How can other Oregon communities replicate the model?
Phone, Internet needs of small community school districts earn attention of top-five telecom provider.
Farmland LP grows its vision for organic farming in Oregon.
The Salem Convention Center has capped its tenth anniversary year by earning the prestigious “Best of the Best 2015” award from NW Meetings & Events magazine. Selected as the Best Convention/Conference Venue in Oregon by meeting and event planners from Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, the Salem Convention Center ranked above the Oregon Convention Center and the Portland Art Museum.
The Oregon Cooperative Hall of Fame honors individuals for their outstanding contributions to the successful building and operation of Oregon agricultural cooperatives.
Health insurer reports $10.2 million in net income after taxes through the first nine months of 2015.