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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.
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.
Thursday, July 03, 2014
BY TED AUSTIN & MIKE BAELE | GUEST CONTRIBUTORS
The Office of Economic Analysis announced that Oregon is currently enjoying the strongest job growth since 2006. While this resurgence has been welcome, the lingering effects of the 2008 “Great Recession” continues to affect Oregon businesses, especially with regard to estate planning and business succession.
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Monday, August 25, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER
Ferguson Wellman’s investment views on the economy and capital markets.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR
Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The New Yorker recently published a sharply worded critique of “disruptive innovation,” one of the most widely cited theories in the business world today. The article raises questions about the descriptive value of disruption and innovation — whether the terms are mere buzzwords or actually explain today's extraordinarily complex and fast changing business environment.
Update: We caught up with Portland's Thomas Thurston, who shared his data driven take on the disruption controversy.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.
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Vigilant enters a New Year with a new president.
How George Fox has become one of Oregon's largest private universities.
Forest Grove sees growth in the burgeoning food and beverage scene.
Lane Powell Shareholder William T. Patton has been appointed to the board of directors for Cascade AIDS Project, an organization that provides educational services and outreach to thousands of Oregonians living with HIV/AIDS.
Fifty-one Lane Powell lawyers were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (Best Lawyers) 2015; of those selected, 23 lawyers are from the Firm’s office in Portland, Oregon.
Barran Liebman is proud to announce that Andrew Schpak, a Partner of the firm, has been named Chair of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division for the 2014-2015 bar year.