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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, July 01, 2015
There are more than 10 million former military members working in the United States.
Friday, July 17, 2015
Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner. The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE
Whether you're stepping out to work or onto the track, Pacific Northwest shoe companies have you covered.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
One of the hottest new investment trends has proven quite lucrative for some companies.
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY GREGG MORRIS
Rita Hansen aims to scale natural gas vehicle innovation.
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN
A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.
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Transforming the culture of Oregon’s educational leadership.
The Board dismissed a petition related to efforts to unionize the Northwestern University football team.
Every once in a while we receive a letter in the (fictional) mailbag that is tough to describe and quite compelling. This week, Isabel, the new HR manager at LabCo (and someone who is new to HR), wants to know whether she may fire the owner’s son for having an Oregon medical marijuana card. In passing, Isabel also makes a number of alarming admissions about her motivation. Here is Isabel’s nerve-racking question and our response to it.
Oregon Sick Leave is here, and changes to the federal white-collar worker regulations are on the way. This workshop will prepare you for both. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to start planning now for the future impact on your operations and finances.
Presented by OEN + CENTRL + YESpdx.
This Roundtable will cover numerous issues under the employer "shared responsibility" rules of the Affordable Care Act, including how to track the "full-time" status of variable-hour employees, temporary or seasonal employees, and employees who experience a change in status or a break in service. Additionally, we will provide a brief overview of Code sections 6055 and 6056, which require most mid-sized and large employers to submit their first information reports to the IRS in early 2016 regarding the health insurance coverage being offered to employees. We invite you to participate in an interactive discussion on how to prepare for the future impact of the shared responsibility rules on your operations and finances.