Focus and attitude

When times are tough, even the most successful retail business can have some trouble.  Making the right business decisions is paramount when the margin for error is slim.

“Fear can be a motivator, but it can also lead you into bad decisions, particularly in times like these,” says Norm Brodsky, small business writer for Inc. magazine.

Brodsky took some time to assist an art gallery owner make a plan to weather 2009 and the 50 percent drop in business she was seeing.

From discussing the pitfalls of shorter business hours (how are you going to sell more products if you are open less?) to offering additional value rather than cutting prices, this is a straight forward and exceptional article for anyone involved in or affected by the retail sector.

But don’t forget that attitude is key for sales.  Virginia Main Street constantly hears about local retailers who complain to everyone who walks through the door, making the retail experience  a poor one for the customers.  Think about this; how long would a Wal-Mart greeter last if they greeted everyone with “crumby economy today, isn’t it?” or “What are you, a Rockefeller?  Spending money in times like these.”

Being positive is more than saying, “Have a nice day!” though.  Jill Hamburg Coplan wrote a long but excellent article earlier this month in Business Week online on Positive Psychology.  The short version is that you should focus on what you can do in the future, not what is happening to you.  In other words, take control of your fate and don’t be a victim of circumstance.

Obviously, there is more to it than that, so give the entire article a read, it could be just the boost you need.