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June 24, 2017

Manage Better

Choosing The Best Domain Name

Choosing the best domain name is an important part of setting up your business, so take some time to research it and select wisely.  A catchy domain name will be easier to remember than your telephone number and will result in fewer lost sales.  Like a good business name, your domain name should tell people

Keyword Research Essentials

There are only 3 steps in any online marketing campaign:  Keywords, Strategy, and Execution.  It doesn’t matter if you have a website, a blog, a social network, mobile marketing, or whatever the next big thing is; it all comes down to these three things.  If you are going to effectively promote your business, you must

Find Your Niche Market

These days, finding an adequate niche market for your business is essential.  There is no way that a small business can compete on a large scale with the multi-million dollar advertising budgets and massive distribution of large corporations.   In real-world economies, David does not beat Goliath; Goliath crushes David before he even gets his

What Antique Dealers Can Learn From Encyclopedia Britannica

photo courtesy of http://yourschoolmarketing.com/ In 1993, Encyclopedia Britannica had the most profitable year in the company’s history. Two years later, the company was nearly bankrupt and was sold for below book value. What happened in those two years? Most folks would say that Britannica was done in by Microsoft Encarta. In 1993, Microsoft purchased rights

How the Antique Business Can Recapture Gen X

Today, the antique business has a new problem: old customers. Boomers and their parents, who have been collecting antiques for decades, no longer have the room or the inclination to buy more antiques. Their Gen-X successors do not seem to care for antiques. “The trend is away from antiques”, says Red Whaley, owner of an

whack a mole

Top Three Antiques Marketing Tactics

There are times when retailing seems like a giant game of whack-a-mole. You might recall whack-a-mole from your last visit to an arcade: A lighted game console sits on the floor, a player facing a horizontal playing surface containing a dozen (or so) holes. When persuaded by sufficient quarters, toy moles begin to randomly pop

antique dealer

Prepare for a Career as an Antique Dealer?

I was delighted to find that The Princeton Review has published a report on the career “antique dealer.” The report is intended as a guide for prospective college students planning a course of study. I’m encouraged that the antiques business was included for students’ consideration. (http://www.princetonreview.com/careers/9/antiques-dealer) The review pointed out some hard truths about the

cut prices

How to Cut Prices, but Stay Profitable

I’m sure you see this as much as I do: Walking through an antique mall, you spot a booth displaying a hand-written sign that reads: “Everything in this booth 25% off!” What’s your impression when you see this? A) It’s a desperate move to raise cash. B) It’s just a sale. C) The booth is

Why You’ll Love an Inventory SKU System

Keeping inventory under control in a growing antiques business is a matter of “scaling.” Many dealers start with a garage full of items they have collected, and begin by selling at an antique mall or show. As they grow, they may move to a free-standing retail location or sell online. As inventory, customer base and

consignment

How Should You Book Consignment Revenue?

I’ve heard dealers describe consigned inventory as “found money.” Items taken on consignment, they claim, reduce their investment in inventory and provide more choices for customers. Both perceptions are true. But, how you choose to account for consignment transactions can make your overall financial performance harder to analyze and ultimately may make your business worth

nostalgia

You’re Selling Nostalgia, Not Antiques

In the mid-1970s, I took my first sales seminar from what was then the biggest sales training organization in North America. There I learned the most useless sales technique I have ever encountered. For decades, this technique was taught as a way to close sales when a customer simply couldn’t make up their mind. (Ever

Effective Business Goals Match Your Personal Values

The goal setting that you’ve been encouraged to do over the years may have hurt you as much as helped you. For decades, an oft-repeated management truism has been that setting goals improves performance and motivation. From the hallowed halls of the Wharton School to the digital psychobabble of the motivational-speaker-du-jour, we have been told

benchmarks

Benchmarks: Your Sales vs. the Competition

Two years ago in February, I dedicated a Behind the Gavel column to a discussion of benchmarks Benchmarks are valuable tools in many sectors, both in business and personal life. In this article Wayne Jordan offers some helpful benchmarks for antiques dealers. I’d like to revisit that topic to see how “used merchandise stores” fared

The Myth of the Business Plan

I’m not real big on business plans. When I bought my first business, my accountant, attorney, banker, college professors and business writers encouraged me to write a business plan. They said that a good business plan was essential for running a successful business. I asked my entrepreneur friends if they had a business plan, and

Gauging New Store Potential

“If you build it they will come.” This frequently mis-quoted line from W.P. Kinsella’s 1982 novel “Shoeless Joe” has become a popular rallying cry among entrepreneurs who want to start-up an antique or consignment store. (The actual quote is “If you build it he will come.”) The idea is that if you open a store,

Minimizing Antiques Fraud

A few weeks ago here in my home county, seven sellers at the annual Hillsville, Va., Labor Day Flea Market were arrested for selling counterfeit brand-name goods. The goods consisted of cell phone accessories, jackets and perfumes with a street value of about $500,000. Four of the sellers were from Illinois, two from Kentucky and

antiques tourism

Boost Sales With Antiques Tourism

“All great literature is one of two stories; a man goes on a journey or a stranger comes to town.” — Leo Tolstoy When Tolstoy made this point, I’m sure he wasn’t foreshadowing the modern tourist industry. Nevertheless, there is a lot of “coming and going” occurring in the U.S., and in the past year

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