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Wyoming Business Tips for March 15-21

March 6, 2015

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Tom Shay, Profits Plus Solutions Inc. owner, guest columnist

”What can I do to prepare for tourist season so I get the most out of it for my business?” John, Cody

If you wrote any orders last fall for delivery this spring, you should first contact vendors to make sure what you requested is on track to arrive according to order dates.

With orders that include a display for the merchandise, you can take a moment to alter the order to state that the shipment must be for merchandise and display -- especially if the display is crucial to the success of being able to sell the merchandise.

Anticipating a busy season, this is a good time to total your orders and make notes of when they are to be paid. You want to make sure you are aware of what dollars, in addition to rent or mortgage, utilities, payroll and other operating expenses, that have to expend each month. This can be as simple as a list on a notepad of the vendor, date due and the dollar amount due.

Another important step is to plan now the majority of advertising that will be spent for the entire season. While you can make adjustments during the season, you should make your decisions with regard to which media, the frequency and the message you want to convey. This is appropriate for the traditional media of television, radio, newspaper and magazines, and also any social media you will use.

You also can save on advertising costs by making bulk purchases with media outlets, compared to purchasing on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis.

The last item is preparing your staff. You need to create a staff education program that will include all of your employees. With your business reliant on tourists, you don’t need someone learning “on the job.” Instead, creating a staff education program can be a wise investment.

This staff education program should be used to create a schedule for teaching employees what you expect from them. This can include how to answer the telephone, operate the cash register and, especially, how to sell. Without these and other skills, all you are left with is cashiers.

Teaching employees how to sell can make a big difference. As an example, a salesperson who can place the product in a customer’s hands can expect to see a sales increase by as much as 15 percent. And asking the customer, “Is one enough or would two be better?” you can anticipate a similar increase in sales.

Preparation is the key to a successful 2015 tourist season. Preparation begins now.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at http://wyen.biz/blog1/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.


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