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How to Get People to Leave Your Parties … and More of Your Questions for July




When we have events that serve wine, it can be hard to get people to leave. Any ideas how to get them to leave without offending them?

Close the bar 45 minutes before the end of your event for a start. And if you’re too polite to ask people to leave, turn off the music — they’ll get the hint. 

We just got a one-star review on Yelp. How can I ensure this never happens again? 

Brand storytelling expert Bernadette Jiwa has this advice on how to avoid bad social media reviews: start by writing the five-star review you’re hoping for.  Make this your manifesto and share it with your team. Now design every touch-point in your business to make that review a reality.

Additional tips: Care twice as much about how your customers feel as you do about what they might say. Make sure reality exceeds expectations.

How important is it to have money in the bank as opposed to debt?

When we asked our Brain Squad where they stood on this issue, 90 percent recommended money in the bank. But they also made some interesting points you may wish to consider as you weigh up your own situation:

  • Debt is cheap right now. Interest rates on savings accounts are very low. A savings account may pay you 1 percent. Borrowed money invested in inventory may return you 50 percent.
  • Credit can encourage imprudent spending. But bank scrutiny can also keep you disciplined.
  • Cash gives you options when an opportunity (or crisis) arises.
  • Money in the bank means you can take advantage of supplier discounts.
  • When you don’t have easy access to cash, you’ll find a way, regardless; as the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.
  • It’s imperative you have a reserve fund for emergencies.
  • Without credit, it’s going to be hard to buy that store you may have always wanted. If you’re in a growth phase, debt is your friend. If you’re tied to a personal guarantee — which most banks insist on for small business loans — that could wipe out everything you own. Debt is like living under Damocles’ sword.
My hands shake when I do big-ticket presentations. How can I control this?

Insufficient sleep, irregular eating patterns, and too much caffeine or alcohol the night before can all make you more jittery, so taking care of those areas is a good start. When it comes to psychological trembles, it’s your brain, though, that you’re going to have to conquer. Faced with a detailed, high-stakes task, the mind tends to bubble over with worst-case scenarios. In order to derail such negative thinking, have something that is your go-to “happy thought.” Perhaps it’s the lakeside town where you spent your childhood riding bikes with friends. Maybe it was your Mom’s kitchen. Breathe deep and recall those carefree times as you prepare to bring out the goods. 

This article originally appeared in the July 2017 edition of INSTORE.




Wilkerson Testimonials | Sollberger’s

Going Out of Business Is an Emotional Journey. Wilkerson Is There to Make It Easier.

Jaki Cowan, the owner of Sollberger’s in Ridgeland, MS, decided the time was right to close up shop. The experience, she says, was like going into the great unknown. There were so many questions about the way to handle the store’s going-out-of-business sale. Luckily for Cowan, Wilkerson made the transition easier and managed everything, from marketing to markdowns.

“They think of everything that you don’t have the time to think of,” she says of the Wilkerson team that was assigned to manage the sale. And it was a total success, with financial goals met by Christmas with another sale month left to go.

Wilkerson even had a plan to manage things while Covid-19 restrictions were still in place. This included limiting the number of shoppers, masking and taking temperatures upon entrance. “We did everything we could to make the staff and public feel as safe as possible.”

Does she recommend Wilkerson to other retailers thinking of retiring, liquidating or selling excess merchandise? Absolutely. “If you are considering going out of business, it’s obviously an emotional journey. But truly rest assured that you’re in good hands with Wilkerson.”

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