How to Train Your Startup

How to Train Your Startup

Maria and I just got back from an awesome trip to Providence, RI where we facilitated a 2 day training for Urban Greens Food Co-op, a startup about to open. As we were wading through the muddy Customer Service waters, I started to think about all the training startups need to be successful and remain on top of the competition - as if opening a store wasn’t stressful enough. Then it occured to me that I know a lot of startups …

8 Ways to Have a Rock Solid Brand

8 Ways to Have a Rock Solid Brand

Branding is tough! It’s so much more than the logo and graphics, but people don’t always see that. Your brand is how people experience your store - online, in the store, interacting with your shoppers, etc. So how do you have a rock solid brand? We think you’re well on your way if you can master these 8 areas.

Tools of the Trade

Tools of the Trade

While much of what we do involves “tools” in the narrow definition.  However if we take a broader view it’s so much more and personifies many intangibles that we might not consider to be tools in the narrow definition. In an era where employees are hard to come by due to a shrinking labor pool it is important to recognize the investment in your staff as simply a part of your toolbox!

Online ordering as the future of grocery?

Online ordering as the future of grocery?

You’ve probably considered whether or not you should implement an online ordering program at your store. One by one, grocers are picking up on the trend and going virtual. Exciting, right? And yes, utterly frightening! Costco, Maxi’s and Loblaws all have online ordering and that means at least one thing for independent stores – we need to work even harder to get out customers, keep them and make sure their experience is the best …

Effective Shopper Surveys

Effective Shopper Surveys

Getting your customer’s opinions and feedback is critical, we all know that. But when the comment card box is at it’s capacity or your cashiers spend more time telling you what customers said than how many rings per minute they did. . it may be time to let shoppers speak their mind in a more streamlined way.

Know your roots

Know your roots

Our nation was built on an agrarian economy, self- reliance and hard work. Not until the Industrial Revolution did we see a major shift in agriculture and some might argue not for the better! For some of us who are in the food business it’s more about the roots of why we do what we do and maintaining traditions that bring the local community together.

Things you may not think of about Site Selection

Things you may not think of about Site Selection

Congratulations! You are ready to start looking for a location for your new grocery store! You have community interest and have your funding in place. This is a very exciting and yet intimidating stage. One of the first things you will to get is an updated and market study to help guide you to the store’s best location.  Besides location, other important factors to take into consideration sales potential, competitive conditions, support of …

6 things you (probably) didn't know about your marketing plan

6 things you (probably) didn't know about your marketing plan

There are so many clients I work with that either don’t have a useable marketing plan. . or plain just don’t have one! A lot of people don’t understand that a marketing plan isn’t just some stagnant document that you have to create once a year to supplement your business plan. One of the first things I tell clients is that your marketing plan is a living, breathing document that should be reviewed monthly and yes. . . even adjusted a little!