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The Retail Doctor's Blog

Attract, Close & Delight Your Customers

How To Avoid The 7 Reasons Small Retail Businesses Fail

Bob Phibbs

There is nothing sadder than going by one of your favorite boutique retailers and finding an empty store with a sign For Lease posted in the window.  

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Topics: Small Business

Small Businesses, Now Is The Time To Support LGBT Rights

Bob Phibbs

My interest in writing this post on Father’s day is three-fold: to remind myself of the courage of my dad’s convictions at what he fought for, to draw attention to the fact that Orlando was a symptom of something larger, and to encourage you to check your language.

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Topics: Small Business

How Your Free Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL or Other Email Provider Is Hurting Your Small Business

Bob Phibbs

Are you doing everything you can when you are marketing your small business?

If you still use Hotmail or other free email providers, I would suggest not.

Most people use a @Hotmail.com, @Yahoo.com, @AOL.com or similar account because it’s free and they’ve had it a long time.  

And while you may have had a happening mullet hairstyle in the 90’s, just because you got it then, doesn’t mean you should keep it now.

The idea for this post came from someone who was trying to download a piece of content from my site, and when it wouldn’t let her register because it was @hotmail.com account, she complained,  “What do you have against Hotmail?  Why should I incur yet another expense for my small business if I can get email for free?”

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Topics: Marketing, Small Business, email marketing tips

Retail Consultant Advice: Raise your prices. Here’s how…

Bob Phibbs


Wow, yesterday’s post “It’s Time To Raise Your Prices – Even Though Everyone Will Tell You Not To” got a lot of attention; just like when I first raised this issue during an interview.

This is the follow-up to both…

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Topics: Retail Consultant, Small Business, pricing

Retailers: It’s Time To Raise Your Prices – Though Everyone Will Tell You Not To

Bob Phibbs

Recently I read a quote from an analyst for Edward Jones who said, “I think we’ve reached the wall in terms of raising prices. Consumers can’t take it any more.”


They’ve stopped putting gas in their cars, supersizing their value meals and foregoing makeup?

Of course not.

Are they asking for “What’s on sale” or for the “deal?”

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Topics: Small Business, Retail, pricing

Millennials: Here’s What It Will Take For Them To Succeed In Retail

Bob Phibbs

In the Wall Street Journal article, What’s Wrong With the Teenage Mind? Alison Gopnik takes an in-depth look at two trends affecting the maturation of teenagers.

She has found puberty is kicking in earlier and earlier, and that teenagers are taking on adult roles later and later.

She says in part, “In the past, to become a good gatherer or hunter, cook or caregiver, you would actually practice gathering, hunting, cooking and taking care of children all through middle childhood and early adolescence.

But you'd do all that under expert adult supervision and in the protected world of childhood, where you would have experienced the impact of your inevitable failures and learned from them.”

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Topics: Management, Small Business, Retail, Employee Management, Millennial

Retail Employees: 7 Things You Must Do To Develop and Train

Bob Phibbs

Your success as a retailer depends on how well you use retail sales training to develop your retail employees.

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Topics: Management, Small Business, Retail Sales Training, Employee Management, employee training

Avoid These 4 Small Business Saturday Shop Small Retail Mistakes

Bob Phibbs

American Express Small Business Saturday is November 29, 2014.

While the day prior - Black Friday - is big chains’ day, Saturday is the day for independents to amp up their volume.

It is your chance to gain exposure to your neighborhood shoppers.  For that reason, you want to make the day memorable for them.

And that doesn’t revolve around a discount.


A discount does nothing to build your reputation as a retailer, and it doesn’t give your shoppers a reason to go out of their way to visit you.

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Topics: Marketing, Small Business, American Express, Small Business Saturday

Should You Start A New Business Or Retail Store Now?

Bob Phibbs

One of the most asked questions during my appearances on MSNBC's Your Business have revolved around timing a new business.

Many people will rightly ask you Ms. Entrepreneur, “The economy is so tough, why would you want to open a retail store or start a new business NOW?”

Look, the economy has always been tough...

In 1942 they dropped the bomb but the French came up with the bikini.

There is always an entrepreneur to look at things differently because they are up for the game.

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Topics: Management, Small Business

Small Business Management: How Radical Changes Worked

Bob Phibbs

While writing my book, the Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business (Wiley,) I had lunch with Roger Leithead who told me how his dad, Barry Leithead board chairman led Arrow shirts to survive the Great Depression.

I share it here because succeeding in business regardless if you are a manufacturer or small business requires bold moves...

Open the doors

The Arrow shirt concept came about in the 1800’s because men only wore white dress shirts and they all went to work in a suit. Even the blacksmith would work in that white shirt.

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Topics: Small Business

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