Want to sell it? Color it. For proof, just look at the amazing sales of Apple computers following the debut of the new iMac model in a choice of five colors, starting with Blueberry. Apparel stores also report shoppers are embracing color this spring and summer. But black is looming and expected to make a big splash this fall. Last fall's color was gray and black is the new gray for this year, according to the Tobe Report, New York consultants.
PRICES GOING UP
Twenty-six percent of small businesses raised prices in the last three months of 1999, and price boosting was well above last year's 17 percent, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Dun & Bradstreet reports almost half (46 percent) of firms surveyed will raise prices this quarter.
NFIB says firms report "finding qualified workers" as their main reason for raising prices. They say raising wages to keep good employees means passing the costs on to consumers.
NAPS MORE IMPORTANT THAN DAY CARE
Nearly half, 44 percent, of workers say they want a different job. Among the others, the perks they most prefer are:
flex hours 67%
casual dress 56%
unlimited Net access 51%
nap time 28%
day care 24%
bring pets to work 11%.
DIRECT MARKETING TO PASSERSBY
Someday soon a motorist or strolling pedestrian may get information about nearby shops just by dialing a single phone number on a handheld computer or a new-age cell phone. That's the futuristic promise of GeePS.com Inc., Cranbury, NJ, which is testing the concept in San Francisco, CA, and New York, NY. The concept uses global positioning satellite system signals to pinpoint the location of the customer to within 50 feet. Merchants could turn passersby into prospects by announcing special deals or sales good for, say, the next hour.
YOU CAN'T SELL WHAT YOU DON'T HAVE
How much does it cost you when you don't have what a shopper is looking for? If most retailing is like the food industry it could be billions of dollars every year. The average supermarket does not have an item the shopper is looking for eight percent of the time. Thirty-four percent of the time, the shopper will not buy an alternative product which costs the industry about $10 billion a year in lost sales.
FIND AN EXPERT ON THE WEB
You can hire an expert, any kind, (often inexpensively) on the Web. Now you can get information on why and how to incorporate or even draft a business plan at prices running from $20 to around $200. Best of all, some sites let you look over abbreviated resumιs of the experts and compare their evaluations with those of their colleagues. Some sites for experts recently mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine include www.exp.com, www.expertcentral.com and www.allexperts.com.