The Bottom Line in Managing a Retail Shopping Center Successfully

In managing a retail shopping center the issues and tasks to understand are many. The right person with the right experience should be selected for the property management position. Errors or strategic mistakes are likely to have a major impact on property performance and tenant trade. That will then have a flow through effect to the rental structure and the vacancy rate.The bottom line on managing a retail property is that the right tenants must be chosen for the mix. It is difficult for a property to fail if the right tenants have been chosen and well located within the property. Every tenant should be selected on their match to the customer and the location within the existing tenant mix.Certainly a retail property is a fine balance of a number of key factors, but the best property in the right location still requires the correct tenants. The tenant profile will attract more customers to the property over time, and that is exactly what a top retail property requires. Better levels of trade help the tenants thrive and that has a flow through to the landlord’s rental rates and recoveries.

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So how do you know what the customer is looking for by way of tenant services and goods? In simple terms you should get a market survey undertaken of customers and their shopping interests. Here are some considerations for that:Determine the primary market from which the customer will be drawn. A full 80% of business should come from this precinct. Get some maps of the roads and highways around the property; look at the roads and understand how and why people would stop in at the property for goods and services.
If you are managing the property now, you can undertake a survey on site over a number of days of the week. You can also spread that process over a few weeks so you are capturing the complete shopping habits of all the people that visit the property.
If the property is new or still to be constructed, then you should to do a marketing survey by ‘door knocking’ the area locally.
What is the demographic of the local area? Is it made up of predominantly young families, middle ‘nesters’, or older retirees? Will your property need to adjust to the different profiles? How will that impact the tenant mix?
Review the competing properties through the town or suburb. You will find that they have factors of tenant mix, vacancies, rental, and customer profile that will be useful in your property consideration. Look for the strengths and weaknesses in those other properties and then understand how they could have an impact on your property location.

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Shopping centers are vibrant and busy properties to manage. On that basis you should select the right people for your team and ensure that they are managing the property to the needs and profile of the community. Match the tenants in the tenant mix to that equation.

5 Tips for Improving Margins and the Bottom Line

There are really only 4 ways to increase profits – sell more, improve margins, cut costs or do all three. Costs always have a habit of creeping upwards over time. So, periodically, it pays to take a hard look at them and then eliminate the things we can live without. But there’s a limit to the extent to which we can cut costs before we hurt our company’s long term growth potential. To get steady, incremental increases in profit we have to sell more and improve margins.There are only 2 ways to sell more – add new customers or increase sales to existing customers. In my experience, when we talk about selling more we tend to put the focus on adding new customers. But we know that it costs at least 6 times more to sell to a new customer than to an existing client. That’s not hard to understand when we consider the “acquisition” costs – e.g. advertising, telemarketing, etc.So, the first tip is to avoid losing your least expensive prospects – existing customers. They must be convinced that we do a great job; otherwise they wouldn’t buy from us. Every business loses some customers over time, but when customers leak away, replacing them with new ones cuts into profits. The key is to focus on our “retention rate”. We need to have a process that alerts us when a customer stops purchasing from us. And we must find out why exactly they’re leaving – not simply make assumptions. Keeping customers satisfied is better for your bottom line than replacing them.The second tip is to remember that all customers are not created equal when it comes to profitability. Pareto’s rule tells us that 80% of our profits will come from 20% of our customers. But, how many of us slip into the situation, over time, of treating all customers as equally important? That actually hurts our profits because we waste money using the same marketing and selling techniques on everyone and treat them the same way when they contact us.

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So, how do we recognize the 20% of customers who give us 80% of our profits? They are the companies who buy from us regularly and understand the value of what we do for their business. They focus on quality and reliability rather than price and they pay on time. Because they are successful in their field, they have the potential to grow, allowing us to grow with them. They may even refer potential clients to us. These are our “A” customers. Can you identify yours?Tip number 3 – it makes good business sense to treat “A” customers differently than the others. Everyone in the organization should know who they are. So, when they talk to them on the phone or face-to-face, answer their email, make product for them or pick their orders, these “A” clients get the most prompt, attentive, efficient service we can give. We should market differently to them too. Stay closely in touch personally and via email, e.g. send them our newsletters, and develop the relationship by figuring out how we can help them respond to the changes in their industry.Next tip – watch the customers who offer some, but not all, of the benefits of our “A’s” very closely. They still focus on quality and reliability but may not have been around as long as “A’s” and so may not buy as regularly and/or as much. These are our “B” customers, and apart from what they do for our bottom line today, they have the potential to be the “A’s” of the future. Identify them and build a strong relationship with them. They may get fewer face-to-face visits than the “A’s” but they do get regular calls from our internal sales staff – a very effective but much less costly method of maintaining contact. They are also on our email database.Then there are customers who buy smaller amounts consistently but who have very little potential for further development. These customers – our “C’s” – are solid contributors to the remaining 20% of our profits but the ones who may be most likely to drift away. Our sales and marketing strategies are designed to maintain these relationships in a cost effective way. Primary contact is via regular (but less frequent than for “B” clients) calls from internal sales and email contact about the products or services they buy.The final group is easy to recognize – they complain most and buy small quantities of our products irregularly. That’s because they are focused on price and discounts. They buy from us only when we’re cheaper than our competitors – they have no loyalty. When they do buy from us, they are abrupt, demanding, they always need delivery immediately and people hate dealing with them. Processing their orders requires our staff to drop everything else and get them to the front of the line. They are our “D” accounts. Dealing with “D’s” can be so disruptive that occasionally they even cause us to make mistakes with the orders for the profitable customers.

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So, the fifth and final tip is to “fire” your “D” accounts. That’s correct, if orders from “D” customers are profitable they’re at the bottom end of the margin scale and the amount of resource required to get them out the door wipes out anything we were going to make. Yet we all have “D” accounts – why don’t we just get rid of them? We don’t have to be rude, simply play them at their own game – quote high prices or long lead times. They’ll make the decision not to deal with us. Do it often enough and they’ll stop calling.Focus on your “A” and “B” customers and you’ll improve your margins. Match your sales and marketing resources to customer type and get rid of your “D’s” and you’ll improve the bottom line. Make retaining “C'” customers a priority; work hard at turning your “B” accounts into “A’s” and get your sales staff focused on understanding your “A” accounts’ business – then you’ll not only sell more but you’ll make more profitable sales.To share your experiences, to take issue with anything I’ve said or to get some insight in how to execute send me an email jimstewart@profitpath.com or call me at 416-258-9610.© Copyright ProfitPATH, a division of JDS & Associates Inc., 2007

The Frontline Equals the Bottom Line

Most of us have heard the expression, “The frontline equals the bottom line,” as it pertains to a company’s employees. It means that as far as the customer is concerned, a company’s frontline employees ARE the company. After all, rarely do customers come in contact with the executives of an organization. Those frontline employees are truly the face of the organization. But as leaders, do we perform in a way that is consistent with the frontline equals the bottom line philosophy? In many cases, I think the answer is no.I was thinking about this issue recently while eating in a T.G.I. Friday’s restaurant. As I was observing the employees, the reality of the frontline equals the bottom line really hit me. These servers, bussers, bartenders, etc. are the most important people in the company. I knew this intellectually (I’ve talked about it for years), but the trueness of it hit me at that moment. These employees are typically the lowest paid in the organization, treated as expendable, often treated in a condescending manner, and yet they are the most important people in the company. If these employees fail in their duties, it makes no difference how smart the Sr. VP of Marketing is. The transaction between the customer and the company (the frontline employee) can easily crash and burn if that frontline employee doesn’t do his or her job well. This is true in restaurants, hospitals, banks, grocery stores or any other industry/organization. Executives can call in sick, but if the truck drivers for a distribution center don’t show up one day, now there is a situation. When they do their jobs with pride and enthusiasm, the likelihood of company success is exponentially increased. When they do their jobs with boredom and skepticism, the greatest technology systems in the world won’t help.

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We should treat our frontline employees like the stars that they are. We should honor them for the work that they do because they are the ones that make the world turn. All of our strategies, visions, and corporate goals are only as good as the execution of those plans; and execution ultimately comes down to frontline people doing things. Theirs is the most honest work of all. The customer was either happy or she wasn’t, the delivery happened on time or it didn’t, the cooler was either stocked or not, the food was either hot or it wasn’t. Frontline employees don’t need a report in a binder to know how things are going. The score is real time for them.I think what is missing in business today is knowing the importance of the frontline at a gut level. Most of us know that we should say the frontline is the bottom line, but I don’t think it often shines through in our actions. If it did, we would be having pizza parties regularly, pitching in to help when things are busy, taking employees to lunch regularly to ask what can be improved. We would hold celebrations all the time. We would say thank you at every opportunity. Think about those times in your personal life when you were grateful for something that someone did. I mean truly grateful. Remember how sincere and heartfelt your appreciation was toward that person? Can you remember the last time you showed that level of appreciation to an employee or group of employees in your organization?The need to be appreciated is one of the strongest needs of all. When employees work hard all day, doing the real work of the company, being treated with honor isn’t too much to ask. Asking me to clock in and clock out says something about how you feel about my honor. Giving keys for the supply cabinet only to managers and above says something about how you feel about my honor. Having a lavish holiday party for the executive team while giving me a $2 tree ornament says something about how you feel about my contributions. Walking by the reception desk, the loading dock, or the stockroom without acknowledging employees, taking a moment to see how things are going, or just saying thanks, are all behaviors that tell employees what management really thinks. Is it any wonder that most studies show employee engagement is abysmally low?

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My wife and I used to have a housekeeper, Val, who cleaned our house once a week. She was truly an excellent housekeeper and cleaned even the hardest to reach areas. Debbie (my wife) sincerely appreciated the extra effort and always showed her appreciation. My wife and Val became good friends. One time Val mentioned that although she cleaned a lot of houses, Debbie was the only one who appreciated those extra touches and actually showed appreciation. What is important to note is that Debbie didn’t say thank you to get Val to do the extras. Debbie thanked Val because she did the extras. Val, however, said that she wanted to do more because of the appreciation. It was simply a sincere cycle of performance and appreciation. Saying thank you to people who work hard is simply the right thing to do. And usually when we do the right thing, we get the right thing in return. Not always, but usually.You know who the frontline employees are in your own organization. I challenge you to take a hard look at the level of appreciation that you show those frontline employees.Something to think about: Do your employees know you appreciate them? How do they know you appreciate them

Health Advantages Of Different Vitamins

The health pack, skincare products and usana vitamins are highly in demand as these are of world class quality and satisfying the users’ need effectively. As we all know that vitamins are a key component for a perfect immune system. Meanwhile, these have a significant ability to complete the biochemical processes occurring in the body continually. And if you are lady and developing fetus inside you, it is needless to say, vitamin supplements are a must to take in protecting both. These vitamins provide you protection against any infections and diseases.
One of the popular brands in vitamin supplements is USANA. No doubt, pregnancy is an assailable time in a woman’s life. The mother need to care herself with proper diet and routine medical checkups. And when it comes to nutritionally demanding phase, these USANA vitamin supplements just serve the purpose accurately.
Here is the list of USANA Vitamins, which are recommendable during pregnancy:
Along with knowing about the USANA supplements, it is also important to consider about prenatal care. During this stage, following are some of the important prenatal vitamins and minerals a woman should consume:
1.Iron: to increase the blood volume, thereby meeting nutritional demands of placenta and fetus.
2.Calcium: to make the bone and teeth formation strong.
3.Iodine: to make the sound functioning of thyroid
4.Selenium: to boost the muscle strength.
5.Zinc: for strengthen of immune system.
6.Vitamin B6: generally known as pyridoxine, is an important coenzyme in the biosynthesis of the neurotransmitters GABA, serotonin and dopamine.
Allthese vitamins and minerals are supplemented in USANA products. Now, here is the detail of these products:
1.USANA Essentials: the supplement consists of powerful antioxidants that meet the guidelines for potency and uniformity, set by United States Pharmacopeia. The main ingredient of this is olive fruit extract. The product has been passed by the United States Recommended Dietary Allowances as an effective dietary supplement.
2.USANA SoyaMax: the supplement is a better alternative to animal proteins. One can consume it to maintain the right balance of cholesterol.
3.USANA Calcium Plus: calcium, magnesium, vitamin D and silicon are the main ingredients of this vitamin supplement. All of these are ideal in promoting a healthy bone health and growth.
4.USANA BioMega: you can get the rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acids with this product and can ensure a strong cardiovascular health. Additionally, it provides healthy neural and bone growth properties. The best part is, it is devoid of any heavy metals, hence is safe to be consumed.
Although, these entire vitamin supplements are safe to use, but one should take with doctor prescription as the effect varies from body to body.

Six Sigma Certification – The Bottom Line

Six Sigma Training and Certification will teach you that everything to do with your business revolves around the processes that you have and how effective they are in operations. The ultimate goal of Six Sigma is to provide a defect ratio of 3.4 defects per million, which is a very high standard for any business, and especially for one that is facing problems with customer dissatisfaction or loss of sales because of ineffective processes. However, when you are properly trained in the principles and policies of Six Sigma, you will be much better able to understand how the process works, how it can benefit your business and how it affects your bottom line every single time.

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With Six Sigma Methodology, the bottom line is that the bottom line is all that matters. When you focus on anything other than customer satisfaction and achieving profit goals, you will lose sight of what your business is designed to do. No matter how much you enjoy owning a business you have to look at the leger side of things every once in awhile to make sure that your business is serving its intended purpose, and meeting the goals that it needs to be meeting. It’s a lot of fun to be a business owner, and it is always important and interesting to learn new ways to appeal to your customers.Customers are the focus? I thought the bottom line was the focus.In order to achieve successful results in your profitability, you have to have satisfied customers that are committed to shopping with your company or paying for your services. That’s all there is to it. You cannot have an effective business or a solid bottom line if you don’t have a stable and constantly growing customer base to work with. Keep all of this in mind and your business will be much more successful in the end.

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When it comes to having an efficient business and a profitable bottom line, there are many different choices that you can make as to how to handle the situation. However, if you take the time to embrace Six Sigma Methodology and use it to your best advantage, you can often make the process improvement projects that you embark on much easier to manage. By using factual data you will get more relevant and actualized results than with any other method of problem solving that you work with.

Creating Effective Employee Relationships – All About the Bottom Line

The purpose of relationship building in the workplace is pretty simple really. There is value for all sides of the equation and within that, it’s important to acknowledge that there is a bottom line.As employees; indeed as business owners, managers and team leaders, we are all in it for something, because the most of us need the work we do.When we attend work, we do so for some pretty basic reasons. We want shelter to keep us from the elements. We want to be fed and kept healthy. In modern societies we are very fortunate that these are pretty much covered off for most of us.So we need more. The basics – the core rewards that work provides us with – are sufficient to provide the minimum we need. If that was all we went to work for, well then, that’s pretty much sorted!

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The more we need is the cerebral value that work provides for us. The stimulation of the work we do provides a healthiness that is not measured by outward disease. Our mental well-being is provided for by finding stimulating challenges that we enjoy and get personal satisfaction from.Work is not about material reward alone.When we manage others, we take that on as a stimulating challenge that gets our juices flowing, so we too are satisfied from the fulfillment that we get from the achievements we make.Both sides achieving successes in their own personal challenges, are leveraged by organizations to ensure that results from the whole, go to meet and exceed the results that need to drop out for the financial bottom line.If managers and their employees have personal goals they want to achieve and these are aligned with the needs of the bigger organization, then we are all in business pulling together.The glue that binds us is the way we communicate together. And we communicate most effectively by having close working relationships that enable us to make the best outcomes possible, where everyone is a winner.

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That bottom line for the relationships we build is the pleasure – the joy even – we get from achieving what we want from the work we do.It isn’t just about financial reward. It isn’t about getting a company car that’s a bit bigger. It’s not about the pension pot we build.Relationships enable us to work together towards a common goal. The purpose of the relationships we co-create, is the bottom line for all of us, which is very personal, yet always contributes to the outcome our employers expect of us too.So we are all winners together.