Level Up Blog

Helping Brick & Mortar Retail Companies in the 21st Century. Expertise, resources & tools to help tomorrow’s retail.

Business Survival Linked to Creativity and Innovation

The American Marketing Association recently surveyed 500 CEOs and asked them “What do you need to do to survive in the next five years?” Over 80% of those surveyed said that creativity and vision were most important to their companies’ survival. They were then asked to rate their company’s effectiveness on how well they were

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Essential Tech Tools to Organize and Boost Your Solopreneur Success

Retail Level Up welcomes our guest contributor: Courtney Rosenfeld!! The life of a solopreneur can be overwhelming and lonely. Making the transition to investing in yourself and by yourself is a brave move – but it’s also a smart one. According to the Third Annual Independent Workforce Report, 41.8 million individuals identify as a one-person

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Secret Solutions to Filling Open Positions

Business is booming! Sales are up double digits, not over just last year, but the year before that. Great, right? Well, maybe, if it is sustainable. Many businesses are experiencing historically high sales, and many of those same businesses are struggling to attract and retain employees. There have been plenty of news stories, articles, and

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What Is Your Definition of Failure?

What is your definition of failure? When you make an error, or a mistake how do you feel? Do you feel ashamed? Do you feel foolish? Do you feel like quitting? Do you find yourself looking for who, or what, you can blame for why you make that mistake? We are all human and we

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Essential Inventory Management Tips for Growing Businesses

Retail Level Up welcomes our guest blog contributor: ~ Marcus Lansky ~  If your small business is growing rapidly, now is the time to focus on your inventory management needs. Inventory management will ensure your available stock can keep up with customer demand without wasting valuable warehouse space. Most importantly, a good inventory management system

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Your Mindset Matters

Your inside voice matters. You know that little voice inside our heads? The one where we carry on a conversation with ourselves. What does yours sound like? Do you speak kindly to yourself? Or are you one of those who says things like “I can’t believe I just did that!” or “I can’t believe how

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Invest In Yourself

Once we complete our formal schooling the responsibility of learning, developing, and growing ourselves rests squarely on our own shoulders. No one is going to show up and say “OK class! We’re going to learn some really cool stuff today!” That just doesn’t happen. If you want to reach your goals and reach your full

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Shop the Competition

Years ago, when I was a department manager, and a graduate of the management training program at JCPenney, I would take my sales leads with me out in the mall, and we would shop the competition. We would go up and down the mall once a week and take a look at our competition. We

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Better Business for Busy Customers

Retail Level Up is pleased to welcome our contributing guest author, Marissa Perez of businesspop.net. When’s the last time you sat down and just relaxed? It’s probably been a while. The same is likely true for the majority of your customers. Time is a commodity that we can all agree is in short supply. Here

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Interest vs. Commitment

When we are interested in something, we do it when it is convenient for us. The circumstances have to be just right, we need to have the right setting, all the tools we need. When we are interested, we will do it when it is convenient.  When we are committed to something, we will do

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Have a Plan? Why Isn’t It Working?

So, you have a plan.  You know what you want. You know the steps you need to take to make it happen. Why isn’t it working? At Retail Level Up, we work with clients who are in situations just like this. They have clear goals. Most have figured out the action steps to achieve those

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The Importance of Having an Open Mindset

So, what is the difference between an open and a fixed mindset? Let’s start with an example of a fixed mindset. Imagine you are in a new job. You have been on the job for about 3 months. You are really enjoying it. Your boss lets you know that it is time for your 90

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The Time Management Myth

How are your time management skills? “Time management” is a myth. There is no such thing. None of us have the superhuman power to manage time. We all get 24 hours in our day, no more no less and none of us has the ability to stretch it out to make it last longer or

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Busy?

Are you busy? That is a silly question, right? Of course, you are busy; we are all busy! You may be feeling even a bit overwhelmed. It used to be when we greeted someone you would say “hey, how are you doing?” The answer would be “good, great, how are you?” Now the response is

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Miscommunication

I often see articles, books, and training series on how to effectively communicate. Helping my clients develop their skills in effective communication is one of my specialties so my brain is trained to notice this kind of information wherever and whenever it pops up. Most of this information is very instructional (insert bored-out-of-their-minds-students emoji…AKA: classroom

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The First Step to Achieving Any Goal

At Retail Level Up, we have a diverse roster of clients. They all have different types of businesses, brands, owners, and personalities. Every business has a different journey, a different need, and different goals. But for this article, we are going to compare and contrast two different business owners to illustrate the first step to

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The Universal Steps to Success blog

The Universal Steps to Success

We are quickly approaching the end of the year and most of us are probably looking forward to this year-end like we have never looked forward to a year-end before! But before we rush to put this year into the history books, this is the perfect time to take a look at all of the

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Be a Leader of Change

There is one thing that is consistent and constant in all businesses. It does not matter how small or big the business. It does not matter what type of industry or what type of business you are in. The one thing that is constant is change. There are tons of examples throughout history, both long

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Managing From Afar

A year ago there were probably thousands of people across the US that had a wish, they had a dream: they wanted to be able to work remotely. Some of those people probably went to their managers and made the request  that they would like to work from home and a lot of them heard

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Attracting and Retaining the Best People

The skills that help someone get promoted to a management role, or the skills that an entrepreneur uses to build and run a successful business, are often skills that are tied specifically to their profession. In the retail industry, people who are great in sales, or have exceptional merchandising skills, often find themselves promoted into

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Learn the tasks to create a great company culture

Fill Up Your Tank, or Else

Have you ever felt you were just so busy that you didn’t even have time to stop for gas? And what happens when you fail to do that?  You are likely to find yourself stranded, on the side of the road, in the middle of nowhere, very frustrated with yourself, and everybody else is extremely

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The 5 Stages of Change

When we decide to make a change, no matter whether in our personal or professional lives, we go through five stages, which can be referred to as an emotional cycle of change*. Stage 1 – Uninformed Optimism The first stage is uninformed optimism. You are just so stoked! You finally decided you are going to

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Sustainability and Scalability

When you are building or starting a business, it is best to think in terms of both sustainability and scalability. Sustainability is all about asking “how will the business sustain revenue on an ongoing basis?”. Is there going to be demand for your product or services tomorrow, next week, next month, next year? Scalability is

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No

“No” is such a short, simple word but it can be the cause of so much stress and anxiety. Between the time of our birth until we are young adults, we probably heard the word “no” hundreds of thousands of times. In a way, we are trained and conditioned to want to avoid hearing the

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Creating A Compelling Customer Experience

In today’s world of ever changing landscape for the retail industry, many brick-and-mortar retailers are challenged with how to attract and retain customers. With all of the personalization and customization customers are get with the online version of retail, it can be challenging for a brick-and-mortar retailer to figure out how to deliver a similar

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Building Effective Business Systems

The world, as we used to know it, has changed. Businesses have been forced to rethink, regroup, and retool processes that had been working for years, or in some cases, for decades. We are all trying to keep up and get ahead of the latest news, recommendations, and mandates. We have seen an influx of

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Trade Secrets

Several years ago, I was the Director of Store Operations for growing retailer that had won an award for great customer service. We had received an invitation to speak at one of our vendor’s user conference. I went to my boss to ask if I would be allowed to present and he said “No, I

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Single Point of Failure

Single Point Of Failure Last Summer, pre-pandemic of course, my partner and I were enjoying a refreshment at a lovely little bar and restaurant in Hope, Idaho. The restaurant sits right on the shore of Lake Pend Oreille, the 5th deepest lake in the US. The establishment enjoys a very busy tourist season from May

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People & Culture Must Be A Retailer’s Top Priorities

Brick-and-mortar retailers have been challenged over the past decade or so to innovate, adapt, or face the inevitable death of being a dinosaur. As consumers have become comfortable with shopping for their wants and needs online, the fate of brick-and-mortar retailers has been on uncertain ground. With what has been happening in the first half

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Innovate, Adapt, Or Die

Just a few months ago I had a calendar full of trips, parties, large group gatherings, live theater/concerts, and a long-anticipated graduation ceremony and celebration for my daughter the law student. My, how things have changed. So many things I never imagined happening, have happened, and not happened. Here we are, in this new reality.

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Intentional Communication

Have you ever heard someone say “If people would just listen to me, they would understand what I’m trying to say!” At the very basic level, this comment seems quite reasonable. We make a statement, we are clear with the words that we say, people should understand what we said. If it were only that

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Success Lies In Your Daily Schedule

Busy vs. Productive Prioritizing Waiting to “feel” like doing it Schedule yourself with yourself Accountability Results 🚀 As a coach and consultant, I work with many people who have a lot on their plates: business owners, executives, entrepreneurs, managers, sales professionals, and many more. In working with these individuals and their teams, a consistent behavior

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What Are You Waiting For?

Challenging Times Moving Forward In A Positive Direction Doing Makes Things Happen Your Life Is Ticking Away Schedule A Call With Retail Level Up 👉🏽 So what are you waiting for? Waiting for the stay-at-home-order to end? Waiting for the right moment? Waiting to see what’s going to happen once we all get back to

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What Do You Want?

Such a simple question: What do you want? Should be easy to answer, right? But surprisingly, we know way more about what we don’t want, than what we do want. What, really? Yes, really. As children, we learned about things usually by finding out what not to do, by learning what we didn’t like. Touch

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How Brick-and-Mortar Can Compete Against Amazon

There’s no doubt that online shopping is here to stay, and that Amazon is huge, and that word really isn’t big enough to describe just how massive it is. What’s a small to mid-sized retailer to do? Call it quits? Throw in the towel? How can you possibly compete against Amazon? Well, though Amazon may

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The GIFT of Feedback – Getting Some

When we were in school, we were on the receiving end of tons of feedback. We were constantly being measured, tested, and observed. Lots has been written and researched lately about the benefits, and damages, of the methods that are used to teach, test, and measure students, but knowing how we are performing is a

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Brick-and-Mortar’s Time to Shine

The spiders, black cats, and tombstones have barely been moved from front-and-center to their spot in the clearance section. A few harvest displays may have claimed some prime real estate, but the big location-hog right now is everything Holiday. Though a few people complain every year that retailers seem to be displaying Holiday-themed merchandise earlier

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The GIFT of Feedback – Giving Some

We’re getting close to that time of year when we are giving thanks and giving gifts. In the spirit of the season of giving, consider giving something unique and very valuable: the gift of feedback. Chances are, you are in a position at work, or in your personal life, where you have some form of

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10 brick and mortar failures_Retail Level Up

Top 10 Things Brick-and-Mortar Should Be Scared Of

Updated on 3/7/21 by mickeykwq There are plenty of things a brick-and-mortar retailer might be scared of in our current environment, but let’s get one thing clear, right from the start: Amazon isn’t one of them. Sure, Amazon is big, so big one might think “how can I possibly compete with that?”. If you linger

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TOP TEN – Retail Selling Mistakes

As any good retailer knows, the customer has the power. Here are the top 10 mistakes retail sales people make when engaging with customers. Failing to build rapport with the customer. This is the age of “ization”: customization and personalization. Failing to ask questions to discover the customer’s needs and requirements. Focusing on their own

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The Biggest Gap In The World

Why do some people achieve so much, and others don’t? Why is it that a group of people can all attend the same workshop, learn the same stuff, be all excited about these new learnings, and yet less than 15% of those who attended will ever do anything with that information? Do these high achievers

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It Can Be Done

I had a wish. There was something I wanted to do, very much. It was something I had never done before, at least not in as big a way as I imagined it in my mind. I wanted to lead the National Anthem in front of a crowd. Like most US citizens, I have sung

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Selling vs. Service

When I was a new department manager for JCPenney, I went to a week-long off-site training which was the culmination of an 18-month management training program. I still use much of what I learned in that training today. One of the best lessons was on service vs. selling.  The trainer used an example of a

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Are You Holding Yourself Back?

Hello. My name is Mickey, and I am a procrastinator. As I write this, I am already late for my self-imposed deadline to finish this article. This is me, sharing with you, one of my (many) faults. I did all the right things to prepare myself to meet my deadline. I carved out time on

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