Level Up Blog

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

Burn Your Ships!

The phrase “Burn your ships” references a historical event that happened in the year 1519 during the Spanish conquest of Mexico.  the Spanish commander, Hernάn Cortéz, scuttled his ships upon arriving in the new world. This act of destroying his own ships sent a very clear message to his men: there was no turning back.

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measurement

Measure Your Progress

One of the most powerful tools to help you achieve your goals, or form new habits, is to track and measure your progress. Many people will set a goal and identify the action steps they need to take but that is often when the formal part of the goal setting process ends. Keeping track of

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3 Benefits of Using Data Analytics to Run and Grow Your Business

From improving your marketing campaigns to increasing your company’s cash flow, there are a number of benefits of using data analytics in business. Through the gathering and examining of business data, for instance, you can better identify business trends, new opportunities for growth, and potential red flags — and in turn make smarter business decisions

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Need a Coach to Walk Through Your Plan?

How Having a Coach Helps

How does having a coach help? In the past 30 years, business coaches went from rare to common. If you have thought about hiring a coach for yourself, but you are still on the fence about how having a coach helps, here are some positive benefits and outcomes you can expect to experience by working

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8 Tips for Self-Care for Business Owners

Retail Level Up welcomes guest contributor Marjorie Jones of Working Class WOW. With an endless list of things to do, making time for yourself can be a challenge. Your well-being has likely taken a backseat in your life as you keep up with work and family obligations. Now’s the time to put yourself first and

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Average

Average Is Easy

Average is not bad. We all have our strengths and opportunities. In between our strengths and our opportunities are lots of things where we are average and that’s fine. But being average is easy. It is comfortable. What about the areas where you are performing at an average rate, and you know you could be

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business people working

Things You Can’t Ignore When Growing Your Business

Retail Level Up is pleased to welcome our contributing guest author, Marissa Perez of businesspop.net. Many business owners are open to the idea of growth, but some aren’t sure how to do it in the best way. By taking control of several factors and being proactive in other areas, you can increase your productivity and

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Don't Give Up

Persistence and Determination

Why is it when some companies are faced with challenging times like economic downturns, shifting customer preferences, or new, restrictive legislation some companies are able to face those challenges and make it through while others end up failing? Why is it when some people are faced with obstacles and challenges, they give up and quit,

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freelancer

How to Find, Manage, and Retain Remote Freelancers

by Guest Contributor: Tina Martin of Ideaspired.com Freelancers are the secret weapons of many successful small businesses — they enable you to expand your offerings without the expense of full-time employees. With online job boards and communication tools, it’s possible to find top-notch talent in countries as far away as India for affordable prices. A

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Goal Setting vs. Goal Getting

There was a group of young men loading up their gear on a boat. Close by, there is another boat with an older gentleman loading up his gear. The older gentleman yells out to the young guys and asks what their plans are for the day. One of the young men says “We’re going out

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Get More Done In Less Time.

Get More Done In Less Time

Doesn’t that sound like a great thing? Get more done in less time. We all could use a magic wand that would do that for us. The most successful people write down their goals. They also create action plans, and then they identify the action steps that need to happen. Another step that the most

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Planning Your Future Organizational Structure – For the Solopreneur

Planning Your Future Organizational Structure – For the Solopreneur

Very few successful businesses are run entirely by only one person. Many businesses start out as a one-man-show, and many never grow beyond that. But most successful businesses add additional employees as the business grows. It is important to strategically look at all the different areas of the business, the functions, and the various responsibilities.

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Two Key Structures Every Business Needs

Two Key Structures Every Business Needs

When launching a new business, there are a lot of growing pains. As the business owner, you are going to be learning a lot of things that you don’t know a lot about, and things you don’t have a great deal of skill in like technology, marketing, legal, employee relations, employee law, accounting, finance, and

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Learn Marketing Tips From Entrepreneurs

Proven Marketing Tips for Senior Entrepreneurs

Retail Level Up is thrilled to welcome our guest contributor to our blog: Tina Martin! Check out the info about the author at the bottom of this article. As a small business owner, you’ve probably realized the importance of marketing. You may even already have an overall strategy in place. But since marketing is changing by

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Do Not Wait For Leaders, Become Them.

Top Qualities of a Great Leader

Most leaders are not necessarily born with great leadership skills. Leadership skills can be learned. But what are the top qualities that people want to see in an effective leader? Surveys of people around the world have been conducted, and these are the most frequent qualities identified. Respect.  If a leader does not demonstrate respect,

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The Roles of Business Owner plays and how to play them appropriately.

3 Key Roles of a Business Owner

So you are thinking about starting your own business or maybe you already have started your own business. Business owners of all types of businesses have gone through a very similar kind of emotional rollercoaster. Many new businesses begin with an idea. An idea that an employee has who is working for someone else, doing

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Signs You Need a Business Coach and how they improve your Business.

5 Signs You Need a Coach

30 years ago the most common place to find a coach was in the locker room, or on a sports field, or in an athletic training facility. Today, a coach can be found in just about every type of business, large and small, and in every type of industry. My dentist has had a coach

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Business Creativity and Innovation like a Lightbulb.

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 for Your Business.

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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The Secret to Filling Open Job Positions

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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How to Learn From Failure.

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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Tips for Inventory Management in a Growing Business.

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, First Believe in Yourself.

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.

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.

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.

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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Don't Give Up

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 That Isn't Working? Don't Give Up.

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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An Open Mindset In Terms Of Your Business.

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.

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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Are You Busy? Of Course, You Are!

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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Learn How to Stay Away From Miscommunication.

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.

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.

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.

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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Learn How To Manage From Afar.

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. You Got This.

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.

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

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

“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.

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.

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

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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