Author: Cass Consultants

Kidd and Pearson believe in and join Leahy’s vision for the Town of Montgomery

For Immediate Release

For more information, contact:

Ray Sprowls

Campaign Manager for Dennis Leahy, Becky Pearson, and John Kidd

RaySprowls@gmail.com

(845) 527-4620

 

MEDIA ADVISORY

Kidd and Pearson believe in and join Leahy’s vision for the Town of Montgomery

Montgomery, NY – June 4, 2015 - The push to unify and strengthen the Town of Montgomery is gaining momentum.  Village of Maybrook Mayor Dennis Leahy has been joined in his vision to find a new direction for the Town of Montgomery by former Village of Walden Mayor Becky Pearson and Town of Montgomery Chamber of Commerce President, John Kidd.  The vast contributions, backgrounds, and experiences of this group offer the community a team of candidates ready to work hard and produce results.

Pearson spent four years as mayor in Walden and was not a mere figurehead.  Along with other members of the community, she refined plans for the Rail Trail as well as secured federal funds to complete the project.  She’s fought hard to improve local zoning regulations and is current chairperson of the Village Zoning Board.  Her roots in the community run deep, as the Phelps family has lived about the town for over 100 years.  Pearson belongs to numerous service organizations and volunteers to strengthen the community.  Her love for Walden and the Town is ingrained in her spirit.

John Kidd’s love for the people of the town is as long as his family’s history here. The first Kidd settlers came to the area in 1736 and each successive generation solidified the family’s position in the community.  Kidd’s marketing business has greatly impacted the community for the better.  Through his quarterly magazines, Kidd highlights the positives in the area while instilling a sense of pride and community spirit among the town’s residents.  This professional experience allows Kidd to hone vital skills identifying needs while finding appropriate solutions which makes him an asset to the Town.  Kidd thrives on bringing local residents and businesses together through his work while carrying on the legacy of his ancestors by serving the needs of the public.

Dennis, Becky, and John are a formidable team.  Each has played a separate role in the community, but they share a common vision for the future of Montgomery.  You’ll see this when you meet them as they want to learn your vision for the Town.  Talk to them – tell them what you think. They have your best interests at heart, and together, they will make things happen for us.

Dennis Leahy Becky Pearson John Kidd

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Ten Reasons Retail Blooms in the Spring!

The-ListCabin Fever Customers

Long winters can make customers stir crazy!  Embrace customer's readiness for new things that scream sunshine and flowers - from home decor to clothing and more.  Introduce a Spring Fling Sale or special event at your store.

The Fresh Air

The winter months beg for closed doors.  Spring, however, welcomes opened doors and windows - which also helps to welcome customers into your store.  Another perk? The beginning of sidewalk sale season!

Mother Nature's Colors

Gone are the days of dead grass and empty tree branches.  Spring gifts us with blue skies, green grounds and more.  For retailers, this is a great excuse to brighten up your store with new product and merchandising.  Much of which is inspired by Mother Nature herself!

New Items

A Change of seasons means more than a change of temperature.  It also means new inventory! Announce your new arrivals to customers and work with your vendors to create some exciting, seasonal events around some expected best-sellers.

New Faces

Winter has a way of holding people cative to their homes, however spring welcomes faces onto the streets and into stores again.  Get ready to say "hello" with open arms (and packed shelves).

Relaxed Holidays

Amplify your store marketing and inventory to support springtime holidays, offering products, promotions and events that get customers excited for Graduations and more.

Spring Cleaning

Spring historically is known for a time to get organized and clean things up.  Get rid of excess clutter, move marked down inventory, re-merchandise your store displays, re-organize your storage space and get ready for a vibrant season of customers and sales.

Neighboring Businesses

Warmer weather - even if it isn't summer yet - is a great time of year to work with like minded businesses to help build both your brands.  Reach out to a nearby community business that has a similar audience of customers, and then determine how you can work together to help BOTH your stores!

Deep(er) Pockets

Whether it's to update wardrobes or find outdoor accessories, warmer days welcome customers looking to buy new things.  Maximinze your email marketing, social media campaigns and customer contests by letting your customers know you have what they need.

Energetic Employees

Any time of year is deserving of employee trainings, but a new season screams for employee reviews, trainings and workshops to help strengthen your team.  Not sure where to start?  Visit RetailMinded.com for info and tips on employee training and much more.

 

 

 

5 Ways to Increase the Productivity of your Small Retail Business

Small Retail Business ProductivityAs a small retail business owner, we know you’re always looking for ways to save time. Fortunately, today’s technology offers retail businesses plenty of tools for maximum time optimization. Keep your business running smoothly and avoid revenue loss by increasing productivity in all aspects of your company with these five time saving techniques.

Fast Marketing

Getting the word out about your small retail business doesn’t have to be time consuming. Let your customers know about special promotions or in-store events with email marketing campaigns. Save time by using online email marketing solutions like SnapRetail that make it easy to design emails and send them to subscribers. Another way to market your business without spending too much time and effort is through Facebook. Stay on your customers’ minds by creating a business account and updating it daily with interesting tidbits, promotions and product information.

Staff Scheduling

Useful apps like, Deputy make scheduling staff hours a cinch. Deputy allows you to coordinate shifts online and even sends notifications via text message and email so your workers never show up for a cancelled shift again. This time and attendance software also makes it simple to keep track of everyone’s hours, so you’ll always pay your workers the right amount. Forgo those paper time sheets and opt to go digital with staff scheduling. You’ll save time and money.

Data Protection

Using the cloud makes it easier to save and access important business files. Consider this situation, you’re at home and a customer calls you, upset about being overcharged for an item he or she bought earlier in the day. You don’t have to wait until you get back to your business’s physical location to solve this mistake. With the cloud you can easily search for a specific transaction and verify the amount charged. However, if you do decide to go from physical to virtual files, make sure you have an online cloud backup service like MozyEnterprise that can protect important business information from getting lost and improve productivity with file sync and mobile access.

Store Organization

There’s no bigger time waster than a disorganized retail store. Keep your displays clutter-free and your client’s shopping experience will be smooth. If you find your overall layout is what’s slowing things down, then it’s time for a more drastic change. CashierLive suggests investing in light, easy to move shelves and opting for modular furniture that can be arranged in a variety of ways. The site also mentions grouping items in ways that make sense to your shoppers. For example, if a client goes into your store with the intention of purchasing a bathing suit for the summer, place other related items nearby, such as sunglasses, sunscreen and flip flops. This organizational method will not only make finding items easier for your customer but it will make the whole shopping process quicker. And remember, quick and easy transactions improve clientele and drive sales.

Easy Payments

Use technology to your advantage to make transactions quicker and easier.Credit card processing systems like Swipely can be easily integrated into your payment process and can be used alongside the cash register you probably already own. With Swipely you won’t have to spend hours trying to figure out how much you made from credit and debit card transactions, as one of its features allows you to view monthly sale data. Furthermore, you can even save time by adjusting your opening and closing hours to best accommodate the best times for sales, information Swipely can help you figure out.

Be Straight Forward with Your Customers and What You Sell

retailMarketing5Retailers and designers are very busy. Their checklist is endless in regards to marketing and how to get more people to know about their business. Yet complicating this seems to be the norm rather than looking at some very easy ways to reach out to your customers. This includes letting them know what you sell exactly.  Fancy marketing campaigns and creative ideas to promote your store can be very useful for your business, but clean, clear and simple also have their advantages. A few easy ideas to help promote what you sell include the following.[tweetmeme]

1. Business Cards

Don’t underestimate the power of passing this traditional marketing piece out. Have it on your cash wrap, give it to other businesses to have on their cashwraps (with their permission, of course) and pass it out anytime you meet someone new. Easy enough, right? The catch – use one side of your business card to speak to your customer. Tell them what you sell and what you do. Too often business cards look great in design but don’t answer the  questions a customer would want to know – what do you sell? What brands do you carry? What can you do for me? Answer these questions so potential customers won’t have to ask.

2. Develop a Brochure

If you sell services, a flat or folded brochure is a great way to identify the services you offer. This also gives you space to be more specific in the details you offer. Offer this brochure any where and every where that your target market has access to.

3. Have a Tagline

If you are like most people, there are business taglines you know even if you are not their customer. Your business should strive to have that same impression with anyone who crosses paths with you. Repeat the tagline whenever you can to make it worth remembering – on your letterhead, your website, your business cards, receipts and more. First thing is first, though - make sure people (friends, family, current customers) like the tagline before you hit print. Your opinion isn’t the only one that matters here.

4. Track Your Testimonials

Or in other words, show off. Print great testimonials and frame them as art for your customers to see. Use them in your marketing campaign pieces. Include them in a press release. Brag without being conceited – just smart. By speaking directly to your customers through the words of previous customers, you are being as straightforward as possible regarding what they can expect from your business.

5.Get a Memorable Phone Number

Call your phone provider with some phone number ideas you have. It’s as simple as that. If they are available, have your number transferred to this and make a big deal out of it. Use it in all your promotional pieces. It will be memorable and fun.

Finally, take the complicated out of your day to day outreach. Save the fancy stuff for special occasions and stick to the good, old basics when it comes to reaching out. Press releases, special events and more can all be beneficial in communicating with your audience. How you execute them is the catch!

Handmade for the Holidays – Keep Your Spending Local

Wallkill River SchoolKeep Your Spending Local!

“Handmade for the Holidays” is a gift bazaar of handmade goods from local artisans using local materials. Fourteen fine crafters will be set up around the gallery and workshops spaces making everything from carved scavenged tree sculptures, beaded jewelry, to hand-knitted and felted goods. Visitors can sample crisp apple cider, and seasonal treats while strolling through a marketplace of local craftspeople who live locally, use local materials, and keep your money circulating in our community. Why buy from China when you can choose one-of-a kind hand crafted gifts made by your friends and neighbors? Bazaar hours are from noon-7pm, Dec.7th.

Planning for the New Year

New Year SignThe start of the new year is a great time to assess what is ahead as well as what you just accomplished – or lacked to, for that matter - in the previous year. Joining you in this should be your employees. To jump start this important review process, a few questions are outlined below to help engage your thoughts, provoke new ones and lead you towards accomplishing new goals in the year ahead.

1. What was the single biggest accomplishment for your retail store or wholesale business in the past year? This accomplishment does not have to be reflective of dollars, but instead it can represent opportunity, steps  taken or anything else you truly believe made the largest impact on your business. Make sure your employees have the unique opportunity to give their individual thoughts on this, as well.

2. What do you believe you failed to accomplish in the past year that you had hoped to? Again, make sure your employees can share their opinions here. Take the time to listen to their thoughts and together, you can evaluate both the strengths and weaknesses of your business in an effort to do better in the coming year.

3. What were the top selling items of your store or brand in the past year?Do you think  they will continue to trend as top sellers in the new year? Either way, did you anticipate they would be top sellers? If not, how did you react to their sales to provide proper inventory? How can you learn from this to do again in similar situations?

4. What items do you think may replace your top sellers from this past year? Are you prepared to chase any items that sell well from a financial perspective, or have you already eliminated wiggle room in your buying budget?

5. Is your sales team at the level of performance you want them to be? What do they believe they can do to improve their sales and overall work for your business? What do you want them to do to improve? How will you communicate, educate and inspire them to be stronger performers?

6. What new marketing initiatives can you make to gain visibility for your store, your business, your website and your overall brand / store image? Are you prepared to take the extra steps to do this? What are these extra steps?

7. Did you reach your target market in the past year?Who is your target market? Do you believe your audience may have changed since you opened your store or business and if so, how can you react to accommodate that?

8. Are there new layers (new product, new branding, new marketing, etc.) to your business that you plan to add in the coming year? What are they? How will this impact your employees? You? Your time? Your budget? Make sure everyone necessary understands the process.

9. Do you have to give up anything to get ahead this year? What? Are you willing to make this sacrifice? Are you employees prepared? What do you each need to do to prepare for this?

10. What goals do you have for yourself and your business that need support from outside resources? Whether they are vendors, contractors, consultants, photographers or anyone else, make sure you have scheduled times to work with the necessary parties so that you aren’t left chasing them last minute.

Hopefully these questions can help engage you and your entire team to jump start the year ahead with excitement and energy to reach the goals you have set for your business. Make sure to take the time to really evaluate last year in an effort to do better this year. Learn from both your mistakes and successes and when necessary, learn from others. Retail continues to be tough, so it’s okay to not be able to do it alone. Work together and hopefully 2014 will be the year you plan for it to be – or better!

Contributed by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Founder & Editorial Director of Retail Minded – the nation’s only support for independent businesses both in and out of their stores. Learn more at www.RetailMinded.com

Make Sure Your Grand Opening is Really Grand

Grand-Opening-PhotoTake a deep breath, and get ready to wow the world with your new business. Very soon, your hard work will be on display, and even though you’ve probably heard some frightening statistics about small businesses, (for example, Business Insiders states more than 200,000 small businesses were forced to shutter between 2008 and 2010) statistically speaking, the numbers are actually on your side. According to Dun and Bradstreet, data obtained from the Census Bureau actually shows nearly 70 percent of new small businesses that have employees will make it to the end of their second year.

One of the keys to becoming a success right out of the gates is to get your new business’ name out into the public eye. How many times have you driven by a business and had no idea it even existed before? Throwing a successful grand opening will ensure you won’t be one of those anonymous businesses that opens quietly and then disappears just as noiselessly into the night.

1. The Importance of Social Media Today

Don’t underestimate the value of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram in your marketing campaign, especially in the days leading up to your grand opening. No matter how small your business is, you should take advantage of these three free self-promotion vehicles.

It’s not enough, however, just to create these social media pages and add a few pictures. You need to work them. While you don’t want to blow up the Facebook news feeds of your friends and followers, posting at least an announcement a day will remind future customers to come to your grand opening. In addition, make sure to feature pictures of intriguing products or services you will be selling, so your customers will have an idea of the type of business you will be running.

2. Get Them in the Doors

Most people enjoy attending special events. Even people who might not normally walk into your store or business might be drawn in by the promise of an exciting grand opening, or seeing something new in the neighborhood. Offering free refreshments and giveaways will also draw in more potential customers. Your refreshments don’t have to be cost a lot — simple cookies and juice will often be enough to draw in those passing by. If you do decide to give prizes, make them gift certificates to your business, so consumers will feel a need to return to your store and spend money.

3. The Physical Reminder

Don’t just rely on the Internet to remind future customers about your grand opening. Most people also need a physical reminder, such as inexpensive, but clever and eye-catching, postcards. Unlike a letter a person has to open, postcards allow your customers to see all the information as soon as they pick it up, such as the time and date of your grand opening. To entice customers to keep your postcard and to come into your store, you should feature a special discount offer on them.

4. Entertainment

Do you know a musician who is looking for a platform to showcase his talent? Why not invite him to perform at your grand opening? Live music is always a great draw.

5. Be Prepared

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You only get one chance to make a first impression.” It’s imperative your grand opening gives everyone who enters your business a great impression. In today’s business environment where everyone is a critic on Yelp and other forums, it is too hard to reverse a poor showing. Make sure you have enough help on hand for your grand opening, and everyone is trained properly.

Contributed by Nicole Leinbach Reyhle, Founder & Editorial Director of Retail Minded - the nation's only support for independent businesses both in and out of their stores. Learn more at www.RetailMinded.com

 

Handmade for the Holidays

scratchboardKeep your spending local on December 7, 2013 from Noon-7pm Join us at Handmade for the Holidays Bazaar at the Wallkill River School, 232 Ward St. (17K), Montgomery. Seasonal refreshments, Free (845) 457-ARTS www.WallkillRiverSchool.com

“Handmade for the Holidays” is a gift bazaar of handmade goods from local artisans using local materials. Fourteen fine crafters will be set up around the gallery and workshops spaces making everything from carved scavenged tree sculptures, beaded jewelry, to hand-knitted and felted goods. Visitors can sample crisp apple cider, and seasonal treats while strolling through a marketplace of local craftspeople who live locally, use local materials, and keep your money circulating in our community. Why buy from China when you can choose one-of-a kind hand crafted gifts made by your friends and neighbors? Bazaar hours are from noon-7pm, Dec.7th.

The Wallkill River School is a nonprofit artist’s cooperative that runs a gallery and a full art school in Montgomery, NY. The WRS promotes local artists and integrates art into the people’s daily lives. Part of the organization’s mission is to preserve dwindling open spaces and promote small scale farms and our agricultural heritage. The artists often partner with historic sites such as Sugar Loaf Village, organic farms like Phillies Bridge Farm, and nonprofits like Black Rock Forest Consortium to build benefit art auctions, giving participants a chance to sell their work, and help raise money for nonprofits that preserve open spaces. The WRS published a local foods cookbook based on what our farms grow, in season, and where to find it. The WRS offers plein air workshops on location throughout Orange County from May-Oct, and year-round art classes in the Montgomery gallery. The WRS is committed to buying local, and all our events are zero waste, handicapped-accessible, and carbon neutral. 

How to Maximize Some Much Deserved Attention

Shop Local Banner 2013

In 2010, Small Business Saturday was officially "born".  Brought to life by American Express, this annual event takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  What many merchants do not know, however, is that this money maker day celebrating independent business is not exclusive to those merchants who accept American Express in their stores.  It's for every independently owned business - plain and simple.

Taking place on November 30th this year, Small Business Saturday is expected to exceed the $5.5 billion dollars in generated in 2012.  Having been officially recognized by the US Sentate in 2011, this annual event has grown attention among small businesses and consumers alike as each year passes.

With the increase in consumer awareness, having reached 67% in 2012, and the increase in customer participation, as well, Small Business Saturday is a day you simply shouldn't ignore.  So just how can you get involved and make the most of this nationally recognized event?

Below are a few tips on what you can do to get involved:

1.  Register your business on the Shop Small map, provided by American Express at amex.com.

2.  Download free resources, including marketing materials, from shopsmall.com.

3.  Create your own local marketing campaign, working with your local chamber or other area organizations.

4.  Work with your local media to bring awareness to your store, while also bringing overall awareness to the movement of Small Business Saturday.