I’m sure you have heard the saying “money is the soul of business.” No matter how you look at it, this sentence is as true as the gospel. One of the biggest challenges of small businesses is getting free cash flow. What does this mean? It means the amount of money flowing into your business over your expenses.

For retail stores like thrift stores and dollar stores, it is quite vital to get the cash flow as early as possible. This is because these stores are usually run on a low budget, so they rely very much on the money flowing through the business. Data gotten from CB Insights indicates that at 29 percent, the cash crisis is one of the leading reasons for startups failing.

Many business owners are quite willing but some don’t know how to go about it. Fortunately, Retail Guidance is available to help you organize your business and set up a cash flow system for you.

How to keep cash flowing in your business

Considering thrift stores and dollar stores, here are some ways that you can keep the cash flowing. Now

Set targets

It is vital that you set reachable and reasonable cash flow targets for your retail store. This would serve as a sort of guide for you. Ensure that your targets are easily updatable, so you can make changes as you move along.

The biggest issue here is setting reasonable targets, and how to go about setting targets. At Retail Guidance, we have a team of experts that can help you set your targets.

Keep track of your expenses

This is straightforward really. Selling at a loss, it is impossible for you to get any form of cash flow. Dollar stores and thrift stores sell at very low prices, so their interest isn’t as impressive as bigger retail stores. It is therefore crucial that you take a close look at your expenses, so you can figure out how much spending you can afford to do. of your expenses

Encourage repeat customers

Honestly, for any thrift or dollar store, repeat customers are your holy grail for cash flow. This is quite evident in the statistic that states that you get about 67 percent more sales from your existing customers than new ones.

it is important that you deal with your customers with patience, and give them a good experience.

Easy mode of payment

It is essential for you to adopt a means of payment that is pretty easy and straightforward. No one wants to go through numerous steps just to pay for a piece of item. This is particularly important for low budget stores like dollar and thrift stores.


Many thrift and dollar stores have profit margin forecasts but don’t have any sort of cash flow plan. This is actually a rookie move and it’s a mistake. If your cash flow is solid, then the profit is going to grow.

There are many more ways to ensure you beat cash flow in retail, but we can’t put everything in this article. If you need help setting up a plan or you want more information on setting up a cash flow plan for your retail business, then you can contact us at Retail Guidance.


Increasing Sales Opportunity

The retail market is one of the biggest around today. According to Statista, retail sales would increase to about $27.7 trillion in 2020 from $20.8 trillion in 2015. Thrift stores and dollar stores are two of the fastest growing stores in the retail industry today.

Any retail store owner should understand that the quality of goods you offer doesn’t always translate to increased sales. Your business relies strongly on getting new sales opportunities for growth and development. Yes, it is essential that you keep your existing customers, but it is vital that you integrate new opportunities.

Of course, you can’t just sit on your desk and expect sales opportunities to land on it. Retail Guidance can help you formulate a strategy that will increase your sales opportunity. Let’s look at some of the steps you can take to increase sales opportunities.

Ways to increase sales opportunity

Here are ways to improve sales opportunity in your thrift and dollar stores.

Be very hospitable

Putting this more plainly, we can say, “be warm and cuddly with your customers.” This is a foolproof tactic that you need to adopt as a thrift and dollar store owner. Everyone wants to feel special, so you should take steps to understand the needs and wants of your customers. You can then use this knowledge to make them happier. And what do they say about a happy customer?

Honesty is key

The saying “honesty is the best policy” could never be truer. Many store owners believe you have to bend the truth in some way before you can make sales. Ensure that all your goods are exactly what they seem. If your customers know that you are honest, they sure will come back to patronize your store.

Also, honesty is pretty essential in forming any meaningful relationship, so if you want loyal customers, you need to be honest with them.

Set mini objectives

Objectives are small steps to reaching your goal. Ensure that you set meaningful objectives that you can reach as you move to become that successful thrift or dollar store. If you are not sure on how to go about it, Retail Guidance is a great place to start.

You can set goals on how many calls you would make in a day. You can also decide on the number of customers you would send text messages to in a period. These objectives are easy ways to evaluate the progress of your store.

Networking is vital

In this business age, networking has become impossible to ignore. Platforms like LinkedIn offer an easy way to communicate with your customers as well as potential customers. When used correctly, these platforms open more doors of opportunities and allow you reach audiences that would have been impossible to reach.


Every retailer’s dream is to see an increase in sales opportunities, especially small businesses like thrift and dollar stores. Of course, it is very possible to achieve. We have highlighted some steps you can take to achieve this. If you need help on more effective steps to take, then you really need to visit Retail Guidance.



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Merchandising Layout

Every retailer’s dream is to have customers walk into the store; go from aisle to aisle, while enjoying their time in the store. Of course, this means that the customers would spend more than their initial budget. Well, this doesn’t just happen really. Merchandising layout refers to how products are arranged in your store. The way you use your store space and arrange goods plays a large role in the experience your customers get in your store.

An article on Forbes talks about how a jam maker was able to boost sales by about 15 – 25 percent within 4 weeks by controlling in-store assets. This further reiterates the importance of a proper store layout.

Thrift stores and dollar stores usually contain many different products, making merchandising layout even more important for these stores. It can sometimes be a bit technical to because there are many things to consider. You don’t have to worry though, because, at Retail Guidance, we will help you plan a proper and effective layout for your store.

Planning your merchandising layout

There are a number of factors to consider when planning your merchandising layout. Dollar stores and thrift stores usually see a high traffic flow, and it is essential to understand this flow. This will allow you to formulate strategies that will consider individual customers and their choices. Many other factors shape your decision, and Retail Guidance is a great place to get more info on your merchandising layout plan.

Here are a few general points to note when planning your store layout.

Consumable products at the back

Consumable products sell the fastest, so putting them at the back will ensure that your customers have to work past all your remaining products to get to them. This, in turn, leads to increased sales of all these other products.

Seasonal and high margin products should be at the front

Any dollar or thrift store owner will know that they can’t really afford to have products that can’t sell. Basically, you can’t afford to give products out or throw them away because they won’t sell again. It is essential that you give seasonal products – products that have a time frame – the best possible chance to sell. You do this by placing them at the front of your store.

Organize the store into categories

Another smart method is to organize the store into categories and departments. This is particularly helpful in thrift and dollar stores with various types of products on display. It helps your customers easily locate products, especially when they get familiar with the layout.

Organizing the store into departments is more than just randomly labeling each section. Retail Guidance can help you with this, so you don’t have to go through the rigors.


There are many more helpful points, though it’s impossible for them to put them all in the article. By now, I’m sure you understand the importance of a proper store layout, especially for your thrift and dollar stores. It’s a good way to influence the decisions of your customers without having to say a word.

Perhaps you don’t really have the time to come up with a plan for laying out your store. You may need help making an impeccable plan. At Retail Guidance, we have a team of experts that will help you make a perfect plan for your store. So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!


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Outsourcing Management Staff for Your Company

Business has evolved over the years, and we have seen many different trends introduced into the industry over the years. Outsourcing in business is no longer the taboo subject it once was, and in fact, it has become one of the most beneficial strategies in business today. According to Statista, the revenue from the global outsourcing market has increased from $45.6 billion in 2000 to $88.9 billion in 2017. This further reiterates the importance of outsourcing your company staff.

Now, let’s consider management staff outsourcing from the perspective of Dollar Stores and Thrift Stores.  Dollar Stores offer great opportunities to their owners, as many customers like saving money on various everyday items. Thrift stores are excellent money-saving options for consumers, as they usually accept donated items and sell them at much lower prices. Thrift Stores are usually run by nonprofit organizations and the revenue from the store is donated to a charity.

Dollar Stores and Thrift Stores are usually low-budget stores; hence, outsourcing management staffs comes pretty handily for them.

What is management staff outsourcing?
Management staff outsourcing basically involves you contracting a third-party organization to handle all or some of your management functions and tasks. This is usually done to improve productivity while reducing saving time and cost, thereby increasing the company’s overall productivity. This is particularly useful for Thrift stores and Dollar stores that are usually run on a low-budget.

If you are thinking of opening a Thrift store or a Dollar store and one of your major concerns is getting enough management staff, Retail Guidance can hire credible management staff for your business. A survey carried out by Deloitte indicates that about 78 percent of businesses feel positive about their outsourcing relationships. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about the effectiveness of this strategy.

Benefits of Outsourcing management staff
There are numerous benefits of outsourcing your management staff, especially if you run a dollar store or a thrift store. Let’s look at some of these benefits.

Cost Saving

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Do you want a budget break? Then you should consider outsourcing your management staff. This is perhaps the biggest advantage of outsourcing management staff for your business. You can easily control and set the budget for the various tasks you need to complete. So, if you want to reduce your staff and training costs, you can contact us at Retail Guidance, and we will hire a reputable manager for your dollar store or thrift store.

Another significant advantage of outsourcing your management staff is the flexibility you get in your business. It is very unlikely that your business will continue with the same policies it started with. Perhaps, you want to make changes to things like your payment structure, this change will be a bit tricky to make with permanent staffs. However, by outsourcing your employee benefits, you give yourself the option of making any change to your business plan, thereby improving the long-term sustainability of your business.

Boosting efficiency
Sometimes it is difficult to get all the knowledge, skills, and experience you need to run your business successfully from the staffs you have available. By outsourcing your management staff, you can benefit from their experience, knowledge, and skills that may take your employees a few years to acquire. Not to talk about the amount you may have to spend on employee training and retraining. Also, these management staffs tend to feel more pressure in getting things done, as they want to get more work. They are also willing to work odd hours or weekends, and they are quite strict with deadlines.

Shielding liability

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For a small business like thrift stores and dollar stores, incurring liabilities can be such a kicker, especially at the early stages of the business. You can easily avoid this by reaching out to Retail Guidance for hiring your management staff. This way, you place decision-making at arm’s length. Whenever these employees make a mistake, you will get reasonable protection from the liability.

Why Retail Guidance?
Getting a top-notch outsourcing company can be a bit tricky, especially with the pressure of getting it right on your shoulders. Fortunately, though, with Retail Guidance, you can be sure of getting management staffs that have the required experience, knowledge and skill to grow your business. Let’s look at reasons why you need Retail Guidance for your management staff outsourcing.

Cost of service
One of the major reasons for outsourcing in the first place is that it helps in saving operational cost. Therefore, it doesn’t make sense to hire a company that will charge almost the same amount of money you will spend if you don’t outsource your management staff. With Retail Guidance though, you can get an excellent manager at a very reasonable cost to your business.

Record of accomplishment
Before you sign on the dotted line, ensure you have done your research on the trustworthiness and ability of the company you want to commit to. With a glowing record of accomplishment, Retail Guidance is an excellent choice for you.

Meeting Deadlines
One of the most important factors that affect the success of a business is the ability of the parties involved to meet deadlines. You don’t want to get involved with third-party companies that are not disciplined enough to meet deadlines.

Outsourcing of staff is a common business strategy, which is also a smart business plan for small businesses like thrift stores and dollar stores. They help save cost and keep your business flexible while improving the overall efficiency of your business. Choosing a company to outsource your management staff can be quite tricky because of the high number of these companies around. Retail Guidance is an excellent option for your management outsourcing, as we will be meticulous about getting an experienced and hardworking manager for your thrift and dollar stores. So, what are you waiting for? Visit our site today and improve the success of your business.

New Brand Identity



Chilliwack B.C. – Retail Guidance, a new provider of retail consultant services in the Fraser Valley, launched a new brand strategy and website that will allow small business owners of the Fraser Valley an opportunity to discuss and implement new business strategies that will elevate them to a new level in their community.

“Ted has been in retail for over 30 years and brings a wealth of retail and management experience to bear on the challenges of retail start-ups in our current environment. His hindsight and methods, however, are as fresh as today.. “Today, Retail Guidance offers retailers, small business owners, and customers everything they need to run a successful business more efficiently. It’s important that our brand represents a new method of business thinking, that will allow small business owners to succeed and prosper.

An updated small business website was introduced at www.retailguidance.ca to reflect our new brand and showcase the Retail Guidance services and experience. The new company brand identity also includes a new logo, a new Icon, a fresh modern and exciting new look.

Designed in partnership with a Chilliwack-based advertising agency, CS Graphic Artist, https://www.csgraphicartist.com/ Charlene Stinson, the new identity presents Retail Guidance as the premier new retail consulting company in the Fraser Valley

Retail Guidance would like to encourage everyone to explore the new site at www.retailguidance.ca

About Retail Guidance


Ted has been in retail for over 30 years and brings a wealth of retail and management experience to bear on the challenges of retail start-ups in our current environment. His hindsight and methods, however, are as fresh as today.

Ted has acquired a Certificate from New Directions Training Association, specializing in Successful Contracting & Consulting, with a focus on Retail Environments. He has earned a Diploma from Community Futures Development Corporation on Small Business Start-Ups and has a Diploma in Business Administration with a focus on E-Commerce Management with Vancouver Career College.


Ted has built and owned various retail stores over his 30 years in retail, including building Lucky Loonies Dollar Plus Store in Chilliwack, 100 Pennies Dollar Plus Store, Smart Liquidators Liquidation Store. Ted spent 12 years with Dollar Giant helping the company expand across Canada. He has just completed a couple years helping The Salvation Army thrive and succeed in Chilliwack.


He inspires new businesses owners with his knowledge of the retail sector and helps them develop into profitable business owners. His hindsight on new and innovative ideas are second to none.

His Associates bring with them a broad base of knowledge in fields such as Retail Sales, Retail Management, Accounting Methods, and Franchise Operations.

Ted and his Associates have been training retail sales associates and their Managers for over 30 years. From the beginning we have believed that those who work in retail have traditionally been considered under-skilled, under-motivated and underpaid, were capable of much more. However, we also realized that in order to achieve more, they would require more, much more training than they have been historically receiving. Ted believes that this is a must for retail businesses to succeed.

For more information, please contact Ted at ted@retailguidance.ca

Business Plans

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So, you’ve decided to start your own business! You’ve weighed the risks and decided it fits your life goals and will be challenging and hopefully rewarding. Whether you are starting from scratch, or buying a franchise , a lot of thought needs to go into it before you can hope to make it successful.

One very necessary tool that can help you cover all the bases before you take the plunge and leave that reliable bi-weekly paycheck, is a business plan. Even if you are not seeking investors in your business , you need to invest the time and effort involved in writing a business plan.
While business plans are certainly a requirement for new businesses seeking outside funding, they are also a terrific way to map out your strategy. Think of the business plan as a road map. You wouldn’t start a long road trip without a map, would you? Of course not. The road map not only lets you see exactly where you are, but where you are going to be, and what you may see along the way. While it may not be heavy on the details, it is definitely a necessity if you want to get to where you are going.

Retail Guidance will show you how to put together a business plan that can help you lay the foundation for your business. It will improve your chances of being successful, and generate enthusiasm and excitement about the business, whether its being written for those funding it, or for yourself. We’ll answer your questions about what has to be in the plan , how to do the research , how to make realistic projections, how to set milestones, and answer the hundreds of other questions that will pop in your head as you begin the planning process.

That planning process by the way is part of what makes putting together a business plan so important. The act of thinking about everything that must go into the plan will force you to think through the logistics of your business venture, and perhaps come up with some ideas that you hadn’t considered before!

What is in this for me?
You may be thinking: Why should Retail Guidance draw up a business plan for me. What,s in it for me? If you have never drawn up a plan, you are right in wanting to hear about the possible benefits before we do this work for you.

A plan gives you a path to follow. It makes the future what you want it to be. A plan with goals and actions steps allows you to guide your business through turbulent economic times and allows you to come out on top.

Consider the following:
• Where is my market?
• Who will buy?
• Who is my competition?
• What is my sales strategy? A plan makes it easier to let your banker in the action. By hearing, or reading , the details of your plan, he/she will have real insight into your situation if he/she will lend you money.
• A plan can be a communications tool when you need to orient sales personnel , suppliers, and others about your operations and goals.
• A plan will make you a better manager. It can give you practice in thinking about competitive conditions, promotional opportunities, and situations that seem to be advantageous to your business.

Such practice over a period of time can help increase an owner-managers ability to make judgments.
• What merchandising methods will I use?
• How much money is needed to operate my store?
• How will I get the work done?
• What management controls are needed?
• How can they be carried out?
• When would I revise my plan?
• Where can I go for help?
• What business am I in?


Most businesses know they need a website, but have no idea where to start. Are you like us and look at the internet to find goods and services. Without a website, you will loose this business to other companies

We use Word Press as a Content Management System (CMS) for all websites that we build. We believe that the business owner should have access to the administrative page for their website to add or delete services and goods for sale.

As a small business, your website is a important piece of your marketing and branding efforts. Visitors are coming to your website for a specific reason, and you want to ensure that you answer their questions and use your website to sell your product or service.