Creating a simple MINDSET, to maximize your valuable time & $$

My father is old school.  He does everything and anything around the house, to the car, or cottage, etc. to save a few bucks.  But does he really save?

No.   Just ask my mother.   mindset-for-achieving-goal

Like many of us, doing everything to save a penny can result in rework or hiring a pro to fix our ‘amateur’ work.  So not only do we not maximize our money saved, but also we’re not maximizing our most valuable asset: precious personal time!

This article is about creating a mindset that will maximize your ‘free-time’ and enjoy life and all its pleasures.  The quote below expounds on the notion above:

Know what you’re good at… and know what you’re not good at… and PAY for the difference!

Anonymous

Proactive people know what they are good at and YES your job is one! (i.e. things that make you money-if someone is willing to pay you, trust me you’re qualified and good at it).  But they also acknowledge the things that they are not good at.

We are all guilty of trying to fix or do things we are not good at – maybe for you it is plumbing, fixing the dock, painting, repairing a machine, ironing, landscaping, etc.  But if you are not good at it, know it, recognize it and maybe spend a little $….

Why?  Well look at it this way – you spend a minimum of 40 hours at work plus commute.  Why spend hours on end to fix the ‘plumbing’, etc if you are not qualified.  You may waste your VALUABLE time and likely will end up doing a poor job and becoming crotchety.   Love that word.

Pay the difference.  Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses.

*Note the above implies that you are going to make more than you spend.   Decide which chores are ‘taxing’ to you and prioritize your ‘spend’.  It may mean you still have to wash your under garments, unfortunately.  If they are not white, hire a pro.  My $0.02.

More about Author http://about.me/davidbartolini

Price Wars – The only war when all consumers win

Hurray!  Price Wars are here to stay!  Well, at least for a while… Price-War2

You’ll be happy to know that food and general merchandise products will continue to experience retail deflation in North America (and especially in Ontario, Canada).

That’s good news if you are a consumer.  It is bad bad bad news for a retailer and even tougher for ‘mom and pop’ shops.

But overall, Price Wars are positive for everyone and are a result of increased retail competition.  Competition drives deflation (a decrease in the retail price) and in an economy where so many commodities and products are going up up up in $, it is nice to see the things we want and need are actually going down.   price-war

Major U.S. companies are heading North – the Canadian frontier – an untapped market.  For example, in Canada the implication of the USA-owned Target entering the retail stage has every retailer holding their breath.  This is the quiet, just before the storm.  With major retailers like Walmart, Loblaw, Sears,  Metro,The Bay, Sobeys, etc etc – the market is already supersaturated with supermarkets!

Most analysts believed that after Walmart’s entry, the retail industry was at capacity.   They were wrong. While profits have eroded, all major retailers still stand.  So far.  However, if and when interest rates start to rise, our consumer debt will drive a tighter money belt.

Right now our consumer asset to debt ratio is 150% (for every $100 we make, we owe $150!).  So we’ll see a crack in the mighty brick and mortars soon (interest rates can only rise from here).  Hang on tight, the ride will be a wild one.

Save your money and take advantage of the savings coming soon.

Consumer Marketing: Case example, Diamonds!

If  diamonds are a girl’s best friend, then what relationship does a man have with  this precious stone? diamond2

Consumer  marketing can be very influential and even precipitate change in consumer buying  behaviour and perceptions.  This  blog exposes the message behind the  marketing.

Consider three  effective consumer marketing examples below, and how they shaped buying patterns:

1.       Deodorant  vs Antiperspirant*.  There was a day when everyone wore  deodorant.  But a commercial many  decades back changed all that almost overnight.  The commercial ‘mocked’ a man in the  boardroom who raised his arm and embarrassedly noted sweat stains under his  armpits.  The Brand was powerful and  eventually influenced the masses to use Antiperspirant.  “Wet” underarms became synonymous  with bad hygiene.  Though now,  going the all-natural deodorant-route and letting pores breathe, is changing behaviour  again.

2.       Another,  more recent marketing campaign, targets human vanity and hygiene standards is Teeth Whitening.  For years, few cared about possessing “neon bright chicklets” and went to the dentist once/twice a year.  But now teeth whitening products are  fast becoming the best sellers in the Consumer Hygiene category….with huge  profits.

3.     Diamonds!  Diamonds are a fabulous consumer  marketing strategy.  Marketers have  struck gold here! (ok, well diamonds I guess…).  The primary marketing message around  buying Diamonds is to symbolize ‘everlasting love’.  But the secondary message preys on our  social consumerism and what Consumer Behaviourists describe as our perceived social statusThe bigger the diamond, the more ‘status’ some say…. 

I  never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number you  get in a diamond. Mae West

Diamonds  have become so entrenched in our social fiber that men will spend upwards of  3-4 months’ salary to impress his beloved gal.  But the increased divorce rate is  playing havoc with the diamond market.  Men or women wishing to sell back their diamond on the market are  startled to find out it is only worth 25-30% of the original retail value (even  after only a year later)…

Many  practical (but perhaps single!) men  are now saying: ‘I love you.  I want  to marry you.  I want to give you an  early retirement or give great education to our children…than spend $10,000  now on a diamond.”

A  diamond is a symbol (albeit a very expensive one) and many couples are becoming  more practical.  With fluctuating  economic markets and increased divorce rates, many couples are asking: Is $10,000 today a good investment for  us?  Or… Is saving that $10K mean  $70,000-100,000 in just over a decade, if invested  properly…

Consider  the secondary marketing messages before spending on a huge purchase.  For most, a diamond is the second or  third biggest purchase behind a car or house.

This  blog was found in the rough, just like most diamonds.   Happy New  Year!

*Antiperspirants contain fragrance, but  they also contain chemical compounds that block the pores to stop the discharge  of perspiration. No sweat, no odor. Deodorant  allows the release of perspiration, but prevents odor by combating it with  antiseptic agents, which kill odor-causing bacteria.

Winter Course from University of Toronto

New Winter 2013 location!  This unique and comprehensive “FUNDAMENTALS OF RETAIL MERCHANDISING”  course is now offered at BOTH St. George Toronto campus and Mississauga UTM.

No exams.  Team based assignments

 Toronto Campus Registration: http://2learn.utoronto.ca/uoft/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=1711715

Mississauga Campus Registration – http://2learn.utoronto.ca/uoft/search/publicCourseSearchDetails.do?method=load&courseId=1711715

WHAT will I learn?

This is not a typical “university” course.  You will be engaged entirely during the 2hr classes (6-8pm).  It is practical, recent and very comprehensive.  Course includes: Brand/Category/Operational topics over and above Merchandising and Marketing.

ALSO: Discussions on planograms/ACN Data analysis/Retail Ad Flyers/Executive Guest Speakers & much more. Retail Focus on: Food Industry (grocery and fresh), Pharmacy/Drug, General Merchandise (Seasonal/Non seasonal), Apparel, etc.

WHO is this course for? If you are in retail, this course is designed for you.  Focused for Brand/Category/Merchandising or Operational backgrounds/interests but also ideal for people as a “general interest course” in retail (marketers, HR, executive assistants, etc).   Whether your company is a large Tier (>500 people-10,000) or a smaller Entrepreneur (5-100 people), this course is designed for you.

Course available since 2008.

More about Author: http://about.me/davidbartolini#services

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