Building Your Succession-Planning Team

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Who Do You Need on Your Side when Selling the Business?

By Michael Raine

Jaimie Blackman of BH Wealth Management

Jaimie Blackman of BH Wealth Management

When should MI owners begin their succession planning? If you own a store and haven’t begun laying that groundwork, then you’re behind schedule. It doesn’t matter if you’re 32 or 62, succession planning should begin practically the moment you take ownership, according to Jaimie Blackman, a New York-based financial planner and president of BH Wealth Management, who is a former MI store owner himself. In fact, he can give you the precise moment this became apparent to him. (more…)

Improve Your Collections

Saturday, April 30th, 2016

What To Do When A Rental Customer Doesn’t Pay & Walks Away With Your Instrument

By Michael Raine

Sassi & Deverell

Every time a rental instrument goes out the door, your store is taking a risk. After all, you can’t run a credit check on every customer. (Well, you could, but it’s probably not worth it.) You trust that they’ll pay the rental fee and return that instrument. But we don’t live in a perfectly honest world and while it may be rare, every so often the money or the instrument disappear. It may even be an honest mistake, but if you’re trying to run a profitable business, you can’t just let it go. (more…)

The Snaps May Disappear, But Snapchat Won’t

Monday, February 22nd, 2016

By Michael Raine

snap-ghost-yellowYes, loyal reader, we did do an article on Instagram a few months ago. About a year too late if we’re being honest. But now there is a new kid on the block and this time we’re ahead of the curve. Snapchat is that weird, disappearing selfie app you see your kids, employees, and young customers using. It may also be one of the best tools you’ll have this year to engage fans in a lighthearted, entertaining way.


Spice up your space

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

Tim SpicerIt’s both easy and normal for a store, at some point, to start feeling stale – the same guitars on the same hangers in the same spot every morning you walk through the door. It’s understandable as the days are busy and there are many things that need to be done to keep the place operating. But retailers can’t afford for the aesthetics and, generally speaking, the vibe of a store to be overlooked. According to Shopify, shoppers make a subconscious judgement of a retail environment within 90 seconds of entering and, depending on the research, 62 to 90 per cent of people base their judgement on colour alone. The good news is that revitalizing your store doesn’t need to be overly complicated or expensive. But it does require imagination. (more…)

Why Instagram Is The Place To Be

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

By Michael Raine

Will Thompson NAMM

It can be exhausting trying to keep up with the proliferation of social media platforms. There seems to be a new one every week, to the point that a common reaction is, “Do I really need another social media account? I just don’t have the time and energy for that.” Sure, some platforms can be ignored more than others, but Instagram is not one. It is growing at a mind-blowing pace and businesses large and small need to get onboard. (more…)

How One Store Eliminated Makeup Lessons

Monday, August 24th, 2015

(And Made Everyone Happier In The Process)

By Michael Raine

Carol CookMusic lessons are an integral part of the business at The Music Room in Palatine, IL, as they are at many MI stores across North America. With 22 teachers on staff and between 400 and 500 students at any given time, scheduling, unsurprisingly, can get complicated. But then there’s this staggering number: between August 2013 and July 2014, The Music Room had 2,500 lesson cancellations. That is 48 cancellations every week, not accounting for holidays.

So what did store owner Carol Cook do about it? She banned cancellations and rescheduling while creating a system that worked better for everyone.

First, let’s take a look at what the policy was before the big change was made in January of this year. Previously, students were able to make up missed lessons within other students’ cancellations. (more…)