Tips From The Top

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

By Michael Raine

With Summer NAMM approaching, and with it, the annual Top 100 Dealer Awards, CMT decided to chat with the
owners of three Canadian companies on the Top 100 Dealers list to find out the keys to their success

Paul Haggis & Jenn Ladd

Paul Haggis & Jenn Ladd


Tactics to Combat Showrooming

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

SP_CMT_AM14(1)Today’s digitally-armed consumers have adopted “showrooming” as part of the buying process. Using brick-and-mortar stores to check out products and later purchase them online is becoming more common and will influence 19  percent of all U.S. sales by 2016. Amazingly, 80 per cent of retailers expect
to be impacted by showrooming, but only one in 10 has a plan to combat it.

Brick-and-mortar retailers have gone to extremes to prevent this. I once saw a retailer post a sign that said, “There’s a $5 charge for looking, which will be credited to any purchase you make before you leave the store.” I don’t recommend this, but that said, there are productive ways to combat showrooming, so you can get those customers browsing and buying in your store. Here are a few ideas that top retailers have successfully implemented.

PR That Money Can’t Buy

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

By Michael Raine

LizReismanWhile advertising and marketing can raise a store or company’s profile, there are few things that can generate as much consumer awareness as a positive news story. A story in the local newspaper or evening news broadcast can have an effect that money can’t buy. So say store owners Myrna Sislen of Washington, DC’s Middle C Music and Liz Reisman of the Creative Music Center in Monroe, CT, who gave a joint NAMM U presentation on this topic at the recent show in Anaheim.


Friday, December 20th, 2013

Leila-BrownBusinesses large and small face emergencies every year. Those that come through relatively unscathed are the ones that gave some thought to emergency planning and business continuity before they needed it! It doesn’t have to be complicated but pre-thinking the possibilities will help support a strong response and a quick recovery in the event something happens.

Building resilience into your business makes good business sense; here are a few key activities you can exercise in advance of an emergency that will help you ride it out.

Know The Risks

First, it’s good to know the risks – which emergencies or disasters have your community faced in the past? Are you in an area that is earthquake prone? Has a high incidence of tornadoes? Hurricanes? Are you located near heavily wooded areas subject to forest fires? Are you situated on a floodplain? Knowing how you are most likely to be affected will help you in planning for the possibilities.

Of course, those situated in Lac-Mégantic, QC and High River, AB may have been aware of the risk their location presented, but no amount of planning would have prevented the level of devastation they faced in 2013. There is value, therefore, in taking an all-hazards approach to your planning. Regardless of the cause, you can plan for the effect: evacuation, sheltering in place, loss of power, loss of facility, loss of staff… Preparing for each of these situations will serve most retailers in most circumstances.

However you tackle it, you’ll want to plan for both the response to the emergency and the need to continue doing business.


Hosting The Ultimate In-Store Sales Event – For $250

Monday, November 4th, 2013

By Raegan Michelle Medeiros

Raegan Michelle Medeiros


Every summer, we hit a low. It happens right after our Rock Camp ends and before the back-to-school season begins. We’re pretty much broke, and no customers walk through the door. We need to hold a sale, but of course, we don’t have money to promote it. So, we have to create the event with no budget. If this sounds familiar to you, the good news is: we may have your solution…

Get Unstuck

Thursday, October 24th, 2013


Pick Up The Pace When Business Is Slow

It’s that time of year again – the “off-season.” During this potentially dry period, you may simply be buckling down and waiting out the storm, so to speak, but there are measures you can take to proactively and assertively boost sales.

Barry Moltz is a motivational speaker, writer, consultant, and a NAMM University presenter who believes the reason many small businesses struggle or fail is because they don’t properly identify what they really do for their customer base. “A company should identify what pain in a customer’s life it’s solving and find a way to solve it,” he says.

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Hopefully that doesn’t sound like something your store is practicing. “A lot of people kid themselves and say, ‘Tomorrow will be different, if I only work harder, if I only work longer,’ and they never really change the way that they do things,” Moltz shares, explaining that instead, owners and managers should be actively improving the way they sell.