“Six resourceful books that could help you to improve your retail operation” by Doug Works (BRA Executive Director)

“Six resourceful books that could help you to improve your retail operation” by Doug Works (BRA Executive Director)

As a former shop / skatepark owner myself, I strive to make relevant suggestions, create beneficial programs, introduce solutions oriented vendors and provide strategic resources that help our members to lower expenses, increase profit margins and create more remarkable customer experiences.

Below are six resourceful books that I have personally read from cover to cover and highly recommend to all retailers.  Each of these books are relevant and easy to understand.  I suggest reading them from #6 to #1 to maximize the overall benefit, but if you are struggling with making time to read anything or do anything proactive, then absolutely begin with #4.

#6: “Permission Marketing”by Seth Godin

—the groundbreaking concept that enables marketers to shape their message so that consumers will willingly accept it.  Whether it is the TV commercial that breaks into our favorite program, or the telemarketing phone call that disrupts a family dinner, traditional advertising is based on the hope of snatching our attention away from whatever we are doing. Seth Godin, the author, calls this Interruption Marketing, and, as companies are discovering, it no longer works.

Instead of annoying potential customers by interrupting their most coveted commodity—time— Permission Marketing offers consumers incentives to accept advertising voluntarily. Now this Internet pioneer introduces a fundamentally different way of thinking about advertising products and services. By reaching out only to those individuals who have signaled an interest in learning more about you, Permission Marketing enables companies to develop long-term relationships with customers, create trust, build brand awareness — and greatly improve the chances of making a sale.

#5: “Purple Cow” by Seth Godin

—an intelligent book that tells you how “playing it safe” and staying the same can be riskier than you think. “If you are not remarkable, you are invisible” – SG

Rather than putting all your creativity into marketing something that isn’t remarkable, put all your stock into creating a service that is irresistible to a smaller niche of “sneezers” who will then tell the world about your organization. This is another book that will truly motivate and inspire you to make your business really worth talking (and posting) about plus it is an easy to read and is small enough that you can bring it with you and read it in between the other 10,000 things that are consuming your attention.

#4: “168 Hours – You Have More Time Than You Think” by Laura Vanderkam

Do you feel like you are running on a treadmill? Never proactive? Always putting out fires? Don’t think you have time to be strategic? Wondering how the super successful people find time to make so many things happen while sustaining a balanced family life? We all have the same number of hours, don’t we?

“168 Hours” is an excellent book that can help you find the time that you desperately need.  It may give you the perspective and discipline to take control of your 168 hours (24 hours x 7 days = 168 hours per week). 

#3: “Free Prize Inside” by Seth Godin

—like Purple Cow, this is a remarkable book and a quick read that may motivate and inspire you to make your business really worth talking (and posting) about.

#2: “The New Rules of Retail – Competing in the World’s Toughest Marketplace” (Second Edition) by Robin Lewis and Michael Dart

—is an absolute must read for all specialty retailers.  This remarkable book takes you through all four waves of retail history starting from Sears Roebuck Co in the 1800s to the most technologically advanced shop experiences and provides sound strategies for specialty retailers to transition into becoming Omni Brand to Consumer operations where they continue to resell some popular and profitable products from other brands while creating and marketing their own even more profitable private label brands through permission marketing, remarkable customer experiences and more.

#1: “Retail’s Seismic Shift – How to Shift Faster, Respond Better and Win Customer Loyalty” by Michael Dart with Robin Lewis

—is the follow-up book to “The New Rules of Retail”. It provides insight into today’s tech-empowered young consumers and how they are driving retailers to respond accordingly both online and in stores.  This book starts off with a bit of a depressing outlook but provides some very valuable insight that will benefit any retailer.

You can reach me at 760-500-5716 or

Do not  hesitate to call me with any questions and to learn more about BRA Retail Memberships, Associate Partnerships and other resources that can improve your operation.