From the May 2006 issue of Entrepreneur

In the competitive retail landscape, shop owners can always use new tools and resources, especially if they're free or low-cost. Here's a crop to consider:

  • Marketing Experiments Journal: To see what tactics actually work for retailers, this group of analysts does specific research on a wide variety of marketing topics with budgets ranging from $4,500 to more than $100,000. They then publish the results and host free web clinics at www.marketingexperiments.com, so those interested can learn to apply specific marketing techniques in their own businesses.
  • National retail federation e-newsletters: The NRF captures the week's retailing news and puts it in your inbox with its weekday e-newsletter, NRF Smartbrief. To subscribe for free, go to www.nrf.com and select "Publications," then click "Newsletters."
  • Retail Concepts:Success in Store: Guides to Getting Retail Right is a series of electronic manuals on various topics related to retailing, from merchandising and store design to managing finances and back-office tasks. Business owners can buy one, a few or the entire series. Each manual comes with interactive prompts so users can get specific feedback from the Retail Concepts team. The manuals, which cost $9.99 to $99, are updated regularly to keep them current. See www.retailconcepts.com.
Gwen Moran is co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans.