Help Is On the Way

Resuscitate your retail biz without spending big bucks.
This story first appeared in the May 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

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, 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 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
Gwen Moran is co-author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Business Plans.
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