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Unread postPosted: Tue Jul 04, 2017 12:29 am

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Palladium Books® Staff

Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:55 pm
Posts: 1162
Hi all!

Wow, does the time fly! I was getting ready to close up for the day when I realized that I never posted a Murmur last week. :oops:

I wanted to answer a comment that I saw a lot of the other week regarding the Vacuum Bottle Tumblers that are being made available for a limited time. The perception is that Kevin spent time developing and ordering the tumblers, with the undertone often being that the time would have been better spent writing books. For this particular product that is not the case at all. A fan had developed a process for making custom wraps around the tumblers and had sent the Palladium staff one each to thank them for all they've done over the years. She also said that, if there was enough interest, she could produce a limited number of tumblers for anyone who might want to buy one.

Needless to say, we were all gobsmacked by how awesome the cups are and definitely wanted to make them available to everyone. I was there for the discussion, and Kevin's total time input on this product was about 30 minutes to help come up with a price for the cups and a bit of wording to go into the description for the store.

Now this is not the way it goes for all of our business smalls, but it happens more often than you might think.

What is a business small, you say? I'm so glad you asked. :lol: :clown:

A business small is any product that a business produces or sells that is not in their typical range and produces limited income. A good example is the candy shelves at Office Depot® - at first glance they seem out of place in a store that sells office supplies and furniture. Why are they there? Because they provide a good source of income, that's why!

Wait, but you just said that a business small "produces limited income" - how is that "a good source of income"? (You've got some really good questions tonight! :D )

Business smalls produce limited income in that a business cannot rely upon them as it's sole source of income. Think again about Office Depot® - its not too hard imagining them getting by without the candy, but its just about impossible to imagine them living off of candy sales alone.

Similarly, Palladium Books survives by publishing and selling role playing games. We wouldn't last a month if we only sold vacuum tumblers and t-shirts.

So why do we have them? Two reasons.

Reason One: People like the stuff that they like, and want to get it when they want it. Think again about that candy shelf in your local Office Depot® - it's rare to go into the store thinking, "I'm gonna buy me a candy bar." Nope, you go in because you're out of printer toner and you want to see if you can find a comfortable office chair at a good price. It is only as you are getting ready to check out, thinking about the long drive home and how you haven't had anything to eat for several hours, when you see that candy bar you like more than all others just sitting there on the shelves. And wham, you've seen what you want and have the chance to buy it.

This benefits the store in multiple ways. First, they increased their sales a little bit, and increased sales never hurt any business. Second and more importantly, they have created a favorable impression in you, making it more likely that you will visit them again in the future.

So business smalls help everyone - you got the candy bar you were craving when you craved it, and the store got a small amount of money and a better image in your mind.

Reason Two: Smalls broaden the number of people you can sell to. Years ago I used to sell multi-shot rubber band guns. My company sold all sorts of different guns, from little pea shooters to rifles longer than my arm. They were our bread and butter, and sold like nuts at the various little fairs we would go to. The guns were our stock-in-trade, but my boss always made sure to pack a few cases of wooden flutes, train whistles and mini stink-bombs (yeah, it was a fun company to work for :-D ). The vast majority of our customers would buy the guns, but since we were located in Southern California, there was a good number of adults who objected to our wares. Ah, but we had our train whistles - items of nostalgia and fun that we could show them. More than a few times I watched my boss, a consummate salesman, turn an angry grandma into a happy customer by showing her little grandson how to make a train's 'toot-toot' using one of our whistles. As for the stink bombs, well, probably not hard to imagine the sector of the market those appealed to. :eek:

Not every person is in the market to buy another game book, especially if he owns all of them from his favorite game line or has only a limited budget. But a pack of cards with gorgeous fantasy artwork? Or a tumbler with a tight lid that never sweats? Those are products that have a different appeal, ones that could round out your order or be an order all to themselves.

In the end, most retail businesses you come across these days are going to have some kind of business smalls to offer. Not only does it benefit the company's bottom line, but it also benefits the customer by giving them something they want. Truly a win-win situation for everybody.

A wise man once said, "Only a fool takes offense where none was intended." I repeat this good advice to myself at least once a day.

Calm, reasoned discourse is the best way to change minds; too bad all the calm & reason in the world can't open a willfully closed mind.

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