My book is Secrets of Retailing: Or, How to Beat Wal-Mart!. My company is the largest B2B site on the Internet where we sell over 75,000 general merchandise products by the case at wholesale and closeout prices to small and medium sized companies surviving and thriving against the chains in their areas. I was getting several phone calls a week from entrepreneurs trying to figure out how to go into business. So the book came about as a one stop resource on starting and running a business in today’s highly competitive environment.
Tell us something about yourself.
I grew up in a small town in Ohio and my parents and grandparents were all entrepreneurs striving to make a living. After graduating from Miami of Ohio with a major in marketing and a minor in financing, I had the opportunity to get out of the cold and work in retailing for Burdines, the Florida division of Federated Department Stores (now known as Macys). Spent 13 years with Burdines and then went into small town discounting with Bill’s, a chain of 551 stores in the south that was the little Wal-Mart for smaller towns. Then went on to the new concept of Dollar Stores with Everything’s A Dollar where we had 420 stores. Then went into the book business as the Sr. VP of Marketing & Merchandising for Crown Books, the 3rd. largest chain at the time behind Barnes & Noble and Borders. Always having the itch to be an entrepreneur like everyone else in my family, I started 2 businesses, a chain of hair salons that grew to 11 stores; and DollarDays International, which took advantage of the efficiencies of the Internet to level the playing field between the little guys and the big guys in finding merchandise to sell in their towns. As DollarDays began to grow, I sold the chain of hair salons.
What inspired you to write this book?
Our customers inspired me to write this book. Entrepreneurs are an exciting part of our society. They work hard, are smart and take the chances that help this country to continue to grow. With the right information, entrepreneurs can lead us out of this recession; and my mission is to make our customers better than their competition, so writing this step by step guide on how to open and run a business was a natural extension of what I believe.
How did you publish this book? Why did you decide on that publisher?
The book was published by “Silverback Books” and they found me. Their editors were top notch and it was a real pleasure working with them.
How did you know you wanted to be a writer? How did you get started?
I did not know I wanted to be a writer. But once I started that first chapter, the other 14 just seemed to flow. When you are writing about something you love, it does not seem to be work.
What do you believe is the hardest part of writing?
What took me the longest was choosing the different subjects and thus the chapters that entrepreneurs needed to be successful from soup to nuts. I did not want it to be too cumbersome and loose the audience in too many details, yet it had to be complete enough to become the one stop shop to open your business.
How do you do research for your books?
Having been in retailing for most of my life and having worked at department stores, discount stores and specialty stores, most of my research was hands on experience learning from my own mistakes.
Did you learn anything from writing this book? What?
What I learned from writing this book is how impressive the American spirit is in our drive to be successful and change peoples’ lives for the better. As I was interviewing different experts in different fields, the one common denominator was their desire to mentor the next generation to make sure they did not make the same mistakes and they wanted to help move the American dream forward.
What are you reading now?
I am reading 2 books right now. “Return of the Gold -the Journey of Jerry Colangelo and the Redeem Team” which is about the Summer Olympics and the USA Basketball Team. The second is “America’s Prophet- Moses and the American Story” which is about Moses influence in the growth of America.
What types of books do you like to read? Who are your favorite authors? Why?
History and books connected to the Internet movement are my favorite reads. I thought “1776” by David McCullough was spectacular and “Inside Larry & Sergey’s Brain” (Google founders) by Richard Brandt was a page turner.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
My next book follows a similar theme. Whereas “The Secrets of Retailing…How To Beat Wal-Mart” is the entrepreneurs guide to traditional business, my next book is about the entrepreneurs guide to online Internet consumer business.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Write about what is your passion.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
The book can be found on www.amazon.com , most major bookstores and our site at www.dollardays.com . Here is a direct link to the book and more information about me: http://www.dollardays.com/i210646-wholesale-the-secrets-of-retailing-or-how-to-beat-wal-mart.html Here is a direct link to the book on Amazon. Here is a link to our site: http://www.dollardays.com/