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Squeeze

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You can’t squeeze a penny anymore, have you noticed? Used to be you could round off your tank to the nearest dollar. Now, every pinch at the pump gushes forth 7.9 cents or some such exorbitant number, making it impossible to top off in nice round numbers. Forget that $35.00 tank, now it’s $74.07. It adds insult to injury.

Pennies are important these days. We spend hours on the phone finagling our finances, negotiating rates and cutting corners. The almighty dollar ain’t so mighty anymore, and you and Ms. Jones are both feeling the pain.

How have you reduced expenses at your store lately? What creative ways have you found to bolster the bottom line without sacrificing service or sales? What are you living without that you used to love? Did you give up gourmet coffee, or health insurance?

What is Ms. Jones laying on the altar? Does she pass on stain protection, make more pickups? Or is she avoiding the entire shopping experience? Are you making the most out of every ding on your traffic counter (you do have one of those, don’t you?)? How do you know? How do you measure productivity?

In lean times, smart companies use the downtime to seriously examine every aspect of their operation. Fine tune your procedures. Train your people. Study your methods. Implement change. Get ready, because tough times don’t last. Emerge smarter and better prepared than your competition, who ran every gimmick and slashed services to stay afloat.

Now is the time, while you have time, to squeeze that little red cent for all it’s worth.

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