I have had about a dozen businesses. For many years, I was involved in the travel industry – I leased airplanes to fly charters to gaming destinations such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Puerto Rico, marketing my services through direct mail and an army of travel agencies. I was also involved in retail travel services, with a passion for travel that continues to this day.
When I sold the business, I opened retail health food stores, the first in Chicago in February of 1988. When I opened the second, in 1993, it became obvious that operating manually with just a cash register wouldn't cut it anymore – I was spending all of my time placing orders, trying to buy items from vendors on sale, etc. Not to mention pricing thousands of items by hand, and being in the dark about margins, best sellers, shrinkage, and a whole host of things that were spinning out of control.
My first point of sale was a program from MicroBiz – the DOS version. My problem, however, was that my technical skills extended to how to book a flight – not a handy skill set when dealing with a retail store.
I made up my mind that I would learn the program backwards – after all, a computer is a tool, and I wanted more than a glorified cash register. So I taught myself dBase, and Fox Pro, so I could manipulate the data and make it portable. That is, when I travelled to trade shows, I could literally order a projected 3 month supply of many items to take advantage of trade show discounts. I remember (and this is the mid-90's) being the only retailer in the Anaheim Convention Center walking around with a laptop, placing optimized orders with many of the vendors.
This brought me a reputation, and before long I was helping fellow retailers install and use systems of their own. At first, I did this for free, but after a while, I sensed an opportunity. So, part time at first, I entered the world of POS, and never looked back.
I understand your business
Now, I may not know your customers, your vendors, or the intricacies of the products you sell. But at its core, the essence of the business is to buy at wholesale, and sell at retail. Most people get that. To maximize results, you need to order efficiently, price competitively, and report on your sales to improve your efficiency. That's what I bring to the table. I've been there.