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The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business: A Step-by-Step Approach to Quickly Diagnose, Treat, and Cure Paperback – May 3, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


‘‘DON’T BUY THIS BOOK IF YOU ARE A COMPETITOR OF MINE!—but otherwise Bob Phibbs has great advice that that will enable you to make more money and have a successful business.’’
—Tom Sullivan, Chairman/Founder, Lumber Liquidators

‘‘There’s no denying that retailers have taken a beating lately. But the smart ones find a way to stop the bleeding and start looking ahead for new opportunities. With his plainspoken style and real-world anecdotes, Bob Phibbs gets back to basics and provides a helpful guide for entrepreneurs determined to survive the current downturn—and position themselves for the next big upswing.’’
—Rod Kurtz, Senior Editor, Inc. magazine

‘‘Everyone knows that it is important to gain sales, but most do not know what that really takes or how to do it. This book will lead you on a journey that describes, analyzes, and provides real world examples how to really affect change with your business. If you will follow the treatment given, you’ll be rewarded with the most important measures of a business’s success—profits, not just sales.’’
—Georgette Mosbacher, President and CEO, Borghese Cosmetics

‘‘Bob Phibbs presents more useful information in his typically direct and thought-provoking style that challenges you to really assess the performance of your business, your employees, and most importantly yourself. We often talk about personality types in leadership training and development, but it is not typically thought about in relation to the customer. Bob shows how these personality types play a role for you, your employees, and your customer, and how it can be most useful in looking for new approaches.’’
—Kurt Rachdorf, Retail Operations Senior Manager, LEGO

‘‘Phibbs’ no-nonsense approach to understanding your business and how to improve it is direct and refreshing. The concept of being objective and taking responsibility for your business can quickly make all the difference between success and failure, and Bob brings that to the table right from the start of this book. Great inspiration for any business owner!’’
—Jeff Janke, Vice President, Retail Alliance Programs, Hunter Douglas Window Fashions

‘‘Bob blends his extensive retail experience and his direct style to tell it like it is. As retailers, we may not always likewhat he says, but it’s hard to argue with the basics of running a successful business. In a market influenced by almost endless competition for the consumer’s dollar, retailers need to continually ask themselves tough questions about what TRULY differentiates their offering. Bob effectively reminds us of this hard reality. Bob’s analytical approach allows us to better understand the filter throughwhichwe see our businesses. Only by adjusting our focus are we able to evaluate the true state of affairs.
—Alistair Linton, Director of Retail Development, Benjamin Moore Paints

‘‘During my 30 years in the small business arena, Bob stands out as a ‘pro’s pro’ in retail marketing. If you’re determined to accelerate your growth, his street-smart book is a must. Buy it, read it, do it!’’
—Steve Olson, Publisher, Franchise Update Media Group

‘‘Phibbs’ new book addresses everything necessary to take the pulse of your retail operation so you can find the cure. Whether it’s managing staff, merchandising, or producing real sales, it prescribes a hands-on, real world, step-by-step approach to managing your business. Good news! The Doctor is in the house.’’
—Joseph Dagley, Yamaha Motor University

‘‘Bob Phibbs has been my go-to retail expert for many years and his book shows why: he draws from a deep well of knowledge, presenting his advice in practical, easy-to-digest fashion. By explaining how entrepreneurs can evaluate themselves and their customers, Phibbs tailors this book to specific individual types that retailers will be quick to recognize. This is not a shallow primer, but a comprehensive prescription from The Retail Doctor1.’’
—Karen E. Klein, Small Business Columnist, and the Los Angeles Times

‘‘Nothing in business is guaranteed. However, The Retail Doctor’s Guide to Growing your Business is guaranteed to help you gain insight into the do’s and don’ts of successful retailing. Consider this book your survival manual to compete in the challenging world of retail.’’
—Dean F. Shulman Sr., Vice President, Brother International

‘‘If you want to grow your business, the book in your hand right now is the place to start. Bob Phibbs is one of the top retail experts in the country; he’s not called The Retail Doctor1 for nothing. This step-by-step guide will show you—using real life examples and savvy strategies—just how to get from here to where you want to be. My prescription for small business success is to read The Retail Doctor’s1 Guide to Growing Your Business.’’
—Steven D. Strauss, USA Today Small Business Columnist and author of The Small Business Bible.

‘‘Bob’s approach is no-nonsense, and his back-to-basics philosophy is something a lot of retailers need to hear right now. I would advise keeping a highlighter handy.’’
—James Bickers, Senior Editor,

From the Back Cover

Help Your Business Thrive with the Retail Doctor!

Are you among the thousands of small businesses frustrated by market challenges, willing to change, but unsure of the right path for your business? Are you looking for the advice of an expert consultant, but unable to spend the money? Then The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing Your Business is for you.

Whether you're a mom-and-pop, chain, franchise, or service business, this no-nonsense, accessible guide delivers spot-on advice so you can:

  • Make over your small business to become profitable

  • Effectively market your business online

  • Understand how personality types affect your business

  • Recognize how mark-ups, price points, and discountsaffect your bottom line

  • Avoid the common mistakes merchants make in a downturn

  • Increase your profitability on every transaction

  • And much more!


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1st edition (May 3, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470587172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470587171
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #125,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Bob Phibbs is the Retail Doctor®, an internationally recognized expert on business strategy, customer service, sales, and marketing. With over thirty years experience beginning in the trenches of retail and extending to senior management positions, he has been a corporate officer, franchisor and entrepreneur.

Phibbs is a popular speaker because he knows what business owners are up against since he has started three successful businesses and can deliver the message to "look in the mirror," with a straightforward, witty and detailed process to grow their sales.

Phibbs has creatively helped some of retail's best-known brands and their dealers, including Yamaha, Caswell-Massey, Hunter Douglas, LEGO, and Brother succeed. He has been a frequent guest on MSNBC and is an AMEX OPEN forum contributor. His Advanced Sales Training weekends using his Five Parts to a Successful Sale have boosted stores sales by over 20% within months.

After completing his degree at Chapman University and attending USC, Bob fulfilled an as-yet-untapped dream of wearing cowboy clothes every day while selling high-end boots and hats to the city slickers of Los Angeles County during the height of the Urban Cowboy trend. Bob's part-time job soon became a career, and he built a network of over 55 stores at the top of their industry.

In 1994, Bob started his own consulting company, The Retail Doctor®, with a mission to provide training, inspiration and hope to independent businesses; to teach them how to successfully compete in today's retail environment. By helping a coffee roaster that had been in business 25 years reverse a protracted sales drop-off, compete against a second Starbucks just 75 feet from his front door, and increase sales by 50 percent in one year, Bob found a national audience.

In 1998, the Los Angeles Times courted Bob to perform business makeovers. He began speaking about his success principles, which grew to include manufacturers and trade associations around the world.

Bob provided sales training for the elite Hunter Douglas Gallery alliance program, creating a culture of selling excellence to support a strong national distribution of over 400 dealers. Bob put his successive strategies for improving a business into his first book, You Can Compete: Double Sales Without Discounting.

Bob drank up the next big trend helping It's A Grind Coffee, a startup, first as COO and then as VP of Marketing. Along the way, they grew to over 125 franchised locations nationwide, created a lot of buzz as the featured coffeehouse on ShowTime's Weeds. Phibbs helped make it the second-fastest growing company in Los Angeles County two years running according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. 

Phibbs programs and his work have been featured on PBS Life & Times, Entrepreneur magazine, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He received the Greatest Increase in Sales Award for his work with a specialty-clothing retailer at South Coast Plaza in Southern California, the highest per-square-foot grossing mall in the world. 

Bob owns his own publishing firm, is a member of the Author's Guild, the National Retail Federation, and National Speakers Association.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gordon Lugauer on May 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Let's face it: most business books have one good, solid idea- ok, maybe two- and the rest of the book is just fluff. The Retail Doctor's new Guide to Growing Your Business One of the least-fluffy business books I've read... I was going to say "in a long time", but I think I can just say "period.". This has become a new addition to the required reading list for my retail management staff, along with "First, Break All the Rules" (Buckingham & Coffman) and "It's Ok to be the Boss" (Tulgan). Well written, good ideas that can be applied both short- and long-term, and a variety of real-world examples without becoming bogged down in a litany of case studies. Do I agree with everything the Retail Doctor has to say in this book? No. Will you? Probably not. The point of this, as with all business books in my experience, is to find that one, maybe two good ideas and put them into action in ways that make sense for you. This Guide has a goodly number of solid, actionable ideas and a bit of a wake-up call (perhaps more of a "kick in the behind") to get beyond the "oh, we should do that" stage and into the "we're doing this" stage. The Retail Doc really helped me move from "thinking about" to actually acting to improve my store and improve my business. He can do the same for you.

I have been following the Retail Doctor's thinking for awhile, and this book is a good synergy of his ideas, both old and new, all written in his nice, snappy writing style. As my Dad might say, well worth the price of admission.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michelle Dunn VINE VOICE on August 13, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Retail Doctor's Guide to Growing your Business, a step by step approach to quickly diagnose, treat, and cure by Bob Phibbs is just that - the book you need to treat your business from the fall out due to the economy.

When we are sick, we try to treat ourselves, we ask friends what we can do and we try anything to avoid going to the doctor. Putting off treatment until it is so bad we have to run to the emergency room or make a doctor's appointment. Don't do this to your business!

Even if you think your business is thriving right now, use this book to learn how to do a quick diagnosis of your business, how it is doing, how your bottom line looks, how your vendors and customers are doing and how your employees are doing so that you can make an educated decision on treatment before its to late. Bob shares ideas and tips you can use once you diagnose your business on ways to treat your business and cure it from this happening again.

Bob shares information on how to hire and choose employees and why that is beneficial to your business and your bottom line, learn about the stages of training, the anatomy of a retail store, sales, finances and all of the aspects that create the "guts" of your business. Learn how to keep those "guts" healthy, immune to sickness and how to make them thrive.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By enrightrob on July 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
The Retail Doctor's "Guide to Growing your Business" is a must read by any retail manager or proprietor, and you should not wait until your small business needs a doctor to explore this book! Bob Phibbs' valuable personal experience as the Retail Doctor advising business owners is now accessible in his new full review at [...].
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By q-shop on October 27, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Geez... if you own a retail store, you MUST get this.

I have read and own hundreds of business/leadership/sales etc etc books. This one is so incredibly practical. We have made minor minor tweaks in our stores/displays/sales processes that have already earned us back the price of this book many times over... in the same day.

I can't believe it took me 3 years of owning retail stores to finally find a great retail mentor/teacher. Bob is incredibly knowledgeable and worth so much more than the price of this book.

Your mind will be racing with all of the opportunities you read about to improve your stores/sales. A lot of them are fairly simple and can be done in 20-30 minutes. Others can be big and long term efforts. Either way, literally every retailer needs to read this book. It has changed my business, and our trajectory for the future in a great way.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Doug Stewart on July 27, 2010
Format: Paperback
I'm looking at this book from a different angle than others who will review it. I want to know if this book really helps small business owners dominate their space on the web. I want to know if I would recommend it to you based on that criteria. Before I tell you my answer, let's discuss how the book addresses marketing your business online.

First, the book devotes one chapter to marketing your business online. I was surprised at how well researched this chapter was. Much of the information Phibbs provides is right on the money and current. But I found one glaring omission.

On page 180, he lists 5 things that determine your web site ranking on the search engines. But he leaves off one of the most important factors in getting high search engine rankings. He doesn't talk about how backlinks, the links from other websites to your website, affect your search engine ranking. He doesn't talk about anchor text in your links either. Big mistake.

How Search Engine Experts Get You Higher Rankings

Most search engine optimization experts spend the majority of their time getting better quality and more backlinks for their clients. If you do everything else wrong, but have higher quality backlinks with the right "anchor text," your website will rank higher on the search engines.

He also says your source code is the same thing as your "meta description tags." That is wrong. Meta description tags are part of your web page's source code - they aren't one and the same. But your meta description tag is extremely important for search engine optimization. All-in-all this is a minor flaw.

If I were to grade the search engine ranking part of this book, I would give it a "C" or even a "D." Omitting backlinks from this chapter is too big of an error.
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