Tag Archives: Business

Will 2017 Be The Year Retailers Finally Get Real?

From Forbes.com on January 17, 2017…

“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.” – Plato

While struggling with the topic and content of this column, the trickle of underwhelming Brick & Mortar sales results from many retailers’ holiday season began to hit the press. Many of these retailers have only now seriously begun thinking about creating a sustainable business model for the future. For some the ship may have sailed. All of which got me thinking about an article I wrote for this column three years ago. It is just as relevant today as it was in 2014. So rather than beating my head against the wall trying to reinvent the wheel, here is the article from 2014, its warnings, and even prescriptions for a new retail marketplace. Continue reading…

Seeing The Future Is Key To Success In 2015

The latest from Prosper Now’s Blog on Forbes.com

It’s a new year and many leading companies have new plans when it comes to their data and analytics initiatives. Target announced some organizational changes in December that include a Center of Excellence which will be led by an SVP of Enterprise Data, Analytics and Business Intelligence. Many other companies have already or will likely follow suit. However, the ideal analytics initiative will utilize many meaningful external data sets, and not just rely on internal data such as SKU’s, current customer demographics and so on. Continue reading…

C-Suite Tip For 2015—Advanced Analytics

The latest from Prosper Now’s Blog on Forbes.com

In the 1960’s movie The Graduate, a recent college grad played by Dustin Hoffman is counseled by a well-meaning family acquaintance to think of one word for his future job aspirations—plastics. “There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it,” said Mr. McGuire. He asks “Will you think about it?” to which Hoffman’s character replies, “Yes I will.”

However, 2015 is shaping up to be continue reading…

Era of Business Disruption–Why The C-Suite Needs To Focus On An Organic Growth Strategy

The latest from Prosper Now’s Blog on Forbes.com

Time was when successful experience shaped by years of competing in the market and a solid grounding in business processes and finance made for a good C-level candidate. This type of leader who could “rally the troops” was something every company wanted on center stage. However, that was also a time when markets and competition were much more predictable—a time when consumers had fewer choices and when the economy was more dynamic and insulated from foreign events. Continue reading…

Misery Down, Consumer Spending Forecast Up

The Misery Index, calculated using data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has recently been added to Prosper’s Executive Retail InsightCenter, has been trending downward over the past couple months. The Consumer Spending Forecast from Prosper is up year-over-year, indicating that consumers are more willing to spend more now than they were a year ago at this time. Findings such as these should indicate a positive holiday season for retailers, right? It dependsContinue reading

Why The C-level Needs To Rethink Their Strategic Management Process

The latest from Prosper Now’s Blog on Forbes.com

I read an article two weeks ago reporting on the challenges faced by a CEO of a big box retailer. At the annual analyst meeting, the CEO identified some challenges that contributed to flat same store sales for the last six quarters. Issues contributing to lackluster growth were:

  • Changes in shopper behavior resulting from online research and shopping
  • Shoppers’ desire to shop at smaller stores.

The solution he offered to analysts was to speed up checkout lines. While this is a worthy tactic, continue reading…

Are You Building A Business For Where The Market Was?

The latest from Prosper Now’s Blog on Forbes.com

Key performance building blocks for any business are good financial management, logistics, efficient manufacturing, a healthy corporate culture, marketing and inventory management. The fundamentals for each of these disciplines are fairly consistent over time and change little. However, when it comes to marketing and identifying customers, positioning against competitors, dealing with economic issues, etc., continue reading…

Impress Your Boss: 5 Unique Insights That Will Do The Trick

The latest from Prosper Now’s Blog on Forbes.com

It’s a highly competitive retail marketplace. Corporations are always looking for a competitive edge. With that in mind, here are five unique business insights with one goal—to arm business professionals with valuable pieces of consumer intelligence to take to their executive team. These insights will provide a different perspective, aid in decision making, and impress them, all at the same time. Remember these and you’ll have something to talk about if you run into your boss at the water cooler.

1. What to say when your boss asks about the spending outlook for retail… continue reading…

Arming The C-Suite For Organic Growth

The latest from Prosper Now’s Blog on Forbes.com

Today successfully running a business is a difficult task. Many issues impacting performance are outside the control of a C-Level manager’s influence. Nonetheless these issues impact how a business will perform. The lagging economy, political strife around the globe, Washington politicians, the constant media reporting from 24-hour cable and Internet news sources are all at heightened levels of influence on skittish consumers. A bump in any of these areas can disrupt spending behaviors causing continue reading…

Forbes.com: Big Data’s New Power Quadrant For Executive Evidence-Based Decision Making

The latest from Prosper Now’s Blog on Forbes.com

Not all things worth doing are worth doing well. For many this is a heresy that violates the old maxim, “if it is worth doing it is worth doing well.” However, in today’s digitally disrupted world the pace of change is so fast that not all decisions can be given the amount of time to do them well.

The real challenge is not to avoid being wrong but to avoid being wrong on major decisions that matter. Mess up on a major decision and it could be near fatal for a company or a business in today’s fast changing world. One need only look at how change has impacted companies in industries such as newspaper, shopping mall, bookstore, video rental, brick and mortar retail, etc. Miss a key challenge or trend by clinging to old business as usual thinking and you may not have a business in a year.

Clearly decisions that need to be made right need to be major decisions focused on the dynamic continuation of the business. That’s why to deal with decision issues, our firm created a Power Quadrant for Decision Making to identify the choices which have the most impact on a business.

Continue reading…