Get Personal Help With Your Store
Does your Catholic store need some help?
- Do I spend all my time buried in the daily tasks of my business instead of improving it?
- Do I seem to never get ahead in my business?
- Do I never have any free time because the day to day worries of my business?
If you answer “Yes!” to any of these questions, you really need to consider some outside help. Specifically, you should consider investing in some one-on-one time with me, Ian Rutherford, founder and President of Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the largest Catholic store online.
I know, I know. You’re wondering “Why the heck would the owner of a competing store want me to succeed?”
It’s really very simple. Running a Catholic store is first and foremost about evangelization. Whether you are helping a fellow Catholic learn more about his faith or bringing the Truth to an interested non-Catholic, you are an evangelist.The problem is that as evangelists, we Catholic retailers are a sorry lot. Think about it:
- Our stores are typically very small.
- Our stores are typically not in very good financial states.
- The number of Catholic stores in America has remained steady ever since I started Aquinas and More eight years ago. It isn’t because the stores last, its because the number of stores that open and close is about the same.
- There aren’t any large chains of Catholic stores.
- When people think about Catholic stores they typically think about some dusty, poorly lit cluttered retail space that their grandmother shops at.
- Because we aren’t a professionally run group, our poor vendors are in the same boat we are. I have heard plenty of retailers grumble about vendors who sell direct. It’s time to stop! If our stores were professionally run like Protestant chains such as Lifeway and Mardels, our vendors would be sitting pretty and there would be new vendors popping up all the time. Instead, through our poor management, we have forced our vendors to look for other routes to survival.
We have the most appealing message possible – the Truth, and we wrap it up in used newspapers to share it with others. This isn’t because we want things to be this way. We just haven’t considered trying to do things differently.
Well, it’s time to start. It’s time to take a step-by-step, honest look at your business and fix it. “But I have no idea where to start! I don’t even have a computerized inventory!” Look, I’ve heard a lot from different stores over the years. Time after time store owners like yourselves really just need some time to talk to someone on the outside who can see how things are working and make suggestions for improvement. You are, what they call “Buried in the weeds” and it’s time to have someone help pull you out.
I am here to help. One of the founding principals of our business has always been to help other Catholic stores succeed. I’ve given talks at the Catholic Marketing Network conferences. I’ve helped sponsor the Catholic New Media Celebration. I’ve been writing business tips on our blog for years and for a while we had a program for stores to use our website as their own. I want you to succeed. I want you to be able to relax and enjoy evangelization instead of being constantly worried about your business.
So here’s my latest way to help you, the store owner, improve your business. I am offering consulting time over the phone to you. For just $75 an hour of phone time you get to pick the brain of the founder of the largest on-line Catholic store. If you want to do this regularly, we can schedule weekly talks at a discounted rate. For each talk I’ll make a recording and send it to you so you can always refer back to the conversation.
Best of all, I guarantee that you will be happy with the time spent. If we talk and you decide that I didn’t provide you with any good advice, just ask for a refund. I’m doing this to help your store and if the advice I provide won’t help, why should you pay for it?
That’s right, if you don’t think that the time spent was worth it, it’s FREE.
“Okay, this sounds good but I have so many things to fix that one hour isn’t going to make a dent!” I realize that admitting this takes a lot of courage but it’s the only way you are going to start moving your store forward. If you think you need extended time, I will fly out to your store and spend three days with you looking at your store, your procedures, your inventory – everything. Then I will put together a report detailing steps to take in the areas we discussed. And because I know that there will be more questions once you get your report, I’m including two free hours of followup phone consultation. If you were to hire a “professional” business consultant to do this you could be looking at $10,000 – $20,000 for his time and since he probably isn’t Catholic, he can’t speak to our specific industry needs.
To recap, my on-site consultation includes:
- Pre-meeting survey and phone consultation
- 3 days (24 hours of work time) on site to discuss whatever you decided are your most pressing issues.
- A written followup report detailing my recommendations for your business.
- Two free hours of post meeting phone consultation.
- If we decide to restart our web storefront program, I’ll wave the setup fee for you ($200 value)
Your total investment for this service is only a $3,000 consulting fee plus my travel expenses. “Oh, great. He’ll probably want to stay at a five star hotel and eat lobster every day.” I can hear you thinking that now. While I don’t complain about nice hotels and can’t think of anything I’d rather eat than lobster, I’m not doing consulting for the fine dining. I’m doing this to help you so I will quite happily stay at your house and eat with your family if that’s what it takes for you to hire me.
And of course, if you don’t believe that the advice I offer will help your business, the consulting fee is fully refundable. Try getting that from anyone else!
A word of warning:
This isn’t get-rich-quick advice. I’m not sitting on a yacht. Our business isn’t rolling in dough. I am still working very hard on my business. But I can say that:
- If I hadn’t been taking my own advice during the recession our business would have failed.
- If I wasn’t still taking my own advice we wouldn’t have just completed one of our best months ever.
- If I wasn’t taking my own advice I would be spending hundreds of dollars a month on advertising that never worked. Are you?
It’s time to stop treading water.
It’s time to build your business into a wonderful evangelization tool.
It’s time to make a change in how you do things.
It’s time to stop worrying about the day to day survival of your store.
It’s time to take our pre-consultation survey and get your business moving!