Foreword Online

Ideas, information and industry news for collegiate retailers

Building a Communication Strategy

Posted by Liz Schulte on 2/13/18 5:30 AM

We communicate all day, every day, in various ways: through speaking, email, text message, social media or simple gestures. However, all communication is not the same. Emails can often be read with an unintended tone. A sentence that seem clear to the writer might confuse the reader. These miscommunications can negatively impact your store’s intended message. That’s why developing a strong communication strategy is important.

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Are Your Goals Limiting Your Growth?

Posted by Liz Schulte on 11/22/17 5:30 AM

It’s the time of year where goals start creeping into consciousness. We are evaluating the goals we fell short on this past year and establishing new benchmarks for next year. It is also around this time that the onslaught of articles come out about whether or not goal setting is even worthwhile. On one hand, goals can inspire employees to reach higher, but on the other, they can also become a hinderance and waste precious time.

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How to Make Your Mission Statement Matter

Posted by Liz Schulte on 11/14/17 5:30 AM

How important are a store’s mission and vision statements? This question can garner a fair amount of debate. Some will adamantly support the practice, stating that when everyone is on the same page and have shared expectations, they work toward a common goal. But, there are also the people who have been in education for a long time and have witnessed many hours go into the creation of a mission or vision statement, only to then see the words collect dust and get ignored.

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Managing Unmanageable Employees

Posted by Lori Reese on 7/20/17 5:30 AM

A toxic employee makes the daily stresses of college retail unbearable. Already, tensions abound with faculty politics, student and family financial concerns — not to mention massive changes in the industry as a whole. These workers create chaos, lower morale and inspire your best employees to quit.

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The Top Five College Store Complaints and How to Fix Them

Posted by Liz Schulte on 4/18/17 5:30 AM

Finding ways to improve your store’s customer service is a matter of survival. Customer experience is a trendy buzzword in retail: it is a critical shift in perspective. Young consumers are abandoning brand loyalty, letting their individual experiences direct where they will spend their time and money. That decision comes down to their experience with your store, whether in-person or online.  

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Why You Should Respond to Customer Complaints

Posted by Liz Schulte on 4/11/17 5:30 AM

Every business will eventually receive a complaint. Despite best intentions, a customer will walk away unhappy at one point or another. The customer might reach out to the business itself for a resolution to the problem, but with increasing odds, they are going to take their complaint to social media. Once the negative words are out on the internet, they are there forever. Managers and business owners have two choices: they can ignore the complaint or demonstrate their great customer service for the world to see.

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Avoiding the Social Media Black Hole

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 3/24/17 5:30 AM

Today you will know how to make at least $800 more than you did yesterday and more than $300 every day thereafter — by doing less. The social media black hole is costing you money each day.

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Campus Marketplaces: Beating 'em by Joining 'em

Posted by Dean Asher on 3/23/17 5:30 PM

You hear rumblings about a new website or service advertising itself on campus as the latest, best and only student-oriented, free marketplace for selling books, apparel and other items directly to other students.

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Blogging Benefits for College Stores

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 1/31/17 5:30 AM

Web logging, an online diary or “blogging” is not just for hipsters sitting in a coffee shop writing about their views on politics, skinny jeans and the best beard look. It’s now a tool. A resource. A “thing.” It’s the megaphone for you to tell your customers what they need to know from the mouth of the expert: you.

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What a Bookstore Manager Wanted to Know on Day 1

Posted by Jason Smallheer on 1/27/17 5:30 AM

You’re a college bookstore manager. A superhero. A rare breed. You’re a leader and a motivator. You make a retail environment run like a well-oiled machine.  Every day you engage customers, hire and train employees, decide which items to carry, manage money, deal with sales calls, and now take on the challenges of posting to Facebook, Tweeting and taking on the “other duties as assigned.” 

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