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I never make New Year's resolutions about losing weight, exercising more or expanding my mind. I figure if something is that important -- why the hell would I wait for the new year to do it?
But resolutions can help some people refocus on things that really matter to them. So if you are going to make New Year's resolutions, why not make them for your business as well? As we closed our first issue of 2010 during the holiday week, I asked several convenience store retailers and others what they thought should be the top 10 resolutions for c-store retailers in 2010. Here's some of their suggestions:
-- "Work harder than ever with my legislative representatives and trade associations to achieve relief from outrageous credit card fees."
-- "Get my business involved in digital marketing or social networking."
-- "Search out new products and other new revenue sources, while minimizing expenses."
-- "Implement a new time- or money-saving technology; every time we add a new piece of technology, we are always amazed at the positive results."
-- "Expand my knowledge -- join a peer group, attend a Webcast, conference or trade show."
-- "Develop new foodservice items; we can't let this key growth category become stale in our customers' minds."
-- "Spend more to train our staff. These front-line associates are key to helping us improve customer service, reduce shrink and increase sales opportunities through suggestive selling."
-- "Review my vendors. I probably don't do this enough, but we should all make sure every supplier is providing us with the best value possible so we can pass savings on to our customers."
-- "I plan to be resolute that great attitude, coupled with hard work and dedication, will be key to making 2010 a great year."
The 10th resolution is one I thought up. If I were a retailer, I'd make a resolution to get out more and visit my stores, my competitors' stores and even other types of retailers for a fresh perspective on my business and customers' expectations.
On a separate note, I'm proud to announce that Convenience Store News just added three new awards to its trophy case. Folio: Magazine last month announced the winners of its annual Eddie and Ozzie Awards contest, recognizing excellence in magazine editorial and design.
A panel of 60 expert judges sifted through more than 2,000 entries and selected the most deserving work among nearly 200 categories.
CSNews won the Gold award for Best Use of Illustration, B-to-B under 100,000 circulation for "The Presidential Stakes" from the October 2008 issue of the magazine.
The story was written by Senior Editor Barbara Francella and the illustration was conceptualized and commissioned by Art Director Ana Rodrigues. For Rodrigues, this is the second Ozzie award she has earned.
CSNews also won a Silver Eddie for Best Full Issue, for all B-to-B Retail magazines, for its Oct. 3, 2008 issue featuring a cover story on "The Winds of Change."
And CSNews.com was the Bronze winner for Best B-to-B retail Web site.
So, if there is one resolution I will make for the coming year, it's that the CSNews brand will continue to provide the convenience store industry with the most valuable news and analysis available through print, in person and online. Happy New Year and may this year be prosperous and healthy for all.