Trade Show

ATA Seminar Recap: ‘Making Money in Small Towns’

Korbin Williams hopes his tips and insights help other small-town retailers profit and succeed through their products, services and social media.
Photo Credit: ATA

Author: Cassie Gasaway

ATA 2021 Online presented nine recorded seminars and 11 live seminars for free during its four-day run in mid-January. Korbin Williams, owner of Korbin’s Archery in Texas, presented his seminar “Making Money in Small Towns” live Jan. 15 in the MyATA Learning Center.

Korbin established his pro shop in 2008 in Seminole, a town of about 6,000 in western Texas. Despite the town’s size, his business has flourished. He hopes his tips and insights help other small-town retailers profit and succeed through their products, services and social media. Williams is also a school psychologist and behavior analyst, and uses that knowledge to help customers and guide business decisions.

Make sure you know what your profit margins are and adjust your prices if necessary. Photo Credit: ATA

Know Your Profit Margins

Williams prices his products based on each item’s demand. He said most have a true net margin of 30% to 35%. He said he pushes the shop’s overall margin above that to increase profitability. His shop had a 42% overall margin in 2020, and 45% in 2018 and 2019.

He uses a computer program to calculate and analyze his margins, and encourages other retailers to do the same. MyATA service providers can help. Click here to explore your options.

“Everything I do is data-driven,” Williams said. “Everything is calculated based on the opportunity for profit. If you can’t tell someone where you’re at, I suggest you sit down, look at the data, and make decisions for the upcoming year.”

Williams said he doesn’t stock products that won’t make money, and he works with sales representatives to negotiate beneficial margins.


Analyze Your Discounts

To understand the impact of your discounts for pro-staff members, Williams suggests tracking how much money each one saves on products, and how much their referral customers spend with you. Compare those numbers. Do their combined discounts cost more than the profit you made from the referral customers? If the discount puts your profit in the red, change something. Determine what percent of referral income each pro-staffer provides, and match it to level the offset.

Williams also makes friends and family pay full price. If they resist, he explains how he uses his time and staff to serve them, which costs customers who pay full price. Plus, referrals from friends and family seldom generate enough income to offset their “good guy” discounts.

“One of the biggest mistakes I made, and learned from, is having a pro-staff and friends discount,” Williams said. “I (now) give zero friends and family discounts. I can’t give away money.”


Social Media Expands Your Reach

“Whether you’re in a small town or large town, social media impacts your ability to make sales,” Williams said. “It increases foot traffic and brand awareness.”

How do you profit from social media? Williams suggests posting quality content, hosting pro archers or bowhunters, and teaming with social-media “influencers” who support your business with endorsements or recommendations. Williams discussed how to find and work with good influencers, and how they can elevate your brand. Watch the session for those tips.

Williams said social media cost little or no money, and he encourages retailers to capitalize on it. He recommends taking classes on videography and social media to make effective posts. The ATA offers its members a free “How to Run a Facebook Ad Campaign” course on the MyATA Learning Center. You’ll learn how to launch a video campaign to attract customers.


Reduce Negative Communication

Williams and his team stay positive about everything in their shop. They neither talk down to customers, nor say anything bad about their products or competitors. Psychological research and applied-behavior analysis prove that positive experiences trigger more sales. Instead of saying, “That one isn’t any good; get this one,” say, “That one’s good, but we have more options.” Phrase thoughts in a positive tone and create positive shopping experiences for customers.

Staying positive is easier if you sell only products you believe in. “We won’t carry it if we don’t think it will work, and we make sure our customers understand that,” Williams said.


Watch the Recording!

Williams’ seminar was a live event, but the video recording will be available later. Until then, view the ATA’s on-demand Show content by logging into your MyATA member dashboard and clicking “MyATA Learning Center.”

ATA 2021 Online exhibitor content is available through Monday, Feb. 15. Educational content, the floorplan, and exhibitor profiles are also available, including videos, contact information, and product showcases. All Show Specials ended when the Online Show concluded Jan. 15.

Check back regularly to watch Williams’ ATA presentation.

Questions? Please contact the ATA Trade Show and membership office at (866) 266-2776.

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