American Specialty Toy Retailing Association

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  • Site Rite: Practical Ways to Boost Profits with the Right Site & Best Terms!

    Site Rite provides an arsenal of information to teach businesses practical ways to boost profits with the right site and best lease terms!

    Site Rite provides an arsenal of information to teach businesses practical ways to boost profits with the right site and best lease terms! 

    Content includes:

    • Determining Location
    • Rent vs. Profit
    • Estimating Site Sales Potential
    • Demographic Reports
    • Analyzing Competition
    • Lease Negotiation
    • Lease Types & Terms

    Craig Melby, CCIM

    President, Lease Smart


    Craig Melby, CCIM achieved the industry's two top designations: currently a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), and a former member of the Society of Office and Industrial Realtors (SIOR). Has served as a Board Member for various organizations including the world's largest exclusive Tenant Representative organization, the International Tenant Representative Alliance.

    Specialty is Site Selection, Lease Negotiations and Facility Acquisitions: finding facilities for expanding or relocating companies, and negotiating the best terms possible for the Tenant/Buyer.

    Written many articles for industry publications and am co-author of the book on how to negotiate a lease: “Leasing Smart" – which has been required reading for the University of Florida's masters in real estate program. Also wrote “Professional Real Estate Investor's Handbook" – which has been approved by the Florida Real Estate Commission, and used as a continuing education textbook.

    Craig is also an active entrepreneur, owning several successful ventures which give him an in-depth, real-world knowledge of what it takes to run a business. He speaks your language!

    Email: info@leasesmart.com

    Telephone: 800.962.2419

  • Toy Safety Tips from the Toy Safety Mom

    Watch this presentation from Joan Lawrence, the Toy Safety Mom of The Toy Association, share insights that you can use throughout the year.

    Did you know that toys are among the safest products in the home? Learn more about toy safety in this on-demand webinar by Joan Lawrence, the Toy Safety Mom of The Toy Association.  

    More information on safety tips, expert advice and facts about toy safety can be found at www.playsafe.org. 


  • Trade Show Survival Guide

    This guide is a culmination of trade show tips and tricks from buyers like you.

    Hundreds of vendors, thousands of products, a desire to buy everything you see and a huge floor that will make sure you hit your 10,000 steps goal in one hour, no less. You must be at a trade show!

    This guide is a culmination of trade show tips and tricks from buyers like you. Whether you're a first-time attendee or have hundreds of shows under your belt, you'll find information to help you make sure your trade show experience an investment that will reap benefits long after you're home.

  • Certified Play Expert

    Online certification program

    This online certification program consists of 10 online courses. After each course candidates may take the test. 80% correct is required to pass. When a candidate completes all the tests for the program they will be awarded the Certified Play Expert.

    Member Price: $259
    Non-Member Price: $599

  • Customer/Vendor Certificate

    An overview of customer and vendor relationships.

    The Retailer/Sales Rep Relationship

    Raising the Bar on Customer Service

    Becoming a Trust Advisor

    What is your company's “touchpoint score”? Are you aware of where you must put your focus to avoid any and all parts of your customer service falling through that lethal crack?

    In this session you will:

    Define what makes a “touchpoint” in your business and how to make them memorable, enviable and repeatable.

    Learn the skills required to consistently exceed your customer's expectations.

    Adopt a “service recovery process” that's more than an apology when things go wrong. Customer service is your defining advantage. It is the one main area that sets you apart from the competition. It is made up of countless touchpoints on a daily basis that inevitably create a “report card” in the customer's mind. Don't you need it to always be an A+?

    By taking a walk in your customer's shoes, you experience “their” journey and have a laser focus to fix the cracks along the way.

  • Business & Finance Certificate

    An overview of business basics and financials for your store.

    This course covers topics such as:

    • Budgeting
    • Types of Revenue
    • Fixed Expenses
    • Variable Expenses
    • Purchases
    • Calculating Cash Margins

    This course should give you a basic understanding of the above topics. Check out the handouts page to access the side deck and supplimental documents.

    This course covers topics such as:

    • Initial Mark up
    • Planned IMU
    • Sell Through %
    • Turn
    • Stock to Sales Ratio
    • Gross Margin Return on Investment


    This course should give you a basic understanding of the above topics. Check out the handouts page to access the side deck and supplemental documents.

    One of the greatest challenges facing a closely-held business is properly planning for business succession. Business owners may be too busy dealing with everyday business needs to consider the tough issues of succession planning such as:

    • Who will be the next operations manager?
    • Which of the children will get involved in the business?
    • Who is the next owner of my business?
    • What is my business worth?

    The list of issues that business owners should consider is lengthy. Where do you begin? Join us for an in-depth discussion and key tips to get you started down the right path. We have been able to help many small business owners around the US prepare for the future

    Do you worry about negotiating with vendors? Do you feel like your business isn't big enough to get better pricing, better terms, and more from your vendors? In this webinar, Dan Jablons of Retail Smart Guys will guide you through the process of dealing with vendors so you can successfully negotiate all you need for your store. In this informative webinar, you'll learn:
    • Successful negotiating tips
    • How to open new vendors
    • How to generate excitement in working with you
    • How to evaluate vendor performance
    • How to use the vendor's performance to get more for your store

    Site Selection and Lease Negotiation expert Craig Melby discusses the Top 10 Mistakes companies make when negotiating their lease. Attendees will learn how to make massive improvements to the standard Landlord lease, saving money and reducing risk.

  • Children & Play Certificate

    An overview of child development as it relates to play and toys.

    Join us as we provide an overview of the great minds in child development. Child developmental theorists include:

    • Jean Piaget
    • Lev Vygotsky
    • Lawrence Kohlberg
    • Sigmund Freud
    • Carl Jung
    • Howard Gardner
    • Erik Erikson
    This course will give you a birds eye view on their work on child development and how it has contributed to the way we think today.

    This course will cover development domains and stages such as:

    • Sensory
    • Cognitive
    • Communicative
    • Social/Emotional
    • Physical

    Each category will include an overview of the developmental domain and skills that are typically associated with each category. This information will be delivered in a format that is pertinent to retailers and the skills will be covered in language that is not clinical or therapeutic in nature.

    We will also cover how the developmental domains are interrelated as children build skills and advance milestones. Milestones develop in a sequential fashion. This means that a child will need to develop some skills before he or she can develop new skills. Each milestone that a child acquires builds on the last milestone developed. However physical skills like crawling and walking are paired with cognitive skills like sequential thought and memory and recall as kids advance motor planning skills.

    Developmental milestones are behaviors or skills that illustrate a child's growth in a number of areas. Milestones have been established based on what most children can do within a certain age.

    We will provide a brief overview of the developmental domains for each of the 6 age ranges of child development (birth-12 months, 12-24 months, 2 years old, 3 years old, 4-5 years old, 6-8 years old) along with the skills that are pertinent to that age range related to “readiness.” What is the child ready to learn?

    Play ideas and tips for parents/caregivers will be delivered related to the major milestone areas for each age range.

    Developmental delays exist when a child does not reach his/her milestones as other children the same age. All children develop at their own pace. Some children achieve their developmental milestones earlier and some later than other children. Some are able to speak earlier than others, but walk later. Some children skip certain milestones, for example bypassing crawling almost completely and proceeding directly to walking. There are many variations in child development.

  • Personnel Management/Coaching Certificate

    An overview of human resources for retailers.

    In this course topics such as staffing recruitment, in-person interview process, interview techniques, background checks and basic employee on-boarding will be covered. This is a great way to get an overview of human resource principals to help aid in the hiring and firing process.

    Disclaimer

    The content covered in this training program is designed to provide an overview of Human Resource as it pertains to the small businesses of the specialty toy retailers industry. Please note that Human Resources , Accounting or Payroll may vary by state and should be carefully looked into prior to taking any human resources, employment, payroll or accounting actions. Due to the legal variances regarding size of business states and Federal requirements, ASTRA suggests that you review any decisions you make with your attorney. It is also suggested that you contact a Human Resource consultant to assist in these matters.

    In this course topics such as compensation planning and payroll. This will help you better understand specifics in state and federal laws that pertain to wages and payroll planning.

    Disclaimer

    The content covered in this training program is designed to provide an overview of Human Resource as it pertains to the small businesses of the specialty toy retailers industry. Please note that Human Resources , Accounting or Payroll may vary by state and should be carefully looked into prior to taking any human resources, employment, payroll or accounting actions. Due to the legal variances regarding size of business states and Federal requirements, ASTRA suggests that you review any decisions you make with your attorney. It is also suggested that you contact a Human Resource consultant to assist in these matters.

    In this course topics such as employee benefits and human resource administration. The specifics of this course will help you understand appropriate filing systems, benefits laws, and best practices.

    Disclaimer

    The content covered in this training program is designed to provide an overview of Human Resource as it pertains to the small businesses of the specialty toy retailers industry. Please note that Human Resources , Accounting or Payroll may vary by state and should be carefully looked into prior to taking any human resources, employment, payroll or accounting actions. Due to the legal variances regarding size of business states and Federal requirements, ASTRA suggests that you review any decisions you make with your attorney. It is also suggested that you contact a Human Resource consultant to assist in these matters.

    Want to develop a super hero team? Well this is the webinar for you. Join Phil as he leads you through how to create a stellar customer service team. This course will give you some great advise to make a differnece and stand out.

  • Technology Certificate

    An overview of key technologies for retailers.

    In this Intro to Quickbooks course we'll discuss picking an accounting system and the differences between On Site and Cloud based systems. We'll also walk through creating a new Quickbooks company and the basics of using Quickbooks for your business.We will look at the basics such as creating a chart of accounts, creating customers and invoices, entering bills, reconciling bank accounts and more.

    In this course we'll explore some different options for integrating technology into your store. We'll also look at some software that will help you manage your business more effectively.

    In this course we'll discuss the basics of accepting credit cards in your store. We'll talk about typical fees and discuss what questions to ask when looking for a merchant provider.

  • Play for Profit--50% OFF (Members Only)!

    Develop an instruction manual that outlines the steps to enter the retail toy business or can be used to examine current business practices against. The Play for Profit book is a compilation of best practice advice in every area of store operation.

    Thinking about starting your own toy store? Worried about where to begin? Play for Profit will help you start off on the right track!

    Take advantage of the hard-earned knowledge of veteran ASTRA store owners and industry experts, who know what it takes to make a healthy profit and have put all their best practices in one handy place!

    The time for a retail jumpstart is now. ASTRA's Play for Profit is full of advice that can help you save and make thousands, and is full of crucial resources such as The Retail Business Plan for Toy Stores, which will help you build a solid financial foundation for your business, templates for financial reports, and much more! With ASTRA's Play for Profit it's all there at your fingertips to help you start and maintain a successful toy store.

    Order now and start planning for profit in your store with the Play for Profit book!

    Play for Profit is 50% off! No discount code needed in cart. Discounted book price: $79.50