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A business plan consists of a narrative about the business and financial forecasts.
PRC takes management through a narrative process specifically customized
to fit the needs of the client and encompasses the entire scope of the project.

PRC has found that the real value of creating a business plan is not in having the finished
Product in hand; rather, the value lies in the process of researching and thinking about your gift    
store in a systematic way

When management completes the planning process using the PRC system they have the tools
to continually:      
  1. Evaluate the business thoroughly, including Mission Statement
  2. Aid in the study and research of the business
  3. Look at business goals and ideas critically
  4. Plan for success and avoid costly mistakes                       

The basic concept of strategic management is 'the ongoing process of interfacing the mission
and vision statements with the business plan objectives'.  

PRC instructs gift store leadership on how to define and allocate resources that :  

  1. Set clear, visionary goals and priorities for your organization
  2. Effectively manage the strategic planning process
  3. Evaluate the questions: where we are now, where do we want to go, and
                 how will we get there.

Policies are the principles and rules used to guide an organization in meeting its long-term goals.
Procedures are the specific methods employed in a day to day process to actualize policies and
express long-term goals.

Hospital gift shops require both an employee orientation manual, dealing with human resources,
and a gift shop policies and procedures manual for daily retail operations.  Hospital gift shops often
lack a procedures manual.

Gift shop volunteers and interns need to reference the Shops Policies and Procedures Manual  to
perform their duties. A well written manual improves productivity, decreases turnover and improves
staff/management relations.

It is important that gift shop procedure manuals are clearly written avoiding unnecessary details
and complexities that discourage staff use.

PRC’s on-site evaluation process ensures a thorough analysis of operational procedures.
The information collected during the evaluation is condensed into a comprehensive
manual to integrate the gift shop policies in line with operational

Sales and marketing are separate functions each with unique activities that complement each other
in a working business relationship.  Sales are defined as talking to the customer and marketing is
defined as listening to the customer or more simply, sales
talks and marketing listens.

Marketing is really a philosophy that holds customer satisfaction as the main thrust in doing business.  
As hospitals are evaluated using “patient satisfaction scores” the customer view of the Gift Shop
can be a reflection of the entire hospital experience.  The gift shop needs a sales and marketing plan
that emanates from a basic philosophy that the customer is “king”.

PRC helps the hospital leadership create a sales and marketing philosophy that directly relates to the
customer needs, then to define and implement a sales and marketing plan that meets the gifts shop’s
objectives in serving the customer.

We design and implement customer loyalty strategies, tactics and promotions that keep the customer
experience positive and focused on patient service and customer satisfaction.   

The financial plan is a document that describes the financial status, goals and strategies to
meet those goals. A financial plan or budget can include an annual forecast of income and expenses.  
The forecast of revenue and expenses can be projected out five years or more into the future.

The financial plan provides a benchmark to evaluate the progress of a business, like a road map,
giving direction in rethinking and updating goals within a measured period of time.

There is an old adage that reads “If you fail to plan then plan to fail” and this still holds true.
PRC leads the gift store management through the process of creating and monitoring a financial plan.

Financial planning requires a functional accounting system. Accounting is often called the
language of business as it is the process of recording and reporting financial data in classifications
that allow data analysis over a measured period of time. While the accounting requirements of every
business vary, all organizations need a way to keep track of their money and financial transactions.

Most hospital gift shops use a cash-basis accounting system rather than an accrual basis system.
A cash basis accounting systems records merchandise purchases as an expense in the month the
invoice is paid.  An accrual-basis accounting system records merchandise as an expense when it is

By conducting a thorough audit of the shops financials and an evaluation of accounting practices
PRC  can provide a foundation for building a purposeful financial process.

Professional development is a broad term that defines the way for professional growth in both
management and staff.  Those who engage in professional development share a common purpose of
enhancing their ability to do their job. At the heart of professional development is the individual's
interest in lifelong learning and increasing their own skills and knowledge.

Retail professionals in a hospital setting are unique.  When you enter the hospital gift shop industry
with a genuine passion, magical things can happen. Not only do you gain immense satisfaction from
spending time doing what you love, but that same excitement helps you to excite and compel
everyone you encounter including staff, volunteers, customers, patients and visitors.  

Your professional development is a journey. Where and how far you go is up to you.  Lilly’s guidance
in professional development instills a patient centric philosophy that enriches you and the Gift Shop

Buying and Merchandise management is the process of developing, securing, pricing, supporting and
communicating the retailer’s merchandise offering.

The overall goal, known as the 3 R’s, is offering the right product at the right time at the right price
with the right appeal through the life cycle of the product.

Lilly develops a buying and merchandising plan in coordination with existing staff and defined shop
goals. If you can “tell a story in merchandise that sells a story” the hospital gift shop will be successful.

Her experience and ability to develop merchandise assortments open to buy plans and visual displays
result  in successful sell through and patient/customer satisfaction.  Her approach helps Gift Shop
management analyze, plan, acquire, promote and control merchandise.

Retail operations are the physical day to day functions of the gift shop such as the hours of operation,
staff scheduling, cash handling, visual merchandising, housekeeping, pricing and customer services.
Some areas that overlap but are not considered operations are buying, merchandising, financial
reporting and accounting.

Gift shops that have high operational standards create a positive shopping experience and find there
are many hidden benefits such as customer loyalty.

Simple operations such as a shop opening on time, with a knowledgeable staff trained and eager to
serve is an example of what is meant by high operational standards.  While seemingly very simple to
open on time, this function along with many others is often overlooked in many hospital gift shops.

PRC assess gift shop operations and practices from A to Z. We develop a comprehensive operations
plan solving even the most subtle problems and then identifying, defining and implementing of “best

Human resource management is the policies, practices and systems that influence gift shop staff
behavior, attitudes, and performance.

Management of the shop personnel is one of the most important functions that a gift shop manager
learns. Hospital gift shops are often staffed with volunteers and interns who have direct contact with
customers and are generally the first and last individuals with whom the customers interact.

Creating user friendly policies and procedures for the gift shop personnel to follow insures consistency
in customer satisfaction and service.

PRC has extensive experience in human resource management. This area is one of the most problematic
and difficult for the hospital.

In many cases an outside consultant expedites solutions that would be difficult for the hospital to
suggest. PRC specializes in defining retail positions, recruiting, selecting staff, training and
development. We evaluate performance and managerial relationships

Design and space planning is both an art and a science.

According to Michael D. Kelly, vice president and director of design for San Francisco-based Stone
Marraccini Patterson Architects, today's hospital should be more like a hotel than a hospital, a
welcoming and caring environment that overcomes the apprehension, fear, and trauma associated
with the facility. "The hospitality aspect becomes much more difficult to plan because the health care
facility cannot simply appeal to the senses, but must also exude a high level of technical competence.

The challenge for the space planner is to find a balance between the technical component and the
human component, a more difficult planning and design problem than is the case with hotel or
corporate facilities."

More and more patients realize they are the focus, that they are to be served by the hospital services
and not processed by it.

Therefore, hospital gift shops are updating their spaces to provide a caring environment that overcomes
the fear of the healthcare facility.  

To balance the human and technical components, space planners study the merchandise categories by
analyzing dollar per square foot metrics. Store design has more to do with sales than looks.

Different from office environments, retail space planners design focus on the number of physical areas
beginning with the entrance, merchandise visibility and circulation while interpreting the operational
aspects of the hospital gift shop space.

Perhaps the greatest challenge in planning retail space is providing enough on-floor stocking in order
to limit the amount of highly expensive stockroom space. To accomplish this, shelves and hanging
bars are incorporated into the design scheme to keep stockroom space held to 15 to 20 percent of
the total space.

PRC has experience building hospital gift shops and space plans and is available to assist with your
hospital gift store.

Point of sale systems (POS) provide retail shops with needed information to gain better control
of their business. The best features of a POS system are the recording of sales, inventory, and cost
expenditures on a real-time basis. The reports generated by the POS can be utilized to produce
financial statements, sales and marketing strategies, cash reconciliation work sheets and employee
time cards.

Small hospital gift shops can often use off-the-shelf systems, although more complex custom systems
that are both wireless and serve multiple locations are readably available.

While PRC does not sell POS systems, we do offer consulting services that include a complete needs
assessment, determine best available POS selections, preview the features and benefits, solicit vendor
proposals and ongoing instruction after installation of the system.

With the vast number of POS systems now on the market, a mistake in choosing the wrong POS
system can lead to frustration for both management and the customer.

PRC engages in the specialty practice of forensic accounting. We provide expert investigation of
financial records, inventory and cash flow of ‘for profit’ and ‘not for profit’ retail operations.

Please contact Lilly Stamets for more information.  

Contact Lilly Stamets

Premier Retail Consulting                 lillystamets.com