What Are The Greatest Changes In Shopping In Your Lifetime

What are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime? So asked my 9 year old grandson.

As I thought of the question the local Green Grocer came to mind. Because that is what the greatest change in shopping in my lifetime is.

That was the first place to start with the question of what are the greatest changes in shopping in your lifetime.

Our local green grocer was the most important change in shopping in my lifetime. Beside him was our butcher, a hairdresser and a chemist.

Looking back, we were well catered for as we had quite a few in our suburb. And yes, the greatest changes in shopping in my lifetime were with the small family owned businesses.

Entertainment While Shopping Has Changed
Buying butter was an entertainment in itself.
My sister and I often had to go to a favourite family grocer close by. We were always polite as we asked for a pound or two of butter and other small items.

Out came a big block of wet butter wrapped in grease-proof paper. Brought from the back of the shop, placed on a huge counter top and included two grooved pates.

That was a big change in our shopping in my lifetime… you don’t come across butter bashing nowadays.

Our old friendly Mr. Mahon with the moustache, would cut a square of butter. Lift it to another piece of greaseproof paper with his pates. On it went to the weighing scales, a bit sliced off or added here and there.

Our old grocer would then bash it with gusto, turning it over and over. Upside down and sideways it went, so that it had grooves from the pates, splashes going everywhere, including our faces.

My sister and I thought this was great fun and it always cracked us up. We loved it, as we loved Mahon’s, on the corner, our very favourite grocery shop.

Grocery Shopping
Further afield, we often had to go to another of my mother’s favourite, not so local, green grocer’s. Mr. McKessie, ( spelt phonetically) would take our list, gather the groceries and put them all in a big cardboard box.

And because we were good customers he always delivered them to our house free of charge. But he wasn’t nearly as much fun as old Mr. Mahon. Even so, he was a nice man.

All Things Fresh
So there were very many common services such as home deliveries like:

• Farm eggs

• Fresh vegetables

• Cow’s milk

• Freshly baked bread

• Coal for our open fires

Delivery Services
A man used to come to our house a couple of times a week with farm fresh eggs.

Another used to come every day with fresh vegetables, although my father loved growing his own.

Our milk, topped with beautiful cream, was delivered to our doorstep every single morning.

Unbelievably, come think of it now, our bread came to us in a huge van driven by our “bread-man” named Jerry who became a family friend.

My parents always invited Jerry and his wife to their parties, and there were many during the summer months. Kids and adults all thoroughly enjoyed these times. Alcohol was never included, my parents were teetotallers. Lemonade was a treat, with home made sandwiches and cakes.

The coal-man was another who delivered bags of coal for our open fires. I can still see his sooty face under his tweed cap but I can’t remember his name. We knew them all by name but most of them escape me now.

Mr. Higgins, a service man from the Hoover Company always came to our house to replace our old vacuum cleaner with an updated model.

Our insurance company even sent a man to collect the weekly premium.

People then only paid for their shopping with cash. This in itself has been a huge change in shopping in my lifetime.

In some department stores there was a system whereby the money from the cash registers was transported in a small cylinder on a moving wire track to the central office.

Some Of The Bigger Changes
Some of the bigger changes in shopping were the opening of supermarkets.

• Supermarkets replaced many individual smaller grocery shops. Cash and bank cheques have given way to credit and key cards.

• Internet shopping… the latest trend, but in many minds, doing more harm, to book shops.

• Not many written shopping lists, because mobile phones have taken over.

On a more optimistic note, I hear that book shops are popular again after a decline.

Personal Service Has Most Definitely Changed
So, no one really has to leave home, to purchase almost anything, technology makes it so easy to do online.
And we have a much bigger range of products now, to choose from, and credit cards have given us the greatest ease of payment.

We have longer shopping hours, and weekend shopping. But we have lost the personal service that we oldies had taken for granted and also appreciated.

Because of their frenetic lifestyles, I have heard people say they find shopping very stressful, that is grocery shopping. I’m sure it is when you have to dash home and cook dinner after a days work. I often think there has to be a better, less stressful way.

My mother had the best of both worlds, in the services she had at her disposal. With a full time job looking after 9 people, 7 children plus her and my dad, she was very lucky. Lucky too that she did not have 2 jobs.

There is an excessive amount of traffic coming from your Region.

#EANF#

NP Business and Trade Tip: Ideas to Diversify Your Practice Income

Many practices are being squeezed in the middle these days. Reimbursement is being reduced (or rules are being made to reduce it) and overhead is rising. It is simple economics when it comes to having a profitable practice…more money has to come in than go out.There are many ways a practice can increase their income — seeing more patients and reducing overhead are just two of the ways you can achieve this. Another is income diversification — increasing the products and services you offer to your patients and clients.When exploring your options you will want to me familiar with the Stark Laws (basically, you cannot refer only to your services), and you need to make sure the product/service is congruent with your practice model. For example offering Botox makes no sense if your practice is pediatrics or mental health. With that said, here are just a few ideas to help you brainstorm what you can add on to your practice to generate more in revenue.If you are not getting enough visits, consider changing your services to offer walk-in/ a-la-cart type services in an after-hours format. Your own patients will then come to your office rather than the urgent care down the road and you’ll attract more clients who may become your primary patients.Pharmaceutical Dispensing. This will depend on your own state laws, so be sure to check your practice act first. You can order and dispense medications and supplies at a profit to your clinic. consider other oral and injectable medications. You’ll need adequate storage and be familiar with dispensing guidelines.
Business Services. Offer services to local businesses. Perhaps they need pre-employment physicals, drug screens, wellness program or available for quick appointments for on the job injuries. You’ll be able to set up contracts with many of these companies and become their go-to office for services.
Leasing/Subleasing. If you own a building or lease a large office, consider leasing/subleasing out space to compatible services. Think mental health, nutrition or massage therapy.
Specialty Procedures. Consider various procedures such as filling lap bands, cosmetic procedures and tattoo removals. All of have the benefit of being generating cash revenue, eliminating additional cost of billing insurance.
Laboratory Services. If you are sending all of your patients to an outside laboratory for needed lab work, consider bringing it in house. You can negotiate a contract with your lab service, draw the labs in house and bill the patient for the services. You’ll often be able to increase your own revenue while offering patients a significant savings.
Weight loss Programs. There are a variety of weight loss programs you can take advantage of, that offer tremendous benefit to your patients while increasing your bottom line.These are just a few of the ways you can think outside the box and offer valuable services to your patients while you increase your revenues. When evaluating any of these services, be sure to weigh your patients needs and of course, add value to their lives and experiences.Your Actions Steps: Assessment: Sit down and look at your practice income. Where does your income come from? Which payers are paying what percentage of your gross income? Additionally, if you have not already looked at your overhead do so now. How efficient is your office running? Where is the waste (which is in almost every office)?
Brainstorm with your partners and staff different ways you can add services and/or products that make sense. Put all ideas on the table even if they feel like they don’t fit.
List the pros and cons of each idea to get a sense of what really might work. You’ll want everyone involved in this process. If you don’t feel like you have enough ideas, start asking your clients what they would like to see in your practice. Consider adding a suggestion box — you’ll be amazed at the feedback you get — especially when it’s anonymous.
Read your state practice act to be clear on any rules/regulations that may interfere with your plan.
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