Meet Tom Shay

Small business expert Tom Shay is a fourth generation small business owner and speaker talks from experience. Shay's knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing, and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits plus build their business for the future.

Shay also works with manufacturers and wholesalers to help their staff understand the complexity and challenges these small businesses face. Helping these suppliers to have the knowledge to assist these small businesses allows the supplier to be a more valuable partner.



Here is the story of Profits Plus and Tom Shay:

Today, there is a specialty company, Profits Plus, that exists to help small businesses to increase their profits plus build their business for the future.

Tom Shay, small business management expert, created Profits Plus based upon his years of experience in a family-owned business. Tom is a fourth-generation business owner. He is also an author of thirteen books, a college text book, a columnist for over 70 trade magazines, business coach and small business keynote speaker.

With over 25 years of frontline experience in management and ownership of small businesses, Tom Shay shares and teaches from experience--not from theory! The story began like this... 

Once upon a time (about 1920), there was a man named G.W. Brown. He worked for a man named Carnes, who owned a small general store in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Carnes was not a particularly progressive business owner, and Brown found that his ideas for improving the store fell on deaf ears. Brown saw opportunities to grow the business as well as change the business because of the changing needs of the customer. Carnes was content with the status quo of doing business as it had always been done.

In secret, Brown purchased the piece of land across the street and hired a contractor to build what would become his own business: G.W. Brown's 3-in-1--Convenience, Groceries, Gas. For the next twenty years, G.W. Brown grew and adapted his business to the needs of the customers that lived in the area. Brown also took care of the businesses that were located along the banks of the Arkansas river.

Mr. Brown had five sons who worked in the family business. When G.W. Brown was ready to retire, one of the sons, Buster Brown, took over the business. Buster and his wife moved into the home over the store where Buster had grown up.

As Buster Brown continued to operate the business, it grew and grew to the point that it occupied almost an entire city block. Over seven decades, the store sold everything from groceries to clothing to appliances to household items. During that time the business continued to change as did the community.

Buster and his wife Verna had a daughter, Shirley, who worked in the store. In her early 20's, she met Frank Shay who was stationed at the nearby Army base. They married, and Frank began to work in his wife's family business. Two years later, Shirley and Frank had a son they named Tom. In the early 1960's Shirley and Frank decided to purchase their own business some sixty miles to the east in Dardanelle, Arkansas. Within a decade, the Shays had three stores in communities near the river. Tom grew up to work in the business with his parents.

In the 1970's, Shirley and Frank decided to move to Florida which was enjoying a booming economy. Tom joined his parents in Florida where family businesses continued until 1997 at which time Tom sold the last of the stores.

Now the picture was complete: four generations owning and operating family businesses. Through the years, there were several traits that remained consistent--innovative management, great staffs, wonderful relationships with customers and vendors, and unique marketing techniques. Perhaps the most important lesson taught by the elder generations was that, in every aspect of the business, it was the customer who was most important.


The Profits Plus website is an extension of that family tradition and the work we do with businesses in several formats:

  • Tom Shay writes business management and sales technique columns for trade magazines.
  • Tom Shay writes books for retail, small businesses and the vendors they depend on.
  • Tom Shay is a retail speaker who addresses conferences, trade shows, and association meetings on management issues.
  • ´╗┐Tom Shay is a retail expert who works with individual businesses to help grow their business and find solutions to their challenges.

Profits Plus provides the tools necessary for small businesses to be successful; our efforts are to help save small business owners money, as well as help them make intelligent decisions about the many aspects of their businesses. How can you get more business from your existing customers? What about staff turnover, which costs time and money to resolve? How do you increase the return on your investment?