Independent and small retailers often complain about their big business competitors and the barrier they present to expansion when, in fact, the biggest barrier can be found within. This is why I recommend that small businesses spend more time competing with themselves. In my own retail business I have a single report I focus on most of the time. It is a following year to date and month to date comparison by department and category this year against the last. I compare unit sales and revenue. This one report drives most business decisions. So, instead of spending too much time worrying about the national chain store down the road is doing, I am competing, this year, with what I did last year.

Our Point of Sale software provides more than 70 reports but it is this one report which guides the business. It’s easy to follow, like any good report, and quick to get a grasp of.

The report lets me look at my business as a prospective purchaser would – purely based on numbers. Is there growth, if so, how to achieve more. Is there a fall away, if so, where and why.

Running a retail business is pretty straightforward if you have access to up to date accurate data and that is what this report provides.

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