The help and advice we provide to small business retailers often reaches beyond our POS software and into areas of small business management. We are grateful of opportunities to help small business retailers, to provide them with advice and assistance beyond what is usual for POS software companies.
As retail business owners and operators ourselves with more than 20 years experience in that area, on top of our 38 years in POS software, we have experience and knowledge on which we can draw.
In the interests of helping new retailers and retail shop mangers, here is a checklist of basic retail business advice, headlines mainly – not too much detail, just enough to remind you of key areas which need attention to build a stronger and more profitable retail business.
This checklist has been developed over the years of us supporting plenty of start-up small business retailers. The list is based on things we often see them neglect or forget.
Hiring, training and managing employees
- Create an employee manual with all employee terms and conditions.
- Hire the best employees available.
- Train your employees well. Do this by working with them, taking them into your confidence about the business, what it stands for and what you expect of them.
- Pay employees in a way which respects your faith in them.
- Share the rewards you make from the business.
- Remember, you are more responsible for employee performance than anyone since it is usually you who hire, train, manage and fire them.
- Cash is king in retail. An unprofitable business with a good cash flow can weather a storm. A profitable business with poor cash flow can fail.
- Have a strong cash management policy.
- Bank regularly.
- Keep little cash on the premises.
- Never let one single employee control the cash. Have checks and balances.
- Keep expenses to an absolute minimum.
- Watch your product margins, make the most from each product you sell that you can without hurting sales.
- Buy what sells.
- Use your software to determine replenishment stock.
- Never sell anything without tracking it.
- Use all the free touchpoints: receipts, customer display and more in your software.
- Use social media, daily.
- Be frugal.
- Know dead stock as this is too often a big overhead.
- Automate as much as you can.
- Know how to get data to guide decisions.
- Delegate, with rules.
Too often new retailers and retail store managers look for advice to react to situations. Consider the headline advice in this article early on and revisit it regularly to ensure that you have a strong and healthy business.