If you ever have problems managing the money and numbers side of your business then…
A Small Business Is Never Too Small to Be Uitililsing a Point of Sale System
A few weeks ago, I stopped in at my local whole foods store for a smoothie. As I wandered up and down the aisles, I noticed a sunscreen product sitting on the shelf out of date. A quick check of the two lined up behind it revealed all were well past their ‘use by’ date.
I grabbed up all three boxes and headed for the counter. While inspecting them with the staff, we also discovered two of the three items were marked the same price, while one of them was marked at more than five dollars different.
But it got worse. With only a cash register to track sales no one knew how long these items had been sitting on the shelf, which supplier they’d come from or how much they’d paid for each unit. Unfortunately, this small family run business had no choice but to throw hard earned money straight into the bin.
If I asked you why you’re in business what would you say? I’m willing to bet the answer is to make money. Yet, scenarios like that of my local whole foods store are common place among Small Business.
So how can running a point of sale system help?
Knowing and understanding your demographic.
Let’s go back to my whole foods store and take a look at their smoothies. Six staff are taking and making orders all day long. There is one size and eight flavour options. Each smoothie sale is entered as $9 under the ‘fresh’ option on a cash register. The ‘fresh’ option is also used to record any fresh item in-store like organic fruit and vegetable sales. When I asked how many smoothies they were selling per day, they couldn’t tell me. In terms of traffic and flow, they knew their busy periods, but the rest was all guess work.
If the store were running a Point of Sale (POS) system, each smoothie flavour would become its own product with the ability to be tracked and measured. Having these figures not only gives you the tools to correctly price products but helps organise staff rosters, identify blockbuster products and determine those that are dead weight.
Track your costings.
As the smoothie ingredients are also sold in-store, when something runs low, a staff member runs out and takes it from stock on the shelf. Because stock coming into the store to sell isn’t recorded, neither is stock taken off the shelves. Nor is wastage. It is virtually impossible to determine how much stock is being used each week.
Product = dollars and you need to know where it’s going. A POS system will track what’s being sold and what’s being used as product. What’s being wasted and what’s unknowingly walking out the door.
Know your overall numbers.
A cash register does just that. Registers cash sales. So yes, you do get an overall idea of what is coming into your business. But that’s about where it stops.
With the push of a button, a POS system can provide all the necessary numbers, figures and trends needed to take effective control of your business. Advanced features can even track bills and outgoings and find the average point in the month where you’ve covered your expenses and started making a profit.
My whole foods store is a much-loved local Small Business with a great overall product in their smoothies, but as they have discovered, a business leaking money can only be sustained for so long.
The reality is without a system in place you’re running your business blind. We see it on a daily basis, and it’s costing hard working Small Businesses, tens of thousands of dollars per year. A Small Business is never too small to be utilising a Point of Sale system.
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