Management

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Management

Plastic bags in Victoria

POS SOFTWARE

 

Well, Victoria today joined most of Australia except NSW by banning single-use plastic bags today in retail.

 

 

 

This ban affects small business only as the larger retailers have long stopped plastic bags here. 

I know some of my clients now offer only paid bags. Some use paper bags. One advantage of the expensive paper bags is that the customers appreciate is that they can be given to someone with no gift wrapping required.

One problem with them that several complained about was that the plastic bags are more weather resistant than the paper. Anyone that has lived in Melbourne will know about our rain problem, no city in the world has so many changes in weather as we have, so they are wondering if they now will have to put the items in a plastic bag and then put the wrapped object in a paper bag.  

If you do supply single use plastic bags in your shop, you now need to charge for them. This is easy to set up in our point of sale software. I am not sure about the law as to whether you can sell them with customers VIP points, I was not able to get a definate answer about this. 

 

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Save paper

POS SOFTWARE

Using our software, you can save a lot of paper compared to others.

Here are some suggestions on how to do it and save trees, money, time and bother.

1) Ask yourself, do you need to print the document? 

Too often I see people print a big report when all they require is a few numbers, why print it, use the preview and cut and paste the figures you need. That is why we made the preview!

2) Before you print use the preview to check the report to make sure that it is right, it is very frustrating to print pile of statements, then see that it is wrong and then have to reprint it. Proofread it first on the screen. What I do is make a checklist of items to check before printing. 

3) Do you need all the report, maybe only print the few pages you need.

4) On the top left side of our reports, click export (where the green arrow is), so you can examine it in a wide range of electronic formats. 

My favourite that I use a lot is excel which is marked in purple. 

 

 

This will give you a lot more flexibility then printing ever would.

5) If you are thinking of mailing it, ask yourself, does the person who you are sending it to need a paper copy? Many today are more than happy to receive it electronically. If you have their email address, send them an electronic copy in PDF and if they want it printed, let them print it. 

This also saves you time in organising the printed documents, wear and tear on the printer, envelopes for mailing, going to the post office and stamps.  It also as in statements is a big saving in time, money and bother when your client claims that they never got it.

6)  If you must print, try and reuse the paper, many reports for inhouse use can be printed on the reverse side of a previous published report that you no longer need.

7) Use a cheaper grade of paper, if possible, also take advantages of special deals. One of my clients picked up a crate of paper for almost nothing. Then set up a stand in the shop and put it up for sale as well as used it internally too.

8) Store reports electronically rather than the file. This also saves on the filing cabinet space. 

9) Review what you print, do you need to write all the information that you do on receipts and statements? Besides printing receipts faster, it saves not just on paper but also wear and tear on the receipt printer too.

10) I use previous published report that I no longer need as note paper.

While we are still far away from the paperless office, which is unlikely to happen soon, there is considerable potential for you to reduce paper consumption. 

 

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Queues

POS SOFTWARE

The number of POS Cash registers you require is based on peak business volume. What happens then is that the long checkout times provide your customers with an opportunity to reconsider their purchase as such many will abandon the proposed purchase. A rule of the thumb in Australia in retail is six (6) minutes max.

The problem is not the actual time but the perceived time. 

That is why if you notice the many often near the counter, a stand with popular magazines. It is not as many think primarily to get impulsive sales; it is to keep people busy while they are waiting in the queue. Maybe they will buy the magazine if so its a bonus, but at least while they are reading, they do not do a walkout. 

Another idea frequently done is free WIFI, while people are in the queue they can fill the time productively doing facebook and email checking etc. 

Another idea is a TV screen showing the news or weather. 

Still, their maybe a better way. Instead of trying to fix the symptoms of the problem, why not try to fix the problem,

With our software what you can do is have one cash register station run multiple draws. So when it gets busy, a staff member has a draw ready to go and can serve your customers. 

It does not take any more room.

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Return on investment of point of sale software

POS SOFTWARE

One of my competitors has released recently a benchmark study of what a study of their clients would show the return on investment of point of sale software to a retailer.

The figures they come up with are impressive. Like always, they do *NOT* state what standards they use for their calculations. I strongly suspect that like always they make up their own but anyway, they quote percentages and I think it does interesting reading  

Stock (Inventory) a 3% improvement. 

I can believe this. I think its a gross underestimation.

Just being able to put a figure on it, is a big step.

 

as I have seen just being able to qualify figures and manage thousands of items in a department better is a big plus notably as it reduces dramatically stock-outs.

We have had clients that have reduced stock holding by 30%. The Wikipedia quotes examples of 25% to 30%

 

Time saved in Purchasing a 50% improvement

Once set up, which can take some time, you can use automatic orders and save, I would say often much more than 50% of your time. What people tend to do is print out an automatic (focus) order. They then look and adjust, make some changes often quite minimal and send off an order by fax or email. 

VIP a 4% improvement

Managing a VIP club is difficult without a computer system. A good VIP club in a typical shop we have is also coming in about that too. Today about 79% of Australians are in loyalty programs.  

ecommerce 6% of sales

A good website attached to your shop should now be generating at least that. We have clients that are doing much more than that. Having one means your shop is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Merchant surcharging (BNPL) sector eg Afterpay and Zip

POS SOFTWARE

Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) is now big business in Australia and growing fast. As many as 30% of Australian adults now have one or more BNPL accounts, which makes for roughly 5.8 million users nationally. Nearly half of these users say they’ve stopped using their credit card to spend goods.

Why not a BNPL customer buys $20 in your shop on EFTPOS, you surcharge 50 cents, so it costs him $20.50 which they are paying now. If they buy the same product with a BNPL card, they get it for $20 and gets good terms to pay. 

Why no fees, well the business model of the BNPL is to charge mainly the retailers not the customer in return what the BNPL companies offer is a lot of business to the merchant and quite a bit of service.  To the retailer, the first immediate problem with these services is the fees as they are looking at fees between 3 to 7 percent.  Many of their products cannot afford these fees.  Many stores cannot afford to switch from a low-cost EFTPOS model to a BNPL model.

Often I find on Lay-by most retailers would accept this loss as it is cheaper than monitoring the Lay-by plus it avoids a legal minefield. But Lay-by is only a tiny percentage of the overall trade of retailers.

The other problem is many retailers question whether the BNPL model will drive much business into their shop.  

What many retailers, that handle BNPL do is only offers those products and services that have margins good enough to pay BNPL plus restrict the use somewhat of BNPL.

All BNPL companies and I have spoken to a lot of them, have made it quite clear that they do not like surcharging. Some of the BNPL, although they do not like it, they will accept surcharging, but some will not take it. The other point is that the customers that use BNPL have made it quite clear that I do not like surcharges either. I have seen them abuse merchants on social media who do it.

This is putting every retailer in a terrible plight.  To BNPL or not to BNPL

So I welcomed the news that the Reserve Bank of Australia is questioned 'whether there are "policy implications" from "no surcharge" rules that restrict the ability of merchants to apply a surcharge to pass costs to customers – something not available to the credit card schemes.'

Consider this

As most people who have BNPL, have a few BNPL cards, if one BNPL enforces the ban on surcharges and the merchant reluctantly accepts it because they are so big. Then the public will be drawn to that BNPL, and the other BNPL which does allow surcharging will be disadvantaged. 

If the BNPL are forced to allow surcharging, I suspect few users of these BNPL will accept these fees of 3 - 7%.

We all I am sure will all be quite interested to see how this comes out. 

 

 

 

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Christmas soon coming

POS SOFTWARE

It is October now, and it is already time for retailers to get ready for the holiday season. 

As the economy is doing well now and the public mood seems positive, this looks like it will be a good Christmas. The latest figures and retail figures are showing a 0.4 percent month-over-month in August 2019.

 

source: tradingeconomics.com

This is the fastest monthly rise in retail trade since February. Plus it looks good news that the US and China are making progress with their trade war and we have the interest rate cuts and government tax rebates. So it looks good.

Now you have to act as there is still have time to be in a position to generate additional revenue if you act. You need to start planning your stock ordering, which is something our point of sale software can help you do. What we recommend is shadow and focus analysis which our system can do and I will be talking about all of these soon. 

You also need to start looking at roistering again something our point of sale can help you with all this. 

Firstly can you handle Christmas?

Is your POS system ready for Christmas!  

Start checking

If you are planning to bring in some of the old POS computers “out of the closet” to accommodate the rush period, tested it to make sure it works? If it has been in the closet for a year, who knows what state they are in now?

Check the following

Have you checked that you have all the cables to connect to this equipment?

Do you have a connection into your network where you need it?

Can this equipment be linked into your system, it been a year since it is been used?

Now try it now to see if it all works if you plug it in?

The closer it gets to Christmas, the harder it gets to repair in time.

What do you need?

What is going to happen if you have extra staff and the computer register does not work over Christmas? I have seen this happen all too often when an emergency engineer gets called out on Christmas Day.

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Managing Workflows with our point of sale

POS SOFTWARE

I do suggest rather than keeping manual notes on the side that you use the different note-taking ability in our software.

There are several advantages to doing this.

You will become in your organisation better organised

You and everyone else knows where the note is and that anywhere, you do not have to be in the shop have internet, to get that note. It is much harder to lose it. There is an old joke, "I have worked everything out. I know where everything is now where is that piece of paper?"

 

Create a better and more productivity information flow

Anyone can get on the computer and get that note. If they cannot access it, they know why?

 

Scan through your documents to find the note you required

Paper everywhere and it's a pain to search

 

History

You have a history since everyone has access to that note, everyone can contribute. When it is done, it does not get tossed so you can always get it if required.

If you want to extend the capability, you can integrate our POS Software into either Evernote or OneNote both are free on the basic version. I prefer Evernote. What I like about it then is that I can be anywhere and pull out my mobile, and make a note. 

Our company policy is to store as much as possible digitally, and I suggest that you make it your company policy too.

 

 

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Offical benchmarking of businesses

POS SOFTWARE

Come this time of year, and suddenly people start talking about benchmarking. Mainly its because one major main user of benchmarking is the large landlords and now is the time of year they start looking.

The problem is that most industry groups and I have noticed banks have long since given up on benchmarking. Every business is so different so the scores vary significantly so they have given up as it is not worth the work as the results are often way off. For example, a few days ago, one of my competitors released some benchmarking figures in an industry that we know very well. As many commented, those figures do not look right at all. As several noted, It is not even consistent internally. If you look at the number of sales and the basket value, it does not match the sales dollar figures result. However, this is often a typical problem in benchmarking and definitions used. What you need to take each figure by itself and not worry about how it matches with the totals.

So you take the number of sales and compare it to yours. 

You take the basket size and compare it to yours.

You take the basket value and compare it to yours.

And you do not worry that when you multiply it out that it does not add up, there is probably a good reason, but it is not worth working out.

So when one of my clients called me to ask what benchmarking do we support and what do we recommend as his landlord was asking. We told him that the system we recommend is the ATO Small business benchmarks. It is an official standard and is easy to use. It is free, is backed by a massive data pool with over 1.4 million business in Australia. In contrast, I have seen commercial benchmarks based on only 30 businesses. 

The method that the ATO use is public and well known to anyone with an accounting or bookkeeping background. Once your books are completed, it does not take an accountant long to produce them. If you follow the ATO explanation here, you can do it yourself.

The main problems with the ATO benchmarking are that it is extremely limited the measurements on offer, so you could not use it much for point of sale management. You are not going to get the figures. I talked about above the basket sizes, basket value, number of sales, etc. The other point is the information is about two years behind so we are in 2019/20 year and the ATO figures are mainly from 2016/17 with a large chunk, unspecified from 2017/18. Still, it is free, and it is official, so for many larger landlords, it is acceptable.  If it is not enough, well at least you have a start and learnt something so you will be able to make a better decision on the something better.  

I hope this helps.

 

 

 

Let say you are a landlord and own a shop. What you want is a long-term tenant! 

Now say a pet shop that does $800,000/year turnover in that shop

So you the landlord would select the category "Pets and pet supply retailing" in the benchmarking section here  

https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Small-business-benchmarks/In-detail/Benchmarks-A-Z/L-Q/Pets-and-pet-supply-retailing/

Look at the turnover range and see that the average such shop is about 6% to 8% rent. So you would think they would be prepared to pay $800,000 (turnover) x (6 to 8% average rent) / 52 (weeks a year) = somewhere between $923 to $1230/week

Now if you the landlord want $1,500/week, then this pet shop probably cannot do it, but if you the landlord want $1,100/week, it might be affordable for this pet shop. 

 

Now if you had a large hairdressing salon there with $800,000 turnover a year

https://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Small-business-benchmarks/In-detail/Benchmarks-A-Z/G-K/Hairdressers/

well these people if you do the calculation are prepared to pay between $1,400 and $2,300 for the right place, so your $1,500 is affordable if they want it.

 

What shopping centre owners will do is move people around to maximise the return by putting the people that are prepared to pay more in better positions. 

 

Dry cleaning is considered agency type work, and for the ATO, they think sales to being commission.  So if you are on 15% and you are doing $200,000, then the sales would be $200,000 x 15% = $30,000 sales a year. 

  

 

 

 

 

 

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Monitoring employee time and attendance

POS SOFTWARE

Our point of sale system comes with an incredibly advanced employee time and attendance, labour tracking, rostering, and data collection included free. This helps you control labour costs, minimise compliance risk, and improve workforce productivity. You can use biometrics which makes it easier and provides more verification.

One report that has proven very useful here is the  Attendance for a Given Period. What it allows you to do is instantly see who was at work on a certain day.

 

Where it has proven invaluable is for government regulatory compliance.  This is often now a requirement within your business, for you to be able to find out who and when your staff were at work. 

Check it out!

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Staff performance metrics

POS SOFTWARE

Recently we upgraded in our point of sale software the staff performance metrics, so I suggest that you take another look at it.

You will find it in register reports

Now pick in the staff section the following report

 

Now what I suggest you do is print the report out for a year to get a feel of what it can do for you. What you will see is a detailed listing of what each of your employees has done for your business. Most important check the profit figures out. If you export it into the Ad-hoc reports, you can also use it to track average transaction value, profit and average basket size for each person. This will help you to identify ways to increase these measures. 

If you use this report daily, weekly or monthly sales targets. You can use this report for goal setting and budgeting as you can track everyone individual performance.

Also, another use is that as the report would be in real-time, you can evaluate who is busiest and so you can adjust your staffing levels accordingly.

Enjoy and see how you go!

 

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