Stock Sales

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Stock Sales

Break-Even Analysis

POS SOFTWARE

Today many retailers who are approaching financial institutions are being asked by them to provide estimates. It is not that these institutions are worried about security as most of these loans the government is helping out with that now, what they are concerned with is can you pay the loans?

One of the best tools to reassure these people is the break-even analysis,  something that I have discussed here a lot but now seems to be mentioned a lot more.

The Break-even point, where profits are equal to expenses!

 

Although because of coronavirus, its all the rage now. It has however widespread use beyond that e.g. how much extra sales do I need to cover a proposed shop fit to make my initial investment back, how much additional sales do I need to pay back the setup and running costs of a loyalty program or how much extra sales do I need to increase my shop hours?

It is an invaluable starting point for finding out where you are at and where you can go. In this case here, is it better for the business to spend its spare money on a shop fit, a loyalty program or to increase its hours?

Here what the financial institutions want to know now is how much business could you lose and still pay your way? 

Now what people often do is give the figures to the accountant and let them do the analysis, which is what these financial institutions want but now they are being very flexible and often will take your figures. 

To calculate a shop's break-even point in you need to know the values of three variables: You can get it out of your profit and loss accounts

Sales turnover: This is simply your turnover (this one is generally easy to get)

Now go through your expenses and put them into these categories.

Fixed costs: These are costs that don’t change whether you sell a few or a lot. These are the costs of just keeping the door of the shop open.

Some examples are 

Rent

Full-time staff

Insurance

Electricity bills 

Bank repayments

Accountant fees

These need to be added up.

Variable costs: These are costs that depend on sales, the more you sell the higher they are:

Part-time staff

Cost of goods sold

Credit card fees

Now, these need to be added up too.

Notes here:

Some of these costs can get programmatic as to which category they are in when there is doubt the rule is to put them in fixed. Generally, unless they are huge, it does not matter much.

Also, often people argue that some of these variable costs change dramatically depending on volume. Well in most situations unless you go pie in the sky, they do not change that much, e.g. you can get a better margin on many items if you sell heaps but are you likely to sell heaps? Like everything, you do need some intelligence to use this analysis.

Now the formula is

Variable profit = (1- (Variable costs)/Turnover)   This gives you your shop profit for each $1 you sell.

Now the Break-even point is (Fixed cost)/(Variable profit)

 

Say for example you had a turnover of $550,000 

Your Fixed costs are $60,000 a year

Your cost of goods sold is $370,000

Your other variable costs are $40,000

So your variable cost is here is $370,000+n $40,000 = $410,000 

Variable profit = (1- (Variable costs)/Turnover)   This gives you, your Variable profit = (1- (410,000)/550,000) = 0.218

Now the Break-even point is (Fixed cost) /(Variable profit). This gives you your Break-even point as  (60,000)/(.218) = $235,714.29

This would signify that this business is relatively healthy from coronavirus as it can continue with over half the loss of its sales.

Once you get used to doing it, you will find that it typically is like half an hours work.

Now what a lot of retailers would do now is look at their basket reports in their point of sale software, see what a typical basket profit is and divided that into the Break-even point. This determines how many sales they need a day, but that is just the start because there are heaps you can do with it and this will be a subject for a future post.

If there is a lot of interest, I am quite happy to do a webinar on this calculation, so please let me know.

 

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Your stock onhand now!

POS SOFTWARE

Now, the stock levels in many shops are a mess. The reality is that the world is moving on and you need your stock right e.g. summer clothes in winter do not sell well. 

This needs to be addressed. 

I suggest that you look at a report that contains the sales of the stock items and the stock on hand figure. Here is one such report, the top N stock report which you can find in register reports here.
 

 

Put in the last two months and ten million-selling lines to include everything.


Now you will get a report, that has current sales figures and stock on hand.

 

 

Now you need to review these items ASAP

 

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Different types of margins

POS SOFTWARE

Margins are often considered as being the most important KPI in stock control.

 

 

Like everything, once you get into it, it gets more complicated as different shops tend to have different needs and requirements. So we have a few different types of margins actually, and it is useful to run through them.

Gross profit margin

This is the difference between profit before expenses such as salaries, rent, advertising etc. you earned, and the cost of goods sold generally expressed as a percentage of revenue.

= 1 - (cost of the wholesale price) /(revenue) 

for example, you buy the goods for $35, you sell them for $60, so it becomes

1- 35/60 = .42 

Which as express as a percentage: 0.42 * 100 = 42%.
This is how you calculate gross profit margin

Your suppliers can give you this figure, and I strongly suggest that you ask for the gross profit margin, not the markup which some suppliers will provide you as it inflates their profit figure.

Actual margins

Is the actual margin with discounts included that you are getting? In the real world often what we sell at, is not what the supplier recommended prices are and as I discussed it already here, click here for more details.

Net profit margin

Is much harder to determine and involves you putting into the costs such items as salaries, rent, advertising etc. into the costs. The problem a point of sale software has is that much of this information is not available to it. Your accountant should be able to give you an approximate figure which will be in the form of

Your cost for the shop = factor x (cost of wholesale goods) + (fixed fee)

As the fixed fee is minimal on each item sold, what most people do is multiply the cost of wholesale goods by the factor. So say the accountant said the factor is 18%, the  actual margin is for example 35% for the item above then your net profit margin for this item is 35%-18% = 17%

This is a very useful figure to keep in the back of your head, as if you know an item has a margin of 15%, then if your is 18% which is often what it is in retail, you are losing money on that item. Note of course if you have lotto, you may need a few factors.

There is, of course, no definite answer to what is a good margin. It depends on your business, so I suggest you check with your respective industry and the ATO benchmarking here for an idea of what margins you should be getting. 

 

 

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More data = more accuracy

POS SOFTWARE

We are the only point of sale system. I know that has data mining so our users are lucky that can drive through their tons of data unaided for free. 

With margins so low now in retail, you need every help you can get to gain those few extra percentage points that make or break a business. 

Today business is about data and analysing.

Here is one example, SMB has a significant problem with setting up sales targets that are reasonable as who has time to go through every stock item and make a sales budget. Yet if these sales budgets are:

1) If they are too high soon, no one pays attention to them

2) If they are too low, then its no challenge, what people tend to do here is once they make the budget to stop.

What can help drive sales are targets that are challenging and believable?

Well, our clients have an automatic system that can do that now. It is the focus number. It will give you a reasonably good idea of what sort of movement you can expect from every item in your shop. It is a weekly budget.

Here is how you set it up.



It is easy to set up, and use for details click here.

With capable software, you can assess your stock sales better. You can see what you did right and what you did wrong this week.

For details on how to do this, please, click here.

 

 

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Market researching products to sell

POS SOFTWARE

Your POS System can tell you what has sold well in a department and it will tell you what has sold well with another product. This is all good stuff for upselling. The problem is that you are looking at is what was in your store, which is only a tiny subset of the products available plus it is only telling you what *WAS*. What you need to know is what is *NOW* and what will *BE*!

Here is a tip to help you to do this which you can do.

In Amazon Australia, you will find the best seller's list here

Now pick a department say "Pet Supplies" and out will pop all the top sellers here 

These are the top-selling items updated hourly, so it is current information.  

Now go through the items and see which ones appeal to you. You will see the sales ranking. If you click on the items, you will see a lot of details, including what people think about these items.

I am sure it will give you a lot to think about them.

The best part about it is these are local products.

Now if you wanted to see what people in the US were buying, after all, they are not that different to Australian consumers, you can check the US website here

Be careful as although many think, that the US market is more advanced than ours. I am no so sure of this in my experience. It is an odd combination of being more advanced and more behind us plus its a different market with different cost, benefit and requirements so be cautious about using it. Still because of its Winter/Summer being reversed there many of you will get many goods ideas of where the market is moving.

 

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Impulse marketing

POS SOFTWARE

I was reading an article in better retailing here. It certainly gave me something to think. Pepsi has a Head of Impulse category, and he explained how the PepsiCo system works and that in one trial it increased sales by 17%.

Well, it is straightforward to do with our system, will not take you very long to set up, and if it works why not try it?

And its easy in our point-of-sale system to do it.

Go to Register reports.

 

 

Now select "Top N Stock Sales for a Given Period."

 

 

You will want about 40 items with say the last three months of sales so on our listing which will look like this.

 

Checked that the top 40 items are right in the front with good facing, so they are noticeable by the public.  

Give it a shot and see how you go. 

If it works, I would suggest going over each department and making sure that the top 40 of each department are with good facing. 
 

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Margin on eCommerce

POS SOFTWARE

I attended yesterday, the New Retail ’19 which is Australia’s largest retail gathering. It brought together over 2500 retail leaders and learners for a three immersive day to explore omnichannel retail, fulfilment strategy and partnerships. Some of the stuff was an eye-opener, and it is going to take me a while to digest much of it. 

New Retail 19

The first point I wish to discuss is the margins required for e-commerce with some real data supplied at the show. I will explain it point by point to give you a professional appreciation of how these people think plus give you a feel of how it works and what sort of product you require.

What happened was a company decided to advertise a product using keywords in Google advertising. These are the advertisements that you see on the top, left and bottom of the screen when you look up something up in google. So they put in an advertisement into Google. This is the result

 

  Raw figures Calculated figures
Metric     
Impressions 2,165,947  
Clicks 161,756  
Click through rate (CTR)      7.47%
Cost per click (CPC) $0.35  
Marketing costs   $56,752.24 
Orders 4,303  
Revenue $295,322.70  
Effective revenue share (ERS)     19.17%

 

The raw figures are the ones that they put in, and the calculated values are the ones that they derived.

Impressions: This is the number of times that the advertisement was shown.  In this case, it was shown over 2 million times.

Clicks: Is the number of times that someone went to the advertisement. 

Click through rate (CTR): Is the percentage of how many times the advertisement is clicked compare to how many times it is shown. This is very important as if this is low then Google shows your advertisement less so even if you are prepared to pay Google will not show it. What Google says is that your advertisement is less relevant to their users' requests so they will give their users more relevant information. 

Cost per click (CPC): Is how much this person paid every time someone clicked the advertisement.  

Marketing costs: Is the amount that was paid for the advertisement.

Orders: This is the number of orders the company got 

Revenue: This is how much the orders added up to, I am not sure if this includes shipping costs and other products that were sold by them.

Effective revenue share (ERS): This is the line I wanted to get too. What this is, is the cost of the advertising to revenue. In this case, it was 19.17%. 

The point here is that this particular item, putting aside all other costs requires 19.17% of the revenue to pay for the Google advertisement, that does not include many other costs, e.g. website, storage, etc. You need to pick your product.

 

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Sales targets that are challenging and believable

POS SOFTWARE

A major problem with setting up sales targets is that 

1) If they are too high soon, no one pays attention

2) If they are too low, then its no challenge, what people tend to do here is once they make the budget to stop.

What you need are sales targets that are challenging and believable?

Well, our clients have an automatic system that can do that now. It is the focus number. It will give you a reasonably good idea of what sort of movement you can expect from every item in your shop. It is a weekly budget.

Here is how you set it up.



It is easy to set up, and use for details click here.

With effective software, you can assess your stock sales better. You can see what you did right and what you did wrong this week.

For details on how to do this, please, click here

 

 

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The years 10 busiest shopping days are here

POS SOFTWARE

Studies in the US  which I believe are valid here show that 45% of all shopping traffic in bricks-and-mortar shops in the Christmas season occurs on the following ten days. 

  1. Friday, November 23 – Black Friday (Today - Less important then in the US but rapidly growing)
  2. Saturday, November 24
  3. Saturday, December 1
  4. Saturday, December 8
  5. Saturday, December 15
  6. Friday, December 21
  7. Saturday, December 22 – Super Saturday
  8. Sunday, December 23
  9. Wednesday, December 26
  10. Saturday, December 29

Peak shopper times are between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

 

Looking at the list, it seems like a lot of Saturday work coming up.

These days are the ones that you need to plan and have your rosters, stock and signage right.

Warning

It is also a good idea to have someone special doing security on those days too; I am a great believer in the theory that much of the security problems in retail can be solved by having grandmother greet everyone personally that comes into the shop.

 

 

 

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Stock Performance Reporting by supplier

POS SOFTWARE

It is said that "The devil is in the detail."

In retail, its the item that sells not the category or the department! 

A supplier rep is coming to see you, no doubt they are a friendly person. They have been briefed, they have an excellent overview of the market for their product, the odds are they know how their stock is moving in your store better then you do and they know your shops potential for their product better than you but they also have an agenda to get you to sell more of their product.

So what you need to be is briefed too and with a point of sale software, you can and should be able to look at this supplier's range in your shop and see exactly to the item level what is selling. How fast their items are selling? Which items are making the money?  So you can determine which of their items are worth investing.

Your stock performance report helps to answer such questions. 

What I will do here is take you through a review on one such report and what you can learn from this report.

Go to register reports>Suppliers>Suppliers sales trend, see the arrow in green

 

Supplier sales trend menu

There are the ad-hoc, excel and OpenOffice import which please ignore for the time being although I do suggest later using it to produce summary reports.

Now the options, I picked are here.

Supplier trend options

I picked an arbitrary supplier FAS. Again ignore the extra options for now and press view report. 

Supplier sales trend report

Here’s how it goes:

Look at the arrow in red, you have 19 of this item now, but you never sell any of these items. It is a worry.

Conversely look at the item in blue, you have none in the shop, and you have sold heaps of these items, what gives here?

Now in green what you will see is that one of the stock items is in negative. This is not a good sign as it shows your stock quantities are not entirely right. 

It all comes down to this

By looking at these items in detail, you can see which items are selling well. You can bring up this with the rep as you now have a clearer idea of what you need and what to order. 

 

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