Starting a business is hard, to survive and thrive is a big challenge. 9 out of 10 new business will fail after 1 year. The initial days for any business are especially hard. There are some things that are essential for your business survival. These are the things to note
1. Craft a vision
Without vision you will be distracted, without vision you will lose hope and motivation. Why are you doing what you are doing? What is the end result that you wish to achieve? A better life? More income? Or perhaps to make the world a better place? Business success is possible, but the important thing is that you do not give up before you see the breakthrough. You need to keep on persevering and not give up and results will eventually come. Write a vision, and put it in front of you where you can always see it. Look at it and stay focused on the vision.
2. Set goals based on your vision
Your long term vision must translate into yearly, monthly, weekly and even daily goals. Set goals that you can clearly measure. For a business, your goal is normally your profit. How much profit do you want to make in a year? There is no right or wrong figure, but rather how much profit you desire. Bear in mind that the higher the amount you set, the harder it is to achieve them. A goal must not be too small or else it will be boring. Big goals are good but if you don’t believe that you can achieve them, you may become demotivated or even paralyzed with fear. Start with a medium-sized goal that you can achieve and you will get emotional boosts when you achieve your goals which will motivate you to do even more.
3. Keep track of your progress
See how your business is performing against the goals that you have set and see if you are making progress. If you have missed your target too many times, it is time to take drastic action and do things differently. If you are not making any profit for many months, you need to be alarmed! Get some help, seek advice or take drastic actions! People who don’t track their progress will be caught by surprise and their business die an unnecessary death. It is normally not one big bad news that kill a company, but rather a series of small bad news ignored.
Craft a vision, break your vision into goals and keep track of your progress.
POS or Point of Sales is a computer system that we use to capture sales. When a customer walked into your retail store and decided to make a purchase, he will need to bring the items to the cashier counters to make payment. The computer system in the counter is a POS or Point of Sale system. Traditionally, it was the role of cash register, and now it is replaced with POS systems. As technology advances even further, POS is no longer confined in the counter, but it can be on mobile and tablet devices as well. A POS systems often come with touch screen interface, barcode scanners, receipt printers and cash drawers.
It is important to know the purpose of POS and the benefit that it can bring to your business. With the advance of technology, it is no longer about capturing sales, but also knowing your inventory and building relationship with your customers. We will highlight all the benefits of the POS in a series of blog posts. The first and primary benefit of a POS system is to capture your sales. How does capturing sales benefit your business?
1. When you know your sales, you know the health of your company.
Good sales means you have good business. No sales means you have to react, and you have to react quick. As a retail business owner, you need to set goals on how you want your business to perform and you need to aggressively track your progress against your goal. Business is tough, you will face challenges, but the earlier you know about them, the faster you can react. Bill Gates once said, bad news must travel faster than good news. The earlier you know that something is wrong, the more time you will have to do something about it. Think of a promotion campaign, analyze how to improve traffic flow to your store or create a marketing campaign. A good POS system should be able to inform you on daily basis, how is the sales of your stores at any given time. With the advance of smartphones, a good POS system should be able to deliver sales updates directly to your phone either through email or using a mobile app.
2. Know which product is selling well
One strong advantage of a POS system is that you can know what are the item being sold. As a cashier scans each item, the system will capture what are the sold items. You should do further analysis on which product sell well and which product didn’t. What you should place in your shelf and what you should stock in your inventory must be what your customers would like to buy. Knowing your customer preferences is important. Also your customer preferences will change over time. It is good to monitor your top selling items regularly.
3. Verify your assumptions
A good POS will also help you to keep track on the timing of your sales. You need to know your hourly sales, and by knowing which hour of the day are the busiest, you can plan your manpower accordingly. Your sales will varies depending on which month of the year as well. If you are in toys business, you need to be ready for more visitors when christmas is coming. If you are selling luggage bags, your sales will be affected by the holiday seasons. Knowing your monthly sales will help you to confirm and validate your assumption on your customer’s purchasing behavior. And if your assumption is wrong, you will be quick to know.
There are many more benefit in knowing your sales, especially when the data is tied to your inventory level and your customer information. We shall cover some of the next benefit in the next blog post.