A survey we conducted with 100 shop owners who owned all types of retail businesses showed that 7 out of every 10 shop owners have another full time job. This is not surprising as the retail industry limited to no specific kind of people with very little barriers to entry.
Notwithstanding, as a retailer with another full time job, managing your shop simultaneously can be downright tedious and confusing. It’s also the reason why shops in such situations collapse so easily or never seem to grow, especially when the distance between the shop’s location and the full time job is very far.
The question we ask is; should this be the case? Should it be near impossible for you to manage your shop successfully together with a 9-5 full time job?
The answer is No.
Now ask yourself these questions:
- How do the owners of big box shops such as Shoprite, Game, MrP etc manage their hundreds of branches all over the world without being there?
- Is it a rule that, managing your shop must be so much harder than normal if you have another full time job?
- How is it that most retail businesses in Africa are not able to scale beyond the first one or two locations and yet still, foreign businesses even scale beyond their continents?
- What is making it hard for retailers in such situations to successfully grow and manage their businesses?
A common excuse we usually hear is “Owners of retail businesses like Shoprite have millions in cash to market, hire more people and essentially pay to make their work easy”. The truth is that as much as capital is a necessary ingredient to help scale your business, capital on its own will only fund a sinking business.
As the owner of a small retail business who can’t be present in the business 24/7, there is still a lot of strategies you can put in place to help make your work easier and build a foundation for growth.
Number #1: Start keeping your sales and inventory records using a software or mobile app
Unless you are not interested in managing your business more easily and growing it at the same time, then you can definitely keep using manual methods for tracking your sales and inventory records; writing it in notebooks, getting your sales people to take pictures of what has been recorded and manually calculating it every day. That is if you can get the time to do that.
If you have another full time job, tracking your sales and inventory manually is not only inefficient, time consuming and error-prone, but you expose your business to theft by employees, overpricing items, underpricing items and driving away customers because your employees become very inconsistent.
Walk into a shop with lots of items and ask for the price of an item. 1 out of 3 times, the sales attendant will mistakenly give you a wrong price or totally forget.
This is all because you the owner has decided not to put any software in place to help in the sales and inventory tracking process.
Even more, the lack of software for managing your shop is costing you money and headaches. Each day after work, you will have to move all the way to your shop to check your records, and if it happens to be too far away, you try to allocate time over the weekend for your visit. Your employees are having a field day and it’s all in your pocket.
A computerized system for managing your shop can be your saviour when you have another full time job. If you want more insights about this, you can checkout out our inventory and sales software: Sumundi Keepsales. Specially built for shop owners like you.
Number #2: Hire a supervisor to be in charge of receiving new stock from your suppliers and handling new purchase orders while you are away
A huge portion of your responsibility as a shop owner is ordering new stock from suppliers, receiving the stock, ensuring the right quantities are received and shelved properly, but unfortunately, your other full time job takes a lot of flexibility away from you making it hard to properly schedule these activities.
What we see most shop owners do is to delegate this role to their sales attendants. This easily encourages theft and sales skimming.
So instead, hire a supervisor and delegate this task. It doesn’t have to be a full time supervisor but simply someone who comes in at pre-determined times to handle all supplies and shelving activities in your place.
This strategy pairs perfectly with having a software in place as all purchases, supplies and invoices can be properly recorded. This means that, even on a break at your other work place, you can simply login to your software and immediately checkup on all the inventory activities that have happened.
There is no retail business that has scaled without mid-level supervisors. You the owner, can’t do it all except you can be present at your shop 24/7. Even then, you will need to hire a supervisor if you are serious about growing.
Number #3: Reach out for the services of an external stock taking team to perform regular stock audits at scheduled time intervals.
A few inputting mistakes are bound to happen. Entering the quantity of 2 instead of 1 in your software. Good thing is that, because all your data is computerized, your software can easily help you retrace your steps to correct whatever mistake you made.
Furthermore, how do you put measures in place to make sure that your employees and supervisor desist from acts such as stock and sales theft?
Stock taking cements the first 2 proven strategies. Regular stock taking by an external team helps you to quickly uncover inventory inconsistencies with the aid of your software and detect if any illegal activity is being done by your employees.
You can hire a stock taking team with Sumundi for any day and we will definitely be there to do your checks for a very affordable fee as well.
This strategy is essentially the pillar of all the other 2 strategies in making sure that even if you are not around for weeks, the business will be built on strong foundations.
Number #4: Create an effective daily sales collection system.
You now have a software in place to help you monitor your inventory and sales from wherever you are. A supervisor to handle suppliers and shelving and an external stock taking team to be your “police”. What now happens to the actual cash sales that is collected.
Many shop owners because of their absence, leave their daily sales in the shop for days, sometimes weeks before collection. Keeping all the money in your shop can be dangerous and susceptible to mismanagement by your employees who may end up using portion of the sales for random expenses and lie about the cost later on.
The best practice is firstly to try and make use of digital channels for receiving payments directly into your business’ account. This eliminates cash mishandling or the possibility of a loss.
If receiving payments digitally is not the most optimal option for you, then what you do is to create a policy where each day’s sales are deposited into your business’ digital account at the end of the day by a designated employee.
Don’t leave cash sales in the shop for more than a day. This is a thumb rule. With these two options for daily sales collection, you can be away from your shop for long periods of time without anxiety. Coupled with the software in place, you already know how much sales to expect to be deposited in your business’ account at the end of each day.
Sumundi Keepsales allows you to also directly receive payments from your customers right from the software. This also aids in making everything centralized and faster.
Walk into any hugely successful shop with lots of growth and you will find all the 4 strategies deeply implemented and enforced within the business. There is no way around it, and as a shop owner with another full time job, it is more imperative to put these measures in place.
Managing your shop will become exponentially easier, save you hours of management time and millions in cost, losses and theft even. Even more, these proven strategies will help build a strong foundation for your retail business and set it up for growth internationally.
“Paying attention to simple little things that most men neglect makes a few men rich.”
– Henry Ford
We hope you picked up everything in this write up and move to implementing it immediately in your business. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you need support on implementing these strategies for your business.
We wish you the very best.