22 NOV

4 Challenges SME retailers will go through the holidays

For many retails the holiday season is the busiest time of year. Not everyone is the same, many reduce staffing and even shut down completely. Whatever your situation, the holidays can be an extremely challenging time for retailers and SMB everywhere. Here are 4 simple tips to make the holidays a happy time indeed:

Managing Cash Flow

Positive cash flow is not an overnight achievement, it can take months even years to generate the numbers necessary to sustain your business and keep your customers happy. Planning is the key, and the process must start by assessing and logging your current cash flow in every aspect of your business. Use the history and data already accumulated to create a map and summary of all cash in & outflows. This will help you make those crucial decisions during the holiday period.

The great 13-week rolling cash flow technique is one of the best methods used by retailers. Using this will allow you to prepare for seasonal trends as well as peak business periods - i.e. public events, bank holidays, weekends etc. Coupled with the right tools such as Xero, Excel and report generating EPOS system like Practi, retails and SME everywhere use these tools to keep productivity high and stress levels low when forecasting.

Managing Your Inventory

Running out of inventory in the middle of a busy Christmas rush or New Years Eve party is a nightmare, but easily avoidable. The best POS systems can track your inventory and update you on the move, giving you constant notifications to let you know when stock need replenishing. Long term this same tool can be used to track sales from the year or month before so you are easily able to predict the types of inventory quantities you will need to get through the holiday madness.

Customer Engagement

Nobody likes waiting in lines especially when the holiday rush is in full swing. In today's world, apps are the way forward. “I want that t-shirt yesterday and I don’t want to stand in line for it either!” Customisable consumer-facing apps are an effective way to ensure regular happy customers. Customers can set-up their credit card within the app and pay automatically. Encourage these customers by offering a small discount when using the app or o er a loyalty scheme, purchase 4 coffees with the app and get the 5th for free! Your customer's ability to pay in a variety of ways will also make it easier for them to pay early.

Customer Service

The holidays are a crazy time. People end up fainting in packed shopping spaces and crowded subways trying to get the best gifts for their loved ones. Often, these types upsets are due to long lines or not enough sta to help direct and advise customers on the best products. Thankfully, there is a trick to managing this mayhem. A Line Buster POS can optimise your workflow, and shorten customer wait time by up to 70%. The best POS systems can ever track your existing customer's information, adjust pricing seamlessly and even forecasting.