Bill's Business Blog

Two things that a shop owner should invest in if they want to run their business more efficiently

If you want to run your shop more efficiently, here are two things that you should consider spending your money on:

Self-service stocktake software

Stocktaking is an important part of running any type of retail business. It helps you to fine-tune your approach to ordering inventory, as you can determine if you have ordered too much or too little in the past few months. It will also help you identify stock losses and then get to the root cause of these losses; for example, stock being stolen or stock being damaged whilst it is in your shop's storage area.

However, manual stocktaking, using a pen and paper, is incredibly time-consuming and can take several days, if your shop sells thousands of different goods. If you're frustrated by how much of your time is taken up by this activity and you have some business capital to spare, then you should consider investing in some self-service stocktake software.

When used in conjunction with stocktake scanners, this software can speed up the process of counting your inventory. As you scan the items, the quantity of each type of product is noted by the software (after you have installed it on your computer) and the total quantities are added up automatically. The software can then generate a stocktaking report which provides you with an accurate and clear overview of all of the stock that is currently on your premises.

This type of software is simple to install and could drastically cut down on the amount of time you have to devote to this important -- but laborious -- business activity.

A maintenance service

The condition of any retail space that is used regularly will deteriorate. The lightbulbs in the shelving units may blow, the automatic doors may develop faults or the floor tiles may start to loosen.

If you're relatively good at DIY and are, as a result of this, currently handling all of the maintenance work yourself, then it might be time to outsource this to some local tradespeople.

The reason for this is as follows: even if it only takes you twenty minutes to repair a malfunctioning automatic door, or five minutes to replace a few blown light bulbs, this time will gradually add up to several hours as you perform more and more of these tasks.

This is inefficient and a waste of your business skills. These are hours that you could have spent on tasks directly related to running your business, such as interviewing and hiring new staff, ordering stock, finding new product suppliers, etc.

As such, by outsourcing the maintenance work, you can free up time and focus on doing the type of work that will keep your shop operating in as efficient a manner as possible.