Our goal with Chilli Accounting is to allow businesses to save time, stress less and get ahead. One of the key aspects of this is getting the fundamentals of business operations and administration sorted. In 2016 the first place to start is having the right technology to allow the business to thrive and grow.

Nowhere is this more important than in retail. The everyday challenges facing your business in terms of fluctuating consumer demand, cost increases and changing government regulations provide enough headaches.

Stock is always a challengeretail-stock-technology-solutions-chilli-accounting

Then quite often the biggest headache of all is stock. Striking the right balance between keeping costs of storage low and write offs down with having enough on hand to satisfy your customers is tricky. Stock ties up your cash flow as well. So it is really important to have your stock holding as efficient as possible to free your precious cash up for other business expenses.

This challenge is compounded when you think that a significant amount of small businesses only track their inventory manually. Not only is this sucking up precious time but the chances of error are high.

So having a slick operation powered by technology, that creates efficiency and profitability, is a really important step. Luckily, in the retail space, help is at hand with some brilliant apps.

Great point of sale software is key

The best cloud POS software will now sync with your inventory management, meaning it automatically updates as soon as a sale has been made. This gives you instant visibility of your stock levels and from browser, ipad or phone, whatever device you want.

These systems will allow you to set automatic reordering levels and help with predicting inventory levels required throughout the year.

Additionally, mobile payment solutions become easy when you can take payment on the go from a tablet.

Vend is one of the solutions in this space that we talk about with our clients as it handles all the above issues well. It supports multiple bricks and mortar stores and also your online operations.

Vend also integrates really well with Xero accounting software. For example, it posts the daily sales automatically to the right area in Xero. So Vend & Xero combined become a complete POS, inventory and accounting solution.

And there are other really good POS apps. Some to check out are Square and Shopify.

Running your team is also a challengeRetail-staffing-technology-solutions

Your amazing team is what helps make your business a success. However, staff scheduling can take up a serious amount of your day. Then on top of that you have the job of working out who should get paid what. The best apps should be able to release time back into the business for both you and your staff.

Deputy is scheduling and time attendance software which helps you find available staff and publishes schedules. Staff can clock in and out using their mobiles. Time sheets are then created for you to approve and send straight through to payroll in Xero. This means you can pay your staff and update your accounts all in one go.

Sales data from Vend can also be pulled into Deputy to allow you to see how your staff scheduling matches up to your customer volumes, allowing you to make adjustments to future schedules. Then, to cap it all off, your overall business performance can be seen from some of the excellent reporting available in Xero.

And there is more…

One of the fun parts of our job at Chilli is to help our clients put together solution packages like this, which integrate well and give you back time for your business. There are a lot more of these solutions to check out and we have talked about many of them in our previous blogs.

For us, our relationship with our clients is about much more than accounts, tax and VAT returns (of course we do all that too!). So if you have challenges with your retail business please come and have a chat to us.