Family businesses are often small businesses with operations in the local domain as a brick and mortal store. Unfortunately, many family businesses are being forced to downsize their operations or close shop because they can’t compete effectively against larger chains. Interestingly, startups are also chasing small businesses out of business because they use technology and digital solutions to operate more efficiently.
One the key reasons small family businesses are losing market share to bigger chains and tech-savvy startups is that they are neglecting meaningful tools that can be of a great assistance to small business, save them time and money. Below are three tools that a family business can use to run more efficiently.
Inventory Management Tools
If your business involves the purchase and sales of physical goods either at the retail or at wholesale level, an inventory and order management tool can be very instrumental in helping you save time and money. Inventory management tools can help you know the volume of different goods you have in stock per time so that you don’t run out of goods and inadvertently send your customers to your competitors.
The typical inventory management tool will have a barcode scanning system used at the point of sale. The barcode design automatically updates your inventory levels with a deduction of each sale. The inventory management tool will also send reorder alerts when you are running low on any stock. You can also rely on an inventory solution to provide a first-glance reporting of your sales patterns, fast-sellers, and current value of inventory.
Point of Sale (POS) Terminals
Point of Sale (POS) terminals are another important tool that could help family businesses stay ahead of the competition. The first benefit of POS systems to a family business is that it improves the efficiency on your sales point by enabling faster checkout times. A POS system makes it faster to process sales in order to reduce queues on checkout. For instance, POS bar code scanner can scan an item in 0.3 seconds while it can take up to 6 seconds to enter the SKU number of an item into regular cash registers in order to ring up the order. A faster processing time in turn makes the in-store experience less stressful for customers.
Businesses using POS systems will also save money because instances of human errors in ringing up orders are reduced. Hence, you won’t have to worry about employees undercharging customers; thereby causing lost revenue – employees won’t also overcharge customers, which could in turn make your products look more expensive. POS systems also help business owners create accurate reports on their sales processes. For instance, you’ll want to be able to measure the overall success of your business by looking at daily takings and outgoings.
However, not all POS systems are created equal, and you’ll need to expend some resource into finding the best POS systems. For instance, you may want to check out the ease with which you can integrate the POS system with your current inventory management software to ensure smooth stock and order tracking. Most POS systems are designed to print paper receipts, but your needs might be different if you have clients/customers who would prefer that you email a soft copy of their receipt to them.
Business owners rarely pay attention to surveys; yet, the survey is an important tool for getting feedback from your clients and customers. A survey tool can help you measure customer satisfaction levels so that you could identify your most satisfied customers. Satisfied customers are likely to try your new product lines, give you recurring revenue on current products, and refer you to their friends and family.
You can also use the survey to identify your unhappy customers so that you can know and fix what you are doing wrong before they start badmouthing your business all over the place. A survey has a place irrespective of the kind of business you own. A restaurant can use a survey to know customers’ thoughts on pricing, quality of food, and the nature of the service. A retail store can send a post-purchase survey to measure the in-store experience of its customers.