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Retail businesses run on tiny profit margins. If you want to succeed as a retail store owner, you need to focus on money-saving, not just money-making. This might seem easier said than done, but here are some practical tips to help you be more money savvy as a retail owner.
Tips for the Retail Store Owner
Consolidate Or Refinance High-Interest Debt
When your business was first getting started, it’s likely that you had to take on some debt to get it going. If you have little in the way to credit history or revenue to show yet, then your small business loans probably came with some less than ideal terms and rates.
Luckily, you don’t have to be stuck with these terms. Refinancing can help you pay off any older high-interest debt in favor of getting a new loan with more favorable rates and better terms. Consolidating can turn your more expensive debts into a much more affordable monthly payment.
Automate The Details
Time is money when you’re a small business owner. Every extra second spent on a task impacts your earning potential.
You can’t get more hours in the day, but you can use automation to win back some of that waste time. Automation allows you to take a hands-off approach over a lot of your more trivial tasks.
- Auto-schedule. Forget your spreadsheets and calendars and instead automatically schedule your staff with an AI system. AI will remember how busy you were on this week in previous years and schedule the appropriate number of staff.
- Bookkeeping. Bookkeeping software can automate a lot of your more tedious finance tasks. Set up some automatic payment reminders, schedule recurring invoices, and import and categorize your expenses without wasting hours looking over your books every month.
- Payroll. You can use software to automatically deal with tasks like direct deposits, issuing paychecks, and paying payroll taxes.
- HR. HR software can help to streamline some more time-consuming tasks like applicant tracking, onboarding, time-off management, and employee self-service. This can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
When you’re looking for software, choose options that can be easily integrated with other systems in your business to save you even more time and money. For example, if your payroll system and your point of sale provider can talk to your bookkeeping software, you can make your life even easier.
Planning ahead is a great idea, but don’t pay ahead if you don’t need to. For example, if your business only needs one delivery van at the moment, don’t buy two yet, just because you’ll need another in the future. Instead of renting an enormous warehouse that you can’t fill yet, go for smaller units.
Choose Used Instead Of New
Everyone likes brand new things, especially if you’re a retail store owner, but used equipment can be half the price with almost the same amount of utility. You can get used furniture, office equipment, and computers that still work like new, without the high price. Buying used might not be as exciting as buying new, but it will save you a lot of money.
In some cases, you don’t need to buy either new or used. You could lease instead. When you lease, you will get the latest model, but not have to worry about repairs, upkeep, or depreciation. When the least ends, you often get the option to buy the equipment at a discounted price. Leasing isn’t always the best option, but there are several situations where it helps you to save money in the short and long term.
Try Low-Cost Advertising Alternatives
Instead of shelling out on billboards and TV ads, try more modern, low-cost alternatives. Try out SEO, YouTube ads, email marketing, influencers, or PPC ads to see what works best for your business. If one or more of these methods seem to work for your audience, you could save a lot of money on the cost of attracting new customers.
Optimize Your Inventory
If you have too much inventory, you will waste money on storage, depreciation, and overstock discounts. If you don’t have enough inventory, you could miss out on sales and attracting new customers.
Stocking your shelves with the right amount of inventory doesn’t have to be confusing. This is another area you can automate, with inventory management software and demand forecasting to help you keep the right amount of inventory in stock to meet demand.
Inventory financing can help too. You will have to pay interest on the funding, but the extra cash flow could help you save a lot of money later on.