Retail Management

What are your plans for 4th July?

American flag with fire crackers for 4th July celebrations

courtesy of pixabay

Americans spend millions of dollars on 4th July!

We celebrate our nation’s independence day in the most American way possible and that is by spending lots of money. Be it on food, shopping or fireworks. We love to follow the traditional norms of barbecues, the American flag, and a lot of fireworks.

During the earlier days, 4th July was one of the critical days for small retail businesses. They used to plan for months for this big day. Planning up inventories, managing the staff and the crowd was a tedious task unlike now when a single point of sales system handles it all in just a few clicks.

Are you a business owner?

Look around you, be it a coffee shop, sandwich shop, grocery store or a spa and beauty salon; almost every street has one. My point is, there is competition. You have to always be on your toes to bring something new to the clients.

With 4th July around, are you wondering how are you going to manage your business and how will you cope up with the heavy competition around? Well this independence day, I have some handful tips to sustain and grow your business.

  1. Create a theme: Well foremost and the most important task is to build a background theme around your business. I personally believe in going the classic ways in this tech-savvy era that is by involving your entire team to contribute their thoughts. So, loosen up the work environment for few hours, discuss this with your team over a coffee or beer and create a theme and list of agendas.
  2. Make them feel independent: As we know it’s independence day, so let’s make our clients feel that. On this 4th July, let’s serve the feeling of independence. Now, you must be wondering, how can we serve independence? It’s simple, with goodies and discounts.
    Let’s not make everything business oriented, we can focus on being patriotic and creating awareness for a good cause. Speak with your team, what good cause will they like to work on and how can you implement all these great ideas? I know with the cutting budget it sounds all unrealistic. Well, not really, try with something as small as giving some part of the earnings from 4th July as a donation or maybe distributing small brochures with the information and importance about the day to children visiting.
  3.  Encourage flags: Flags are always the favorite part of the entire celebration. It gives us the feeling of pride and happiness. You can keep a surprise gift or discount for customers who visit you with flags with them on 4th July. You can promote this on social media and I am sure this will give some unpredicted contribution.
  4. Photo contest: We are blessed with social media and its impact on our clients is unimaginable. Plan up some small contest like discounts or goodies on posting their photos with the products. You can get as creative as you want. Use Instagram hashtags, tagging feature on Facebook and much more. You can use Twitter to promote such offers and fun things as well.
  5. Must haves on POS: There will be clients in your spa who would have planned for this day and this pampering session since months and I believe you should be fully prepared to provide the best of your service. Plan and introduce new special 4th July packages and schemes and place them right there on your POS screen. Talk about your special product of the day and its benefits. We are into impulsive shopping era. We love the idea of pampering, and special offers excite us.
    It is very important to have a good pos system. IConnect POS offers a wide range of pos customized for your business. They specialize in POS system for Salons, Spas, retail, QSR and have a wide range of features.
  6. Handouts: This may sound old school again, but we should never underestimate the power of classic marketing. The first thought we get thinking about 4th July is a parade. Focus on making the best of every opportunity you get to do good for the society and directly or indirectly, it will be reflected in your business. Distribute small samples of your product based on demographics or maybe just water. It will be a sunny day and idea of distributing any cold beverage works best.

Get creative, look beyond the regular ideas and agendas you normally plan.

Play with the numbers. Introduce discounts based on the year, day etc. for instance, cell phone numbers ending with the numeric 74 gets a discount and so on. There may be thousands of articles and ideas on managing and planning your big day, but, it depends on you and your team to find originality and connect with your audience by selecting wisely of which plan suits best for your business.

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We are into impulsive buying era.

shopping bags and money indicating impulsive buying

courtesy of Pixabay

Are you an impulsive shopper?

Take a minute, and think about how many products, items, and services you recently purchased which you no longer intend to use? I am sure there are many.

Mankind has entered an impulse buying generation. We want everything at one click, be it daily supplies, new commodities, services or be it as small as a cup of coffee; we want it all easy and quick. We demand more for valued discounts and coupons for our loyalty towards the brand.

My point here is to prove how important it is for a service provider to consider all these factors for their business development.

With the growing competition in the materialistic world, we need to make sure our marketing and sales are to the point. Be it a retail business, salons & spa or be it a coffee shop, trained staff, right ambiance for our clients and a secured reliable technology, we need it all.

When it comes to technology, it is really important to have a correct point of sales system and we need to consider various factors suitable best for our business. Each and every business is unique in its own way and when we are actually looking for options, we end up wishing for a customized version. We want something, which reduces our workload and manage our services and business.

The smart system provided by IConnect POS is something to look forward to. It is every business owner’s dream come true.

Their smart register understands the importance of impulse buying and the growth of competition. IConnect POS system provides features including customer management, royalty reporting, central management, gift cards, email, and text message marketing. These are just to name a few. IConnect have a wide range of customization options available and the products are highly secured.

So the next time you consider opening a new franchise or a business and you wish upon a perfect system to withstand this impulsive buying era, don’t let the pressure of managing your business worry you. At IConnect POS, they got you covered.

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Don’t forget to be classic

a message in a bottle

courtesy of pixabay

Are you tired of your low business turnovers?

Are you watching motivational videos lately? Are you bored of your daily schedule and business is no more fun? Well everyone of us goes through this phase and it’s up to us how we tackle these drawbacks.

We, humans, have a very funny way of tackling our problems, and that is, we ignore them. We try to avoid them by focusing on all the fun part. We think boring part of our business like, email marketing, text message marketing is old school and no more necessary in this tech-savvy era. We forget that old way is always the classic way and these small boring tasks eventually sum up for much-unnoticed profit.

We read thousands of articles about how to focus on social media marketing and how to improve our digital presence, but all this while what about the bond with our clients? That happy feeling of emotional connection with our clients still remains a mystery. Various companies have started targeting customers based on this and have made large revenues in the very short period of time and that is what we find motivating. But, when are we going to understand this and start working on those boring tasks again?

I personally believe, if we focus only on the fun side we miss the roots of understanding our clients. This entire system is like a tree, it is very important to water our roots to have a firm base and only then we can focus on the growth of the tree. So besides using various social media and many more business analytics tool, it is very important to focus on client meetings, keeping them updated with your upcoming business ventures and growth and making them a part of your journey.

Now, you might be wondering, if I engage myself in all these tasks how will I manage my business? well, it’s simple, we are into a digital world where technology has an answer to all our problems and at IConnect POS we provide you a solution for this obstacle in your business growth. This point of sale system comes along with various features like employee and client management, marketing tools, analytics tools and much more. Basically, we cover all those boring tasks in one smart system to give you and your client a perfect service and experience.

I realize eventually when we ignore these small ways to improve our services by focusing on the other more important and big tasks, we end up in frustration and somehow loose enthusiasm for our business and start investing more on paid campaigns and advertisements which I see a no good deal.

 

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The Valentine’s Day Business

Valentine’s Day is finally upon us! Hopefully everyone’s business has geared up for this love filled day. iConnect has many features that makes businesses run a lot more efficient on busy days such as today. One way that we make things a little smoother for business owners is through our point of sale system. With our technology, you’ll have the right tools to enhance marketing, keep accurate counts of inventory, time-clock management system, end-of-day business reports, and many more.

On top of our highest rated POS systems, we have the hardware to go along with that. iConnect iCR register system provides the sleek looks to go along with your business. Our devices were engineered to take up little space and function in various settings. iConnect currently empowers businesses in many verticals such as retail, food, salons, and many more. If your business requires a self-checkout kiosk, iConnect can provide that system for you as well.

We’ve recently covered the basic tips on how to set your business up for success during Valentine’s Day. With our modern tools, you’ll have the power to generate more business during the other busy days during the year. Be sure to talk to one of our experts and find out if your business is ready to take the next step with iConnect.

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Here Are Some Of The Latest Retail Businesses That’ll be Opening Across the U.S. in 2017

2017 is the year many experts in the retail industry believe will see some dynamic changes. There are always new retail concepts popping up and below are some of the latest trending stores to open in the U.S.

MUJI

muji retail store

MUJI is a minimalistic retail business that sells the concept of self advertisement through customers’ word of mouth. Founded in Toshima, Tokyo, Japan, the company believes in quality of products and clean living. The name MUJI derives from the word Mujirushi Ryohin which means “No Brand, Quality Goods.” The company’s products have zero MUJI labels or logos on their products and focuses on delivering a “Good enough Living” lifestyle concept.

While the business isn’t yet popular in the U.S., they are starting to break ground and eyeing locations to open their new stores. Their most recent location was opened in Boston on Newbury Street.

Lidl

lidl grocery retail store

A retail grocery supermarket called Lidl is making its way to the U.S. with the similar mindset of Ikea, they look to deliver the ideal products and groceries to consumers across the nation. Lidl is famous across Europe with 10’s of thousands of locations.

The company originates from Germany where they developed the concept of quality goods at competitive prices. While the bargain grocery shopping idea isn’t all that new, they look to include unique experiences with many brand names at their stores. Lidl looks to open their first store in the U.S. no later than 2018.

Shinola

shinola retail store

A company called Shinola is starting to make a splash in 2017 by offering consumers a retail space where they can purchase high-quality watches, bicycles, and leather goods. The company was founded in 2011 in the heart of Detroit and have expanded to the major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.

Not only that but Shinola will be launching their own hotel in 2018 where they take into account their signature quality experience. Shinola looks to expand further in 2017 in United States and Europe with this modern upscale idea for people looking to buy quality products.

While there are a lot more retail companies to rise in 2017, these are a few that’ll make an impact in local communities around the nation.

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5 Tips On How To Keep Accurate Count Of Your Inventory

It’s sometimes shocking when, after putting in so much work to make sure you have the correct inventory count, it still isn’t accurate. It starts making you question your employees, theft, or some other events that could’ve occurred under your nose. If you’re a business owner that gets frustrated with this occurrence, have no fear. We have 5 valuable tips on keeping your inventory count accurate at all times.

Start a fresh inventory count on your products that are popular and miscounted

This one is simple and straight to the point. Do a fresh inventory count on your most popular items and the items that seem to get miscounted all the time. This will allow you to have a starting point and a grasp of your most popular items and how it performs throughout a week’s time. Businesses like liquor stores have tens of thousands of SKUs. So having a starting point will be critical in gaining control of your inventory. Then you can proceed to move on down the list to re-capture your full inventory.

Run inventory count frequently

Inventory count should be monitored on a frequent basis. Even if you notice that your inventory count is fairly accurate, there’s nothing wrong with a simple re-count. Events out of your control occur from time to time. Having the latest accurate inventory count cam come in handy during those situations.

We suggest that inventory be counted on a weekly basis. This will strengthen the grasp on your business and gain a better picture to how overall sales are doing.

Make sure there isn’t a flaw with your POS transaction process

Some business owners lose count of their inventory due to flaws in their current point of sale system. The low quality POS systems will sometimes not scan properly and leave an item out of a ticket, which ultimately is the same thing as giving away a product. This will also result in your inventory count being inaccurate. If no one were to catch this, it can become a dangerous and costly mistake. So to fix this issue, you must go with a POS provider like iConnect that provides a tremendous transaction experience. It also has a flawless front end displays that provides items with images which will help employers and employees with an error free experience. Quality POS systems are also good for powering multi-location business. Systems like iConnect are connected to the cloud which relays messages to the other stores in your business.

Pictures to items

Mentioned above, iConnect offers pictures to items as icons on the screen. This allows you to make sure that you’ve rung up the customer accurately without mistakes. The pictured icons will verify that you have the right item for your customer and allow you to keep your inventory count straight.

Use an inventory scanner

Companies like iConnect offer SKU inventory scanners that allow you to scan in bulk. This modern technology saves hours out of the day of having to manually count items. It’s also quite accurate. So you don’t have to waste tremendous time trying to keep count accurate on a weekly basis. With a simple swipe towards the products at your store the scanner will document and relay the count to the POS system.

So when you are looking to keep accurate inventory count in the future make sure that you look through these 5 quick tips. It’s quite vital to the company to always have your inventory aligned.

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How To Set Up Early Preparations For The Next Holiday Event

The 2017 calendar year has just started but it’s not too early to start prepping your business for the next upcoming holiday. There’s many opportunities that companies fail to see early on due to constraints in ideas, marketing, and budget. Here’s a quick guide on how you can fix that issue and get your business ready ahead of time.

Recognize which holiday you can revolve your business around

Whether your business is old or new, you provide a product and/or item that can be marketed around a certain holiday, especially the holidays towards the end of the year. Floral businesses flourish during holidays such as Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and etc. Toy stores gain a lot of business during holidays such as Christmas and Black Friday. But what about retailers with specialty items such as razors or miscellaneous gadgets? Well, there’s an answer for that.

If your business, say for instance, sells razors, you can market that around multiple holidays and launch creative campaigns. You just have to put a twist on it.

Example: Is your man too scruffy to kiss around the holidays? Well, we got the perfect solution for that at “Blank” store located at “Blank.”

These types of campaigns are so easy to launch now on social media. You can hyper target your audience to get the most effective penny out of the dollar on platforms such as Facebook. Also, you can subconsciously expose your audience towards your product and item by branding the holiday theme around promoting the specified product at your place of business.

Also, talk to your customers about the upcoming holiday. Many customers forget and with a simple reminder, you can raise awareness to that special day. And as mentioned previously, the holiday doesn’t need to be as big as Christmas. Below is the full list of federally recognized holidays in order:

2017 Federal Holidays
  • New Year’s Day
    January 2*
    Monday
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    January 16
    Monday
  • George Washington’s Birthday
    February 20*
    Monday
  • Memorial Day
    May 29
    Monday
  • Independence Day
    July 4
    Tuesday
  • Labor Day
    September 4
    Monday
  • Columbus Day
    October 9
    Monday
  • Veterans Day
    November 10*
    Friday
  • Thanksgiving Day
    November 23
    Thursday
  • Christmas Day
    December 25
    Monday

And these are only the Federally recognized holidays. It doesn’t include the socially accepted holidays such as Valentines Day. There’s days out there revolving around religion, different countries, and even food. There’s actually a national burger day here in America which is May 28th! So essentially, all you have to do is research the day and find the one that fits your business. Then build a creative campaign around the products you’d like to push.

Choose the right products to build the holiday around

There are products out there that wont go too well with certain holidays. For instance, don’t try to sell a meat dish during World Vegan Day (maybe it’ll work as an anti-vegan movement for those meat lovers). If you do, be prepared to feel some backlash from the vegan community. Don’t be insensitive during religious holidays or an awareness month like October which promotes the fight against breast cancer. That’s bad practice and can definitely lose customers. Revolve your business planning ideas around things that make sense.

Overall, owners and retailers can make all the excuses in the world to not promote their products and business. But with some creativity and ingenuity, marketing your products ahead of a certain holiday will definitely help grow your business. Pre-plan and execute this year!

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A Guide On How To Make Your Retail Business A Little Easier To Operate For New Entrepreneurs

Operating a retail business can some times be pretty daunting, especially if you’re new to the industry. You must have great products that customers enjoy and display it in a manner where they can easily get to the items. Being a new retail business owner will also require great knowledge in accounting, reporting, and management of products and SKUs. While all of that can start to get complex and intimidating, there’s ways to simplifying those tasks.

In the new age of entrepreneurship, technology and software that include features such as inventory management, data reporting, analytics, and scheduling will be your greatest friend. The old days of hand written reports and notes are gone and the new day in age is upon us where we’re given the opportunity to track our business online and through the Cloud.

Running your business through a smart point of sale solution will open up a new world for young entrepreneurs. People sometimes dismiss POS systems as simple register software and don’t understand the importance of the technology. The new systems actively keep track of your inventory and sales to create smart reports for your business. You’ll have access to inventory tracking of products at your store, knowledge to what items have been selling at certain times throughout the week, keep track of employee’s hours, and even have access to EOD (End Of Day) reports for accounting purposes. And that’s only the beginning of what smart POS systems like iConnect can provide for a young retail business.

Entrepreneurs are usually hard workers but have a tendency to overwork themselves with multiple programs rather than simplifying it to one solution. Having a platform where it automates the heavy work and saves you more time will allow you to invest your focus in other aspects of the business.

If you want to learn more about what a POS system can do for your retail business, feel free to reach out to us.

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