Scaling a retail business, from running it out of your garage to managing multiple sales channels and evolving into an omnichannel model, can be extremely overwhelming for any entrepreneur. As your retail business model becomes more complex, the cost of running the business goes up due to increased overhead, marketing, labor, and inventory costs. Increasing efficiency and productivity with inventory, order, and team management workflows is one way to save time and money related to your supply chain and labor. Follow these three tips to reduce the need for additional manpower, streamline your information to a single platform, and prepare your retail business for long term growth.
Automation over delegation
As demand grows or as you expand sales into multiple channels, increasing order quantities and growing order frequencies becomes challenging to manage and track. A common solution that business owners try is hiring more staff to deal with the growing demand. The downside is that more staff means increased labor costs, which adds to your overhead and reduces your profit margins.
Another way to manage a growing business is to find a digital solution that helps you automate workflows. Think of SaaS solutions as part of the team running your company. For example, toy retailer Miann & Co rakes in an impressive average of 1,200 orders each month even though the business only has three full-time staff members and utilizes solutions like Shopify and StarShip IT to run a smooth operation.
“It’s all about the team behind you, not just the staff you work with but the integration partners… they’re also part of your team. When you get that right, then life gets a lot easier as it frees you up to focus on other things in the business.” — Miann & Co
By automating parts of your supply chain, such as updating stock levels, tallying invoices with your accounting department, and updating your customer contact details, you reduce the need for additional staff without compromising on productivity.
A single source of truth
Let’s spill the tea on Saas solutions out there that claim to make running a business “easier.” There are thousands that claim to help manage different parts of your business from inventory solutions to CRM solutions. Making sure all of these tools are updated can be time-consuming, and even counterproductive. In order to better increase efficiency, look for a tool that is fully integrated with the key applications you run your business with. This will provide you with a single source of truth that you can rely on to update all your other integrations accurately in real time.
When you grow, they grow
There are few things more frustrating than outgrowing a platform that you have spent weeks or even months setting up and perfecting. Having to switch solutions because you’ve grown and are expanding your business takes time, is expensive, and may ultimately not be productive.
Find a solution that fits your long term growth goals. Can the platform work with your online to offline (O2O) business model? Can you transition to wholesale without too much cost and effort? Do you have API access to build a custom solution?
Increasing productivity touches many aspects of any business and requires the commitment of the entire team. However increasing the level of automation, relying on a single source of truth and investing in a solution that is scalable, are three easy ways to significantly increase productivity without a 360 overhaul of your business processes.
TradeGecko provides a sophisticated solution to managing inventory, sales orders and tracking performance all in the one place. Sign up for a free 14-day trial of their order management system today.