Accurate record keeping make life easier
There are many different types of retail operations, from eCommerce and mail order to direct retail, pop-up shops, catalogues and more. As a small business owner you might use more than one type, depending on the products you're selling.
But as any retailer knows, success involves more than just exchanging goods for money. You need to understand product merchandising, advertising and marketing, stock control, customer service, market research, supplier negotiation and more.
Retail can be seasonal too, with peaks in the run-up to Christmas and the back-to-school periods. The best retailers think carefully about how – and when – their products fit into consumers' lifestyles. They use that knowledge to market their products.
And then there's the accounts. Cashflow, payroll, taxes, ledgers and so on, all have to be tracked carefully. With money coming in and going out all the time, you won’t want to let anything slip through the cracks.
All of this means that you can't run a successful retail business without keeping detailed records. And that's where good quality accounting software can help.
Plan before you start
It can be tempting to dive straight into a new retail business, especially if you think you've found a gap in the market. But it's sensible to plan your business first. In particular, you should:
These are just a few of the points you should include in your plan. Talk to a business advisor about more detailed planning, especially when it comes to tax and payroll laws in your part of the world.
How retail accounting software can help
Accounting software isn't just for accounts. Today's accounting software can be connected to lots of other apps. That gives you potentially hundreds of joined-up tools to help you manage your retail business.
When deciding which accounting software to buy, here are a few points to consider:
Whichever retail accounting software you choose, be sure to keep all your important information safely archived. This includes sales records, loan statements, bank information and tax data. You'll need it all for your tax returns, and also if your business is ever audited.
Understand retail definitions
When working in retail you'll come across some new terminology – and it can seem confusing at first. However, once you learn the meanings, they do make sense. Some of the terms you'll see might include:
These are accounting terms. Their full definitions are beyond the scope of this guide, but an online search will tell you more. Ask your accountant or business advisor for clarification on anything you don't understand.
Top tips for successful retail accounting
Using your retail accounting software regularly, as part of your daily business operations, will help you get the best out of it. Here are some practical tips:
Speak to Straightline to see how we can help streamline your business and let you get back to sales!
Source: Xero Small Business Guide
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