Point-of-sale solutions can help small firms track sales

tracking sales

A projector screen during the launch of M-Distributr, a mobile app made in partnership between Safaricom Business and Virtual City, that will enhance service efficiency for the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector enabling sales teams and businesses keep real-time track of sales transactions and deliveries, place orders, and collect returns.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Most shopkeepers have little or no way of knowing when an item runs out of stock and thus search for it in vain.

How many small business owners are aware of how much they have sold on a given day? How many maintain track of their profits or know how much their stock is worth?

Most small businesspeople do not keep track of what is going on in their ventures. They are the main people managing buying and selling of their merchandise. As a result, rely on their memories to keep track of stock levels, revenues, and profits.

When it comes to new purchases, they also rely on their gut instinct. It becomes more problematic when they are not the ones running the stores. It begins with extreme difficulties in knowing exactly what is happening in their businesses.

Recently, I was in a conversation with a hairdresser. Because of Covid-19 scourge on her salon business, she decided to open a wines and spirits outlet. She lamented how she could not keep track of her stock levels and how she suspected that her two staff were pilfering from her stall.

I wondered why she was not using simple technological solutions available in the market to track her inventory and sales. I immediately introduced her to a contact that offers point-of-sale solutions to small traders. She was amazed that such solutions existed at an affordable rate.

Stock movements

I am sure that being able to track her stock movements from her smartphone will improve her business performance. Point-of-sale solutions can also help a small business track sales per employee. They come in handy if a business wishes to be in multiple locations.

Aside from point-of-sale systems, small businesses have access to a variety of technology products. Many of these traders would fare considerably better if they could improve how they manage customer interactions and maintain contact with them.

Many small businesses do not even have a basic customer database. The many open-source customer relationship management (CRM) applications available could help such firms. For example, a neighbourhood pharmacist can create accounts for its regular customers. Once this is done, it may assign account numbers to the clients, maintain their prescription information, and guarantee that they have the supply levels that their customers require.

Many pharmacies I am aware of have yet to accept any kind of IT solutions. Other technologies for traders are in the areas of people management, data storage, accounting, payments, managing online customer interactions and collecting customer feedback. Unfortunately, many small business owners are averse to experimenting with new ideas. 

Most business owners do not appear to place a high premium on structuring their operations and streamlining customer interactions. Many of these businesses are missing out on the numerous advantages of automating their procedures.

Today's business change is primarily driven by technology. Small businesses do not have to be left behind as digital transformation continues.

A shopkeeper who is unaware of his or her inventory levels is stuck in the past. The smartphone has the potential to transform the way small business owners run their operations. Owners must be more aggressive in their search for technological solutions to help their businesses thrive.

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