Retail owner looking at his productsVenturing into retail can be intimidating, but the possibility of maximizing your investments is very high. If you’re brave enough to try or you are starting a career as a store manager, here are three areas you need to focus on:

Cash Management

Attend any retail store manager training, and they’ll all tell you: If you don’t stay on top of your cash flow, you might end up draining income from your business without even realizing it. Your cash management system must first take into account the possibility of pilferage.

For example, the cash register must be closed and locked unless during a transaction. This will ensure that cashiers don’t lose or pocket payments or create unrecorded sales. A system to identify and decline counterfeit money must also be in place.

From the start, enforce a procedure that protects your daily income until it gets to the bank. Who has access to cash? Are there witnessing personnel while people are handling cash? Who will review disbursements?

Your cash management procedure must not only be systematic, documented and consistently followed, it must also be subject to regular audits.

Customer Service

Customer service, they say, is the new sales department. One happy customer can lead to nine referrals. As such, making an effort to improve one experience will go a long way. Make it unforgettable! Developing empathy among employees, reducing customer effort, and designing an attractive loyalty program are a few good ideas to start with.

In instilling customer centricity, values and in many other aspects of human capital management, such as showing appreciation — rather than demanding change — has been known to work better. Being polite and well-mannered around your staff will increase the likelihood that they will treat your customers the same way.

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Inventory Management

Most retailers will agree that they spend a huge chunk of their time keeping an eye on stocks to protect it against theft and damage, to keep best sellers from running out, and to introduce new products that have a high potential for success.

Without a system that works, this can easily turn into a nightmare and hurt your bottom line. It would be wise to invest in tools or software that’ll help you keep track of items coming in and going out.

Starting a business is daunting. Like any risk you take, as long as you take the necessary precautions and measures to prepare, you’ll be able to mitigate losses and increase chances of success.