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If you’re having trouble tracking your retail store’s monthly finances, you may want to create a budget to get the store back on track and your expenses in check. Budgets are simple things once you have a better idea of how the money is moving in and out of your store. Here’s a quick guide on how to create an effective retail budget for your store so you can take control of your finances.
POS systems can do more than track sales; they can provide you with priceless information on your store’s performance via analytics. Analytics tools will help track sales, expenses, and even create graphs or charts that you can print out. If you want an in-depth look at your store’s performance, analytics tools are the way to go.
Instead of purchasing separate analytics tools or software, the best idea would be to purchase a POS system that already has analytics tools built-in. This will save you money, since you’ll be getting a payment processing, inventory management, and analytics system all in one simple tool. The greater insight you have into your store’s operation, the easier you can craft a working budget that fits your specific needs. Using the right tools for the job makes all the difference in the success of your budget.
Tracking sales is a vital component to creating a budget. If you don’t know how much money you’re working with each month, how can you possibly craft a plan to keep your expenses in check? How do you know if you’re even making a profit at all? Your sales can tell you a lot about your store; what people are buying, which items sell the fastest, and even which times of the day/week/month are busiest.
POS systems are great options for this component of your budget as well. Those analytics tools we mentioned? Perfect for tracking sales on a daily or weekly basis. Tracking your sales will be simple, and you can navigate through your POS system’s interface to access any information you need. Everything is stored within your software, and many POS systems are backed up to cloud storage for added security and accessibility.
Once you’ve identified how much profit (or lack thereof) your store is generating, you can take a good look at your expenses and compare the two. This will be pretty eye-opening, especially if you’ve never done it. You’d be amazed at what the smallest items cost to maintain on a monthly basis. Something as simple as bathroom soap or a security system can add up quickly and take a financial toll on your retail store.
Which expenses are costing you the most per month? Which are fixed expenses, like rent that don’t change on a month-to-month basis? What are your variable expenses, like utility bills that will vary each month? Your variable expenses will be the ones you need to pay the closest attention to, as one bad window can cause something like a heating bill to skyrocket for the month.
You should include a plan in your budget to keep variable expenses in check. If your store has leaky pipes, don’t wait to get them fixed; the long term cost of skyrocketing water bills can far outweigh the cost of hiring a plumber. Long-term expenses should be addressed as soon as possible in order to reduce the overall cost (and headache) associated with them.
Not everyone is an expert in finances, and that’s ok. There are experts available for hire that can help you get your business (and/or personal) finances under control. Hiring a financial advisor can help you identify the financial roadblocks that are holding you back from reaching your goals; as well as help craft a solid plan to get things back under control. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it! It’s better to have help to ensure you succeed than to not have any help and wind up with serious errors.
Marketing likely accounts for a large percentage of your store’s monthly budget, as it should. Marketing is how you reach your customers and attract new ones with your products and promotions, but just marketing to anyone and everyone is not only costly, but incredibly ineffective.
You’ll need to figure out who your target audience is and direct your marketing efforts thus. With focused marketing, you’re increasing the return on the investment you make when you create marketing and promotional campaigns; marketing products and services your customers actually want to purchase and increasing the likelihood of a response to the campaign.
You can reach out to customers with surveys and feedback emails to gain a better perspective of their preferences, or you can use your POS system to track their purchases and learn their purchasing behavior from a first-hand source. Don’t underestimate the power of customer feedback and building customer profiles. How your customers spend their money can tell you a lot about their buying preferences.
The Bottom Line
Creating a budget is pretty much required if you want to gain a better understanding of how your business’s money flows in and out of the store. Using tools like a modern POS system, you’ll have everything you need at your disposal to learn about and improve your financial situation. POS systems are quite affordable and are continuously being updated with new tools and features to help your business run smoothly.
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Data-driven is more than a buzzword. It is an approach that helps you optimize virtually every workflow in your business operations. The approach itself relies heavily on insights from various sources, derived from processing data in a certain way.
Data-driven marketing specifically handles the creation and optimization of marketing campaigns based on data. It is an approach that can be implemented online and offline; you just have to have the right sets of data for different purposes.
Before you can begin implementing data-driven marketing, however, there are some important groundworks to be done. In this article, we are going to talk about how you can cover the basics that make data-driven marketing possible.
Create a Loop
One of the key components of data-driven marketing is an effective feedback loop. Every marketing campaign you run needs to generate data to be processed into insights. Those insights are then used to either fine-tune the ongoing marketing campaign or formulate a new one in an adaptive and continuous fashion.
An effective feedback loop goes beyond the marketing campaign itself. In fact, it goes beyond the marketing team. You can only do so much with insights from the audience and existing marketing campaigns. Pairing those insights with market information, input from the sales and product departments, and other data will elevate the effectiveness of your feedback loop.
Another important groundwork to lay is creating a system for managing marketing campaigns from start to finish. Today’s data-driven marketing is more of a cycle than a linear process, so it needs to be managed as such. Trying to implement a conventional management approach (i.e. doing reviews at the end of the marketing campaign) will not suffice.
You also want to work with partners that understand data-driven marketing, particularly partners with inside knowledge of your industry. If you are a financial institution wanting to reach more customers from a younger segment, you need a marketing solutions provider with experience in bank marketing and the implementation of data-driven marketing.
Line Up Contextual Data
Yes, you can rely on big data to better understand the market, but nothing beats the value of primary data. In most cases, primary data relates to your existing customers, how they interact with your products and services, and how the audience, in general, aligns with the interactions of existing customers.
A good Customer Relationship Management system is a great tool to have if you want to implement data-driven marketing. Using the feedback that you get from existing customers, you have the ability to reprogram your marketing funnel to better attract potential customers. The CRM also acts as one of the sources for primary data for marketing purposes.
Everything else is easy once you have covered these basics. You can set the right objectives to achieve based on the insights you already have. You can target the right audience and attract potential customers with immense efficiency.
You can even craft content that works well depending on where in the marketing funnel your target audience or viewers are. With the basics covered, you already have the data to drive your marketing campaigns forward.
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LinkedIn has given solid competition to Google Ads. With LinkedIn, you can attract more prospects and leads on the largest business stage of the world. By gaining expertise in using LinkedIn ads, you can get more leads for your business.
What are the reasons why Google Ads is not giving you expected gains?
People are moving from Google Ads to other marketing tools due to a few reasons. One of the reasons is that Google Ads is not benefitting their business. This can happen when your brand ranks low in terms of awareness. This can also be the case when you target a particular niche with just a few selected keywords.
Another reason could be that if you are planning to advertise in a specific industry where the profit margin is almost same as the price of a Google Ad bid. In such a scenario, it makes sense to look for other alternative options that allow you to obtain more value from your advertising dollars. Click here https://landingi.com/blog/5-alternatives-to-google-ads to know more about alternatives to google ads.
One last reason is when you are obtaining a lot of traffic because of too broad an area that can cause the conversion volume and CTR to plummet. LinkedIn proves to be a cost-effective marketing tool for individuals, entrepreneurs and business professionals wherein they pay only when a searcher clicks their ad. In that way, LinkedIn Ads suits any budget.
Why makes LinkedIn ads the best choice for businesses?
There are approximately 560 million serious groups on LinkedIn. These include 40 lakh decision formers, 10 lakh opinion leaders and 61 lakh senior level influencers, who are pretty aware of their needs. Some of the features of LinkedIn ads include:
- Slicker desktop application
- Improved mobile applications
- Display and share valuable content that includes video
- Less spam
- Premium applications specifically designed for serious business-minded people
Kinds of LinkedIn advertisements
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms to target your business message to a large community comprising of influencers, executives and Job Seekers. Each kind of LinkedIn ads comes with its own approaches and benefits. There are basically two types of LinkedIn ads: LinkedIn text ads and Self-Service ads.
It is a way to promote existing content already on your Company Page. Share your web posts with a focussed audience. With these ads, you can broadcast company news, useful articles, upcoming promotions, YouTube and Vimeo videos and SlideShare presentations. These ads are shown on the home page for mobile, tablet and desktop.
LinkedIn text ads
These ads help in driving traffic to your LinkedIn page or website. Similar to Bing or Google search advertisement, you can easily form as well as feature a killer description, image and headline. You can show these ads on desktop to get the attention professionals browsing LinkedIn.
In the past few years, you can see that LinkedIn has refined its tools. This platform helps in creating a useful and interesting experience for people. Learning about these LinkedIn benefits, you must not miss to cash on them in your upcoming marketing campaign.