Though tracking sales in a convenience store does not require sophisticated software, one requires experience and skill to run the store profitably. Instead of using sales monitoring software you can use a cost efficient point of sale software which will prevent your cash clerk from making mathematical errors and can work as an efficient way to check inventory. To keep track of daily sales at your store take an hour or two after closure of sales to check accounts of goods sold that day.
Running a convenience store is different from running a grocery store as it has lot more items of convenience which can be stored for a long time as people may not buy them on a monthly basis. For boosting sales in your convenience store you have to review inventory on a regular basis to understand which items have better turnover and which ones have higher profit margins. Tracking of sales can be easily managed by recording sales receipts at the end of each day on a spreadsheet which will show you if the store is making profits at the end of every month and the actual percentage of profits too.
Steps to manage inventory and track sales at convenience store
Recording cash register receipts
To track sales of each inventory on a monthly basis you have to maintain cash receipts and record them on a daily basis which will give you a fair idea about fast and slow moving items in your inventory. When cashiers make bills for customers, sales are registered on a continuous basis which can be reconciled at the end of each day to make an item-wise analysis of products sold. In your daily spreadsheet make date-wise columns and enter the amount of each sale receipt item-wise. Set up customized formulas to add the sum of total sales each day which will help you gauge how much food and non food items are being sold on a regular basis.
Maintaining sales reports
The details gathered from daily sales reports can be summarized to create weekly and monthly sales reports by entering data either manually or using a sales ledger for error-free information. The weekly sales report will help provide detailed information about products sold at varied hours of the week. With a department wise sales break-up you can compare sales volumes over a period of time so you can plan food distribution effectively to reduce wastage. Besides assisting you in tracking sales, these regularly maintained sales records can also help you determine if cashiers are following your instructions about inventory management procedures.
Ledger and purchase point of sales software
As a convenience store owner you will have to purchase items from a large number of vendors like convenience store distributors and several others. The purchase point of sales software will help you track sales, manage inventory and also perform other sophisticated functions to manage sales better. While purchasing this software, get it customized from the vendor to suit your tracking requirements helping you to manage simple things like hourly sales and items sold by individual employees. As it can be customized to manage all types of inventory you will know when to call your grocery distributors and other vendors for replenishing stock.
Importance of general ledger
These documents contain information about daily sales data and also the details about assets, liabilities, monthly revenues and expenses. The ledger contains business details in debit and credit format so you can gauge how much money is being spent and the rate of return on investment. Expenditures like sales tax, employee salaries, electricity charges and others will give you a clear idea about which expenses are affecting your profits so you can put a tight leash on them. Tracking inventory sales on regular basis will help you get better deals from suppliers like wholesale food supplier.
Unlocking potential of sales tracking
As a convenience store merchant you have to maintain profits without keeping yourself too different from other competitors. Manufacturers are continuously looking for advice on how to get products into c-store so you should regularly replace slow moving inventory with latest top selling products. Consumers have a habitual tendency to shop at the same convenience store or chain as they are assured of quality of service and products. The basic philosophy of drawing up a sales pattern for your inventory is to have more buyers for your products, increase your sales margins and in general make more profits.
Advantages of sales tracking
Managing food and beverage profitably – Though bar-coding and point of sale system is an expensive way to manage inventory it is also the best way to recognize depleting stock of each item and rearrange inventory. In a convenience store both hot and cold beverages are regarded as fastest selling items if beverage distribution and display is managed properly. Manufacturers know that majority of freshly launched beverage brands are sampled at convenience stores and give special discounts to stores which help them manage the launch profitably.
Managing product diversity better – In a convenience store you have to manage a diverse range of products as then your clientele will be diverse and you can expand into other areas depending on profitability. You can become a member of the nationwide Checkstand Program which will keep you updated about new products in the market, emerging demand trends and fast selling inventories. Inventory of your convenience store should have some correlation to the products that are stocked in the store, eg. stores near forests which allow nature trails will have goods ideal for small picnics while stores in urban areas will have more food items.
Improving display and merchandise – When you run through sales tracker you can know immediately if items in a particular area of your store are not selling. This will help you do a quality check to understand the reason and rectify the matter immediately by either improving the display or improving the approach area, so regular shoppers and visitors visit each corner of your store.
If you are thinking of expanding your convenience store by increasing the size or opening more branches, then have a clear policy to track sales which can finance your future business plans.