Running a business can be hugely satisfying but also immensely challenging. Owners and senior managers face numerous demands on their time. It can be difficult to find any time at all which allows you to stop fighting fires in favour of analysing the bigger picture. But an understanding of the bigger picture is the key to success.
Business owners are often driven by a passion for what they do, an interest in their products and a desire to serve their customers well. However, it is vital to stay ahead of the game, to predict demand and to be in a financial position to meet that demand when it arises. It might be necessary to raise additional funds from time to time and to act quickly when an opportunity arises. Without a proper grip on the financials of the business, it is impossible to plan ahead and to be in the perfect position to react quickly when speed is of the essence.
Retail financial management contributes more that you might imagine to achieving business goals and minimising costly mistakes.
Good financial planning enables you to identify and then capitalise on new opportunities. It allows you to think about your options and to create action plans. It provides the tools that you need to encourage others to support or invest in your business.
Planning ahead involves a detailed understanding of historical and current trends in your business. It is much harder to predict the future if you have little or no understanding of what is happening in your company now! Cash is the lifeblood of any business. So, do you know when the highest demands are placed on your cashflow? Can you predict when your cashflow will be challenged? This knowledge will help you to manage cash more effectively and to evolve strategies for coping with the inevitable peaks and troughs.
Challenges and Opportunities
If you are able to anticipate what might happen in the future, you can put plans in place to tackle any stresses on the company’s finances and ensure that you are in a more robust position. You won’t be forced into rushed decisions when challenges have to be tackled. You will be able to build cash reserves to ensure that you are in a position to make purchases when excellent opportunities arise. You will also create a highly investible business.
As your company grows and evolves, proper financial planning will help you to cope with the inevitable changes that ensue. Proactive financial management is essential to the success of your operation, both day to day and over the longer term. It is not an exercise that you endure in order to raise financing and then leave behind. It has a critical role to play in every stage of your development.
Coping With Retail Financial Management
So, effective financial management is the key to success. But how do you keep on top of things when there are so many demands on your time and all of them crucial to the business? You will be able to delegate some of the financial analysis and planning to employees. But it is you who must always remain abreast of the financial situation of the company and you who should always play an active role in strategic planning. That isn’t easy in any retail environment. But if you are retailing from multiple sites, across several channels and have numerous suppliers, your working life is even more complicated.
You could be in a position to employ a Chief Financial Officer or to engage the services of an advisor but even these professionals won’t be able to work effectively without the right information at their fingertips.
Retail Financial Management software will provide the financial information that you and your senior executives need. Better still, it will offer the means to interpret that information and even suggest plans of action.
The Benefits of Retail Financial Management Software
Software packages and modules such as Island Pacific’s Financials could make all the difference to your ability to generate growth in a highly competitive market. It will enable you to track trends in your business and react to trends in the market. By providing the data and the analysis that you need, your financial management software puts you firmly in control. Here are the benefits you can expect.
Cost Effective Systems
Offering crucial data and useful reports at the touch of a button, your software will minimise your expenditure on financial professionals.
Information When You Need It
You won’t have to wait for your in-house professional or a third party to produce the reports that you need to make important and timely decisions.
Good financial management software will help you visualise your business. Reports summarise the endless stream of data and enable you to understand the implications. Strengths, weaknesses and the performance of different aspects of your business are clarified.
The Benefit of Experience
Retail management software will have been evolved by both retail and financial experts. It thereffore pools the knowledge and expertise of many individuals and so enables you take advantage of a spectrum of skills that you would rarely find in a single employee.
Learning New Skills
By providing analysis which is easy to understand, your software will enable you to learn. You will understand more about the implications of the decisions you make and can you get to grips with more advanced accounting practices.
New Ideas and Options
Retail management software will interpret your numbers and offer you options that you will easily be able to action. It will provide targets and inspire strategies to help your business to move forward.
Integration with your Accounting Software
How many businesses will thrive when inputting figures more than once? Certainly not yours! Software such as the Island Pacific Smartsuite will integrate with your accounting package to save you time and money.
Ease of Use
There’s a learning curve to endure with any software but the right tools are usually easy to get to grips with. You can be up and running in a matter of hours and you just might surprise yourself with what you can achieve.
Removing the Guesswork from your Operation
When you have important decisions to tackle, guesswork really won’t do. Sometimes decisions simply have to made quickly if you are to ensure that you can capitalise on new trends or fulfil the demand for your products. You need to know how much to order, whether you can afford it and what impact your expenditure will have your cashflow both now and further down the line. Good software takes the guesswork out of decision making by presenting you with your current situation and the future implications of your expenditure.
Take Control of your Financials
With multiple sales channels, multiple sites, many suppliers and a constantly evolving market, you have complex financials to manage. It is essential that you fully understand your costs. If you don’t, it won’t be long before they are affecting your ability to sell.
Retail financial management software will help to provide the answers you need to optimise your purchasing practices, manage your cashflow and plan for the future. Any issues with your finances will become apparent before they cause you serious problems and you will have more time to focus on developing your range.
Wouldn’t it be fabulous if your figures provided the answers rather than the questions?
To learn more about how Island Pacfic can help your business’ financial management, or for a demo of our inventory management software, contact us today.