Small business owners don’t have to navigate daily and strategic challenges alone – there are numerous ways to find, collect, and analyze information to inform decisions about managing your organization. Whether incorporating secondary data from reputable sources – like the U.S. Small Business Administration*, Gallup*, or McKinsey* – or developing insights from your own systems, data-driven decisions are easier to make than you may think.
One easy – and often untapped – source of information is your payments software. Creating and analyzing sales reports can give you a better handle on what products are selling, how your customers prefer to pay, and how your costs are impact profits – among countless other business questions. Further, by digging into your point-of-sale data, you can create new value for your customers – such as target promotions, adjusting price points, and optimizing inventory levels.
This process may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be – if you have the right payments provider, many business intelligence functionalities are already built into your systems and in-depth reporting is easily accessible to you. Here are some features to leverage as you look for opportunities to solve business challenges and make strategic decisions:
1. Sales reporting
Your point-of-sale system contains abundant data about what your customers have bought, when, and how. By asking critical questions* and deciding which key performance indicators* matter to your business success, you can analyze this data to identify patterns and opportunities for growth. For example, tracking average transaction value* can help small retailers understand the shopping behaviors and budgets of customers so that they can adjust their product offerings and price points accordingly.
2. Inventory management
Connecting your point-of-sale solution to your accounting and management systems provides additional opportunities for analysis and insight – particularly, tracking inventory levels, costs, and turnover time. Keeping a close eye on KPIs* like lead time, cost of goods sold, and Days Sales of Inventory will help you control expenses, identify trends in customer behavior, and improve supplier relationships.
3. Payment method trends
In our rapidly digitizing economy, how a customer pays is just as important as what they buy. Whether they stick to cash or prefer to pay from a smart watch – or anything in between* – you need to have the right point-of-sale equipment to complete their transaction. However, credit card purchases come with a small cost – so keeping track of the number of transactions you process from cards will help identify surcharge opportunities and other payment optimization strategies to reduce the cost of acceptance.
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