The size or nature of your business does not determine whether you ‘need’ a financial strategy. Hence, if you own a retail business, tackling the financial aspects of the operations is crucial. Without such a finance management system in place can negatively impact your store, including a loss of revenue.
The solution lies in creating a viable strategy, but it is essential to execute, analyse, and constantly improve your financial plan. For instance, a retail business may employ retail merchandising techniques organising business processes and driving maximum sales. Apart from merchandising, other retail store operations and strategies, including retail marketing, should be part of the strategy to layout an effective financial plan for your store.
Retailer Financial Strategy:
How does a retailer determine the price of products to ensure that they earn a fair profit while managing the operating costs? How do they handle inventory and mitigate risks? These questions invite concepts in accounting like retail cash flows, income statements, balance sheets, and performance ratios. These concepts are tools to comprehend the financial state of a retail business.
Furthermore, retail merchandising makes it essential for retailers to offer goods at the right price, place, and time. However, measuring and tracking profitability is also vital to meet business goals. Accounting provides a way to keep track of the retail business’s profitability. A continuous funds movement going in and out of the company is necessary for the success of any business.
The retail operations management covers the financial aspects of the retail industry, which includes budgeting, forecasting, profit planning, asset management, leverage management, and optimum resource allocations.
Retail Cash Flow:
When a store sells merchandise, it’s vital to monitor, analyse, and adjust the cash flow. The procedure is called retail cash flow management, and it ensures that there are no significant gaps between the cash inflows and outflows.
Such gaps cause extensive cash shortages, which are detrimental to the smooth operation of any business. If the retail store wants to be competitive and stay ahead in the game, it is critical to avoid such discrepancies.
Thus, effective cash flow management is essential not just for the retailer’s profit but also for the well-being of its suppliers and employees. When the retailer cannot maintain the optimum balance financially, they may not pay salaries or clear out the suppliers’ bills.
The goal of every company is to make more money than they spend. Only when they can do so will the company be successful. Thus, retailers must spend extra time and effort ensuring an efficient cash flow management system. The system does not manage profits only; it handles, controls, and improves retail operations.
Why Retail Financial Strategy Matters?
A retail operation involves manufacturing, logistics, facilitation like marketing, promotion, channel coordination, financing, post-purchase service, maintenance, and selling. These are essential activities that support exchanging items, delivering products and services to the consumers, and transferring payments back to the retailer or manufacturer.
During a financial crisis, only retailers who strategise in advance, plan for the long term, and are flexible in their ways will be able to stand firm. Retail financial strategies are vital during times of crisis and ensure that the facilitation and transaction activities run smoothly.
Excellent financial planning can increase efficiency and reduce the costs involved in the business. Also, risks involved in the company can be managed and mitigated. Moreover, if you have an effective plan, you can explore promotion ideas for your retail stores, use retail marketing strategies, etc.
There are several other benefits of having a retail financial strategy in place:
Benefits of Financial Strategy for Retail Businesses:
- Clear company goals:The business goals are the starting point for any financial planning. If your company goal is to focus on producing more products in the first few years, a sound financial strategy will help you execute efforts that lead to this specific goal.
- Sensible cash flow management:As discussed earlier, your financial plan will also determine clear expectations for cash flow. The profits might be low initially, but a retailer need not panic when they have a strategy that anticipates success eventually.
- Smart budget allocations:Every team can coordinate and work smoothly when a fixed budget gets allocated for every activity. Planning straightforward campaigns for promotions and selling also becomes frictionless.
- Cost reduction:Financial planning helps you track how much you spend and the returns on your investment. Through evaluation, a retailer can identify unnecessary costs and adjust budgets accordingly. Financial planning offers people in business necessary controls over the revenue.
- Risk mitigation:Financial frauds and economic crises are inevitable. However, it’s the responsibility of the financial team to help businesses mitigate risks and overcome situations. Moreover, the company must also make room for unexpected expenses.
- Transparency with staff and investors:A financial strategy involves recording financial data that can be further studied and analysed. Your financial plan can help build trust among investors and your employees too.
Tips for Managing Cash Flow Effectively:
Here are the tips of controlling and managing finances and cash flow effectively:
- Generate the pending money from customers at the earliest
- Pay store bills at the last possible minute.
- Use a single bank account for the store’s inflows and outflows.
- Speed up customer orders and deliveries
- Send invoices and statements on the same day of delivery.
- Mention the last day of payments on the invoice, and if not paid on time, charge a penalty for late fees.
- Deposit bank cheques and cross drafts on the same day as received. Do not delay, as that might cause you to lose interest.
- Do not offer credit to any customer without ensuring financial soundness on their end.
- Avoid offering generous discount schemes.
- Most importantly, get a monthly or fortnightly bank analysis report from your bank. It contains the ledger and the available balance. Your financial team can use this report for evaluation.