Even though small business strategies have largely improved over time, many SMEs still fail due to poor cash flow management and an inability to meet customer needs. According to research from Dun and Bradstreet, up to 90 per cent of small business failures are caused at least in part by poor cash flow.
These issues happen, of course, when customers aren’t funnelling cash your way on a regular basis. This raises a key question: What can companies do to go above and beyond for their customers, improving the overall experience and making people happier? If they can do this, they’ll be well on their way to building a stable customer base and ensuring smooth cash flow for years to come.
What can companies do to go above and beyond for their customers, improving the overall experience?
This question might be best answered with improvements at the point of sale. People who have issues with improving the customer experience have all kinds of pain points – using POS technology, scheduling their employees, maximising productivity and so on. There’s no shortage of informative content out there about how POS terminals work and what they do, but it might be necessary to dig one level deeper. What really matters is how you can fine-tune the process so your customers walk away happy each day.
We have three suggestions.
1. Use the best possible sales terminals
If you want to overhaul the way your company does business at the point of sale, the obvious first step is to settle for nothing but the very best in POS technology. Unfortunately, many in small business management fail to understand what this means. A good POS terminal is affordable, easy to use and helps you with basic functions like handling customers’ payment information – but it also does much more than that.
Business News Daily noted that the POS solution your company chooses should come with additional features that help you maximise efficiency. For example, it should be able to save you time by automating inventory management, staff management and even marketing. It should also gather data on both your customers and your internal tasks that will help you make more informed decisions about the future.
A POS tool isn’t just for carrying out basic business functions in the present – it also helps you plan for the future. You should look for a solution that helps with both.
2. Optimise your employee scheduling
If you ever find yourself looking at your business banking and seeing funds wasted on inefficient labour, that’s a problem you need to fix immediately. After all, you only have a limited amount of capital for staffing your business, and you need to be sure it’s spent optimally.
To this end, Inside Small Business recommends implementing smarter employee scheduling strategies. Take the time to think about your company’s sales trends. In the course of a year, when do you have busy periods? Within a single day, are there particular rush hours when you’ve got a lot of customers all demanding service? Find ways to fine-tune your schedule and emphasise the times when help is most needed.
This isn’t just about knowing your business and its needs – it’s also about getting a feel for your employees and their expectations. If you’ve got a member of your team who’s not a morning person and prefers later shifts, or wants more hours because they’re looking to save up some cash, these little factoids can help you plan the schedule in a way that makes your people happy.
3. Help employees work effectively
Having a business that serves customers well is always the goal, but you can’t get there without your whole team being on board. A crucial part of the job is ensuring that your employees are working as effectively as possible. Your business finance success depends on this.
Check in with your team members and make sure they’re engaged and working hard today.
Of course, it’s important to check in with your team members and make sure they’re engaged and working hard today. But as Australia’s Fair Work Ombudsman notes, you also need to have more of a long-term focus. Have you thought about the long-term development of your employees’ skills? Have you considered ways to improve their work-life balance? If you can think about your people’s well-being in complex ways like this, that transcend their immediate daily needs, you can make them happier and more engaged for the long haul. This will yield tangible results.
Here’s where BOQ comes in
To achieve long-term success in business, you need a strong approach to managing transactions at the point of sale. You also should have the help of a capable banker who can guide you through savings deposit options and other resources that can benefit small businesses. For this, there’s no better choice than a Bank of Queensland specialist.
At BOQ, we are happy to offer personalised service to our customers. In fact, support is available 24/7 through our reliable Client Service Centre. Talk to us today and find out how we can help you achieve your business goals.