Investing in cloud technology is one of the most effective technologies for making your multi-store business more successful. Since cloud-based solutions are not “hosted” on a single machine, they allow you to access the tools and data you need from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
Whether in one of your stores, at home, or even on the road, you can simply log into the system to check on your other branches or your entire operation. More cloud-based solutions are available today than ever, including CRM solutions, accounting, and point of sale software.
Plus, many of these programs interoperate, meaning you only have to enter your information once, and all cloud-based solutions are updated. If you have multiple cloud-based tools, it’s best to choose solutions that can integrate with each other. Check with your vendors before purchasing to ensure seamless data transfer. KORONA POS software can integrate with many software such as BottleCapps, Timeforge, Bloyal, Quickbooks Online, LineupApp, and many more.
Standard operating procedures are instructions that explain how your business operates, from payment processing and staff rosters and schedules to customer communication and more. Implementing SOPs in all your stores will allow all staff to follow the same rules and protocols for doing things, making it easier to manage multiple stores. Although the types of standard operating procedures will depend from one business to another, SOPs in a retail store should generally cover the following:
Cash transaction and cash handling processes
Standard operating procedures at this level should consider the types of payments you accept, your procedures for handling refunds and returns, and how often you close the cash register. Procedures should also cover everything related to handling cash in your store to ensure the security of your finances.
Customer service procedures define instructions and policies on how your staff should behave and dress. They also define what employees can and cannot say and what to do when dealing with difficult customers.
Your SOPs for merchandising and layout include what your displays look like, how often you need to change displays, how your products are displayed, etc.
See related: How To Design a Store Window Display?
Safety and Security
Ensure that you have the proper procedures in place to ensure the safety and security of your staff and customers. These procedures should cover basic issues, such as who opens and closes the store, as well as more complex situations, such as how to deal with shoplifters or what to do in case of a natural disaster or other emergencies. Remember that all of these procedures must be documented and available to all company employees.
A successful multi-store business is all about ensuring you have the right people in each store because you can’t be in more than one site simultaneously. Human resources are the first critical factor determining your business’s success. You will need to spend a lot of time vetting the employees you hire, and you will need to devote considerable resources to training them. It is advisable to organize periodic trainings to beef up your employees’ skills, especially for those in direct contact with customers every day.
In case you are not able to train people at your original location, or if you are having trouble getting existing employees to handle your other stores, you will need to put in place a solid training program to bring people up to speed.
Consider online training or have one of your seasoned employees do it. Make sure your employees understand your goals; in turn, you must keep them happy. Make sure they always receive a good salary, incentives, and benefits. All these aspects play an important role in having a dedicated staff at your stores.
So often, when we’re closely involved in an activity, we have a hard time picking up on the small details and sometimes miss the most obvious issues. By inviting someone to shop at all of your stores, you can get a clear indication of the level of consistency you offer.
The secret shopper or consultant will help you detect any flaws in the selection of products, the quality of service you provide to customers, the store layout, and the overall shopping experience. Such allows you to make the necessary changes to ensure that your business provides consistent quality service in all aspects.
Although the human factor is the most important aspect of running a successful multi-store business, modern technology continues to be a tremendous asset for today’s retailers. Of course, there are an overwhelming number of solutions and offerings, but here are a few that can be useful for managing multiple retail stores:
Point of sale software is the backbone of running a multi-store business. As you grow, you need the right technology and software to keep track of critical retail metrics and activities across all stores. From advanced inventory management to cross-promotions across multiple stores to CRM and loyalty functions, investing in multi-store POS software should be a priority.
KORONA POS can serve many types of multi-location retail businesses through its KORONA POS software, whether you’re a franchise retail business, a retail store chain, a small town operation, or even an experience-driven ticketed destination.
KORONA POS also provides you with mobile POS terminals that synchronize with your accounting software and can allow you to accept a wide range of payment methods at any location. There are a few other things to consider when looking for a point of sale system:
Ability to use any payment processor: The best POS software for your retail stores allows you to choose any payment processor. You should be able to switch from one payment processor to another if you’re unhappy with your rates or service.
Most point of sale solutions now require their users to also use their processing solution. This is NOT advisable for any business, since it will likely mean you’re paying more money in the long-term.