Looking for how to save money this month and cash flow tips for your retail store?
It is important to follow some very specific cash flow properties during February to ensure your year continues on the right foot.
Hopefully, you took my end-of-year cash flow tips to heart. As the year unfolds, adapting to the different events can give you a negative cash flow is essential.
As the month of February rolls in, you'll want to slightly alter what you did in January to serve not only your customers but also your own financial needs.
Small business owners don't want to see their hard-earned profits sitting on the sales floor.
Though not as large or popular a holiday as Christmas or Halloween, specialty items associated with Valentine's Day can improve the cash flow into your retail business.
No matter your business size, taking advantage of these seasonal business boosters is important. Even if you don't traditionally buy Valentine-specific merchandise, you can often come up with something that ties into the event.
Regardless of whether you supply paper goods or pet supplies, having a selection of items reflecting the day is a quick injection of funds on top of what your business normally brings in. Hopefully, you don't go overboard with an order of these products. Valentine's Day is in the middle of the month, so you only have two weeks to hit it hard. And don't hold on to any of it for next year and take up valuable storage space.
Make a display - or several - in red, pink, and white. Black is a great accent color if used sparingly. Use signs to help the customer decide who they could buy it for. "Perfect for a teacher gift" might be good for a decorative pencil sharpener at an office supply or gift shop. "You know he'd wear these" might be fun on a display of men's underwear with hearts on it.
Be fun. Be creative.
Remember, you need to move this merchandise quickly.
If you must, put all of this seasonal merchandise on sale on February 14 - I know that's counter-intuitive. But hoping you'll make a killing on last-minute shoppers on Valentine's Day means that when demand is highest - the most likely time you'll unload picked-overs and also-rans - you'll miss the mark.
Negotiate New Supply Deals
By the end of January, you know exactly what goods and products you use the most. There is no hiding this fact, so why not let February be the time you negotiate a new deal with your best vendors?
When you extend a deal further out into the future, you have bargaining power with vendors and are most likely able to cut the cost of the items you need to run a successful business. This can slash your monthly expenses and give you more revenue to invest in the company.
February is the perfect time to look back at your current service contracts and see if you can negotiate a longer, more fruitful service between you and your business partners.
Compare January Year Over Year and Forecast
Look back and compare January of this year with January of the previous year. You should be able to estimate whether 2024 is set to be a more profitable year or one for concern. Create a cash flow forecast to prepare you for what to expect. That way, you're not hit hard during your traditionally "soft" months, as you accounted for it. Then, you can be surprised when better-than-expected revenue numbers happen.
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Cash flow shouldn't be a mystery for your independent retail business as long as you look at the events that could impact it each month and work to keep your merchandise buying and expenses in line.