How to make a professional invoice: Expert tips and a step-by-step guide

How to make a professional invoice: Expert tips and a step-by-step guide

Now that you have sold a product or rendered a service through your online shop, it is time to get paid. This is great news! This is great news!

What is an invoice? How do you make one? And what information should you include? This step-by-step guide will help you create an invoice.

What’s an invoice?

An invoice (also known as a sales invoice) is a document that bills a customer for your services or products. An invoice is an account receivable, which obligates the buyer to pay. It is a written agreement between you, the seller, and your client or customer (the buyer).

Invoices can also be a great way for your business to track its earnings. Written invoices are a great way to keep your finances organized. They also simplify accounting for tax season.

What is the difference between a bill or an invoice?

Technically, nothing. Bill and invoice are both terms used to inform customers or clients how much they owe on a product or service. The main difference is in who refers to the document.

Let’s first define each word:

Invoice definition

An invoice will be issued by your business to the purchaser detailing the sale of products and services, as well as the amount owed. An invoice is used to:

  • Document a business transaction that involves payment from a customer
  • You must request payment from the customer within a specified time frame
  • Maintains a list of products and services sold to assist with bookkeeping

Bill definition

A document is sent to your customer by you that details the amount of money due in exchange for goods or services. A bill

  • Let a customer know how much they must pay.
  • Provide a detailed record of your customer’s expenses for use in bookkeeping

The document is often referred to by the business as an “invoice”, while buyers get “a bill” which details the amount they owe. This is how it works:

Step 1 – Your company sends an invoicing to your customer

Step 2 The bill is delivered to the customer

Step 3 The customer repays the amount owing

Step 4 – Your business will issue an invoice receipt to prove that payment has been made.

What are some of the most important legal requirements for invoicing?

If you want to create a professional invoice, there are many details that you should include. These are the essential details that your invoice should contain:

  • Your company name: This is your official business name and tax ID number. To make your business look more professional, include your logo.
  • Name of your customer: Identify your customers, including their name or business name and tax ID number.
  • Contact details Enter your address, phone number and customer contact information. This information is particularly useful in the event that either party needs to contact you.
  • Invoice number An invoicing number is a way to keep track of your invoices so they don’t get mixed up. Pro tip Track your invoices easily with an abbreviated version your customer’s name followed by a dash and the month/year. For example: Invoice WIX-0520)
  • A list of costs and services: Invoices generally include the items purchased, whether they are products or services. Prices and quantities can also be included. To avoid confusion, enter as much detail as you can. If you offer a service by the hour, describe the time it took to complete the task. If applicable, include a separate line to account for wire transfer fees or VAT.
  • Dates Your invoice should include all relevant dates such as the date the invoice was issued, when the sale or service occurred, and the time that the invoice covers (for periodic bills).
  • Total amount Draw a line showing all the amounts your customer owes to you. All products and services should be included in the total amount. Before you calculate your total, don’t forget about any additional fees.
  • Payment information Provide your bank information to help your customers pay you. Third-party payment processors like PayPal and Transferwise are also used by many customers. They only need an email address and not sensitive information such as your bank details.
  • Terms & Conditions: On every invoice, write the terms and conditions that you and your customer have agreed to. These could include your rates, return/refund policy, product warranties, shipping information, and privacy policies.
  • Due Date: Avoid confusion later by clearly stating when you expect payment. Write “May 31, 2021” and not “Due within 30 days.”

Tip: Set a time frame for all invoices so that you know when to expect your payment. Your customer should pay you within 30 business days of the invoice’s date. However, it is possible to make this shorter or longer depending upon the nature of your business and how much you owe.

5 tips to keep an invoice looking professional

An invoice is another aspect of your business. Invoices are a professional way of building brand trust and letting customers know that they must pay on time. These are 5 tips to keep in mind.

01. Include branding

To keep your branding consistent, add your logo to your invoice. You don’t yet have one? Use a Logo Maker to create a logo for your company.

02. Use an invoice template to create or modify

You can either create your own template, or you can use one already created. Keep your invoices consistent in appearance and structure so that your clients or customers can recognize them easily and find the information they need. An invoice generator can also achieve the same result.

03. Make sure to check spellings and find any mistakes

Although it may seem obvious, you’d be amazed at how many businesses fail to do this. Customers can see through your business if you have to correct or resend invoices. Before you send your invoices, double- and triple-check them for errors.

04. Multiple payment options available

It can be helpful to offer customers a range of secure payment options such as digital wallet, credit card, or wire transfer if you want to ensure that they pay promptly and on time.

05. Thank you

It is a good idea to say “Thanks for your business” at the end of your invoice. You can be genuine and let your customers know what you mean to them. This can increase the probability of payment by 5%.

How can I create an invoice?

Invoice generator

It’s now easier than ever to create an invoicing. You can actually create a professional invoice within minutes with a HTML3_ free invoice generator HTML3_. These are the steps to follow:

Step 1 – Add your information

Include key details that will benefit both you and your customer/client.

  • Name of the business
  • Website for businesses
  • Contact information, such as email or phone number
  • Mailing address

Step 2 – Describe the services or products you are charging

Invoice settings will include the invoice number, issue date and due date. Include a description and a line for each product. Then add:

  • Hourly rate or price
  • Quantity (or the number of hours worked)
  • Discount (if applicable).
  • Total
  • Additional terms or notes

Step 3 – Finalize and Send!

Wix’s Invoice Generator will calculate your total automatically. Make sure you have all of the necessary information before you send. You can either email it directly to your client, or download it.

Step 4 – Issue an invoice receipt

After your customer has paid, you can send an invoice receipt to follow up. This will help you keep track all payments received.

Invoice from Scratch

These steps will help you create an invoice directly from scratch if you don’t have a generator.

Step 1 – Open a blank sheet

Use a program such as Google SheetsMicrosoft Excel to open a blank spreadsheet.

Step 2 – Create a branded invoice head

Invoices should include a header with the brand details and billing information.

  • Your logo
  • Contact information for businesses
  • Invoice date
  • Invoice number

Step 3 – Add the information of your client

Include the contact information of your client, such as company name, address, phone number, and name of relevant contact. You can use this example:

The Bill To:

Name of the Company

Address Rd.

State 55555, City

Step 4 – Add the due date

At the top of your invoice, write the date, month, and year due.

Step 5 – Add an itemized sales list

You can then create a table by adding columns that detail the services and/or goods provided, date of order and the cost per unit. Be sure to indicate the currency. Example:

Step 6 – Calculate the total

To calculate the total amount due on the invoice, add a last column. Excel’s SUM function and many other spreadsheets can do the math. Remember to include any applicable discounts, fees, or tax rates in your total.

Step 7: Add payment details

Include relevant payment information such as your PayPal ID. Include your name, account number and SWIFT code, bank and address, as well as the bank wire transfer information. Add a personal note at the bottom such as “Thanks for doing business with me!”

source https://www.wix.com/blog/ecommerce/2020/08/what-is-an-invoice

The Guide to Finding Magento Developers: Salaries & Best Places

According to indeed.com the average Magento developer’s hourly rate in the US is $44.49. These figures are approximate and will vary depending on the specialist’s experience, seniority, location, and other factors.

If you are looking for a top-quality product, however, don’t expect to pay low prices.

We’ll be covering the following points in this blog post:

  • Here is a list of Magento developers who are available to help you with your eCommerce project.
  • Benefits and reasons to work with Magento eCommerce certified developers
  • There are many cooperation models you have the option to choose from
  • A market overview for Magento development
  • Hourly salary for Magento developer
  • Guidelines for finding a Magento developer

Are you ready? Continue reading.

What Magento Experts are You Looking for?

 

You need more than hiring Magento developers to deliver a large-scale Magento project for eCommerce businesses. A team of dedicated specialists is also required. This is a list with Magento experts that you can hire for your online shop:

  • eCommerce web design to create the visual elements of your online shop. Web designers design the layout and appearance of the website. They also choose the elements that will be displayed on the page, and how customers interact with it.
  • Front-end Magento 2 Developer to make your online store visible and attractive on all devices. Front-end developers are responsible for accurately communicating the design and implementing user logic.
  • Backend Magento 2 developer for developing and maintaining the server side to your online store. This expert ensures that the site works and fulfills its purpose, while also ensuring security and reliability.
  • Quality Assurance Engineer To identify and fix any errors in the code and to prevent them from interfering with customer experience and website operation.
  • Project Manager to coordinate and prioritise team activities and assume responsibility for project goals.
  • Magento Architect can design your online store starting from the technical side. Magento Architect identifies the best solutions and Magento eCommerce developers bring that technical idea to life.

Magento Certifications and What They Mean

 

If you have any health concerns, it is a good idea to trust a trusted healthcare provider. Your business should be treated in the same way. It is not a good idea to trust the development of your online shop to people whose expertise you don’t know. You must be able to recognize the following types of Magento certifications from your chosen provider:

  • Adobe Certified Professional

A minimum of 0-12 month of experience and learning is required to become an Adobe Professional.

  • Adobe Certified Expert

At least one to three years’ experience is required for this certification. Adobe Certified Experts can manage complex projects on their own or mentor less-skilled developers.

  • Adobe Certified Master

Adobe Master certification requires at least 3 years experience in managing complex projects and mentoring others.

The following are the benefits of working with certified Magento developers:

  • Get guaranteed results. Magento specialists holding one of these certifications will build an eCommerce website that is both efficient and meets your business’s exact requirements.
  • They use the most effective Magento development practices. Working with certified developers will ensure that your code is compliant with the Magento standards and best practices. This will help to ensure the security, quality, and scalability of your online store.
  • They are experts in the platform. A certification exam is required to become a specialist in Magento. This means that a developer can use their knowledge to create a powerful, clean and fast website and address any urgent issues such as a site going down or bug.

They are always up-to-date on the latest Magento updates. Magento developers who are certified have access to the latest Magento features and updates. These features and updates are not available to non-partner development agencies or the general public. Developers already know how to use new features when they roll out.

Looking to work with developers who have worked on over 1000 successful projects?
Get in Touch with GoMage

Key Collaboration Models for Magento eCommerce Developers

 

There are three options available for you to choose from when it comes to staffing your eCommerce project.

  • A team of in-house developers
  • A development agency
  • Freelance Magento developers

Let’s look at these options, and compare the pros and cons so that you can decide which one best suits your needs.

Magento 2 developers in-house

In-house team cooperation means that you can hire developers to work on your long-term project at your company’s premises. This option requires that you pay developers a monthly salary and not an hourly rate while they work on your project.

Pros

This model allows you to take complete control of the project, and communicate with your team members daily to make sure everything runs smoothly. A dedicated team of people working on your project is a time saver. They can quickly solve problems and give updates.

Cons

It can be difficult to hire Magento developers as the majority of experienced professionals work in large development agencies. It will be expensive if you are able to attract a high-ranking specialist. You’ll also have to continue paying a monthly salary each member of your team, even if they have no work for you. You might not be able to assess the skills of a developer.

There are many unnecessary bureaucracy that can be a disadvantage to hiring an in-house staff. You will also need to cover overhead costs such as office rent, taxes on employment, and equipment purchases, among others.

Magento development company

If you are looking for a group of professionals with extensive experience in different industries, a development agency is the best option. This cooperation model allows you to have a team of professionals who can handle your project from start to finish.

Pros

Magento developers agencies employ credentialed Magento specialists. This means that they are well-versed in the latest Magento updates and can resolve any problems quickly. A project manager coordinates the work of each stage of your eCommerce project for development companies.

Magento development agencies are also great because they can help with your initial ideas and offer support and maintenance for your online store after the project is complete.

Focus on what you are good at and outsource the rest.
Peter Drucker, Management consultant and educator.

Cons

You should realize that you won’t be the only client if you decide to work with a development company. You can still get the same dedication and commitment as an in-house team if you work with professionals. You can still be involved in the project, even if you are working with an offshore Magento development company. You can stay connected with your team and discuss any tasks or ideas via online meetings.

Agencies are highly focused on working with clients to achieve the desired result in the shortest amount of time. This means that they charge a higher price for their services. This investment will ensure that you get the best result possible and win long-term.

Magento freelance developers

Freelancers, who are specialists working on a project-based basis, are self-employed. They are usually short-term specialists who work on a project basis and have fewer deliverables. Sometimes, freelance Magento developers need to be supervised and guided by clients.

Pros

Freelancers do not have overhead costs as development agencies do. Therefore, hourly rates for freelance developers are often low. You can also choose the most affordable Magento development service for your needs. You can lower your project budget by hiring freelancers from different places.

Cons

First, be aware that freelancers may not be your only client. Communication delays can result from this. Freelancers will not be as committed to your project as an in-house or outsource team.

They could ask for a prepayment and then disappear without providing any results. They can also start working on the project, but then simply give up and leave it to others. You’ll have to spend lots of time looking for a new provider. Low hourly rates for freelance developers are not a way to save money.

Working with freelance developers can pose security risks. They could intentionally or unintentionally disclose sensitive data to interested parties or use third-party code to speed up development. Working with Magento freelance developers is fraught with risks.

Below is an illustration that illustrates key differences among the three main models of cooperation.

 

The table shows that working with a Magento agency can bring you the greatest benefits. When making your decision, it is important to consider your specific business needs. The final development cost will depend on the type of cooperation you choose. The lowest rate won’t guarantee that you will get the desired result. A larger initial investment can lead to long-term savings and be more cost-effective.

Hourly Salary for Magento Developer

The hourly rate of a Magento developer’s salary varies depending on their skills, whereabouts, and certifications. Different websites offer different information about Magento eCommerce developers’ salaries. talent.com reports a developer’s hourly rate at $56.44 an hour. indeed.com, however, shows a developer’s hourly rate of $44.49 in the US. A highly skilled developer may charge $200 an hour.

Let’s take a look at the hourly salary of a Magento developer in the most popular areas.

You’ll pay three to four times more for Magento development services in the US and Canada than you would in Europe. These countries have hourly rates for freelance developers starting at $150, and climbing up to $200. The hourly rate in Europe will vary between $50 and $99, with the average price being between $50 and $99 The lowest hourly salary for Magento developers is in Asia, where it’s $15-40 per hour. Latin America, where you’ll get $25-50 per hour and South Africa, which will cost $20-40 per hour.

 

Hivemind study found that Magento is Europe’s leading eCommerce platform with a 24.6% market share. This means that Europe has a large pool of Magento experts . Many US-based Magento companies employ them to help with their eCommerce projects.

Apart from the lower salaries of Magento developers, there are many other benefits to working with an agency with European developers. These benefits are:

  1. There are no communication barriers. All European IT companies require at least a intermediate level of English proficiency for developers. This means that communication will be seamless.
  2. Magento experts with deep knowledge. They are able to deliver top-quality services.
  3. Favorable time differences. Communication will be faster because time zone differences aren’t as significant as in other countries.
  4. Low prices. You can have a guarantee without having to compromise the quality of your final product.

No cultural differences. You can eliminate the cultural gap by hiring European developers. This will make it easier to communicate with your business and improve the effectiveness of the work process.

Do you need a project estimate?
GoMage offers a free estimate for your Magento project.
Get in touch

Where can I find Magento 2 developers?

 

We’ve covered key factors when choosing Magento 2 developers. Now it’s time for us to give you a list of resources to help you find the right people to work on your eCommerce project. There are many options, including B2B rating sites like Clutch and GoodFirms. Wadline is another popular option. You can also find specialists through international freelance marketplaces such as Upwork or word-of mouth marketing. Let’s take a deeper look at each option.

Rating platforms for B2B

Such independent B2B rating platforms like Clutch, GoodFirms, Wadline, etc. A list of the top software companies with information about the company, its portfolio and verified customer reviews.

These platforms work in a similar way to professional social networks. Companies create their own profiles and include as much information as they can about themselves: year of establishment, location and number of employees. This information is then verified.

Upwork

Upwork is one the most used online job-search platforms. It provides contract protection for developers and clients, and it helps to build relationships. The platform will provide a list with developers that match your job description after you have submitted a job request. This platform is a very popular one for freelance Magento developers. There are many options.

Lastly, the basic membership plan does not require additional fees for posting jobs to search specialists. It is important to remember that the website charges an additional fee for any work done through its platform. This is particularly true when you start working relationships.

Word-of-mouth

The best way to find specialists for your project is word-of-mouth. Ask your friends and associates for recommendations on Magento developers and agencies. Trust is the most important thing.

Adobe Solution Partner Directory

We recommend you select a trusted Magento partner agency to ensure that you have the best possible development team for your eCommerce projects. Adobe Solution Partner Directory lists the top companies that can help clients create online stores using the Magento platform.

A Magento Solution Partner means that a company can be certain that its employees have the right skills and training to deliver a result that meets all your business requirements. GoMage, for example, is a Magento Solution Partner with more than 11 years of Magento experience and over 1000 successful eCommerce projects.

 

How to choose the best Magento developers

It can be difficult to find a Magento developer team that is reliable due to the many aspects you should consider when choosing a vendor. Your choice will impact how much time and money it takes to build an online store. Your choice will also have a long-term impact on your eCommerce project. This 3-step guide will help you choose the best Magento developers for your company.

  1. Identify your initial requirements to ensure that you get the results you want.
  2. Search for a reliable service provider by looking at the vendor’s portfolio, reviews, expertise, portfolio, and ratings on Clutch and GoodFirms.
  3. Sign an agreement and get started working with the Magento 2 development firm to propel your eCommerce business.
source source https://www.gomage.com/blog/magento-developers-salary/

How to start a cleaning business: The complete guide

A wide variety of cleaning services are offered by cleaning businesses, such as vacuuming, dusting and floor mopping. Cleaning businesses have been focusing on the CDC-recommended procedures to eradicate the COVID-19 virus. This guide will discuss low-cost ways to get your cleaning business started on a tight budget. In seven easy steps, we will show you how to start your cleaning business.

1. Select the type of cleaning business you want

First, you must decide if you want to start a commercial or residential cleaning company. This decision will impact everything else, from financing to equipment to marketing.

Many cleaning companies do not offer services to commercial and residential customers. Each cleaning company offers different services and requires unique equipment. This is why specialization is important. It is also important to decide whether you are starting your business from scratch or buying a franchise that specializes in cleaning.

Commercial vs. Residential Cleaning Businesses

A residential cleaning service is one that specializes in cleaning homes, while a commercial cleaning service is one that specializes in cleaning businesses. It gets more complicated. The residential cleaning business is typically more affordable to start. However, adding on services like window washing and floor waxing can make it very profitable.

You also want to consider that residential is done during the day, and commercial is during the night. Also, residential cleaning is more detail oriented because the homeowner is more likely to inspect your work, and be particular about how you do certain tasks such as arranging pillows and blankets. Commercial covers more square feet, so you’ll have to work faster and less detail oriented than residential.

You’ll have more customers in residential areas, which means less competition for your business. Your budget and your lifestyle will determine which option you choose between residential or commercial.

Do You Need to Buy a Cleaning Franchise?

Franchises in cleaning are very popular. You can choose from more than 15 brands. Cleaning franchises are attractive because they are generally affordable to start. Many franchises offer the option of starting from home or part time. As low as $3500 for a Stratus Building Solutions franchise

It’s important to keep in mind that not all cleaning franchises will be affordable. Some franchises require a $200,000 investment. These franchises require vehicles, advanced equipment, and a physical location.

Learn more:

Magento pos

Shopify pos

Bigcommerce pos

Woocommerce pos

Netsuite pos

MSI

 

A franchise offers industry and business training, which is why many new business owners opt to purchase it. The Maids, for example, offers seven-weeks of business training. It also provides two days of culture and admin training at headquarters. You can also get four days on-site training at your place. This is a boot camp for cleaning businesses!

Research top cleaning franchises

Franchise Type Initial investment
Stratus Construction Solutions Commercial $4,000 to $73,000
JanPro Commercial $4,000 – $54,700
Vanguard Cleaning Systems Commercial $6,000 – $37,000
Anago Cleaning Systems Commercial $11,000 to $68,000
Maid Pro Residential $58,000 to $222,000
The Maids Residential $63,000 to $141,000
Merry Maids Residential $125,000 – $90,000.
Molly Maid Residential $112,000 to $156,000

2. 2.

Next, you need to create a business plan. Get your ideas down on paper. Also, research startup costs and project how much the cleaning business will make over the next two-years (referred to as financial projections).

traditional business planning is required if you are looking for large amounts of funding from a bank, investor or other financial institution. To help with financial projections, most people will use a business plan software. Software is required to help you understand what an income statement or balance sheet are.

A one-page business plan is possible

The one-page business plan should take you less than fifteen minutes to complete. It’s easy: Simply write one to two sentences for each of the questions provided in the template.

Download template: PDF

Create a budget

You will need to calculate the financials of your cleaning company along with the business plan. Three figures are required: estimated startup costs, estimated monthly expenses, monthly income and estimated startup costs.

These are the most common expenses associated with a low-cost cleaning company:

  • Permits and Licenses: $50 to $500 to Register as a Limited Liability Company
  • Insurance: $500 – $3,500 per year, depending on how many employees. You can expect to pay only a few hundred dollars a month.
  • Cleaning products and equipment: $300-$600 depending on the model of tools. Vacuums of high quality can be purchased for $200 to $300. There are $10 off for several all-purpose cleaning products, $10 off for a broom and $20 on a mop. You also get $20 off for dusting supplies.
  • Advertising:$100 – $200 for print or online marketing
  • Labor: About $12 per hour.

Once you have estimated your expenses, it is time to calculate your rates and the monthly income you will make.

Get your Cleaning Rates Set

Rates will be determined by factors such as location, competition, clientele and interior condition. Upgrades such as wall washings, appliance cleanings and window cleaning can help you earn more revenue.

These options are important when setting your rates

  • Hourly rate: $30-$90 per hour. The most popular billing method is the hourly rate. Call your competitors to get an estimate of your hourly rate and inquire about the cost of service.
  • Flat rate: $120-$150 for a single family home. This rate can be determined by estimating the time it will take to clean a house. This rate may be preferred by customers because they know exactly how much to pay each month.
  • Square Foot Feet Rate: Commercial cleaning companies charge per square foot. An office building will typically be charged between $.05 and $.20 per square feet.

Add up the income and expenses

Once you know your startup costs and monthly expenses and your potential income, the next step will be to calculate your net income (income after expenses) and the time it will take to make your initial investment back. This is also known as breakeven.

Let’s take, for example, startup costs of $4,000. You calculate that your monthly expenses will be $1,000, which includes your quarterly tax withdrawal, or about 20% of your income.

If you clean 20 houses per month, earning $120 per house, that’s $2,400 in income. You will have $1,400 in net income each month after you subtract the $1,000 monthly expenses.

This scenario will require you to breakeven in four months and earn your $4,000 investment back. It’s unlikely that you will have 20 homes within your first month of business. This client base and your return on investment may take more than four months.

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3. 3. Get the necessary funds

You did it! Now you know the amount of money it will take to open the cleaning business and keep it running for at least six more months. Now, you have to raise the money. How do you go about it?

In order to begin your business, it is a good idea to use personal money. Avoid debt whenever possible. If you have vehicles or a physical address, this may not be possible. No matter what type of business you are opening, you will still need to repay the debt if it fails.

To start your cleaning business (bullets), you might consider the following funding options:

  • Personal money: Before you use any personal funds to launch your business, make sure that the money is transferred into a bank account for the business (described below).
  • Crowdfunding – This funding option is often overlooked by new cleaning business owners. Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds from family and friends before you open your business. The funds can be used to buy equipment, and then for prepaid services.
  • Credit Cards: We don’t recommend that you take on large amounts of debt in order to start your business. A credit card can be an option if you are willing to take on debt. You can get a 0% APR for 12-18 months if you have excellent credit.
  • Personal loan – We recommend that you do not take out a personal loan in order to start a cleaning company. Because the loan isn’t secured by collateral, the interest rate is high (12%)
  • Home equity loans: You can get a loan to fund your startup if you have equity in your house. The interest rate on this loan will be very low because it is secured by your home.
  • Rollover to business startups (ROBS).: This is only for franchise openings. ROBS refers to when you use your 401(k), money to open a new business.

You can’t apply for traditional bank loans or SBA loans until you have a minimum of three years worth of income and expenses or paid off any equipment. Banks don’t usually lend to startups.

A bank loan or franchise financing may be available if you are franchising. A bank may be able to arrange funding through the franchise. If the franchise’s overall failure rate is low, a bank might be willing to finance it.

4. 4.

Now that you have enough money to start your cleaning company, it is time to organize your legal documents. To open a bank account for your business, you will need an employment ID number.

Register for an Employment Identification Number

To identify small businesses, the federal government provides the employment identification number (EIN). This number is used to file taxes, open a bank account or get a loan. The IRS offers a free EIN. It takes approximately 15 minutes to complete the entire process.

Register the Legal Entity

All owners of cleaning businesses need to register their business as an entity. If a lawsuit is ever filed against your business, you can protect your personal assets by registering as a legal entity. The cost of registering a business depends on the state. It can range from $40 to $500.

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Tip Do not try to save money and skip this step. Cleaning business comes with a risk because you use chemicals in the homes and homes of your customers. You could be sued by customers if you cause damage to their homes, or if you accidentally destroy something. Your personal assets could be used to pay damages if you don’t have a legal entity.

 

  • Sole proprietorship – This is the default structure for your business if you do not register it as a legal entity. A sole proprietorship does not provide legal protections.
  • Limited Liability Company : This is the legal entity that you will most likely choose to run your cleaning business. It is easy to set up and requires little maintenance each year.
  • C corp – The C-corp is another legal entity. It’s easier to set up than the LLC. Many business owners hire an attorney for assistance in setting up the LLC. C-corps are typically used for larger businesses that have many investors.
  • S corporation – Technically the S-corp (small company corp) is not an entity legal. It’s a tax designation. The S-corp was created by Congress to give small businesses similar tax benefits as large corporations. To determine if your LLC can be designated as an S-corp, you can use the custom calculator.

Visit your state’s official website for business registration. You can use an online legal service if you find the site difficult to navigate. IncFile can register your company for free (plus any applicable state fees).

Register for a Business Bank Account

Get a bank account before you incur any expenses or take on any new clients. You want to make sure your personal and business finances are separate as a business owner.

Separate bank accounts are useful for keeping track of income and expenses in order to file taxes. This separation of finances makes it easier to handle any IRS audits.

You can open a business check if you already have a banking relationship. Novo is a great option if you are looking for a bank. Novo is an online bank that caters to small businesses. Novo does not require a minimum balance to open a checking account. Big banks may require $1,500.

5. Get Proper Licenses & Insurance

A license is required for a cleaning business to operate in the locality. All cleaning companies will require insurance. This insurance covers any damage to a customer’s house. Workers’ compensation insurance is required if you hire employees.

Business License

Your state may not require you to obtain a license to operate a cleaning business. Check your state’s website for information about licensing requirements.

A General Business License is required for your city. A record of the businesses that are in operation is all that’s required by most cities. Visit the official website of your city to obtain a General Business License.

Atlanta, for example, requires that all businesses obtain a General Business License. This applies to both online and home-based businesses. The license costs $75. A $500 fine can be imposed if you fail to get a license.

General Liability Insurance

You should at least purchase general insurance (GL). This insurance will protect you from property and bodily injury. A small cleaning business will need GL insurance. It costs around $300 per annum.

Customers may ask for proof that your company is covered by general liability insurance before they hire you as a cleaning service. Customers want to be able to collect for any damage your cleaning might cause in their house or business.

Janitorial Bond

Although you will do your best to find the best people for your cleaning company, there is no guarantee that they won’t steal on the job. In the event of theft, a janitorial bond ( certainty bond ) protects the homeowner.

Here’s how it works. If an employee takes an item from a customer’s house, the bond company will pay for replacement. The bond company places your business on a payment schedule so that you can repay them over time. This is better than a lawsuit or large payment to the client.

A bond is required for new cleaning companies to ensure that thefts don’t cause financial ruin. An annual janitorial bond costs around $200

Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation Insurance is required if you have employees. Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees who are injured while on the job and pays for their medical bills, rehabilitation costs, as well as lost wages. Workers’ compensation will cost approximately $450 per employee annually.

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6. Buy Cleaning Equipment

Your first customer is almost accepted! First, you will need to buy the equipment necessary to do the job. Below is a list of affordable items that will help you get your cleaning business off to a good start.

These are the basics you’ll need:

  • Clean uniform or apron
  • Use paper towels
  • Microfiber cloths
  • Latex gloves
  • Use scrubbers
  • Toilet brush
  • Grout brush
  • All-purpose cleaner
  • Window cleaner
  • Wood cleaner
  • Grout and tile cleaner
  • Extendable duster
  • Sponge
  • Disinfectants
  • Vacuum
  • Bucket
  • Mop

 

Don’t be overwhelmed by the sheer number of cleaning products and brands available if you are starting from a tight budget. When you first start out, make sure to only purchase the items that are necessary. Do not spend more or get into more debt than you need.

Write down your cleaning wish list items. It’s tempting to want a premium vacuum right now. But resist the urge.

In your business plan, list your wishlist items. Indicate the net income level at which you will make each purchase. There will be milestones in your business that you can look forward to!

7. 7.Market Your Cleaning Business

Let’s discuss low-cost, free ways to get your cleaning company noticed. All online marketing, including Google My Business and social media, is free. Although physical marketing materials may have a price, you can make an impact on customers with creativity.

Material for Physical Marketing

There are many options available for physical marketing materials such as flyers, business cards and postcards. We’re talking about marketing on a budget so I will only discuss one low-cost strategy to market a cleaning company.

Leave a note on a card after each cleaning. Thank the homeowner for their service and ask them to forward your card to anyone who is interested in having their home cleaned.

If you are promoting your business using marketing materials, leave a small gift like chocolates or something that the homeowner would appreciate, such as a hand sanitizer. This is called reciprocity. This personal marketing creates an emotional connection between the homeowner and their customer, which makes them more likely than others to reciprocate.

Online Marketing

These are free online marketing strategies that will help you get your cleaning business noticed online.

  • Google My Business: All local businesses can use the GMB, a free listing provided by Google. Your GMB will be displayed first to potential customers who search for residential cleaning businesses.
  • Google My Business: After you have created your GMB listing, Google will also provide a one-page website for free. Although this is not a permanent website, it is a great option for cleaning businesses on a tight budget.
  • Social media profiles – The best advice for social media success? Choose one platform and use it well. You can choose the social platform that you like best (for cleaning, either Instagram) and build your following there.
  • Local business directory: A cleaning company should be listed at least on Yelp or Yellow Pages. You can find other directories that you should be listed on by doing a Google search for your service and seeing what results are returned.

Network in Your Community

Networking in person is an effective and memorable way to promote your business to potential customers. Try attending small business groups in your area such as the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary clubs. Volunteer to serve as a leader in order to make a lasting impression on the organization.

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Bottom line

We have discussed the steps required and low-cost ways to get your cleaning business started. A franchise is a great option for a new business owner who needs the support and training they need. After you have your first customers, it is important to put in great work. A clean house or office is the best way to market your business.

LegalZoom Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up an LLC

LegalZoom, an online legal service, assists you in the LLC (limited liability) registration process. Although you can register your LLC online through the state website, many business owners prefer to have LegalZoom assist them.

LegalZoom may offer you questions or other products that you are unsure about during your LLC registration. We discuss what LegalZoom offers and explain why you should pay.

Before you begin reading the following information, you might find it helpful to visit the LegalZoom LLC registration page. Follow the instructions:

Visit LegalZoom

1. Select an LLC name and confirm it’s available

LegalZoom allows you to start your LLC by entering your business name.

If the name is still available, your LLC registration will be valid. You will need to register another business name if the name is not available.

These are the requirements that you will need to follow when naming a business.

  • Be unique – Your LLC name should not be identical to any existing LLC in your state.
  • Do not confuse customers. Don’t give your LLC a name that is similar to another competitor’s to confuse the public or to try to get customers.
  • Avoid restrictive terms

 

Tip If your business name has not been selected and you want to verify that it is, LegalZoom offers a free service in which they will contact the state government to confirm that it is available. Once they have made their determination, which takes around 15 minutes, a LegalZoom representative will contact you.

 

2. 2.Define the purpose of your LLC

After you have been notified that your business name has become available, you will be asked to answer some questions about when you plan to launch your business.

Is this your first LLC:

And what industry your business is in:

LegalZoom asks these questions to provide you with more relevant information and services throughout the process for your particular business.

3. Indicate whether you’ll hire employees

LegalZoom will use this question to find out more about you and offer additional services. This will not affect the LLC.

4. Identify a Registered Agent

Next, you will need to answer the question: Who should you choose as your Registered Agency (RA). Registered agents are your official contact for legal and other state documents.

You could choose yourself as your own RA. However, if you do so, you or an employee must be available Monday thru Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to receive a legal document such as a summons or subpoena. If you’re not available during this time, you could lose your LLC status with the state.

LegalZoom can act as your Registered Agent if you are unable to be there or if you prefer LegalZoom to do this for you. Many business owners find that having an outside RA provides them with peace of mind knowing they won’t lose any important documents. LegalZoom acts as your registered agent for $249 per annum.

5. Choose from the Recommended LLC Documents

The LegalZoom LLC sign up process for “Essential Documents”, consists of three parts: the Operating Agreement, employer ID number (EIN),, as well as business licenses.

Here’s a further breakdown of the “Essential Documents” LegalZoom is offering:

LegalZoom’s Essential Documents Best for Additional cost
Operating Agreement Business with multiple owners or one who wants to modify the rules of their LLC $99
EIN and Operating Agreement If a small business plans to hire employees or elects to be taxed like a corporation, it can opt to be subject to the corporate tax. $159
Operating Agreement, EIN, and Licenses Licenses and permits are required for small businesses to be able to operate. $199

Operating Agreement

Operating agreements are used to describe how companies run and can help prevent or resolve disputes. Although most states do not require LLCs for operating agreements to be filed informally, many states require that one is kept on file with your company.

No matter what state requirements, we recommend that you draft an operating agreement for your LLC in order to establish your management structure and remove uncertainty. An operating agreement can be purchased through LegalZoom at $99 when you file for an LLC.

You can still purchase LegalZoom through your online account if you decide that LegalZoom is the right service for you.

Employer Identification Number

The EIN (Internal Revenue Service number) is what the IRS uses to identify your company. The IRS website allows you to request an EIN for free. LegalZoom can help you skip this step if you prefer. The EIN is a crucial legal step in starting a business. Without it, you can’t file taxes.

Business License

LegalZoom can help you determine the right type of permit or license your business requires. This is a great service if you have multiple licenses that your business requires from different government agencies.

 

Free ebook: How to Start Your Business Step-by-step guide that will show you how to go form idea to launch your business in just 30 days 

6. Select Additional Business Services

The last step in selecting the pricing package for your LLC is to look at LegalZoom’s other business services, Smart Employer or Total Compliance. You won’t likely see Smart Employer services if you haven’t stated earlier that you don’t intend to have employees.

Smart Employer

The Smart Employer legal package includes unlimited legal forms, legal advice, tax consultations, and legal advice. The Smart Employer legal package costs $39.99 per calendar month after a 10-day trial.

If you believe you will have legal questions for an attorney, or if you will need to create customized legal forms, this may be the right package for you. You could use the legal forms for employment, client, or vendor contracts.

Total Compliance

The Total Compliance package protects you from missing renewal deadlines for LLCs. The state may charge a late fee if you miss a deadline. You may also lose your LLC status if your LLC expires more than six months after the renewal deadline.

7. Select an LLC Package and Pay

LegalZoom LLC costs vary depending on the speed you need your documents filed and what your stats filing fee is. The state filing fee is $40 in Kentucky and $500 in Massachusetts.

If you’re already in business and have customers, you likely want an expedited filing to get your personal assets protected as-soon-as-possible. If you haven’t started your business and can wait for your filing, choose the Economy package.

LegalZoom LLC Packages at A Glance

Economy Standard Express Gold
Pricing $79 + State Filing fees $329 + State Filing fees $349 + State Filing fees
Name check and business filing      
Articles of Organization      
LLC Next Steps Guide      
Peace of Mind Review ™      
Lifetime customer support      
Financial Account Authorization Letter      
Deluxe Organizer N/A    
Official Seals and Certificates N/A    
LegalZoom VIP Processing N/A    
Rush Processing with the Secretary of State N/A N/A  
Express Shipping N/A N/A  
Learn More Learn More Learn More

8. 8.

After you have selected your pricing package, you will need to give the final details to create your LLC. Although the information required will vary from one state to another, generally it is your business and personal information. LegalZoom will also ask you for a payment method.

After you have selected a package, LegalZoom will ask for the following information:

  • Your primary business address: LegalZoom will list any state-specific requirements.
  • You can form a Professional LLC if you are a licensed professional in medicine, law, accounting or architecture.
  • End date of your fiscal years. This is usually Dec. 31. If your business receives large amounts of revenue at one time or another, you may need to consider a different date.
  • Dissolution Date: Choose a dissolution day if you have a temporary business, such as one that was formed to attend a particular event. Your LLC doesn’t need to have a dissolution date.
  • Names of the owners: Enter the names of each owner. If you are the only owner, please enter your name.
  • Ownership interests Describe whether ownership is expressed in units or percentages. Next, list the interests of each owner and select the type of consent required to transfer ownership.
  • Management structure: Indicate if your LLC will be managed by one owner or multiple owners. This will decide who can open bank accounts, sign checks, and bind the LLC.
  • Information about your EIN: LegalZoom will obtain an EIN for you LLC. Please provide details about your business. This information will be required if you decide to apply for an EIN yourself.
  • Contact information: Name, phone number and Social Security number for one of the LLC owners, managers, presidents, or employees to the IRS.

Once you have completed the information, hit submit and LegalZoom begins preparing your documentation. Once it is completed, it will be sent to your Secretary Of State. LegalZoom will notify your via email once the application has been approved. After you have received the notification, your LLC has been set up and you are ready to launch your business.

LegalZoom to Form an LLC: The pros and cons

LegalZoom is a great tool to create an LLC. However, it may not be the right choice for every business. LegalZoom is a great tool that can help you save time and money but it doesn’t replace an experienced attorney.

LegalZoom’s Pros and Cons for Forming an LLC

  • Full service LegalZoom’s add on services can assist you with all aspects of your initial filing, including tax, legal and compliance issues.
  • Time-saving: LegalZoom helps you save time by handling all the paperwork required to form your LLC.
  • Less expensive that hiring an attorney. Attorneys can charge between $150 and $500 per hour. LegalZoom can help you save money by organizing your LLC and handling other legal matters.
  • Additional support and reminders. LegalZoom’s add on services can help you recall important filing dates and answer any questions you may have about running your business.

LegalZoom to Form an LLC: The Cons

  • A limited amount of expertise is No one can replace the knowledge and experience of a qualified business lawyer.
  • More costly than other services: It costs $79 to form a LegalZoom LLC, plus filing fees. Similar services are available on other websites for filing fees (as part a trial), or $49 plus filing fees.
  • More time to respond: Although LegalZoom claims a turnaround time of 7-10 business days for their Express Gold package with a fast turnaround, many customers complain about slow service and long processing times.
  • Potentially confusing. LegalZoom’s Add-ons can be helpful, but they can also be confusing if your aren’t sure which services you require to form an LLC. If you choose to add on services such as tax consulting or registered agent, pricing can become confusing.
  • Limited customer service: Customer feedback reveals that customer support can sometimes be difficult to reach or unhelpful.

Bottom line

You will need to be familiar with state requirements and tax obligations in order to set up an LLC. Although you can register your company yourself, the process can be time-consuming and confusing. For $79 to $359 plus filing fees, you can save money by forming a LegalZoom LLC within 15 minutes.

How to Make Money blogging: The Ultimate Guide

You’ll find lots of information on the internet if you search for “how to make a living blogging”. Unfortunately, most of the advice you will get from well-intentioned gurus won’t be accurate or complete and will only guide you to mediocrity. Worst case, you could end up with dismal results.

You must treat your blog as a business to make it profitable. Choose the most effective monetization strategies and market your business effectively. It is important to monitor and analyze your results and make adjustments when necessary.

This is the Ultimate Guide to Making Money from Blogging

Since nearly a decade, I have been a blogger and a business growth consultant for bloggers. My marketing experience spans over two decades. This ultimate guide to blogging success will show you how to make money. The real drivers behind blogging success will be revealed to you. This guide will show you how to make a living from blogging and even generate millions of dollars through blogging (as Fit Small Business did).

How to Make Money Blogging Please Share This Image on Your Site

Your blog should be treated as a business.

Bloggers who are successful don’t “wing it” but create a business plan that will guide them to success. The top bloggers know the importance of choosing a profitable niche and investing in the right resources. They research their niche and the competition. They then provide the best solutions for their audience’s problems.

The Learning Herbs blog generates about $20,000 per month. Source: CreateAndGo.com

Invest in the Right Resources

Although you don’t have to spend a lot to start a blog, it is unlikely that you will ever be able to make a lot of money from it. Investing in time-saving and profitability-boosting blogging resources is one of the best ways to set yourself up for blogging success.

Create your blog on a reliable, flexible platform

It is important that you choose a reliable and capable blogging platform to set up your blog. Bluehost is a great hosting platform for self-hosted WordPress blogs.

WordPress powers more websites than any other website builder. The builder has a wide range of themes and flexible plugins for WordPress so it is easy to create any type blog, even if you have limited technical knowledge.

Bluehost is a trusted WordPress hosting solution. Bluehost is trusted by millions of users for its reliable and secure hosting services.

Visit Bluehost

Make time and money by using the Time-&-Money-Saving Blogging Tool

What if you had a hammer, a saw and all the tools necessary to build a house? You wouldn’t. Don’t attempt to create a blog using a limited set of tools.

These are some resources and tools that you can add to your blog toolbox.

  • Writing Tools Use grammar improvement tools like Grammarly, ProWritingAid or WhiteSmoke to ensure that your blog content is error-free.
  • Ecommerce tools: If you want to monetize your website with physical or digital products you will need an eCommerce tool such as Shopify, Ecwid or WooCommerce.
  • Editorial and Project Management Tools: Use tools such as Trello and the Co-Schedule blog calendar to manage your blogging projects.
  • Payment Processing Tools Accept payments on your blog via Square Payments, PayPal or Stripe
  • Image Editing Tools: You’ll need to create images and edit them for your blog. PicMonkey, Canva or Placeit are some options.
  • Building your email database is crucial to blogging success. Use popular name-capture software like OptinMonster and Smart Bar by SumoMe.
  • Email Marketing Tools Contact your blog audience by email using email marketing software such as Constant Contact, Drip or Converkit.
  • Social sharing tools: Let your readers share your content with tools like Sumo and Social Warfare.

There are many tools that can be used to help you blog. There are many tools that can help you with running your blog. You’ll often find the best solutions when you ask other bloggers in blogging Facebook Groups and online blogger forums.

Do not hesitate to outsource

Many business owners don’t have the necessary skills to build their businesses. Bloggers aren’t experts in writing, graphic design and editing. Bloggers who are interested in business building should do the same thing as smart business owners: Focus on what you know best and outsource all the rest.

These are some outsourcing and freelancer websites that you can use to complete a variety of blogging tasks:

  • Fiverr –This marketplace offers affordable solutions to all kinds of blogging tasks including logo design and blog article writing.
  • Upwork All types of freelancers are available on Upwork, starting from the beginner to the advanced.
  • Freelancer.com Hire freelancers for your blog projects on Freelancer.com.
  • Problogger Job Board Search for freelancers who specialize in blogging projects via the Problogger Job Board.

Many successful bloggers have a list of freelancers that they can call on for different blogging projects. virtual assistant (VA) can also be hired by many bloggers. This is a great way for you to do simple tasks on an ongoing basis. You don’t even need to assign projects to your VA.

Analyze Your Market and Your Competition

Selecting a profitable niche is an important step to creating a blog that makes money. You need to be familiar with the market you are operating in, the audience you serve, and the competition in your niche. You will be more likely to create unique content that will impress your readers and keep them coming back.

Give the Best Solution to Your Audience’s Problems

If you give generic advice that isn’t helpful to your audience, or that they can find elsewhere, blogging won’t be able to make a living. You must stand out from other bloggers who are trying to grab your attention. Your ideal audience will find better solutions and more value elsewhere.

Remember that the visitors coming to your blog are there for a reason. They have a question they need answered. They have problems that they need to solve. The better you are at moving your audience from where they are to where they want to be, the more successful your blog will be.

A blog content strategy is essential to ensure that you are providing your audience with the best content. This will help you create blog posts that are relevant to your audience. You will be able to avoid creating irrelevant, unprofitable content that doesn’t add value to your blog.

While great content is the most important aspect of creating a user-friendly blog, there are many other things you can do. Your blog should load quickly. Make it easy to understand your blog’s purpose and use intuitive navigation to make it easy for visitors to find what you’re looking.

Make sure you create an exceptional experience for your blog visitors; it’s key to growing blog profits. Source: Podia.com

The Right Blog Monetization Techniques

A blog built without a monetization plan, is a bad idea. This is why most new bloggers fail. You already know that your blog is a business and you need to think about how your blog will generate consistent income. There are many ways you can make a living blogging, and some are more lucrative than others.

While some monetization methods require you to put in a lot of work, such as creating custom products or online courses, the potential profits can be tremendous. Some monetization techniques are quick and easy, such as joining an advertising network. However, you will typically only earn modest returns if your blog traffic is less than 25,000 pages per month.

It’s possible to monetize your website even if you have low traffic. Multi-monetization is a key strategy for bloggers who are highly successful.

Tap into the Money-Making Power of Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows bloggers to make money by promoting other products and services. Every time your blog readers make an action, you receive a commission. This is typically making a purchase. However, depending on the agreement, it could also be filling out forms or simply clicking over to the third-party’s website.

Affiliate marketing is easy to start. Affiliate marketing is a major source of income for top bloggers. It can bring in 40% to 60% of their revenues. Even if you are a beginner blogger, affiliate marketing is possible.

Affiliate programs can make bloggers a few dollars per month, while others can earn hundreds or even thousands. Affiliate marketing can be a great way to make a living, especially if your products and services are well-received.

These are the top affiliate networks and programs you should be looking into:

  • Rakuten Marketing (Formerly Linkshare).
  • ClickBank
  • CJ Affiliate
  • Flex Offers
  • ShareASale
  • Amazon Associates
  • eBay Partner Network
  • Affiliate Window (AWIN).
  • JVZoo
  • Target Affiliates (perfect if you love Target)

This list is only a small selection of the most popular programs, but there are many companies that offer affiliate programs. Look into whether the product owner has an affiliate program if you find a product that is perfect for your blog audience.

You can also join programs such as Viglink and Skimlinks if you aren’t interested in working directly with merchants and affiliate networks. These programs allow you to tap into the power and potential of affiliate marketing. However, rather than joining just one merchant program, Skimlinks or Viglink scan your blog content, and create links to affiliate programs for product owners. If you have a lot to mention on your blog, this batch-style process can help you save a lot time.

Lifestyle blogger Blair Staky made over $9,000 in February 2020, and over $5,000 of that came from affiliate marketing. Source: blairstaky.com

You can sell digital and physical products on your blog

Your blog can be monetized by selling physical or digital products . These products can be created by you or acquired through a third party.

These are just a few of the products that you can sell through your blog.

  • This is a very popular and simple way to create and publish e-books.
  • Branded products such as planners and mugs
  • Original art including paintings, drawings and prints.
  • Software and apps
  • Meal-prep plans
  • Plans for fitness
  • T-shirts
  • Guides, checklists and planners that you can download
  • Templates for social media or graphics
  • Subscription boxes
  • Recipes
  • Private label products
  • Audio recordings, such as meditations and original music, are available
  • Stock photos
  • Handmade products

You can create an online store on your blog to get selling quickly. Make sure the products you sell are relevant to your blog audience. Otherwise, you will only see minimal returns.

Selling products through your blog can make you a few hundred dollars to several thousand each month. It all depends on what products you sell and how well you market them.

Blogger Sarah Titus earns more than seven figures a year selling printable downloads on her blog and Shopify store. Source: sarahtitus.com

Advertise to make money from your blog

Many bloggers who are just starting out see bloggers with experience incorporating ads to their blogs and conclude that this is a great way for them to make money blogging. Advertising is a great way to make money online, but it won’t make you rich.

Advertising is great, especially if it’s done through a third party advertising network. You can simply add the code to your website and forget about it. After the code has been installed, you can simply sit back and enjoy passive income month after month from these ads. It’s simple money.

Advertising has a downside. You need to have a lot traffic to make money. Some ad networks won’t accept you until your monthly page views average between 25,000 and 30,000. You may still only make a few hundred dollars a month from advertising. Bloggers who use advertising to monetize their websites also use other monetization methods.

These are the top advertising networks that you should check out:

  • Google AdSense
  • Mediavine
  • Monumetric
  • AdThrive
  • Infolinks
  • RevenueHits from Intango

To negotiate advertising agreements for your blog, you can also contact product and service providers directly. Although this is more time-consuming, it often leads to a higher level of advertising income.

Add information to your blog about how you can contact you for advertising information. This information is usually located in the footer. ratecard for advertising or a media kit could be created for your blog.

The Endless Meal Blog has over 430,000 pages views per month and makes about $5,800 or 83% of its income from advertising on the AdThrive network. Source: theendlessmeal.com

Sponsored posts

Bloggers can make a living by posting sponsored posts on their blogs and social media. You could make as much as several hundred dollars per sponsored post depending on how popular your blog is. For top bloggers, with large followings, you can charge thousands of dollars per post.

Joining influencer networks is one of the best ways to find sponsorship opportunities. These networks allow bloggers to connect with brands and handle all details of the project and payment.

These are some popular influencer marketing platforms that you should explore:

Reaching out directly to business owners and brands can help you secure sponsored posts. Be sure to show the value that you can bring to the table by being a blogger influencer to a dedicated audience.

The Savvy Couple blog has grown its average income to as high as $43,547 per month; Sponsorships account for 61% of the blog’s income.
Source: thesavvycouple.com

Earn Money by Taking Online Courses

Online courses can be a great way to make a living as a blogger. Popular courses make it possible for top bloggers to earn six- or seven-figures per year. Although you might not be able to make these kinds of income right away, if you’re good at building an audience on your blog and creating relevant online courses, this monetization method could provide a steady stream of income.

Blogger Michelle Schroeder-Gardner, the founder of the Making Sense of Cents blog, has earned more than a half-million dollars from her popular courses.
Source: makingsenseofcents.com

Use your blog to promote professional services

You can also make money blogging by offering consulting, coaching, and other professional services. Your blog can be used to increase your credibility and position you as an expert in your field. You can then offer your services to others who are interested in your extensive knowledge and experience.

Selling services can make you a lot of money. It all depends on the type of service you provide, your experience and how much you value your services. A freelance copywriter might make $50-$95 an hour while executive coaches who are highly paid can charge $250-$750 per hour.

The Club Thrifty blog earned more than $400,00 in 2019 from freelance writing income alone. Source: clubthrifty.com

Events and Paid Speaking Opportunities

You can make a living blogging if you are a showman or a motivational speaker. Hosting your own events, such as webinars, seminars and retreats, can help you make a lot of money.

You can make a lot of money as a speaker. You could make even more as an event facilitator, speaker, or promoter.

If you have the right topic, the right audience size, and a compelling line-up for speakers, live events can bring in six figures. The cost of producing a large-scale, in-person event can easily run into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars. This means that this monetization strategy is not feasible for all bloggers.

If you don’t have the financial resources or desire to attend a large conference, there are alternatives. You can host an online event for free or a low fee and invite other people in your field to take part. The event can be monetized by offering follow-up services or selling recordings.

Hosting online retreats has the advantage that experts who participate in them will share the promotion with their audience. This can help you gain a lot of exposure for your blog.

The Bestseller Online Summit is an example of the type of online event you can create to monetize your blog. Source: bestsellersummitonline.com

A Guide to Payment Tokens for Ecommerce

Advances in electronic payments has always balanced risk and advantage. Generally, a payment system that is suitable for customers is insecure for merchants. The use of “tokens” can reduce that risk by protecting credit card details.

In this post, I will explain how tokens can secure payment transactions and databases — and enhance your ecommerce business.

The use of “tokens” can reduce that risk by protecting credit card details.

Tokens Described

A token is a representation of something else. In payments, a token represents a credit card number.

Tokenization converts a credit card number to a string of arbitrary characters which have no value. Just one party can then convert that token back to a usable card number.

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When a credit card payment has been converted into a token, a payment system such as Visa utilizes its protected keys to decode it and pass the card number to the standard electronic payment processors.

Importantly, merchants themselves can’t decode a token. Converting a token back to a card number requires access to the encryption keys, which are generally stored in military-grade security.

Moreover, merchants themselves don’t create tokens. Industry providers — again, Visa, Mastercard, payment gateways — offer the service of converting card numbers to tokens. Generally, a merchant will embed on a checkout page an externally hosted iframe, including boxes for customers to enter credit card numbers. The token service provider supplies the code for this iframe. The credit card details transmit directly to the supplier and don’t”touch” or interact with the merchant’s site.

Because of this, merchants do not manage sensitive credit card details.

I need to add that merchants could, theoretically, create tokens. However, the merchant would then become responsible for protecting the encryption keys, which means building Fort Knox-like physical and electronic defense systems.

Moreover, the merchant would need to coordinate key exchanges (and a number of other security systems) with each party in the payment-processing chain. This type of payment-token ecosystem is more-or-less impossible for any thing other than the biggest financial and technology companies.

Tokens can be stolen, but they can’t be used to make a payment with no important cryptographic info. Absent that pre-arranged and pre-approved payment stream, a token could be rejected immediately.

Use Cases

  • PCI compliance. Since the merchant doesn’t have access to credit card information, the reach of Payment Card Industry compliance is significantly smaller. Generally, merchants using a respectable token service provider automatically comply with PCI standards.
  • Client convenience. Retaining tokens allows merchants to execute customer-convenience features like one-click checkouts. Since they’re easy to store in databases, tokens can be fetched to complete payments fast, without asking the client to re-input credit card details. If a token expires (and it may, like a credit card), most suppliers can upgrade it without bothering the client.
  • Subscriptions. With saved tokens, merchants can provide friction-free recurring payments for subscriptions and installment purchases.
  • Refunds and returns. Tokens can be fetched quickly and then utilised to reverse transactions — online or in person. Tokens therefore expedite processing of yields and refunds.
  • Post-purchase selling. Tokens are a simple way to provide post-purchase updates and cross-sells. Merchants can use the token to process follow-on transactions without asking the client for the credit card information.
  • Custom mobile pockets. Merchants can use saved tokens for payments in a mobile app, thus creating a mobile wallet. Tokenization is vital for omnichannel payments.

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Strategies for Creating a Restaurant Event Space [Guide]

As a business operator, it is always wise to keep your eyes open for untapped potential and new strategies to capitalize on earnings. Hosting events for special occasions is a enormous opportunity that you shouldn’t miss! It is a source many restaurants are missing out on–but yours does not have to be among them. As a restauranteur, you already have the majority of the tools for hosting a successful event, such as the square footage, a kitchen, and a Point of Sale Software Features.

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A tool you can look at adding to the box is technology designed specifically for event preparation. New technology is changing and innovating event spaces all of the time. It is making them easier to plansimpler to handle, and more rewarding long-term. Use the advice below to convert your restaurant into a restaurant event area.

Here are some helpful tips on creating a restaurant occasion space:Re-work the Floor Plan

First, consider the floor plan. Many times, event floor plans will differ from your daily restaurant design. The number one reason for this is guest count. When you’ve got a large guest count, you do not need to have the dining room littered with unnecessary furniture. Likewise little guest counts may leave a lot of open space, which makes the event feel empty and awkward. An exceptional tool for organizing your own event space is 3D- and AR-diagramming technology. This cutting-edge technology is taking the events industry by storm, and it’s easy to see why. 3D- and AR-diagramming permit you to create multiple floor plans, customize your event spaces, and examine all aspects of your event.

Communicate Clearly with Customers

Be certain that you ease quality communication between you and the client, a vital element for a restaurant event area. So many occasions fail since the client and venue have two unique visions. Utilize software which enables your customer to share, get opinions on, and easily change your proposed floor plan. This way communication is always on point. Free exchange of opinions and input from your clients will yield more profitable and financially viable occasions.

Use Your Point of Sale

Another tool your restaurant already has on hand that could help in hosting events is a point of sale platform. Capable of far more than traditional cash registers, now’s point of sale solutions manage inventory management, employee management, menu building, and much more. If you’re planning to incorporate events as a company offering and earnings potential, leverage a multi-functional point of sale to maximize your returns. Build a customized menu tailored specifically for each function. Check your stock levels to make certain you’ve got everything you will need to meet guests. Based on the event size, you probably won’t have to schedule your whole team. Utilize employee management tools inside your point of sale to properly staff events and compute exactly what your employee cost will be.

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What’s a Point of Sale System? A Guide To POS Software

The speed at which point of sale (POS) applications is growing is notable. We can see that lots of businesses and company have began using point of sale system so as to obtain their sale system upgraded and gain more clients and clients.

What’s Point Of Sale (POS) Software?

POS applications  is exactly what many small business owners and shop owners use to handle sales. Many POS software can also communicate with stock levels to keep everything in balance.

You should have learned about the Apple Store lately, and you would really like to know that the times of old cash registers are long gone. Now, many mortar retailers are moving toward more powerful systems that operate on gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. The system isn’t in any respect a intricate system that you believe might cost thousands of dollars.

However, to boost your truth, this system isn’t adopted just by neighborhood shops but many e-commerce shop owners that sell at craft fairs, trade shows, and farmers markets also take a reasonable and easy-to-use point of sale solutions.

The plus point about this system is that you can easily install POS applications  without becoming worried about it.

Some critical points of Point of sale system that you ought to know before you use it.

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This system can be accessed directly from the Web

Using a Cloud POS system, you can take your business anywhere with an internet connection. There are a few cloud-based POS systems that work online and offline. Thereby, according to your requirement and need it is easy to use a POS system and assist your clients to use your service easily.

Compatible with the majority of POS hardware

When you sell in person using a POS system, then you’ll be offered with an internet shop that includes in your plan. There are lots of business owners using POS hardware such as cash drawers, printers, etc.. Consequently, if you would like to proceed with your business and want to keep up with the competition then as a company owner you need to use POS system.

POS systems are less expensive

The POS systems are affordable by most as its cost is suitable. The system helps merchants in obtaining the consumer data from anyplace with an Internet connection. If you’re a small business

owner who sells at a rock and mortar shop, e-commerce shop, and does the rare trade show or flea industry then you have to use this cloud-based POS and connect it up to your e-commerce shop.

Choose software that integrates seamlessly with your site

Select a system which operates just easy on your site and integrates seamlessly. Thereby, find a cloud-based point of sale software that runs in a web browser and also the one that can works on any computer or tablet computer on earth. A fantastic POS has tons of amazing features, including the ability to maintain operating offline in case of dropping your Internet connection.

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Beginner’s Guide to Selling Online

With the condition of the world at this time, online sales are crucial. Lots of you might already have an internet store–if so, we have you covered with suggestions on the best way best to enhance the online store you have already got.  But for those who have hitherto only sold from physical stores, or those of you that are only just beginning your journey to retail–we are here for you! This is your guide to beginning your very first online shop.

There is always the option of choosing a company or a programmer to build your online store for you, if you’ve got the funds for this. But for those who would rather learn yourself and save costs, here is the comprehensive guide to starting your very first online shop!

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  1. First things first.  Get yourself a website builder.  There are many platforms to select from, such as WordPress or Wix. We recommend WordPress, just because it’s free with small external costs, and because it is open-source so that you can customize it how you want. It is possible to install design plugins like Elementor making  it effortless to build your own website. To get a more comprehensive guide on the best way best to use WooCommerce, click here. However, if you would like something much more user-friendly, Wix could possibly be a better choice for you.
  2. Select a hosting service for your site.  there are lots of alternatives, such as Bluehost, which works with WordPress. Regardless of what hosting service you choose, there’ll be a cost to your domain name and for the hosting agency. Shared hosting–meaning your website is hosted on the same server as other sites –will be the cheapest choice. But if you’d prefer a heavier site you might choose to choose dedicated hosting, meaning that your website includes a server all to itself! Hosting services have an assortment of different strategies with varying prices, so check them out and see which one works best for you.
  1. Select a theme for your online shop . Themes do the groundwork of layout for you–your pages are already laid out, you only have to fill in the blanks. The main point to consider when picking a theme is the type of your pages–what attributes you need to display on your webpages, and how you would like your shoppers to browse your webpage. Look through the topics that your eCommerce builder provides, and see which one suits you best.
  1. Once you have chosen a theme, you can begin to customize it. Choose color schemes, fonts, images, and other attributes to design your pages. Based upon your Site Builder, you can add all sorts of different features like embedding your social networking posts or reviews from outside sources on your webpage.
  1. Next, add your products. The main information you want to begin with is name, price, and descriptions. Based on what eCommerce platform you go for, the amount of products or the amount of variations (colours, sizes, etc.) may be restricted. Product images are also extremely important for internet sales, so it is a fantastic idea to have high-quality photos of your products.
  1. Set up a Payment System.  Popular methods include Stripe or Paypal, however your choices might be limited based upon your eCommerce platform.
  1. Setup Shipping.  Shipping prices depend on your organization and the kinds of goods you sell–you may have a fixed shipping rate, or based on size, weight, or price of this merchandise being sent, or the place the goods are being sent to. Most eCommerce websites have partnerships with unique couriers, such as FedEx or USPS to make your life easier.

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Then… well, you’re all done! Take a look through your new eCommerce website, maybe even examine a few sales to be sure everything is running smoothly. If all is well, push your website live and start selling!

A few suggestions to boost your online shop:

Have Shipping and Return information readily accessible on your website. Clients will not be likely to shop with you if they do not understand your policies on shipping and returns!

If you intend to have a physical store in the future, it is a fantastic idea to have a point of sale software that connects with your online shop, such as ConnectPOS, which is totally free.

Have excellent customer support. During times such as these, customer service is more important than ever. Be quick to react, and do anything you can to make their experience the best it can possibly be. Customer support is the best way to grow your brand, and also to develop loyal customers–the base of your retail business!

If your clients have a wonderful experience with your store, offer them an incentive to leave a review. Give them a discount on their next purchase to leave a few words on your website. Reviews go a long way!

Get an SSL Certificate for more secure payments, and to come across as more professional and legitimate to your clients.

Ship Internationally. If you can, obviously. This way, you won’t lose out on any clients!

Social Media. Create a Facebook or Instagram webpage for your online shop. This is great for expanding and marketing your brand, but it is also possible to use these platforms to market! Product images in your social networking pages can be linked to a online shop to make it easy peasy for your customers to shop with you.

The Modern Retailer’s Guide to Inventory Control: The Processes and Metrics You Need to Know

Anyone who’s tasked with managing in a retail business knows — now more than ever — that they have their work cut out for them. In today’s retail landscape, consumers not only expect to find and buy the products they need on multiple channels (i.e., in-store, online, mobile, social media), they also want order fulfillment flexibility (which requires fast shipping and services like click-and-collect/BOPIS and curbside pickup).

When you’re operating across multiple channels and locations, it’s essential that your warehouse, backroom, and shelves (i.e., physical AND digital shelves) are stocked with the right products.

This is why inventory control (sometimes called stock control) is critical. You need to have the right processes, technologies, and people in place to successfully execute your inventory initiatives — and overall retail strategy, for that matter.

Below, we’ll look at the ins and outs stock control and how you can tighten up your current systems and practices.

What is inventory control?

Inventory or stock control refers to the systems and procedures that you implement to manage and stay on top of your warehouse’s stock levels.

Inventory involves tasks like:

  • Organizing products in the warehouse or backroom
  • Monitoring product movements and stock levels
  • Reconciling physical stock with the company’s records.

Inventory management vs. inventory control

While inventory management and inventory control are closely related (and often used interchangeably), they have some important distinctions. Inventory management is a broader term encompassing everything from forecasting demand and ordering products to stocking the shop’s shelves and counting physical stock in-store. Inventory control, on the other hand, refers specifically to managing stock in your warehouse.

Inventory control best practices: 4 important steps to take

The objective of inventory control is to hold the least amount of inventory in your warehouse without compromising your ability to fulfill orders or stock your retail stores. Keeping your stock levels tight is essential for a couple of reasons:

Maximum profit. Having the right amount of merchandise with the least amount of investment in stock paves the way for wider profit margins.

More working capital. When your cash isn’t tied up in stock, you have more resources to invest in your business. Proper stock control frees up cash flow and keeps your business humming.

Highly efficient warehouses. By not stocking more than necessary, you free up space in your warehouse, which ultimately makes it easier to find and organize products. This may also lead to fewer misplaced items and less waste.

Here are some of the top stock control best practices to implement in your business.

1. Know your numbers

Inventory control involves an array of equations and calculations. You need to constantly run the numbers to ensure that your warehouse is stocked with just the right amount of merchandise.

Here are some of the formulas to keep in mind.

Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)

EOQ tells you the right amount of stock to purchase in order to keep your inventory ordering and holding costs to a minimum.

To calculate EOQ, use the formula:

EOQ = √(2DS / H)

Where:

D = Demand quantity

K = Fixed costs per order

H = Holding costs per year

Here’s an example of EOQ in action:

D = 500

K = $1,000

H = $20

EOQ = 224

Lead Time Demand

LTD is the forecasted level of demand for a product during the lead time from the supplier to the retailer. Calculating LTD is important because it allows you to determine when to order products to avoid inventory shortages.

You can calculate LTD by multiplying the lead time for a product by the average number of units sold daily.

LTD = Average lead time in days x Average number of units sold per day

So, if you sell 40 units of a product per day, and it takes 3 days for a reorder to arrive, you’ll calculate it as follows:

LTD = 40 x 3 = 120

Safety Stock (SS) 

Safety stock is the level of stock that you keep to mitigate the risk of stock shortages.

To calculate it, use the formula:

(Maximum units sold per day x Maximum lead time) – (Average daily units sold x Average lead time)

Let’s take LTD data above and add the following information as an example. If you sell a maxim of 50 units for a product and the maximum lead time for that product is 5 days, then you would calculate SS as follows:

SS = (50 x 7) – (40 x 3) = 230

Reorder Point Formula (ROP)

ROP indicates the stock at which you need to order more inventory.

Calculate it using the formula 

ROP = Lead time demand + Safety stock

Let’s carry on with the examples from above. If your LTD is 120 and your SS is 230, then:

ROP = 120 + 230 = 350

Inventory control KPIs

Aside from calculating your order quantities, lead time, safety stock, and reorder points, you should also measure the performance of your inventory and use those insights to inform your decisions.

Here are some of the stock control KPIs to consider.

Stock turn

Sometimes referred to as inventory turnover, stock turn pertains to the number of times stock is sold through or used in a given time period.

Calculate it using the formula:

Stock turn = Cost of goods sold / Average inventory

So, if your average inventory is $10,000 and your COGS is $50,000, you’d calculate stock turn as follows:

50,000 / 10,000 = 5

This tells you that you’ve sold out of the product 5 times.

Sell-through

Sell through is the percentage of units sold versus the number of units that were available to be sold.

You calculate it using the formula:

Sell through = Number of units sold / Beginning inventory x 100

If you have 200 units of a product (beginning inventory) and sold 185 units after a month, your sell-through is:

185 / 200 = 92%

Gross Margin Return on Investment (GMROI) 

GMROI measures your profit return on the funds invested in stock. It answers the question, “For every dollar invested in inventory, how many dollars did I get back?”

GMROI = Gross profit / Average inventory

If your gross margin is $40,000 and you have an average inventory cost of $22,000 then:

22,000 / 40,000 = 1.81

Knowing is the first step to understanding what needs to be done to improve your inventory control practices and performance. To that end, brush up on the formulas above and arm yourself with an inventory software that sheds light on stock control insights you need in your business.

2. Establish, document, and audit your procedures

The key to running a finely-tuned warehouse and retail operation is to have repeatable processes that are documented and accessible to the right people. The specific procedure will depend on your business. Ideally, you’d want to establish procedures for:

  • Ordering and receiving stock into your warehouse
  • Retrieving products for fulfillment or store deliveries
  • Counting products
  • Reconciling your records
  • Handling returns
  • Warehouse security and loss prevention

Pro tip: It may help to create health and safety procedures to keep your products and employees safe while handling merchandise. This is particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Shoppers and retail employees alike are concerned about their health, so it’s critical that you take the steps to protect them.

No matter what type of process(es) you decide to implement, the following pointers will help ensure that your procedures are followed.

Document your procedures. One of the worst things an inventory manager can do is to have their processes live in their heads. Make sure your procedures are on paper. This keeps things in black-and-white and minimizes misunderstandings.

It also increases efficiency and productivity in your warehouse. When team members have a document to which they can reference, employees and managers won’t have to spend too much time asking and answering unnecessary questions.

Centralize your procedures. Keep your process docs in a central hub. Create a single source of truth for your inventory procedures and see to it that the right people can access the info they need.

Consider storing your documents in the cloud, where users can always find the most updated version of your processes.

Audit your warehouses. Conduct regular audits to ensure that your warehouses are up to snuff. These audits are typically done by district managers, warehouse managers, or third parties, depending on the needs of the company.

Whatever the case, a successful warehouse audit requires detailed checklists so that whoever’s conducting it can objectively inspect and evaluate the warehouse. Have visual materials such as photos of WHAT TO DO vs. WHAT NOT TO DO for reference.

When the audit is complete, there should be a clear list of tasks and steps to take in the event that certain standards or procedures aren’t carried out properly.

3. Arm yourself with the right (digital) tools

It doesn’t matter how big or small your warehouse is. If you’re selling on various channels and retail stores, it’s imperative to tools that enable you to centrally manage and monitor stock movements.

Eliminate silos in your inventory control processes by arming your business solutions and platforms give you full visibility into your stock so you can make decisions and manage everything from a single platform.

Inventory control tools can also automate manual processes and reduce human error. Research from Peoplevox found that human error is the top issue with stock control in 46% of warehouses.

Here are some of the key features to look for in inventory control software:

Ability to centrally manage stock

Your stock control software should enable you to view and manage your catalog centrally. So whether you have products in Store A, Store B, Warehouse X, etc., all those products should be manageable in your system.

Proper inventory management requires organizing stock across different locations or sales channels, so having the ability to view and transfer stock between stores, channels, or outlets is essential.

Order management and fulfillment

Make sure your inventory control software lets you track and fulfill orders with ease. If someone places an order online, for example, your platform should make it easy for you to ship items to the customer or enable shoppers to pick up in-store.

Real-time reporting and analytics

A good stock control system gives you the data and analytics you need to run your warehouse and stores. See to it that the solution can surface insights around product performances, sales, revenues, and margins so you can make well-informed decisions.

Stock-taking capabilities

Part of effective inventory control means reconciling your physical inventory with the records you have in your system. As such, your stock control system should offer tools that make inventory counting easier.

4. Consider hiring an inventory control specialist

Inventory control is a hands-on and time-consuming job. Depending on the size of your catalog, it may be worth hiring a person (or team) to specialize in managing your warehouse inventory.

An inventory specialist is responsible for:

  • Maintaining your catalog
  • Keeping records of stock levels, changes, and movements (e.g., orders, transfers, returns, etc.)
  • Inspecting merchandise in the warehouse to ensure they’re in good condition and are in the right place
  • Ordering merchandise by filling out and sending purchase orders
  • Overseeing the delivery and receiving process
  • Liaising with store managers, warehouse staff, and other departments to ensure that stock levels are in check

Some of the characters and skills to look for include:

  • Math skills (remember that knowing your numbers is critical in stock control).
  • Familiarity with stock control equipment, including barcode scanners, RFID devices, inventory counting tools, etc.
  • Comfortable with software and apps, as they’ll need to constantly launch and update your inventory platform
  • Organization skills, so they can keep your warehouse in order.

Having an inventory control specialist or team can make warehouse and store management immensely easier. If stock control isn’t your strength, delegate the job to others so you can focus more on other areas of your business.

Proper inventory control is a must if you want to stay competitive

The retail landscape is more challenging than ever, which is why it’s critical to have the right data, processes, and people behind your stock control practices. Ensuring a smooth flow of merchandise in your warehouse and stores gives you the ability to carry the right products without tying too much capital on inventory.

Hopefully, the pointers above help you do just that.

More sources

  1. https://www.connectpos.com/connectpos-officially-released-on-bigcommerce-app-store/
  2. https://www.connectpos.com/top-10-brands-that-are-leading-the-trend-using-omnichannel/
  3. https://www.connectpos.com/what-are-consumer-apps/