Theft is perhaps one of the biggest possible obstacles that smaller retailers can encounter. Whether it is caused by customers, employees or even business partners, theft is one of the major contributors to business shrinkage. Unfortunately, it is a fact that small retailers face the full wrath of theft than major corporations as well as larger retail chains. In addition, not many small business owners have the necessary software and technology to detect theft or prevent it in the first place.
Surveys were conducted to see how small merchants and retailers cope with theft, and many “mom and pop” stores relied on traditional pen and paper to track it. On the contrary, national and local chains utilized automated inventory software. Smaller-scale merchants that use pen and paper are more at risk as this particular method is subjected to error and are not an accurate reflection of what items were lost. If you are a small retailer, here’s what you can do:
Use modern POS technology
While this can be quite an investment to make, modern point-of-sale systems will significantly make you more money down the road by preventing theft. It is true that certain upgrades will cost you some upfront change but it is for the greater good. Not only do modern POS systems have inventory tracking software, it can come with surveillance integration as well and that can really help you on loss prevention. Every button press is recorded and stored in your surveillance system. When these events have been recorded, the information can be sorted according from high priority to low priorities. In addition, only those who have rights can view the recorded footage.
Take note of mistakes made by employees
Using inventory management software is one of the first steps of effective theft prevention. You will need to ensure that your employees know how to use your point-of-sale software correctly. Studies have shown that nearly 13% of business shrinkage is caused by administrative errors like improper documentation of the merchandise you sell. Some employees may also be inadequately trained to scan your entire inventory and count them properly.
If this is happening to your business, it could be a training problem. Hence, take all the necessary steps to ensure that your employees know how to use your company’s POS system and track everything correctly. Remember to set expectations and check in to ensure that inventory tracking is actually being done. This way, ongoing theft prevention can be facilitated.
Remember to check bank deposits at necessary intervals
You might be missing money if you are just using deposit numbers to match sale numbers. For instance, if you usually deposit a certain number on daily basis, and then it suddenly changes to every-other-day deposits, you must look into that. While it could be nothing in most cases, there’s a possibility that it’s a sign of theft. As banks do not always notice small changes in your deposits, it’s up to you to track the frequency of your deposits. Hence, it is wise to invest in accounting software to help track your money and sales.