Episode 18 – The Local Small Business Coach Podcast
Today We Discuss: Why Your Small Business Needs a Sales Journal or Log
In today’s episode: We discuss how keeping a sales log / journal gives you powerful information to use increase your sales & profits each year by learning from the past.
Now, let’s dive into today’s topic which is a huge game changer when implemented and used. With used being the key word. But, more on that shortly.
I am a big fan of having a daily sales log. Now, for those of you that aren’t familiar with a sales journal or log, it is basically about capturing key information that you can refer to in the future to better drive your profit and sales. It also can lead to better decisions on processes and people.
Since they hit all 4 of our key topics of profit, sales, process and people, it is a fantastic tool to have in your tool belt.
So, what types of information would be great for you to capture?
Sales – The most obvious thing you will want to capture is your sales. I recommend your daily sales and depending on your business, possibly even what items or services you sold. This is last part is much easier on some brick and mortar businesses that have registers that capture sales by item.
Why is this important? What better way to look back and know your sales pattern and your peaks and valleys? You gather information that shows trends by the day of the week as well as how your weeks and months play out. It is really fun to watch once you can stack each year on top of each other. I think you really see clear trends.
Which now leads into another great category to capture
Categories – For those of you that have certain services or categories that are critical to watch, tracking how these do can offer great insight into purchasing product and what you can expect in sales. An example I’ll share from when I had my ice cream shop was the category of ice cream cakes. This was a big chunk of my business. It was very important for me to capture these sales so I knew what to plan for.
Which leads to another great thing to capture:
Unique situations – Since we are talking about this part of my business, one thing that I had to capture were any unique situations that happened. Now, unique can be something as basic as the impact of holidays or something that is important in your local community and it impacts your business, such as pioneer days, freedom days, graduations, chili cook offs, etc. We all have local events that could potentially have an impact on our business.
By the way, other things can impact or business but they don’t happen that often. But a year from now, you might not recall them happening. A great example of this might be repaving of your parking lot or a broken fire hydrant or road closures.
Which leads to another common impact on our business.
Weather – Weather can have a huge impact on a lot of local small business owners. Think about what hurricanes, floods, etc. Now those are extremes, but any storm - whether rain or snow will impact most folks business. Especially if it wasn’t normal for the time of the year. It could be a heat wave as well.
Holidays – Holidays will impact businesses differently. Some will flourish during these times and others will tank. You need to know by how much and see the trend. Here is why knowing you jump in sales in November just isn’t enough.
Let’s say you have tracked the last 2 years of sales for the Christmas season. Your business tends to jump 20% the past 2 years. Now, let’s assume you have been tweaking your business and now you are having your best year ever. You are actually up 20% in your business all year long.
Think about how much business could be missed if you didn’t plan on seeing a true 40% jump this coming holiday season? You have to plan for the 20% trend you already are on plus an additional 20% for your normal jump. So if last year you did say $10,000 in business, you now much prepare for an additional $4,000 on top of that! Having this information helps you be prepared for our next item
Better Hiring – Knowing what is coming allows you to not only plan for your inventory needs, it also allows you to prepare for your people needs. Do you need to hire more folks? Do you need to cut back your part time hours? If you see that last year your sales dipped for two weeks due to the street being repaired, then you know you probably don’t need to cut back your people needs during this same time this year.
Coupons & Ads – Finally, you want to capture the impact that any coupons or ads you run have on your business. What worked and what didn’t?
So as you can see, there are quite a few key things that impact your business and would be great to know the history. I can’t tell you how often I referred to my sales log to see how I could maximize my sales and profits.
** For the full show notes click the link below!
Podcast Website: LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com
Leave your Message on the website with the Speak Pipe Button or just email me at Tammy@LocalSmallBusinessCoach.com
Episode Show Notes: Episode 18 - Local Small Business Coach Podcast
Our Training Materials for Local Small Business Owners: TrainingforLocalSmallBusinessOwners.com
Starting a Local Small Business Website: StartALocalSmallBusiness.com
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