How do you know if you’re making the right decisions as a business owner? For those who haven’t invested in business intelligence tools, that question can be difficult to answer.
In a resale retail setting, business intelligence tools make a huge difference in how you manage inventory, set pricing, determine when to run promotions and even design your in-store experience.
Every franchisee who opens any of our five resale franchises – Once Upon A Child®, Plato’s Closet®, Style Encore®, Music Go Round ® and Play It Again Sports® – has access to technology that allows them to make sense of the consumer data that comes into their business systems with each transaction, whether they’re buying or selling items.
Here’s a closer look at how our business intelligence tools help franchisees operate their businesses smarter.
Making Sense of Consumer Data
The two primary tools that franchisees use for business intelligence are our data recycling system (DRS), which integrates with our point-of-sale system. All items bought in store are individually and uniquely tracked in the DRS. The software tracks which employee bought a specific item and when every item is purchased. This allows franchisees to identify buying trends through multiple lenses, including:
So, for example, when a customer comes in to sell a shirt, piece of equipment or an instrument, that physical good becomes a data point a franchisee can use to better understand what’s available to sell and what’s in demand at a highly localized level.
In turn, franchisees are better able to manage their inventory. Because all items are individually tracked, franchisees have clear visibility into what they may need more of and whether their staff may need to replenish the sales floor with certain products and categories of items.
Knowing When to Markdown Inventory
When inventory needs a refresh, owners may consider markdowns or clearance. Markdowns and sales can move inventory quickly, to make room for new, fresh purchases. Constantly taking in new inventory keeps resale items fresh and up to date with the latest styles and trends. Fresh items will keep customers coming back as happy suppliers and buyers. Because franchisees can track each specific item in their inventory, they can zero in on specific products to clear out during seasonal clearance cycles.
Once you decide to put specific items on clearance or want to move certain products quickly, you need to be able to develop the right in-store design to make it happen. Another tool franchisees can use for this purpose is Winmark Remote, our online reporting system. This tool allows franchisees to see what categories should be dedicated additional space and at what time in the season it is optimal to adjust the sales floor. Floor allocation tools help determine the amount of space that should be dedicated to each of the individual categories of products.
Taking it a step further, franchisees are able to generate reports that help them understand when their peak buying and selling times are, which can be broken down by the hour, day or any given date ranges. So, the business owner can staff appropriately to ensure customers have the best, most efficient in-store experiences possible.
Keeping an Eye on Financial Performance
Both our DRS and Winmark Remote have numerous ways to help franchisees measure the financial performance and profitability of their stores. Reports are generated daily, weekly, and monthly that allow franchisees to understand sales, inventory, cash flow and profitability. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are available on demand through Winmark Remote, giving franchisees the flexibility and autonomy to get insight into how their businesses are doing.
Training and Support for Business Intelligence Tools
We understand that our franchisees have varying levels of comfort or familiarity with these sorts of tools, so we make sure they consistently have opportunities to both get to know or stay up-to-date on our systems. We hold monthly classes available to all new and existing franchisees. Meanwhile, our operations support employees also discuss and train on the various reports on a monthly basis with our franchisees.
When you make the decision to become a franchisee of any of the Winmark resale franchise brands, we make your success our priority. We not only provide you with proven business models that you can deploy in your community to pursue your dream of entrepreneurship, but also supply you with the tools and training to help you operate as successfully as possible.
To learn more about our franchise opportunities, get started by downloading our franchise brochure today.