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Summer may have been about long days and longer weekends, but now it’s time to get back to business. That means getting all your ducks in a row so you can finish the year strong. Here’s how to do it:
Upgrade your POS system.
Most credit and debit cards will have chips by the end of the year. So if you’re not set up to accept them, it’s time to get on board. Some more incentive: Starting October 1, swiping the magstripe on the back of a chip card (instead of dipping the chip) could make your business (instead of the bank) liable for certain types of fraudulent charges (this is called the “liability shift”). But not to fret, we’ve got your back with our new Square contactless and chip reader. It accepts both chip cards and contactless payments (like Apple Pay). What’s more, if you order it, we’ll cover the liability shift for you until your new reader comes in the mail.
Sit down with your numbers.
Data time! The good news is that this doesn’t have to mean tedious spreadsheet calculations. Your Square Dashboard has loads of real-time and historical data, spun up into handy reports. You can take a look at what sold well last year, for example, so you can be strategic about planning your holiday inventory. Or you can determine your peak sales times (by hour, day, week, month, or year) and use that information to help you plan your hours going forward. And if you haven’t done so already, download the Dashboard app so you can check your sales data no matter where you are.
Whip your inventory into shape.
If you’re constantly mismanaging your inventory, read our post on the most common inventory mistakes and how to avoid them. Then set up some systems. Enable inventory alerts in your Square Dashboard so you know when things are running low, or hook your Square account up to an inventory management tool in Square App Marketplace.
Streamline employee management.
Managing people can take up a ton of time — so find ways to streamline some of it. Square Employee Management helps you keep track of who’s clocked in and out and makes it fast to figure out tips and commissions. It can also tell you which employees are selling the most (bonus, anyone?).
Wrangle in cash flow problems.
Everyone wants to get paid faster. With Square, there are easy ways to make that happen. First off, you can enable instant deposit for any sale you wish to show up in your account, well, instantly. Second, you can streamline your invoicing workflow with Square Invoices, which allows you to quickly send invoices directly from your Dashboard. The system keeps track of all your invoices — and filters them by which have been paid and which are outstanding — so you can quickly follow up with people who still need to pay you.
Plan out Q4 marketing.
Start thinking about what types of promotions you’d like to run for the last part of the year. Plan out holiday-themed sales (yep, there’s already Halloween candy in Walgreens), order customized gift cards, organize special events, and keep customers in the loop with Square’s email marketing tools.
And there you have it. Boot camp is never easy, but hey, it pays to get your business in shape.