Penny-Wise Retail: Why You Should Sweat the Small Stuff

by Greg DePersio

1 min read

If you’re a small product seller, you’re probably focusing all your attention on big issues like wholesale prices and the high cost of insurance. While those are important, it’s occasionally worth taking the time to think about all the little issues that dog you, but which you never seem to have the time to address. Shrinkage, for example, is one of those silent expenses that sees you paying for merchandise that somehow gets lost between the warehouse and the cash register. Paperwork errors, accidents, and petty theft can nibble away at your inventory until you’re paying what amounts to a surtax on everything you sell. It’s easy to ignore shrinkage when it’s a small problem, but letting the issue fester for months on end keeps your business less profitable than it could be. Unclaimed tax deductions may also be costing you money. Canada keeps myriad tax laws on the books that allow deductions and credits for everything from interest paid on real property to petty cash expenditures. As with shrinkage, this may seem like a small enough issue to put off while you focus your efforts on more pressing matters, but unclaimed tax deduction can cause as much loss as a single large expense. The sooner you can fix these loose ends, the earlier you can see a higher monthly bottom line.Because these are minor problems on their own, the best approach to solving them has to be cheaper and less bothersome than just continuing to turn a blind eye. Deal with your shrinkage issues with a simple inventory tracking system, even one that charges a small amount each month. Using a spreadsheet to track minor expenses can add up to significant extra savings at tax time, resulting in an all-over healthier retail business.

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