Loss: The Slow Killer Of Retail Startups

Written by Chloe Harwood

The retail industry is one of the pillars of business and if you can launch the right store at the right time, you could establish a pillar of your local economy and enjoy all the rewards that come with it. However, retail businesses rely on the expert control of finances with their constant shifting of stock. When you lose that valuable stock, you will feel the impact. Loss through theft might seem like an item going missing here and there, but it constitutes a real threat to the livelihood of the business if left unchecked. So, how do you get on top of it?

Do you know where your stuff is?

One of the biggest problems related to loss is when a business owner doesn’t know that it’s happening in their business. If you don’t track your inventory properly, you might not see the effects of your stock going missing but you will certainly feel it. Nowadays, pricing guns and inventory management systems connected to your point-of-sale make it much easier to track every single item. You can start identifying when items go missing and whether it’s due to sale, spoilage, or loss. You can also track where items are, whether they’re on the shelf or in the stockroom, which can help you highlight where you’re having the greatest security issues.

The bigger you are, the bigger your risk

When you don’t have a lot of stock, it’s easier to spot when someone might be attempting to shoplift. However, if you’re running a bigger retail business or planning to scale, then you have to plan to scale your response to loss, too. There are many ways to invest in loss prevention. Tagging items has become all but essential in businesses dealing with high-value goods like clothing. But human eyes on the situation are always going to be some of the most effective measures. Using retail security services can help take a great deal of the pressure off your employees. It’s a part of protecting the business that might best be outsourced to experts rather than relying on your own employees’ time and concentration. Naturally, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t educate and train them on how to deal with loss. It does, however, give them peace of mind that they don’t have to deal with that kind of confrontation themselves.

The problem from within

Employees can already give you a hard time, but the data suggests that in retail, they can be almost as much of a threat as the customers. You don’t want to have to treat employees with suspicion but it’s important to know they play a role in retail loss. For that reason, you need to consider internal measures to protect your inventory as well. For instance, you might use an electronic lock on the stockroom, authorizing only a few staff members to access it at any one time.

An understanding of loss, of where it’s coming from the vulnerabilities of your inventory can help you prepare a much more comprehensive approach to stopping it. Don’t let your business bleed from the death by a thousand cuts. Get on top of it.

About the author

Chloe Harwood