After the Christmas rush is over, the end of the year is an important time as an online seller to take a look at your years successes and failures. It’s an opportunity to work out how you’re going to improve and grow your online business in the new year, so we’ve put together some new year's resolutions to get you started:
1. Review your year and improve on it
Look back on your sales data for the year and work out which of your products you’ve sold well, and which ones haven’t. Use a tool like Terapeak to analyse sales data, then use this to identify the key areas of your business to focus on in 2016. Make a plan to concentrate on your most profitable product lines and drop any that are letting you down. The new year is a great time to change up your inventory and start stocking some new and different items.
2. Increase sales by adding another channel
More channels equals more sales, and hopefully after a successful festive season you have a bit of extra cash that you can invest back into your company.
“SMBs who sell through a branded shopping cart site (like Shopify, WooCommerce,Bigcommerce, or Magento) in addition to a single marketplace, make an average of 38% more revenue than those with no marketplace presence. Additionally, those who have two marketplaces make 120% more revenue”
Think about expanding onto a different marketplace or opening your own shop using Shopify or Magento.
3. Streamline your day to day processes
If you felt stretched over the busy Christmas period, now is a good time to learn from this and make a plan to streamline your dispatch process. You might feel like you’re being productive in the thick of things, however spending all day shipping orders won’t grow your business. Minimise the time spend on simple but time-consuming, day to day processes. Using shipping management software like Zenstores can save you hours every week.
4. VAT registered? Get your invoicing process in order!
If you’re near the VAT threshold (£82,000 in VAT taxable turnover in the last 12 months) then you need to look into into registering for VAT and how to provide VAT invoices to your customers. HMRC are paying more and more attention to smaller online sellers so when you’re VAT registered you need to be sending out VAT invoices to stay compliant. If you’re small business that has recently registered it can be a shock to have to add another day to day process to your business, however using Zenstores you can automatically print VAT invoices in the correct format.
5. Setting up an accounting process
If you’re panicking over your end of year tax returns, it might be worth setting up a process to deal with your accounts in the new year. Letting your accounts get out of control is a costly mistake so finding a fast and easy process to keep on top of your bookkeeping is essential. Xero is, from our experience, the easiest way to keep on top of your bookkeeping as an online seller - it’s simple to get started and reconciling your accounts is very straightforward.