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46 productivity hacks for retail business owners

June 27, 2018

Retail owners know that time can get away from you, fast. Between inventory, employee scheduling, cash tallying, and assisting customers, it can often feel like the day escapes you.

Take back your time! Whether it’s automating apps and tools to conquer your busy work or hiring the perfect floor manager, banish time sucks once and for all. This guide takes you through some of the best productivity hacks curated just for retail business owners.

Hack inventory management.

Inventory management is one of the most critical parts of the job, and also one of the most tedious. One way to get ahead of inventory management is to automate alerts to let you know when supplies are getting low. Try also keeping track of seasonal trends so you can better predict when a popular item might sell out. Here are some of our other favorite tricks of the trade.

Out with the Old: Tips for Balancing Your Inventory
5 Inventory Management Tips to Help You Save Money
How agile retailers use their POS inventory data to “fail fast” and grow profitably [webinar]
Making Inventory Counts Less Painful

Explore how to maximize your personal productivity.

Every manager works differently, and as a business owner, you need to figure out your personal workstyle. Do you need to start the day earlier? Work in short spurts? Personal productivity translates into better business results. Lead by example by exploring ways to keep yourself motivated while avoiding burnout. Here are some of our favorite ways to uncover insights about your own workflow.

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David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology for small business owners
Top 20 tips to hack your productivity

Boost employee morale.

There’s a strong correlation between employee morale and productivity. One survey found that employees with a positive work-life balance are 21% more dedicated and productive than those who don’t. Recognize your employees’ hard work, address their needs, and make retail fun again with these tips for boosting morale (and productivity).

4 Ways to Improve Retail Employee Productivity
Game on! Boost employee productivity with gamification
How Positive Employee Morale Benefits Your Business
Enterprise behavior: Boosting staff morale
Retail Productivity and Morale Killers

Automate your workflow with retail app integrations.

Routine tasks can take up a good chunk of your productive hours. Luckily, Clover’s App Market has a suite of tools that can automate some of your most tedious to-dos. Check out some of these app integrations to help improve your productivity:

Track the right metrics.

There are a lot of things to keep track of in retail: same-store sales growth, gross margin, average sale, repeat customer, items per purchase…and the list goes on. But too many metrics can be a distraction and prevent you from optimizing your business for efficiency and growth. How do you know which metrics are most important? Here are some ways to cut through the clutter and get a clear picture of how your retail business is running.

8 Ways to Measure Retail Performance and Productivity
The Reinvention of Retail Demands New Metrics
Top 10 Retail Analytics Every Small Business Needs to Measure
5 Questions to Ask Before Discontinuing a Product
10 Customer Experience Metrics Every Successful Company Tracks
The Key KPIs to Measure Your Retail Performance

Supercharge your online marketing.

Marketing is a tricky skill to master. Let the internet do it for you. While the chances of “going viral” are slim, you can still save time (and marketing dollars) with a few simple strategies for making your marketing work for you.

5 Quick and Easy Digital Marketing Growth Hacks for Retailers
9 Low-Cost Online Marketing Hacks
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10 Apps That Make Your Retail Store Stand Out in a Crowd
How to Turn Your Social Media Followers Into Customers

Improve your time management (and employee scheduling).

Along with personal productivity, time management is one of those finicky skills that many retail managers put on the back burner in favor of other priorities. However, time management can be a quick solution to improving productivity with little to no financial investment. How you manage your day has little to do with working longer, and more to do with working smarter—and that includes smarter employee scheduling and prioritization.

The Top 9 Apps to Help Small Business Owners Better Manage Employees
7 Tips for Inspiring the Best Work from Part-Time Employees
How to Streamline Your Performance Review Process
5 Habits of Successful Retailers
Retail Planning: How to Prioritize

Find the right second-in-command.

Even with the best time management techniques and personal productivity hacks, small business owners eventually need to delegate. Finding the right person to manage the day-to-day operations of your retail store can help alleviate some of the things that are preventing you from achieving big-picture growth. Here’s how to find and hire a great retail manager.

5 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a Manager
Growing Pains: Why You Should Add a Middle Manager to Your Team [Part 1]
Growing Pains: Adding a Middle Manager to Your Team [Part 2]
Hiring a Retail Store Manager? 12 Essential Questions to Ask

Keep up with industry trends.

The retail industry moves fast. To stay competitive, try to keep up with the latest trends. New marketing tools, industry hacks, payment platforms, and ways to provide excellent customer service come online constantly. Run a tight ship by keeping up with the latest.

6 Retail Blogs Worth Reading
Top Retail Trends for 2018: Industry Experts Share Their Predictions
Top 20 Retail Influencers You Must Follow
Top Shopping Trends Of 2018: Retail Experts Share What To Watch For Next Year
Enterprise Behavior: 5 trends to watch in retail for 2018


Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, Sun Trust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including Ignite Payments, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.