Closure of physical stores due to the pandemic has led many business owners to permanently close their brick and mortar stores and move their business online.
Setting up an online business is now accessible to everyone with an Internet connection. There are services to set up your online store, list your products on different sites, ship your products, and market to customers., and create an online business strategy.
But, if you don’t have a system to keep your books up-to-date, it’s tough to know whether your online business is profitable.
Unfortunately, there are not many resources to help you with the accounting side of an online business. Most business owners relegate this to accountants, not wanting to spend more time with it than absolutely necessary.
This is understandable, as most business owners don’t have the time, energy, or expertise necessary to keep their books up-to-date. Accounting can seem very dull in comparison to creating a new product, launching a marketing campaign, or speaking with customers.
We have worked with thousands of small business owners for over 10 years now, and when it comes to keeping your QuickBooks up-to-date, we know what works and what doesn’t.
When you are moving your brick and mortar business online, all the logistics can seem overwhelming. We have many customers who do a lot of work to get their online businesses set up, and are disappointed that they did’t do some simple things that could have saved them hours every week.
In this article, we will share with you 5 strategies that will help your business to stay profitable when you move online.
5 Strategies to Stay Profitable When You Move Your Business Online
When you move your business online, your products are now available to a larger audience. You will get more customer queries and, hopefully, more paying customers.
The strategies we share here will help you to streamline how you interact with your customers. This will help you to increase sales and customer satisfaction, and reduce customer complaints.
Strategy #1: Manage Your Online Inventory
Imagine having an online store that sells personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers. These are high-demand items and you might sell out of one or more products in a few hours.
If you “oversell” (sell items that you no longer have in stock), you will need to spend time processing refunds and handling customers complaints – neither of which will help your business become profitable.
Many small business owners choose to manually update their inventories every day. But, if you have high order volumes, sell high-demand items, or carry low inventory, an inventory management tool will be indispensable to streamline your business operations.
Strategy #2: Mark Up Shipping As Needed
If you are selling internationally, or offer different shipping options, you need to mark up your shipping accordingly and reconcile your QuickBooks accounts. Unless you have a system for syncing your shipping fees with QuickBooks, you will need to enter all the shipping fees manually, which quickly leads to many hours of labor as well as human errors.
You can improve your profit margins by understanding the different types of shipping surcharges and setting your own pricing accordingly.
Strategy #3: Sell on Multiple Sales Channels
While having a listing on Amazon, for example, will expose your products to a larger audience than a brick and mortar store alone, you cannot stay competitive if your products are listed on one channel only.
According to BigCommerce, most shoppers compare prices on different sites prior to making their purchasing decisions.
Another reason to sell on multiple channels is to circumvent the risks of being penalized, or even shut down, on your selling channel. Large platforms such as Amazon or eBay can remove your listing, and unless you have listings on other channels, you will be out of business. Google can also penalize you site, leading to a reduction in organic traffic.
Thus, to increase your sales, and mitigate the risks of selling online, list your products on multiple selling channels.
Strategy #4: Match Products Names in Your Online Store and QuickBooks
Having mismatched SKU’s in your online store and QuickBooks is the most common mistake that we see among small business owners.
If your product name in your online store does not match the product name in QuickBooks how can you keep track of your sales and inventory? If you hire someone, how will they know it’s the same product if it has a different name in your Shopify store, your Amazon store, and QuickBooks?
You might wonder: Isn’t it my CPA’s job to keep my books in order?Accounting professionals are expensive, and you probably don’t want to spend your hard-earned cash to pay him or her to upload spreadsheets of information between your website and QuickBooks.
Whether you hire someone to manually manage your online store and QuickBooks, or you have a system to automatically update sales and inventory for you, you need to match the product SKU’s on your website to the item name in QuickBooks.
Strategy #5: Have a System to Automatically Sync your Online Sales with QuickBooks
As you can see by now, we are all about helping our customers create systems. With the increase in ecommerce sales, you cannot rely on manual data entry if you want your business to grow.
Manual data entry leads to several problems:
- -It is expensive: whether you are the one entering the sales manually in QuickBooks or you hire someone to do it, manual data entry is costing your business time and money
- -Human errors: there is an infinite number of ways that manual data entry can lead to accounting errors, which will cost you even more time and money down the line.
- -Upset customers: Imagine getting a one-star review for your product on Amazon because the customer got the wrong item. It happens all the time!
- -Lost opportunities: The time and money that you spend on having the data entered manually could be spent on searching for new partnerships, talking to customers on the phone, or developing your new product.
Most business owners estimate that manual data entry takes bout 10 hours a week. That’s over 500 hours a year, or 12 work weeks! If you’re paying someone $30/hour, that’s $15,000 a year, not including payroll taxes, and the headache of managing manual data entry!
When you free yourself from manual data entry, it opens up more business opportunities, and helps you to bring your business online and stay profitable even in these challenging times.
Is Connex the Right Tool For You To Expand Your Business to Multichannel Ecommerce?
Most of our customers sell on multiple e-commerce channels. For example, Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, and ShipStation, just to name a few.
They want to grow their business, and they also value the peace of mind from knowing their books are always up to date and they can serve their customers.
Why Our Customers Choose Sync with Connex
- Developed specifically e-commerce business owners
- You can scale your business by automatically syncing sales & inventory from multiple e-commerce platforms to QuickBooks Desktop or Online.
- You don’t have to spend your resources manually entering sales, inventory, and customers into your website and QuickBooks accounts.
Recommended by Intuit itself, Connex for QuickBooks will give you peace of mind that your inventory will be updated. You will be free of the frustration of oversells and missed items.
- When your inventory is up-to-date, you can achieve higher customer satisfaction, leading to more positive reviews, and increased sales.
- For phone orders, we can sync sales from QuickBooks to your shipping solution.
- If you sell on multiple channels, you can simplify by using our solution instead of multiple tools.
- Connex integrates QuickBooks with all major e-commerce platforms, such as Woocommerce, Shopify, Magento, Amazon, and e-commerce shipping solutions such as Shipworks, Ordoro, ShipStation and ShippingEasy.
How can you decide whether Connex is right for your business?
During this introductory call, you will discover how Connex can help you to:
- Eliminate manual data entry into QuickBooks Online or QuickBooks Desktop
- Automatically update your inventory and prevent oversells and refunds
- Manage sales from multiple channels in one app
- Connect your shipping solutions to QuickBooks
- Have accurate financial information in your QuickBooks every day
Are you unsure whether Connex is right for your business?