Generally, our blog posts’ focus on The Uniform Solution and what you can accomplish in the software to make your business more efficient. While we are not straying too far from that topic this month, we found it important to write about the uniform retail industry as a whole and what is happening around you.

Growth in Online Sales

The shift towards online shopping is one we’ve all been watching for years. In a recent article published by Financial Times, “Online sales accounted for 19.7% of the value of transactions outside the food sector [in 2015]…” With powerhouses like Amazon and Walmart taking up a majority of the market share, smaller retailers are wondering how they can gain an online audience. While competing with Amazon should not be your focus, utilizing The Uniform Solution software to its’ fullest should. Here are some great tips for developing your online presence.

  • Sign-up for a WebStore training online. You don’t have to be a computer whiz to successfully run your own eCommerce site. We will help you. Sign-up here for a WebStore training, and a technical support representative will call you and walk you through how to set-up and run your WebStore.
  • Promote Your WebStore. How will people know that they can shop with you in the convenience of their own home if you don’t tell them? Make sure that you are promoting yourself. Print your website address at the bottom of your receipts, include it in all correspondence with your customers, Post it on Facebook and Twitter, and get the word out there!
  • Speaking of Facebook, USE IT. And all social media accounts for that matter. Facebook and Twitter are two of the easiest ways to keep in constant contact with your customers. It’s the best way to keep them thinking about you without much effort. If you begin utilizing Facebook and Twitter for your business, make sure to update them routinely. Nothing’s worse than an empty Facebook page collecting dust.
Note: While you may not be bringing in the profits Amazon will see in the first quarter of 2016, getting started is worth it in the long run. Since online spending is showing no signs of slowing down, wouldn’t the beginning of the New Year be an excellent time to develop an important aspect of your business?

Tax Season is Upon Us

Tax season is upon us. Spending the first quarter of 2016 getting ready will undoubtedly make this tax season a little easier. ABC News has recently released an article for small business owners to empower them during this particularly stressful time. ABC News suggests that small business owners know these 4 things to be prepared.

  • Stay Organized All Year-round. Make sure that you are keeping your financial records up-to-date. Running reports throughout the year to keep track of important information is also vital for quality accounting. To utilize the reports available to you in The Uniform Solution software, click on Reports located at the top of the software. This information will also come in handy in the future, should you ever decide to sell your business.
  • Did Your Business Get Straight A’s? Review your tax return. ABC News calls your tax return a “report card”, and that is absolutely true. Want to know how your business really performed last year, check your tax return.
  • Employees vs. Freelances. Do you know the difference between your employees and freelancers? It makes a huge difference in how they are reported on your taxes. Making the distinction between the two could save you on Social Security and Medicare taxes.
  • Over Worked and Under Claimed? If you utilize a home office to do business or constantly run inventory and supplies between your locations, a business deduction is something you should consider. While the IRS sets strict guidelines for qualifying, doing your research will be worth it to your business.
Note: The first quarter of the year is when most begin to take a hard look at how their business performed in the previous year. Knowing what to look for and utilizing the tools you have will help you to prepare an accurate look at your businesses’ finance.

The Uniform Solution+ SQL Server

Of course we are excited about all of the great features that will be added to The Uniform Solution software in the first quarter of 2016. The Uniform Solution team has been working tirelessly to improve our product. Listening to our customers and constantly improving are the values that drive our business. Here’s what you can expect to see in the first quarter of 2016.

  • Memorized Reports. We understand that most of our customers run the same reports on a regular basis in order to keep track of what’s happening in the store. In the coming versions of The Uniform Solution software, memorized reporting will streamline the reporting process. Set your reports to automatically run when you need them, without having to think about it.
  • Transactional Logging. Enhancing the tracking capabilities within the software is important to you. This new feature will allow owners and managers to track who made changes and when they were made.
  • Multi-line Notes. Take more precise notes. The multi-line notes feature will allow you to continue your note taking on the next line. Never leave out important information again.
  • Sales Tables. This feature addition will allow for a search by Purchase Order. Once the search is complete the list will display all transactions from the Purchase Order together in one list.
  • The Return of the Training Mode. Definitely a feature that we are excited to bring back. Training mode in The Uniform Solution+ SQL Software will use a back-up version of your data. Allow your new employees to learn your store processes without risking the integrity of your information.
Note: The first quarter of any new year sets the tone for how they year will go. 2016 promises to be a year of great change, and making sure you are prepared to run an efficient business is our goal.