Spring Cleaning: Top Tips to Help You Clean Up Your Cash Habits
The tradition of “spring cleaning” is thought to have several origins dating back centuries. One is the Persian New Year, occurring on the Spring Equinox, which called for a thorough house cleaning. Another is Jewish Passover in early spring each year, which required in ancient times that homes be cleaned ahead of the holiday feast. At Garda, we consider spring a good time for cash businesses to think about cleaning up their cash habits, so they can make (and keep!) more money. Here are some tips to consider:
1. Get more cash up front: If your business conducts some (or all) of its business using in-service products of some sort, ask your customers to pay for the products in advance so you’re not stuck “playing the bank.” A hair salon that installs expensive hair extensions needs to special-order them to match a client’s hair in advance and have them on hand for the client’s “installation” appointment. There’s no reason the salon should pay for the extensions when the client could do so at the time they make the appointment. Restaurants that cater big parties are another example.
2. Offer discounts for cash: You may notice more and more gas stations doing this. There are two reasons. One affects every business accepting credit card payments: a merchant fee on each transaction that can run up to four percent or more. By offering a one to two percent cash discount, you’ll save almost that much in merchant fees. The other reason is that gas stations are low-margin businesses, so—and this applies to all low-margin businesses—merchant fees can erode what little margins you have.
3. Minimize cashier errors through better training: Cashier mistakes can be a silent drain on profits and productivity, and so unnecessary if new cashiers get proper register training. Business owners often know their register’s operation so well that they could literally operate it blindfolded. They then assume new cashiers can learn it quickly by watching their own fingers blaze across the keys or touchscreen. What they don’t realize is that they’ve only confused the new employee who likely won’t want to appear stupid by asking the owner or manager to slow down or to repeat the procedure. Instead, when training cashiers, take your time, show them key sequences slooowly, and ask them to do it themselves while you’re watching to ensure they’re doing it correctly.
4. Minimize or outsource cash handling chores: For small businesses, handling cash and checks—including counting, storing, reconciling, bank drops and making change—can take a surprising amount of time, as much as 10 to 15 percent, depending on your type of business. For many owners, cash management may seem core to their operations because cash is their business lifeblood, but they really don’t have to handle their cash themselves. In fact, handling and managing cash takes them away from customers and employees, both much more important to their business success. After all, letting trash pile up would eventually tank even the most robust business, but owners have long ago concluded it’s better to hire someone to take it to the dump.
Garda’s CashLINK and RDCheckTrak Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) services combine advanced safe, scanning and networking technology with armored transport to count, secure and deposit your cash and checks for you, all for about the price of a Starbucks coffee each day, if not less. Garda also offers EvenXchange change-making services that can bring your business the right amount of change you need with just a phone call. To find out more, visit garda.com/cashlogistics/cash-management.