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Foreign Creatures

Snociety: Tools I Use to Run the Business


It took us about 5 months to get a hold of running the administration side of Snociety and figuring out what works best for our business. It's important for us to stay on track of things and stay organized and the following tools help us do that!

POS (Point of sale) - Clover: We continued using Clover for our register system because the previous owner had used them as well. It was also easier to transfer the necessary finances and documents from the same company. We have 2 registers, 2 register printers, and 1 kitchen printer.

Loyalty Program - Digital Loyalty: We started off with Five Stars but decided this wasn't the best way to reward our customers. It cost us $300/month to use Five Stars and we didn't think it was good for us to spend that money on a loyalty program so we decided to switch to Digital Loyal Zoo. Our tier cost $64/month and it was already integrated into our POS. Customers will give us their phone number and their order would be attached to their account. I liked Digital Loyal Zoo because it automatically gave our customers points per every dollar they spent whereas Five Stars we had to manually put in their points. Another pro is that we were able to integrate our loyalty program with our online ordering system, ChowNow. It took awhile to let our customers know that their reward points were still available and have been transferred to our new reward system but overall, I am very pleased with our decision.

Finances - Quicken: We input all income and expenses that go from our checking and credit card accounts. We also use it to keep track our daily sales, how much we pay our vendors, keep track of payroll, and anything else dealing with money. This is also helpful to keep a record of where our money goes and to export a cash flow report at the end of the month. We use Quicken every day to track our personal expenses as well. This app is vital in running our business!

Scheduling - Home Base: I started off using Excel for scheduling but wanted something that was easier to access on the go and that was just easier overall. Home Base is also integrated with Clover so that was another pro. It took time getting used to scheduling employees with this program but it's a lot more user-friendly and it only takes me about 20 minutes to schedule employees now. After I finish the schedule, I text our employees their schedule for approval. After they approve or let us know their changes, the schedule is fixed. If they can't make their shift they'll have to find their own replacement. I try to schedule our employees 2 weeks in advance but it can be hard because employees are hired/quit/fired and availability changes very often.

Payroll - Google Excel: Our employees use a time punch card when their shift starts and ends. Every 2 weeks I'll input the time into Google Excel and then rewrite it in military time. I have a formula that will add up all the hours. Then I give that number to our bookkeeper who will then calculate the tax and whatever else she does. Then she'll send the payroll check to us and we'll print it on our own computer on special paper.


Inventory - Microsoft Excel: At the end of every month I'll walk around our store and mark exactly how many of each item we have. For the fish, I have to weigh each piece for inventory to make sure our cost is correct. We have 230 items in our inventory so you can imagine how long it takes us to do inventory at the end of the month. One thing we try to do to avoid counting so much is just not buying so much items towards the end of the month. In order to do that, I have to observe our inventory trend and be smart on when to shop and how much to shop for. After I add up everything, I'll save out the sheet for my dad to calculate our inventory cost for the month.


Announcements/News - Google Doc: We have about 8-10 employees at a time. Since we don't work every day and our employees' schedules vary, we have to find a way to communicate Snociety news and updates to our employees fast. So we found the best way to do that is to write them a letter and to print it and leave it in their punch card slot. If it's super important, we'll make sure to talk to each employee in person.

Website - Squarespace: We use Squarespace for our personal blog and we love it. It's easy to set up and their designs are modern and user-friendly.

Online Ordering - Chow Now: We've looked at many different online ordering systems and we chose Chow Now because they charge a set fee per month whereas other companies charge a percentage of your sale. We also liked how their online ordering system was easy to use and they even give us a free app on mobile devices for customers to order from. They used to have a delivery option via Uber but they are no longer on contract with them so that's a bummer for us.

These are all the main tools we use. Some other important tools we use include Swann View (video recording and live camera), Yelp, and Evernote. I hope this gives you a glimpse of what we use to run a business like ours. I say that because every business requires different tools. And depending on how broad of a business you are, the more tools you will use.