Clean Up Your Business

Janine Allis, Managing Director, Retail Zoo

Have you ever renovated your house and there is that one wall that remains half sanded down and you get to the point that, because you have lived with it for long enough, you don’t even notice it anymore!  Science has proven that we all get blind to what we see everyday.  Here are some tips to stop the store blindness:

                      Use a mystery shopper program or get a friend to mystery shop your business.

                      Create weekly lists of what to look for in every part of your business, front and back. Does the store/office need a paint?  Is it clean?  Are all the lights working?  If this is completed weekly, you can ensure that whatever was found the first time is fixed for the second visit and so on.  Even if you are in your business everyday, make sure you take the time to do this review.  You will be surprised at what you find.

                      Look at your business from the perspective of the customer.  If you have a retail store, stop and look at the store.  Is it clean and inviting?  Is it tidy?  How is the store and stock presented?

Clean up your accounts

Understanding your numbers, doing monthly bank reconciliations and doing your own accounts will greatly increase your likelihood of making and increasing your profit.

What type are you?

1. Do you have a pile of invoices somewhere and you are far too busy to do your accounts and profit and loss statements. 

You feel theyare far too confusing anyway. 

1.        Are you one of those business people who completes your accounts on a monthly basis and you know where every penny has gone? Do you complete a bank reconciliation every month and put your GST into a separate account?

2.        Are you the third type who gives a box of receipts to a bookkeeper to sort and the bookkeeper tells you how your business is going?

If you have not started your own business yet, you may be thinking, “Of  course I will be number two.”  Which you should be, but I am so surprised by how many people put the numbers to the side to deal with them later. This is where most businesses get it wrong. People say, “I am not good with numbers,” or “it’s too confusing,” or “I haven’t got the time.”   If you are this type of person do not despair.  Off-the-shelf accounting systems are easy and if need be, get someone in at the start to help you get it right.  I am talking from experience; when I started out, I quite honestly did not know the difference between debit and credit!

I am not saying you do not need an accountant.  I believe you do, but your accountant should assist you once a year, or at the start-up of your business - to help you get set up.  Your accountant should not be helping you on a daily or weekly basis.

If you understand your accounts, you will understand the DNA of your business.  You will see where every dollar goes, which means you can fix any problems quickly.

Finally – the Black Pit

The other problem people face is the black pit of expenses.  These are  the expenses that build up over time.  They reach a point where they creep up on you and you find you are wasting an enormous amount of cash each month.  Clean up your expenses.  Look at how you can be more efficient.  Every five years we run a competition in our business focusing on how to save money.  There are always some great ideas and it is amazing how the little things add up.  We only copy in B&W and print two-sided.  This small change saved the business over $8,000 in one year.  Have solid policies and make sure that the people who work for you understand their level of spending.

Australia is becoming one of the most difficult places to run a business, with overheads increasing every year.  You need to have a tight, well-oiled machine to ensure your business is robust and can withstand the ups and downs.

Janine Allis is Managing Director of Retail Zoo, holding company of Salsa’s Fresh Mex Grill and Boost Juice and the Founder of Boost Juice Bars.

Boost is now in more countries than any other juice bar in the world.

For more information contact Retail Zoo franchising sales: Phone: 03 9508 4400 Email: aussiefranchising@ Web: and