How to Make Square Data Work for You
Article originally written for and featured in Square’s Seller Community: https://www.sellercommunity.com/t5/Questions-How-To/How-to-Make-Square-Data-Work-for-You/m-p/111297#M46082
The data that Square gathers and creates for you is so extremely valuable to keep a pulse on your business, as long as you know where to look. To see just how valuable, check out my other post all about How I Revamped My Business Thanks to Square Data. But that’s how I did it, let’s talk about how you can do it too.
How to Do it Yourself
So what steps do you take to you reap the benefits of Square Data yourself? Here are some simple ways to start:
1. Assess Your Item Library
Take a good hard look at your in-store menu and the items you sell. Think about how they are naturally organized and how that would translate to organizing them them on Square using Categories, Items, Variants, and Modifiers.
Categories would be things like Entrees, Appetizers, Desserts, or Shirts, Pants, Socks. Items would be individual pieces of merchandise like Steak or Men’s Socks. Variations are different versions of one Item, like 8 oz and 12 oz versions of the item Steak, and Red and Blue Men’s Socks. They can be easily tracked to different SKUs, and can be set up to be the same or different Prices. Modifiers are great for add-ons or changes to an item, and can be an added cost, or no charge. They’re great for changes like adding extra onions, or if a customer ordered a chicken or steak taco.
There are millions of ways to set up your Item Library, with a lot of different factors to consider. It all depends on your store set up, and your goals. Striking the balance between data and efficiency is incredibly important. A lot of data is valuable, but if you have a long lines and need fast transaction times, the time it takes to enter in too much data can slow down your service.
2. Organize Your Data
Once you’ve started to make sales with your new Item Library, it’s time to organize that data. Think about your goals and business needs, and build our your spreadsheets accordingly.
What trends do you want to track? What is important for you to find out? Do you want to track how your business is doing year after year? Do you want to see what items or categories sell better in the winter months than in the summer months? Do you want to know which items or categories have been increasing year over year, and which ones have been decreasing?
Some great trends to track are Sales of All Category, Specific Item Sales Comparisons, Discounts, Sales vs. Labor, Hourly Sales, and more! The beautiful thing is that you can create your own spreadsheets for each and every trend you want to follow, with whichever metrics and variables work best for you.
On your Square Dashboard, you can run Standard Reports or create Custom Reports, and either export the data, or type the data into your new spreadsheets manually – whichever works best for you!
3. Analyze the Trends
Look over all of your amazing new spreadsheets and try to find some useful trends and patterns. The patterns may be comparisons between items or categories, the same item or category over time, or hour by hour sales. Go back to your goals and trends you were interested in, and see what your sales data tells you.
4. Improve your Business
As the brave and wise G.I. Joe once said, “Knowing is half the battle!”
Now that you know a little bit more about what’s going on in your business, you can make changes to improve things! Use your newfound knowledge to make changes that will cut costs and increase sales. Whether it’s getting rid of high cost & low sales items, ordering supplies in larger discounted quantities to match historical sales, changing your hours based on sales, or increasing marketing or changing positioning on your menu to promote and sell more of certain items. Implementing improvements based on data is one the best ways to keep your business growing and thriving!
5. Keep the Data Flowing
Don’t forget to keep updating your spreadsheets every month. This way you can continue to spot and track trends, and keep making changes so your business keeps growing!
I hope this has helped gives you some ideas for ways to make your data work for you, and help your business grow as much as it’s helped mine.
Now, I’d love to hear from you:
How has seeing your data helped your business?
What business decisions have you made based on data?
Do you have any Questions?
Comment below and keep the data and the conversation flowing!