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Installing accounting software in retail shops is happening at a fast pace in India. Still, there are tens and thousands of retail shops from local hosiery retailers to groceries yet to be computerized. It is either ignorance or cost that holds owners back. They are worried about data loss, backup and think that the existing manual system is rather serving the purpose well. From sellers of accounting software point of view, the important thing then is to convince shop owners how implementing accounting software would be hassle-free bringing efficiency.
Here are the expectations that one can strive to fulfill for retail shop owners:
- Low installation cost.
- Low cost of training.
- Portable, occupies less space in the shop.
- Customized billing format.
- Barcoding and stickers facility.
- It can be integrated with the final accounts of proprietors.
- It can be integrated with filing tax returns.
- Local tax rates are visible.
- Online updating of software with changes in tax rates and other legal formalities.
- Easy to take and restore backups. Fear of losing data deters new computer users implement accounting software.
Many retailers are already having PC in their shops/homes but not computerized accounting job. So, your unique selling proposal would be automating clients’ accounting systems utilizing the existing infrastructure of PC and printers. You need to meet retail shop owners and demonstrate how you can computerize their accounting platform by sheer strength of knowhow. Why meeting face-to-face with local SMEs here stressed as an advertising channel? To answer this in the words of Dmytro Shkurin, author of Effective Marketing not Only for IT but for B2B:
I think you will agree, then if your advertisement is designed for people aged over 60 and your offer sounds like “we will teach you how to work with a computer” – it’s very silly to give such an advertisement on Instagram. Such an offer must be submitted offline for two reasons. The target audience of Instagram consists of people who are much
younger, and even if they already know how to use Instagram, then they don’t need a basic course of computer.
Once your expertise is established, you can generate additional revenue from existing clients by offering other value-added products like selling barcoding machine under an affiliate relationship with a barcoding manufacturer going forward.
2017 Update: Until few years back, accounting software in the cloud was perhaps not suitable for the target retail shops under discussion as operations like generating sales invoices (an essential part of any retail outlet) could not be postponed because of poor internet connection availability at times so frequent in India. The cost of an internet connection by itself could not match the budget of a section. However, these things have changed with the 2017 launch of Jio and increasing penetration of 4g, bringing into table affordable rate and better speed.
Also, the good news is that the introduction of GST in India from July 1, 2017, wherein business houses need to submit returns online (no offline option) is helping propagation of accounting software in an unprecedented way. There is a big market for professionals who could help implementation of accounting software like QuickBooks which come with in-built support for filing GST returns.