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Operating Your School Store

As with any business, it is important to have set procedures for how the school store is run each time it is open. With or without student workers, following these guidelines and suggestions we’ve outlined will help insure that your store runs smoothly.

The daily operations of the store can help to teach students about money handling, time management, and customer service.

Daily Procedures

1. At the beginning of each day or shift, whoever is working should count the starting money. Whether using a cash box or register, there should be enough money available at the start of each day in order to make change for purchases.

Schools use a variety of methods to keep and monitor cash. While a register is optimal (and simple ones can be purchased at many retail stores), the most common method we have seen is a basic cash box. With this method it is crucial to count the starting and ending money each day and carefully monitor inventory.

2. Sell, sell, sell!

3. After your customers have headed back to homeroom and you are closed, be sure to count the ending money and record your profits. We have included sample forms in the back of this manual for tracking your daily sales information.

 

Ordering and receiving teaches students about inventory control, supply and demand, market research and management.

Ordering/Receiving

Ordering and receiving teaches students about inventory control, supply and demand, market research and management.

Ordering and receiving are very closely tied to inventory. If you have different students assigned to these tasks, make sure they work well together.

The appropriate clerks will be responsible for placing orders and verifying their correctness upon receipt. In placing orders, the student(s) might keep a “want book” or talk to other workers or students to identify which items would sell well.

The order clerk works with the Inventory Control Clerk to keep a list of items that need to be ordered. Once there are enough items to necessitate placing an order (in many cases, companies offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount) the student would generate the order and call, fax, mail, e-mail it in or place it online. With Geddes, you can order any way you would like and you’ll still receive the same great service and speedy shipping.

A photocopy should be made of every order sent. We suggest the order be reviewed by another employee (and certainly the adult supervisor!).

Upon receipt of the order, the Receiving Clerk will check what is received against the order that was placed to insure that everything ordered was received. Once everything is verifi ed, this clerk would put away the supplies.

 

Inventory

Inventory should be done as often as you feel necessary. If you use a cash box system and do not keep receipts for individual sales, you may want to schedule a weekly count of what is on hand to assist in ordering. If you do keep receipts, a monthly review of what you have versus what you’ve sold may be sufficient.

During inventory all of the student employees work together to count the items in the store and determine how much merchandise is on hand. This helps in understanding how much money is represented by the items on hand.

Once the count is complete, the inventory should be priced at actual cost (not what the items are sold for) using either your Geddes invoice or catalog. Multiply the count of each item by the cost of the item to calculate the grand total of the cost of your inventory.

After calculating the grand total of your inventory, you should create a Profit and Loss statement.

Inventory teaches students about terms like profit and loss, stock management and reinforces general math and counting skills.

 

Product & Market Analysis

Product & Market Analysis teaches students about supply and demand, research, marketing and ordering.

Product & Market Analysis teaches students about supply and demand, research, marketing and ordering.

From day one, selecting the right products for your store is essential to your success. Whether or not students working your store, get them involved in this step! Have them consider:

  • Who is the audience?
  • What types of products do they like?
  • What supplies do students run out of most frequently?
  • Does the school restrict any particular types of items?

After gathering this information, students can then accurately write orders for new merchandise. Many stores sell basic items, such as pencils, pens and notebooks, but also offer a selection of fun items selected by students. Our website is full of fun products that are proven sellers in school stores.

 

Accounting

Accounting teaches students an attention to detail and valuable math skills.

Accounting teaches students an attention to detail and valuable math skills.

Accounting for the store involves tracking income and expenses. Student employees use the information collected regarding cash received to fill out simple forms (see Appendix C and D in our PDF) that give insight into the store’s finances. For example, the “books” could merely be a loose-leaf binder divided into two sections, one identifying receipts and expenses and the other tracking purchases and invoices. The student accountant would keep all receipts and be responsible for recording deposits.

 

Marketing

Marketing teaches students to think creatively.

Students responsible for marketing develop campaigns to raise awareness of the store and the product sold. Traditional methods typically include announcements, posters or displays. This project would give students the chance to be creative and think of new ways to promote their store.

Return to the School Store Academy | Next: Maintaining Your School Store