It is an essential part of any business that succeeds. Although it can be time-consuming, organizing and tracking inventory is crucial. These tips for small business inventory management will help you keep on top of the task.
It is an amazing accomplishment to start a small business, considering all the details involved. There are many things to do and so many methods to consider.
Many business owners must keep track of their inventory. This can be in the form of supplies or retail products.
Unorganized inventory and a lack of diligence can quickly make bookkeeping a nightmare.
A small business’s success depends on having an accurate inventory. If you have limited capital or space, you will need to be creative in how you store your inventory and track it. This will allow you to grow your business.
We are exploring smart ways to simplify inventory management for small businesses. These tools and tips are specifically for small businesses. They can reduce excess work, create a positive working environment, and help you organize inventory efficiently.
1. Clear out old, unused inventory.
Step one: Get rid of everything you don’t need. You might be afraid to toss anything you don’t use after you have invested money in your business venture. It’s okay to feel that every penny you spend should be used for your ultimate goal. Right?
Perhaps not. It’s possible to get rid of clutter in your workspace, such as old products and supplies that you don’t use. Make sure you inform your accountant if there are office supplies such as computers that are being depreciated on your taxes.
If you are disposing of or donating inventory, make sure you log an inventory adjustment and give a reason such as wastage. While this extra step may take some time, it will reduce the time you spend updating your inventory. You won’t have to account for items that you don’t use.
These are two easy rules to follow:
- Get rid of anything that you haven’t used in six months or sold within a year.
- Use a strict one-in-one-out policy. The new product can’t be brought in until the old one is gone.
2. Track best sellers first.
The 80/20 rule is a common belief among small business owners. Your merchandise will account for only 20% of your sales. This means that 80 percent of your sales are likely to come from just 20% of your merchandise. This means that you will have some items that can make a big difference for your small business.
It’s a good idea to start with items that have seen the most changes when you do a manual inventory. When you’re fresh, count your top sellers and compare the number on your inventory to your software. The rest of your inventory will be easier to sort once you have completed the top 20%.
Keep these top sellers in prime storage while you are at it.
These must-have items should be kept close to your heart and not hidden away in your storage area.
If you work remotely and your HOA permits it, you can put up a bookcase in your garage or office to keep these items close at hand. You can quickly access these items while keeping your office space clear of clutter. Stock can also be stored so that you have a spare supply for your home or office.
3. Keep your inventory organized.
To be efficient, small business inventory management systems do not need to be complex or expensive. It should be tailored to your business’s needs. A shop selling unique items, for example, will need a more sophisticated management platform than one that sells the same item over and over again.
First, ensure you have a system to manage your store inventory.
- Organize products according to type and at the same location so that they are easy to find.
- You can make inventory management simpler by taking digital photos of the items inside boxes. Stickers with stock-keeping units (SKUs) numbers can be used to label and track inventory.
4. Separate business and home with a virtual office.
Many small businesses operate out of their home offices or workspaces. As your business grows, it is tempting to combine work and personal life because you are lazy or convenient. Tax time can prove costly if you make this mistake.
Let’s take Martha, who operates a soap-making business out of her home. Martha uses her business phone for personal calls and orders supplies for both her home and business on the same order. She sometimes takes soap out of her inventory and uses it at her house without keeping track. If she files as an LLC, or a corporation, this commingling of funds with inventory can prove costly.
You can make it easier to separate your home and small business operations. What does this all mean for the office?
You can make your home office more efficient if you don’t have enough money for an office.
You can get a separate phone number for your business, a live answering service, and a business address. This will allow you to send all your mail and packages.
You can better separate your home and business so that you are less likely to be accused of misusing business resources and funds.
Keep in mind: If you choose to set up a virtual office, ensure that your business information matches the information on your corporate documents.
5. Find a helpful inventory management app.
Small businesses may not have the resources to invest in expensive inventory management software. Apps are still available that allow you to manage your stock digitally without having to spend a lot of money.
These are some of the most popular inventory management apps:
- On Shelf
- Inventory Tracker
- SOS Inventory
- Cashier Live
Prices can range from free to $100 per month depending on the features you choose and how hands-off your requirements are. You can also change the technology used to manage inventory as your business grows or your needs change.
6. Move business inventory off-site.
Hear about other entrepreneurs who keep inventory in storage units
If your office is full of inventory, you won’t be able to work efficiently. It is often the most cost-effective and easiest way to move those items from your office into self-storage units. You may be wondering, “Why not just use my garage?” But not so fast. Some homeowners’ associations ban residents from using their garages for stock storage.
Most people love to keep their cars in their garages, even if there aren’t any restrictions. Many self-storage units can be climate controlled which adds another benefit to housing inventory. Storage spaces are significantly cheaper than commercial warehouse spaces.
You can give other people permission to access your storage items as your business grows. They don’t need to have your house key. And you can always move to another unit if you need it.
7. Hire outside help as your business grows.
It can be a good idea to employ a third party to keep your inventory in order if you sell thousands of items at once. It is important that inventory tracking doesn’t become your main job. You can then devote your time to other important aspects of growing your business.
Owners of businesses become tired because they have to manage sales, maintain social media accounts, update quarterly tax paperwork, manage inventory, and balance the books. It’s difficult to manage a business that has experienced unexpected growth.
You can make a list of what you would like to continue doing (or what you have the time for). Next, determine what type of support staff is needed to complete the tasks. You have the option of hiring part-time, full-time, or independent contractors depending on your cash flow.
Warehouse Everywhere is a subsidiary of Greenbar Secure Storage. It uses tracking technology to transform storage units into mini-distribution centers in any city. Learn more about this company and how it can help you manage small business inventory efficiently
We hope this article inspired you to revamp your small business inventory management system. Sometimes all it takes is a little planning and organization to get started. It’s helpful to put these habits into place when a business begins, but no time is too late to improve upon a system that is no longer working for your business.
This post was written by a professional at Greenbar Secure Storage. https://storageunitcentraloregon.com/ has a wide range of storage units available in Prineville, Oregon. They offer a variety, including ground-level access, security cameras, 24/7 accessibility, and parking spaces. Locally owned and operated, we are the best choice for convenient and clean storage solutions in the Prineville, Oregon region. All of our commercial storage clients accept deliveries from businesses.