Now that you have your low-risk, low-cost business idea, it is time for you to determine how best to manage it. Although it might seem very daunting trying to create a small business inventory storage system, helpful advice from other business owners, intuitive apps and strategic organization can help you come up with a system that works for you.
Managing Your Inventory
Inventory management is a method for saving money by making sure that your products that are most in demand are exactly where you need them to be and that they are easy to locate and package. It might seem kind of silly to be thinking about inventory when you are just getting started. However, what beings as a small idea can definitely grow very unexpectedly and quickly. Since fulfilling orders quickly is critical for keeping your customers happy, one of the keys to your success could be to start out with a simple inventory system to use in your small business. You can even use temporary storage buildings early on so that you don’t have to commit to more permanent solutions as you grow.
Applying The 80/20 Rule
You can apply the Pareto Principle, or 80/20 rule, to managing your inventory. Basically, what the means is 80% of your revenue will come from about 20% of your entire product line.
Certain products will sell more often than others. When you have those items nearby that can help you fill your orders efficiently and keep a close watch on your supply of product. The key to determining which items to keep in stock is a trial-and-error process. New business owners need to be flexible and utilize strategies that complement their personalities.
When you first start a new business that it the perfect time to closely watch your sales and identify seasonality and buying trends. There are numerous strategies that can be used for monitoring your top-selling items and managing your inventory. It could be just something simple like placing a sticker on the shelf next to your fastest moving products. Watching your bestsellers carefully can also help you focus on your top priorities and prevent you from having all of your capital tied up in inventory that isn’t moving.
Accurate Inventory Tracking
One thing that is critical to building up your brand is gaining your customer’s trust. One of the fastest ways to lose your customers trust is to provide them with inaccurate information on what is out of stock and what is available. In today’s e-commerce world it is very easy to make mistakes, especially when your products are stored in several different locations. Fortunately, there is inventory management software available – especially those that have barcode scanning abilities – that will help you keep track of what products you have in stock.
The software definitely can make your processes much more efficient, but you still need to do quality checks and cycle counts on your inventory regularly, and a physical inventory at least once a year.
Practice Quality Control
Having the world’s best inventory tracking will be worthless if you don’t get the right quality products in a timely manner to your customers. Quality control and pre-package all of your products before you even list them. Although a majority of customers these days are accustomed to instant shipping, if you jump the gun and rush your inventory out without good preparation it will tend to lead to really stressful moments.
People these days expect to get things faster and faster all the time, and so we try to do everything we can with our packaging and inventory. That way, when you do get a sale, you will be prepared to box it up and ship it out.