There are well over 30 million small businesses scattered throughout the country at this time.
Each of these small businesses specializes in selling slightly different products and/or services. But they all have one thing in common: They all have to keep a certain amount of inventory on hand at all times to make running a business possible.
If you’re a small business owner, you know just how important managing inventory is. If you don’t put the right small business inventory management practices into place, it could come back to bite you in a big way.
Today, we’re going to help you make managing a business just a little bit easier on yourself. We have some inventory tips that will allow you to take control of your company’s inventory once and for all.
Here are eight small business inventory management tips that you should start putting to good use right away.
1. Set Up A System For Receiving Product Shipments For Your Inventory
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While running a business, you’re just about always going to be receiving product shipments from your suppliers so that you can keep items in stock for your customers. You should make sure that you put a system in place so that you’re receiving these product shipments in the most efficient way.
From the second that you accept a shipment, it should be put in the right place so that you can open it up and add it to your inventory. If you start leaving shipping boxes all over the place in your business, you’re going to be asking for trouble. This could result in you taking days or even weeks to add shipments to your inventory.
2. Make It Your Mission To Check New Products Into Your Inventory ASAP
As a small business owner, one of your many goals should be to keep your inventory as current as you can get it. This means that, if you get products shipped to you today, they should be added to your inventory ASAP and then put out on your shelves so that people can purchase them.
You don’t necessarily need to open up product shipments the second they come through your front door. But you should have these shipments checked in so that you can update your inventory within 24 hours at most. It’ll keep your business running smoothly and benefit your bottom line.
3. Rely On Small Business Inventory Software To Keep Tabs On Your Inventory
For a long time, small business owners had to keep tabs on their inventory manually. They would have to write down everything that they had in their inventory by hand and update their records on their own without the use of any technology.
But small business inventory software has changed that. Now, you can monitor your inventory in the blink of an eye through the use of this software.
You can also utilize things like this inventory barcode scanner app. It’ll make it so simple for you to follow what you’re adding to your inventory as well as what you’re taking away from it.
4. Keep Your Inventory As Organized as Possible At All Times
Is the closet, backroom, etc. where you keep all of your inventory an absolute mess? This isn’t going to bode well for your inventory management or for your business as a whole.
You should have a specific space that you use to keep all your inventory organized. You should have all of the various products that your company sells stacked up neatly and labeled so that you know where everything is.
5. Do Your Best to Get To Know Your Inventory Better Overall
Your inventory is, in a lot of ways, the lifeblood of your business. It’s what is going to make it possible for you to turn your business into a complete success.
It’s why you need to know your inventory like the back of your hand. Every chance that you get, you should be sifting through your inventory and trying to learn about it.
You should have a good sense of what’s selling from your inventory, what isn’t, and what could benefit from a bigger push on your part. The more you know about your inventory, the better off your small business will be.
6. Make Manual Stock Counts A Big Part of Your Inventory Process
Although technology has made it easier than ever before for small business owners to keep track of their inventory, there is still something to be said for doing manual stock counts. Every few months or so, you should manually count all of your inventory to be sure that everything that is supposed to be there is there.
You might discover that your small business inventory software isn’t working as well as you thought it was when you do manual stock counts. You might also find that your employees are either stealing from your inventory or not taking your inventory seriously enough. Either way, you’ll get a chance to do something about it.
7. Get On The Same Page As Your Employees As Far As Inventory Is Concerned
You shouldn’t be the only person that works for your small business that is concerned about your inventory. Your employees should also know how to handle your inventory and manage it in the right way.
This might just be one of the most important small business inventory management tips of all. You can reduce the stress that you feel as a result of inventory issues by having your employees shoulder some of the inventory responsibilities.
8. Update The Approach That You Take To Your Inventory On A Regular Basis
What works for you today with regards to small business inventory management isn’t going to work for you a year from now. Because of this, you’ll need to update your approach to inventory all the time to improve it.
You should be especially diligent about finding new innovative ways to utilize technology to manage your inventory. Doing this will work wonders for your small business as you move forward.
These Small Business Inventory Management Tips Could Make Or Break Your Company
If you don’t stay on top of your small business’ inventory, you’re going to be setting yourself up to fail in the long run. You need to use each of the small business inventory management tips listed here to your advantage.
These tips will make running a business a little less stressful for you. They’ll also guarantee that you know the ins and outs of your company’s inventory at any given moment.
Look for more practical tips on managing a business by checking out the other articles we’ve put up on our blog.