Even the largest of businesses had to start somewhere. Once upon a time, they were all smaller operations, much like the one you have now. They may have complex inventory management systems today, but they’ve also had to deal with the same small business inventory management problems that you have.
The point is that your inventory woes should not overwhelm you. With the right inventory management system, your business can grow so that it’s where you want it to be.
Before you can get to that point, you need to get a handle on your current situation. That’s why we’ve come up with four great small business inventory management tips for you.
Tip #1 – Don’t Order More Than You Need
Over-ordering may seem like an attractive proposition at first. You may benefit from a lower cost per unit if you order a product in bulk, plus having too much stock ensures that you never have to disappoint your customers because you don’t have what they want.
However, you’ll see the problems of ordering too much stock if you look a little deeper. For example, you have to spend more money to keep your warehouse operational, plus you won’t have the inventory space needed to introduce new products. Furthermore, if your products don’t sell, you’re stuck with a lot of stock that you can’t do anything with.
As a result, you should avoid ordering more than you need. A quality inventory control software, coupled with a sales forecasting app, will help you to keep your volumes relevant to your business.
Tip #2 – Shore up Your Security
You may not think of crime as much of a problem, until your business is a victim of it. Having stock means that you have a lot of something that people might want. The more dishonest people out there may be willing to break into your warehouse and steal your inventory. Even your own staff members may feel tempted to swipe a few items. This can have a massive effect on a small business.
This means you need to have security measures in place. Do the obvious things first. Install security cameras, and make sure you restrict access to your stock.
Beyond that, make sure you invest in an inventory management system. How does this help with security? Well, the data you receive from your system will show you when there are discrepancies. If your other security measures don’t catch the culprit out, an inventory management system can still show you that something is amiss.
Tip #3 – Don’t Automatically Restock Your Products
Small businesses have to look at the finer details when it comes to inventory management. You can’t afford to automate everything just yet.
Unfortunately, many small business owners forget this. They allow their vendors to handle their reorders for them. On one hand, this may help you. It saves time that you can dedicate elsewhere, plus your vendor has an interest in keeping you stocked. After all, they make money for every product they sell to you.
However, you also lose control of your inventory. This can lead to the overstocking problem we mentioned previously. You may find that the time you save through automation doesn’t mean much if you’re spending money to keep stock that you didn’t need. Do not allow a third-party to control your stock levels. Instead, make sure that you have a system in place, supported by the right software, so you can do it yourself.
Tip #4 – Always Have a Backup
Picture the scene. Everything is going smoothly with your inventory. You’re on top of your orders, there aren’t any overstocking issues, and you’ve ramped up your security.
Then, your software goes down. You reboot it, only to find that you’ve lost some work. In the worst case scenario, you may have lost weeks’ worth of data.
This demonstrates the importance of creating backups. Happily, the modern wave of cloud-based inventory control apps can help you. An app like DataQlick backs your information up onto the cloud. As a result, you can retrieve everything you need if something does go wrong.
If you follow this four tips, you’ll retake control of your inventory. This is essential for small businesses, as every penny counts when you’re still building your company.
Please contact us today if you want to find out more about DataQlick, and how it could help your small business.