As a business owner, you can find that the mundane tasks are not what sparked your passion. Unfortunately, organizational and administrative work makes a business function. Taking inventory is a task that can make or break the success of your business. If you’re a small business owner, here’s how to improve your inventory management for small business, increasing profitability.
The first step to getting your inventory management under control is to establish where you already are. Be realistic about if your inventory is a complete mess or just needs some fine tuning. Double check to see how accurate your inventory is and what isn’t as comprehensive. Based on what you find, conduct a cost-benefit analysis to decide if you need to completely overhaul or just upgrade your system. Of course, a physical count is a smart starting point for revamping your systems.
Taking inventory accurately can be time consuming, especially when you’re just getting it under control. Take the time to get everything sorted up front and the entire process will eventually become streamlined. Your inventory is your business. It is critical to know what you need to order less or more of. As a result, you will be able to cut costs and increase profits. Any oversights that have been made in the past can be easily remedied moving forward with a little time and effort.
Update Your Software
If your software consists of writing things down on paper, it might be time to upgrade. Or if you have an inventory management program that is letting orders fall through the cracks, it’s time to upgrade. Select an inventory control system or solution that is built to handle the size of your company. Many programs allow you to integrate with free accounting software. It should also work with the upcoming growth moving forward. The right software will manage inventory for you, keeping you on track with much less effort.
Involve Your Staff
A big cause of loss in business is employees stealing or mishandling inventory. By getting your staff involved in taking inventory, you can hold them accountable. In addition to preventing stealing, sometimes an extra set of eyes can catch something you’ve missed. If you have a particularly responsible employee who is knowledgeable about the inventory and good with detail, you may even consider putting them in charge. Once your staff understands your inventory management strategy, managing people will become easier as well.
Less is not more when it comes to inventory management. The more often you can take stock of your inventory and update your records the better. Trends are likely to change and staying on top of inventory will help keep you up to date. You want to be stocking what is actually being purchased, not items that sit on the shelves and take up space. Regularly taking inventory can even let you know what you should stop stocking all together.
Accurate and up to date inventory management can help save money where you didn’t know you were losing any. As one of the most important aspects of your business, it is important to remain diligent and accountable. Even if your inventory management is in shambles right now, taking the time to fix it is worth your while. The overall profitability of your company depends on inventory management for small business.
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