Manage Your Inventory
What is the best way to manage your inventory? The Small Business Association suggest these tips:
At Delivery - Check to make sure everything you ordered is correct. Check for any damage to inventory. If you find damage, notify your supplier immediately and have a plan in place with your supplier on how to return damage inventory.
Stock Inventory - You won't be able to keep track of your inventory if you don't stock it and report it to your inventory system. Whether you use a hand inventory system, utilize an inventory system in your accounting program, or have a separate inventory software system, you must stock in your inventory in order to track it and sell it.
Don't Over-order - If you're a new business owner, be smart and only order what you expect to sell in a certain inventory period. You an always analyze daily if you're going to run out of inventory and then reorder. Once you have a few months under your belt, you can use that history to determine what you'll need to order.
Inventory = Cash - If you spend too much on inventory, your cash will be depleted fast. Find out if old or obsolete items can be returned. If not, find a way to sell them fast. Some smaller retailers utilize places like eBay to make some money on obsolete inventory or hold sales specials. You can also check with retailers similar to you to see if they can take some of that old inventory off your hands.
Inventory Software - There are many types of inventory software systems on the market today. If you utilize an accounting system like Quickbooks, you should learn how to use their inventory system. If you rely on outside sources for your accounting, it's best to invest in an inventory purchasing software system that can analyze your inventory and let you know when it's time to reorder of if you are overstocked. Almost all of these inventory software systems will walk you through your inventory and set up controls based on your type of business. Because inventory sitting on the shelves means less cash in your pocket, it's worth it to invest in inventory control software system. Ask to see demos of systems and only purchase the one that meets you needs. Don't be talked into a system that is over your head or one that is larger than your business requires. If a inventory software system is in modules, only purchase the modules you need.
For more information on how to control, set up, and manage your inventory, visit the Small Business Administration and read their Inventory Management article. You can also visit your Small Business Development Center and get assistance on how to set up your inventory.
As a business owner, you need to know how to control your inventory so it doesn't break your bank account. Use these tips on Inventory control to help keep your inventory where it should be as far as affordability and moveability.