43 percent of small business owners in the U.S. still use pen-and-paper or spreadsheets to track inventory or don’t track inventory at all.
Source: State of Small Business Report

As a small business owner, your inventory is a large part of the investment you’ve made in your business. And although your products are the primary source of your revenue, they can also tie up much of your cash if you aren’t implementing an inventory management system. With so many moving parts to manage, theBLOQparq (tBp) is proud to support entrepreneurs looking to better themselves and their businesses within our tBp community. A place where you can call home and focus on every element that helps your business thrive.

There is no time like the present to wrangle your inventory protocols (or lack thereof!) and pave a path forward with these three insightful tips:

1. Implement Quality Control

No matter the size of your business, inventory control needs to be implemented from the get-go. According to PR Newswire, the average U.S. retail operation has an inventory accuracy of only 63 percent – this means there’s lots of room for improvement. Starting quality check procedures doesn’t need to be complicated. It can be as simple as making a checklist that is shared with employees when inventory is received. Two must-have items for your list include 1) confirming there are no signs of damage, tears, leaks, or broken seals and 2) ensuring the styles/colors of products received are identical to the purchase order. With all your employees working toward the same goal, an increase in overall quality is inevitable.

Worldwide cost of inventory distortion (including shrinkage, stockouts, and overstock) is an estimated $1.1 trillion.
Source: www.ihlservices.com

2. Manage Your Inventory

Your inventory levels depend on two things; the size and type of business you are building. An important recommendation is to keep your stock levels low as this impacts your operational costs. As a result, the cash flow of your business increases since you are not weighed down by the cost of maintaining stock for extended periods of time. By implementing a workable inventory management system, you’ll know when inventory levels get low, while having the ability to track essential data like seasonality, sales patterns, and past turnover. All these factors allow you to make more informed decisions as your business blooms.

3. Optimize Inventory Strategies

Knowledge is power when it comes to the heart of successful inventory management. Practices that keep your inventory on the map mean you can optimize stock levels leading to improved efficiency and the flexibility to meet evolving customer needs. Optimization strategies also empower you to enhance your business’s economic health. You can focus on the long-term vision for your company versus playing catch up dealing with day-to-day inventory issues. With systems securely in place that optimize your inventory and the procedures for tracking it, you can avoid inefficiencies across your operations and plan for future growth.

Bonus Tip! Perform regular inventory audits and identify your best selling items in order to prevent any unwanted accumulation of wasted stock.

Getting a handle on your inventory may not be glamorous, but it is necessary. You can build solid ground on which your business can stand by putting controls in place, ensuring you keep on the entrepreneurial path to success. With tBp’s customized micro-retail and micro-office spaces, you’ll find a community of fellow small business owners ready to launch their dreams and learn as they grow.

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