It’s time to be smart with your stock! Stock that doesn’t sell takes up space and represents wasted cash. Small business owners have to spend wisely and consider the profitability of every purchase.
Here’s how to use careful organisation and inventory financing to implement a cost-saving, customer-pleasing, streamlined machine.
Do a big audit of what you already have
If you’re looking for a more efficient way to manage your inventory, here’s how to start. First, you need to find out what is and isn’t working for you already.
To get started, list everything you own in Excel so it’s easy to amend. Create columns for:
- The amount you have of each product – e.g. 11 black skinny jeans in size ‘M’.
- The cost of the item and how much it will retail for.
- Shelf life or ‘best before’ dates.
- Your bestsellers.
Using this list, you’ll be able to work out which products need to be sold quickly, which items are running low, and which are selling too slowly. Bestsellers should be re-ordered in plenty of time, and stock that hangs around is the perfect opportunity for a sale.
Create a sales forecast
Now you’ve got all this helpful data, you can start building a more in-depth plan for managing stock in the future.
You’ll save a lot of money and time if you can accurately predict when you’ll need to restock a specific item, especially if you can cross-reference this with cheap times to buy. You’ll always be ready for your customers.
Seasonal changes are a great place to start. Make a precise record of when you sell more, when customers start preparing for Christmas or summer, and when spending slows down again. Every niche and sector is different, but most will follow a regular stock ordering pattern.
Do you struggle to afford the stock you need at the right time? Inventory finance can make sure you’re never caught out by cash flow. You’ll be able to stick to the pattern set out in your sales forecast, and buy what you need when you need it.
Invest in tech
Managing inventory is something you’ll always need to do. Thankfully, there are online tools that can analyse and create predictions for you. Seasonal fluctuations will always be there, and naturally this has an effect on the stock you use and need to re-order again.
Software is the key to organising this easily and quickly. It can automate all the maths you don’t want to do, predict when you’re going to run out of each item, and even automatically reorder stock for you. Whatever features you need, an business inventory loan can help you install the best and work much faster.
Evaluate your relationships with suppliers and stockists
Clever stock management isn’t just down to you – your suppliers play a big role as well. Their prices, ordering processes, and customer service can make your system work seamlessly, or put problems and delays in your way.
As well as reviewing the physical stock on your shelves, talk to your suppliers about what they can do to make stock ordering easier and simpler for you. If they can’t accommodate you, it might be time to make a switch to someone who can.
Remember! Your suppliers want to keep you as a customer. Tell them what you need and see what they can do for you.
If you’re keen to update your stock management system, get those boxes and shelves organised, or need a business loan to purchase stock, Capify can help.
The Capify Business Loan is fast, reliable and flexible. You could raise £5,000 to over £500,000 in stock finance. Try our calculator to find out how much you could raise in just 90 seconds.