The essentials of inventory management for small business
Inventory management for a small business is a bit of an overarching term in the world of small businesses. It’s a lot more than knowing how much inventory is in the warehouse at any given time.
You have to consider how to answer questions like when to reorder stock, how much to order, and how much to sell it for. Employing inventory management software for small business can remove the guesswork and give you greater control of your inventory processes.
Why does a small business need inventory management?
Inventory management touches nearly every phase of your business: sales, order requests, warehouse, shipping, accounts receivable, etc.
For all of these business components to work correctly, they must all have access to the same information at the same time and be assured that is represents the most accurate picture of your business.
Having an inventory system in place can ensure that level of accuracy. Nearly as important, putting inventory management software for small business in place can automate lots of monotonous, time-consuming, but utterly vital processes.
Things, like filling out order forms and performing product counts, can drain dozens or hundreds of staff-hours from your company that could otherwise be spent on improving and promoting your brand.
Stock Management is more than spreadsheets
When you first start out with your own business, it’s entirely possible that you used a Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheet to keep track of your sales, orders, payments, and shipments.
That’s all well and good when you are working out of your spare bedroom, but when you expand your business to a brick-and-mortar location or an e-Commerce website, spreadsheets struggle to keep up.
Their key weaknesses when used in inventory management for small business include:
- Does not scale as your business grows; only become larger and more complex.
- Are not easily parsed for analytical data.
- Cannot communicate with other software systems.
- Rely on manual input to maintain inventory management.
Inventory management software for small business does not have any of those problems.
Four reasons to use a cloud-based small business inventory management system
Accurately tracking and controlling your inventory is one of the most essential components of inventory management for small business. Getting it right every time is worth an investment of your hard-earned profits. Here are four big reasons why:
1. An inventory system for small business should grow as you grow
You do not buy clothes for a child for the next five years based on how big they are today. You could be steadily on your way to opening another store or another ten stores. You need an inventory management for small business system that can grow as effortlessly as your business can.
2. Cloud technology lets you sync data with other software
If you are stuck using spreadsheets, you are having to constantly refer to them to input data from there into other software programs manually. All that pointing and clicking wears on your brain and wastes precious working hours. Information held in the same cloud environment can be parsed into different programs including:
- Accounting software
- Inventory management software
- Business analytics software
You can easily add in other apps and programs into the cloud to access the same data and have everything working as part of a larger machine.
3. Real-time data equals real-time solutions
You cannot underestimate the power of having your company’s most up-to-date information available at all times. This gives you tremendous ability to make decisions based on fluid market indicators without having to worry if the numbers on your end are accurate. Decisions that can be made with more confidence this way include:
- Cost Comparisons
- Reorder Forms
- Economic Order Quantity (EOQ)
4. Manage your inventory on the go
With cloud-based software at the crux of your plan for inventory management for small business, it does not matter if you are in your office, at home, across the country, or 35,000 feet up on a flight between destinations.
As long as you have an Internet connection you can access your company’s cloud platform and go work. This format also lets you receive real-time notifications on orders, payments, shipments, and more.
Let stock management software sweat the small stuff
Think about previous jobs you have had. Would you expect to see the CEO capturing sales figures in a spreadsheet? How about your district manager matching sales orders to shipping receipts? Don’t let a lack of technology keep your business from running at its peak efficiency.
Cloud-based inventory management for small business software can handle all the small details allowing you to lock in on the big picture.
Talk to an expert if you’d like to know more about a software solution suited to your business.