If your small business requires you to maintain an inventory of supplies you use or products that you’re selling, you also need to have a plan in place for how you’ll track and manage that inventory. An Excel spreadsheet and a storage closet will only take you so far—eventually your business is going to outgrow the physical spaces you have dedicated to storage, and become far too complicated to manage with a simple spreadsheet.

So how can you maintain accurate inventory and maximize your space? It might take some getting reactive. Here are some tips for managing your small business inventory from a storage facility in Plymouth, MA:

  • Keep your best-selling products at the front: If you have a physical storage space in your facility for your inventory, make sure you keep your best-selling items in easily accessible places. Many business owners find the 80/20 rule to be accurate—that being that you can expect to get about 80 percent of your sales from about 20 percent of your products. This means the big-selling products you have should be kept close at hand so you can easily replenish your shelves when you need to.
  • Move some excess inventory off site: It’s hard to get work done or stay organized if you’ve got too much inventory cluttering up your space. The easiest and most cost-effective solution to this process is to rent a self-storage unit that can hold some of your excess inventory. This is usually a better solution for business owners than taking those items home to put in their basement or garage, because you probably don’t want to clutter up your own home, either. Plus, these self-storage units are quite scalable—if your business’s inventory needs expand, you can always move up to a larger unit.
  • Use apps: Again, an Excel spreadsheet is only going to do so much for your business. Sooner or later you’ll find it to be too much of a pain to regularly update. For this reason, we recommend using some inventory management apps on a phone or tablet to help you better manage your stock with greater accuracy and efficiency. Some of these apps that we commonly recommend to others include Retail Inventory, SOS Inventory, Inventory Tracker, JumpStock and Lettuce. Some of these apps are free, while some of them require monthly payments—investigate your options closely and determine which one has the features that will work best for you.
  • Hire someone to track inventory: If you get to the point with your business where you’re going through thousands of items and are constantly rotating your inventory, your inventory management is simply going to be too much for you to handle on top of all your other responsibilities as a business owner. Therefore, you might consider hiring an employee or contracting with a third party to manage your inventory for you.

For more information about managing small business inventory, contact A Plus Storage Corporation or visit our storage facility in Plymouth, MA.

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