The essential inventory management guide for small businesses

how to keep track of inventory for small business

Carry too little, and you’ll lose sales and customers when products go out of stock (customers generally don’t like it when products are out of stock when they need them). Once you’ve chosen a system, it’s important to gather all necessary data about your inventory. This includes information on product names, SKUs or UPCs, unit costs and quantities on hand. Furthermore, managing inventory requires time and effort from employees who could otherwise focus on other tasks such as sales or customer service.

how to keep track of inventory for small business

InFlow combines inventory management and order-tracking software to streamline inventory tracking. Although known for being an accounting system and software, FreshBooks also offers simple inventory tracking for freelancers and small businesses with fundamental needs. Strategic inventory management solution means balancing fast-moving goods and supplies with minimal storage needs.

How To Manage Inventory Effectively (2023 Guide)

If you have a business that creates goods with a lot of different parts, it might be helpful to hire a stock controller in addition to your small business inventory management software. Your stock controller will purchase all orders, receive deliveries and be totally responsible for ensuring that products coming into the warehouse match up with what was ordered. Adding multiple sales channels introduces more complexity to your inventory system. After all, sales on one channel may affect the quantity you have available to promise customers on another platform.

Here are some key steps that will help organize inventory and make the most out of available resources. Inventory shrinkage refers to the loss of products due to expiry, bad weather conditions, defects during transportation, etc. Shrinkage is a reality that has to be dealt with by regular inventory maintenance. Cin7 is best for larger businesses or fast-growing smaller stores with complex needs.

Small Business Software Inventory Template

These days, much of this software is offered in the form of inventory apps. Each of these three inventory management systems (paper, spreadsheet, and app) has its own set of pros and cons. We know how overwhelming it can be when you’ve just started up, and all you want to do is let the world know about the products or services you offer. But as with any business, there’s a lot of admin work and set-up involved before you can even think about order management or sales orders. Krista Fabregas is a seasoned eCommerce and online content pro sharing more than 20 years of hands-on know-how with those looking to launch and grow tech-forward businesses. Her expertise includes eCommerce startups and growth, SMB operations and logistics, website platforms, payment systems, side-gig and affiliate income, and multichannel marketing.

  • However, it’s also heavily time-consuming, tedious work that is error-prone.
  • For example, we had a small storage room at my boutique, so we used lots of hanging racks and stacked bins to maximize the little space we had.
  • Once the data is in the system, the POS software will automatically show the entire inventory along with the latest numbers.
  • The platform also offers shipping features like discounted shipping rates and live tracking.
  • Cin7 Orderhive helps e-commerce businesses streamline order management, inventory, shipping, manufacturing and returns processes across multiple channels.

We considered key features — like multichannel sales tracking, digital labeling, reporting and order management — along with integrations and cost. Dropshipping is a practice where retail businesses directly buy and bookkeeping for startups ship items from the wholesaler or manufacturer. It takes out all the hard work involved in business inventory management, especially if you’re a small business with a low budget or inadequate warehouse capacity.

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Sample text helps guide you through a comprehensive inventory-management process, so that you can efficiently meet your business’s inventory objectives. Use this retail clothing inventory template with editable sample text to track your organization’s clothing inventory. Use the Stock Track Sheet tab to track each item, stock location, purchase, and inventory details.

If you do a year-end inventory or cycle count and notice that there’s a lot of stock missing, you should start doing spot checks. These involve picking a product at random and making sure the reported stock matches the actual stock. Ideally, you should focus your spot checks on your fastest-moving and your most expensive products.

The first step in implementing good small business inventory management is to conduct a vendor audit. For example, inventory management software helps to automatically reorder certain items (designated by inventory managers) to reduce administrative workload. Integration with other systems, such as accounting software, brings additional synergies as well. Secondly, proper inventory management helps reduce the likelihood of mistakes such as shipping incorrect items to customers or wasting money on unnecessary purchases. Accurate tracking also makes it easier for businesses to forecast future demand and make informed purchasing decisions based on real-time data. Use this template to ensure that you account for all of your business’s inventory.

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The essential inventory management guide for small businesses- The essential inventory management guide for small businesses *The essential inventory management guide for small businesses