Small business stock control is one of the most important but overlooked factors needed for business success. But what does effective small business stock control look like, how is it achieved and why is it so important?
What do we mean by small business stock control?
Taking control of your stock (or inventory) is the core component of your supply chain management. It aims to have the right stock (products or inventory) available in the right place, in the required quantities and at the exact time that they are needed. This is the essence of small business stock control. Getting this right will reduce the cost of carrying excess inventory, maximise sales opportunities and increase your profit margin.
How is this achieved?
Sounds great right but how is this achieved? Foresiight’s leading business management software in Australia is ProfiitPlus. ProfiitPlus provides sophisticated stock control functionality designed with small business in mind and customised with industry targeted specifications. Our all in one business management system integrates sales, stock and accounting function for absolute control.
What are the benefits?
But how will this level of control benefit your business? Business software that integrates your stock operations with your sales and accounts, will enable you to:
- • Reduce costs and increase both cash flow and your bottom line
- • Track and measure your inventory in real time from anywhere
- • Help with sales forecasting through the year
- • Prevent product shortages and surpluses that cost your business
- • Improve warehouse organisation and human resource management
- • Easily manage multiple locations management, for example across stores and/or warehouses
What strategies should I use?
Once you have the right software in place, there are some strategies you should incorporate into your operations that will ensure you achieve small business stock control.
Forecasting – accurate forecasting is crucial and without it you will not achieve stock control for your small business. With ProfiitPlus, you will be able to base your projected sales calculations on historical sales figures, year on year, taking into account seasonal demand, market trends, special offers and more.
Stock take periodically – regular stock takes are still vital to ensure that you have the stock you think you have and that it’s all where you think it is, in the right place to reach your customers in a timely manner. The frequency of stock takes will depend on your business and whether you’re dealing with perishable products. With ProfiitPlus, stock take is much easier with the functionality of mobile barcode scanning.
Prioritise by Value – all stock is not of equal value and one unit of a certain product will not match the dollar value to your business as another unit of product. Categorising your stock by value and making sure that you have particularly tight inventory controls in place for your high value stock will reduce the impact on your bottom line when stock is damaged, lost or wasted.
Eliminate shortages and overs
Effective small business stock control will save your business money in the long term by avoiding stock overs, resulting in product that doesn’t sell and impacts your bottom line. It will also help you to make money because you will have less missed sales opportunities due to the unavailability of stock. If an item isn’t available and a customer wants it now, they will buy from a competitor and your business misses out on not only that sale but also potentially the repeat business as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can’t I just carry on using spreadsheets to manage stock?
You could – but your business will suffer. Spreadsheets need to be manually updated which means time is required for data entry, human error is common and you won’t have a picture of your stock in real time, instead the data is almost always out of date. Last but not least, spreadsheets do not integrate with your sales or accounting functions so you will be entering data into multiple systems all of the time.
Isn’t business management software for big organisations?
No. For small businesses it can be even more critical that stock control is efficient. Foresiight’s market leading software ProfiitPlus is customised for the needs of Australian small businesses across a wide range of industries.
I’m expanding from one store to two, is now a good time to consider how well my business is managing stock?
Definitely. With the expansion of your business, you’ll need to manage your stock across multiple sites and multiple teams. Spreadsheets and some start-up software can’t manage this.
Find out more about Foresiight’s market leading small business management software ProfiitPlus. Our software has been developed over 35 years to help Australian small business to take control, grow and become more profitable. We partner with businesses across a range of industries and offer customisations to suit. Check out our industries page for more information.