.20 million people were involved in direct selling in 2015, according to the Direct Sales Association. That’s a ton of inventory! No matter what your product is, inventory management should be high priority for you. Tracking what sells and when and at what price point can help you identify valuable trends in your business.
Let’s start from the beginning. You have an awesome opportunity to start your own jewelry business. You purchase $1,000 worth jewelry at a wholesale price in every available color and style variety- bracelets, necklaces, rings, the works. You go live on facebook to tell everyone about your inventory that will be arriving soon and they are hyped! They are pre-ordering left and right and money is falling from the sky! Yay You! You carefully write down all of your pre orders and await on the arrival of your inventory. As you ship items to your customers you mark people off the list, then move on to sorting the remainder of your inventory into beautifully labeled bins.
This, obviously is not the most efficient way of handling your inventory. That piece of paper may get filed away, but this time next year wouldn't it be great to have information on which pieces were hot, if people were into bracelets or toe rings, if they liked purple or pink etc.? Proper inventory management has the potential to increase your sales significantly. It may be an investment in time on the front end but is guaranteed to provide a huge pay off overall.
If you are marketing your business, tracking your inventory would be a great way to understand the effectiveness of a particular campaign and explain spikes and dips in sales throughout a period of time. Basically, inventory management gives you the ability to understand demand for your products and control your supply, which makes for good business, saves you money and increases your sales
A great way to get started would be to manage your inventory through your current point of sale system. If you are not currently using a POS system here's what you are missing out on:
POS systems allow you to upload your inventory list via .csv or excel file and easily manage it as things are sold. This method is great for people with a small amount of inventory that can easily create a spreadsheet of their inventory items manually. If you carry a large amount of inventory you may want to look into a specialized inventory system or software package with RFID capability. This will allow you to scan your items in and out of inventory.
Think about the last time you went into a store that DIDN'T have an inventory system. I'll give you a minute....There is a reason for this, successful businesses track inventory, no matter how big or small.