Does your business rely on inventory for success? If so, then your small business is also susceptible to costly inventory mistakes. Preventing these mistakes is only half the battle since missteps can happen to any business or startup, so you need to create a comprehensive plan to tackle common inventory problems if and when they happen.
Multitasking Is Rarely Productive
Taking on multiple tasks may seem like the best way to get things done for your small business, but in reality, you could be setting yourself up for some serious mistakes. Although we all tend to multitask throughout the workday, neuroscientists have consistently found that attempting to take on too many tasks at once can negatively impact the brain. Even trying to work on two seemingly simple tasks simultaneously results in less focus and productivity, so you may need to find a more effective solution for getting things done around your office and warehouse.
If you need help developing an inventory management process or an e-commerce inventory management dashboard, finding a solution could be as simple as hiring a freelancer through an online job board. That way, you can easily connect with the temporary help you need to manage your inventory or assist with any other work that needs to be done throughout the day. Depending on your needs, you could hire freelancers to provide administrative support or marketing advice. The bottom line is that using freelancers can eliminate the need for multitasking and help eliminate costly mistakes.
Mistakes Are Rarely Catastrophic
Making an inventory mistake can really stress you out, but you shouldn’t let yourself get completely overwhelmed. After all, even the most seasoned small business owners can fall victim to some of the most common inventory mishaps, but experienced entrepreneurs understand that moving forward and learning from these mistakes is the best way to overcome them. Keeping inventory past expiration dates, being left with deadstock inventory items, and paying too much for warehouse space or storage are three of the top inventory issues that can come up for small business owners. With a little damage control and customer service, however, you can prevent these inventory slip-ups from costing your business big bucks.
If the inventory mistake impacted your customers, the first step you should take to mitigate damage is to admit the mistake, even if the customer hasn’t noticed it yet. Doing so helps preserve trust between you and the other person, which is crucial for building and managing long-term customer relationships. For inventory mistakes that leave you with extra costs, a flexible business budget could help you resolve the issue and recoup any lost profits.
Mishaps Can Easily Be Prevented
Blunders can happen to any entrepreneur or small business owner, so preparing for them should be part of any overall business plan. Still, when it comes to inventory-based businesses, there are a few key steps that can be taken in order to prevent most inventory oversights in the first place. If you are opening a new business, educating yourself about inventory processes should be the first move you make to ensure that you don’t experience too many inventory issues. There are plenty of online inventory guides that can teach you the basics, including forecasting, auditing, and so much more. With these online resources, you can also learn about using inventory management software to help streamline your processes.
Finally, if you are drowning in storage costs and struggling with inventory management altogether, you may want to consider an automated storage and retrieval system. These are robot-aided systems that can speed up warehouse processes, improve efficiency and accuracy, and limit the risk of an employee suffering an injury on the job.
You may not be able to prevent all of the inventory issues that impact small businesses, but you can create a plan to effectively resolve them. Combining mistake management with preventative planning is the best way to protect your business from costly inventory blunders. So, make sure you have a comprehensive inventory plan in place for your business.
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Guest post by Marcus Lansky, Founder of Abilitator.biz