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and 5 things that may help

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1. You will disappoint your customers

Focus on a few key lines that well, contribute a healthy profit and are continuity items (you repeatedly buy/sell). Get familiar with their sales performance by week. Work out each week how many weeks worth of stock you have left. (Total Inventory units ÷ total sales units = no of weeks’ cover (aka how many weeks’ worth of stock you have). Bearing in mind the no. of weeks cover, anticipate when you are likely to run out and re-order in time. If you protect your key continuity lines in this way, you will be protecting a core and vital part of your business.


2. You will damage your reputation

You’re working hard to maintain a presence on social media and with your branding. Running out of stock will unravel all that hard work in an instant. This is why good inventory management, whilst not overtly sexy, will keep your business strong. Invest in the tools that will help you to become reliable for your customers.


3. You will potentially shrink your customer base 

If you disappoint them often they will leave. Prevention is the answer.


4. You will miss cash flow and profit opportunity

Nothing will haemorrhage your business like missed opportunity. Good planning is the remedy. If you can see the icebergs ahead, you can avoid them. If out of stocks come as a surprise to you, then you’re not managing your business effectively enough. The fact that SME retail tools typically fall short on providing you with forecasting capability doesn’t help you.


5. You will feel incredibly stressed out.

  • Take a bath with candles on the side
  • Take a walk
  • Take a holiday
  • Forget all of those and instead, create a super slick 
  • spreadsheet that tracks sales and inventory that you can 
  • down-date every week if you can put aside around 5 hours
  • Sign up to The Prosperous Shop (beta)
Karen Adams, 28 April 2016