An Eye on Your Stock aka Business Inventory

You can never be where your stock is all of the time to keep an eye on it. So in your business an inventory will help when there is damage or theft. The next best thing you can do, is to have an extensive list of your items before they’re damaged or stolen.

What is an Inventory?

An inventory, whether you keep items you sell at home or have a location at where you sell and store is a comprehensive list of your business belongings, along with their monetary value. While you may have the invoice of the items, overtime the number and value of the items changes. So you do take the time to go through items and revise the list.

Weekly, monthly or quarterly check every single item you still have in store and see if you need to add or subtract stuff form the list. Or revise their value.

Remember any time you acquire new items, be sure to update your inventory. The goal is to always know what you have in stock so get into the habit of updating your inventory as you go.

Why an Inventory?

Your business, if you sell a lot of different items can be more efficient if you do know what you still have. And you will be able to answer customer queries much quicker. Also, if your premises are broken into the last thing you’ll want to have to do after the fact is rack your brain trying to figure out which items have been taken.

With an inventory, you will have an easier time getting at that information. That could, in turn, make it easier to file a claim against your insurance policy, and also, get paid on your claim much sooner. Or start making orders to replace the items before customer’s notice you are out of stock and move to another business.

What do you include in the inventory?

The type of item you have. If it is clothes, just don’t list clothes. List whether they are women’s, men’s, children or work suits. Size, colors and amounts of each will also make it easier for you to answer queries. This works if you revise your list regularly.

Do include the purchase date, and if you have receipts documenting your purchases, never get rid of them. File or capture them. Capturing items’ brands and serial numbers can be especially helpful when it comes to electronics.

There are some digital inventory apps you can use to compile your data digitally and some are free. If you can, take the time to capture photos of your belongings and put them into categories. If you think capturing item by item takes time, simply take videos. From there, you can add captions or edits to include details about each item, such as when it was purchased and how much it cost.

TIP: If possible gave an insurance in place to cover for damaged or stolen items.


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An avid bird watcher with an extraordinary fondness for chikanda ( a Zambian delicatessen that vegans and non-vegans world-wide are putting on their bucket list ) she often tweets in poetry and short prose @kwachalelo