You’re taking the leap and starting a business from the comfort of your own home – this is an exciting time! If you’re selling tangible products, you’ll need somewhere safe and secure to keep your inventory stored. Here are a few tips on how to track inventory for your home business to ensure it stays secure:
1. Use an Inventory Tracker
The first thing you’ll need to do is round up your stock and take count. You can use free trackers and apps for keeping note of stock and how much you have to hand. Some do offer premium service options but if you’re managing a small inventory initially, a free service will do.
Using a tracker and taking count of your stock before moving it into storage means you’re starting on the right foot, with a full, broken down list of what is in your possession and what you need to find room for. You can then use this tracker to keep an up-to-date count of your inventory in the future.
2. Opt for a Dedicated Storage Space
While many small businesses take over the garage or steal the office space in the spare bedroom, sometimes it pays to invest in dedicated storage space for your stock.
A storage shed is a great option to store and track inventory. These units can be delivered to your home for you to put up. Look into a company that offers pre-fabricated kits that allow you to build the shed using tools you likely have in the garage. These can be purchased in a range of sizes to suit your needs and fit neatly in a garden or side area of the property.
3. Ensure the Space Is Fit for Your Purpose
You’ve constructed your purpose-made shed or converted a space in your home, now it’s important you make it fit for purpose. That means reducing any risk of dampness or heat affecting your products, ensure items on shelves aren’t stored in direct sunlight and that perishables are able to be prioritized and placed front and center.
The last thing you want is for your inventory to be damaged while it sits in storage. If you need to add climate controls or other precautions, be sure to add those to you setup. Remember, you can deduct this investment as a business expense.
4. Invest in CCTV
Ensure your stock is protected at all times and install CCTV around your property. Ensure this points towards the lock-up space where your inventory is kept and that you have a way of downloading and storing any video it records.
Amazon’s Ring range is a good place to start if you’re looking for a budget option with battery-operated cameras that can be easily installed on the side of your property to monitor the comings and goings of people.
5. Conduct Regular Inventory Checks
Ensure you’re always on top of inventory with regular checks to track inventory. This means going through with a fine-tooth comb and ensuring that the numbers you have written down match what is stored away. This is particularly important if you have any employees that work alongside you or who take deliveries directly from the storage space.
6. Label EVERYTHING
Your very business running that business – don’t rely on your memory when it comes to tracking inventory. Ensure everything is labeled correctly to make things easier when you need to retrieve stock or direct someone else towards it.
Bar code scanning is an option to consider as your business grows. This allows you to assign bar codes to certain ranges or products then these are scanned into your inventory management system to process and confirm when stock is removed or added.
Try on these tips for size and enjoy a dedicated space to secure and track inventory for your home business.