Streamlining Inventory Management for Your Small Business

Small Business owners work incredibly hard. Every day there is another challenge and not every day presents a clear answer. Sometimes you have to find your own business solutions. Many of these findings come with the ease of technology. Integrating software applications are the tools for small business owners to compete. These systems will trim down the hours spent on tasks that can be automated. Regardless of your scale of operations, retailers need streamlined inventory management for small business.

Have you ever lost business when items were out of stock? Or lost money due to excess stock? How do you manage inventory during the busy holiday season? Inventory management is the process of supply chain management that maintains the right quantity of products at the right time. Using a streamlined system reduces costs. Inventory management drastically reduces the chances of having an overstocked supply room and boosts sales by ensuring you never run out of merchandise. Small business owners can also track and view inventory in real-time.

Fortunately, for Splash and Dash franchise owners, the company’s proprietary software has built in inventory management for small businesses. The terminal software ensures that the right quantity of items is available on the sales floor or in back-stock. Key metrics can determine products that are becoming obsolete and other variations in the supply chain. Seeing this dynamic in real-time allows franchise owners to avoid spending more on items that sell slowly.

Without inventory management for your small business, you are more than likely using an outmoded system. This is burning time and resources. This article walks small business owners through the fundamentals of inventory management and how it can fine-tune your business.

Get Rid of Obsolete Tools

Many small business owners use customized spreadsheets to track inventory. The reason this doesn’t work is that your inventory manager will have to spend their time finding separate data to plug into various spreadsheets. Re-stocking is also complicated when using spreadsheets. Often, a business ends up continuing unnecessary inventories because they use a single uniform inventory level for entire groups of products. For a true assessment of restocking needs, you will need to make a demand-and-supply model for each individual product.

This is a waste of time when updated inventory management tools can streamline this entire process. By automating, you can capture real-time data for information on the supply chain. This reduces overhead by eliminating unneeded inventory investments. Over time this will result in sizeable savings. With a revamped system you can use a single management tool for both demand and supply. Single-window tools display information on various inventory sources and inform managers exactly when suppliers will deliver. Inventory management software also track restocking needs. This system of inventory management for small business keeps everyone on the same page. You’ll always know what you have, what you need to order, and what is selling.

What Inventory Management Software Should I Use?

The proliferation of various software options is far and wide. The key to finding a good one is keeping it simple. Good inventory management software will inherently reduce costs and improve cash flow. Software should be capable of tracking inventory in real-time, forecast demands, and be accessible to any device. This way you can prevent product shortages for multiple storefronts from your phone. Finding a software that will integrate into your POS system is also important. Equally important is the capability of optimizing your stock room. Warehouse organization utilizing bar code scanning speeds up intake.

Standard Features Should Include:

  • Reduce Costs
  • Strengthen Cash Flow
  • Real-time Inventory Tracking
  • Key Metric Analytics to Forecast Demand
  • Prevents Production Shortages
  • Prevents Excess Stock
  • Cloud-Computing (Any Device)
  • Integration with POS
  • Optimize Warehouse Organization
  • Bar Code Scanning
  • Multiple Unit Management

The key to differentiating between software options is the type of small business you own. If you are a restaurant, you will want powerful software designed to simplify food costs. A platform that has menu cost functionality and effortless POS integration is your best option. SimpleOrder, Orca Inventory, and ChefSheet are all good places to start researching.  Retailers will want a software that synchronizes online stores with the brick-and-mortar. Quality control is a big component too. Retailers top three favorites are Square for Retail, NCR Counterpoint, and Shopify POS.

Optimization Techniques & Practices

Audit Regularly

Even with robust inventory management software, you will still need to periodically count your inventory. Comparing a physical count to what your software is reporting is vital. Some small business owners do this right after the holidays. The idea is to sell everything so you don’t have to count it. Others do this toward the end of the fiscal year so managers have a good prediction for the following year.

Use the FIFO Method

The first in, first out method is an inventory valuation approach based on the cash flow assumption that the first goods purchased will be the first goods sold. This works for most small business. FIFO is the most suitable inventory method accepted by industry accountants. Using FIFO ensures that the inventory asset recorded on your balance sheets closely match the marketplace costs.

Polished Forecasting

Precision is key. Projected sales calculations need to be based on factors like your historical sales figures, market trends, predicted growth in the economy, promotions, and marketing campaigns. This data should be available on software dashboards. Staying on top of this will simplify this task into something as simple as checking your email.

Vendor Discounts

Taking advantage of vendor discounts can be either profitable or lead to excess stock. Use your inventory management software for small business functions by identifying the right time to purchase bulk orders. There is nothing worse than liquidating excess stock after the Holidays because you overbought to take advantage of a vendor discount.

We hope this article helps you clean up the back-stock room and get to the more important parts of owning your business!


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Hottest Apps for Small Business Bookkeeping

Discerning the Best App for Your Small Business Bookkeeping Needs Saves Time and Stops Hassles

For some minds, small business bookkeeping comes easy and is considered a joy. Most of us do not have this kind of mind. This leaves the rest of us entrepreneurs scrambling to find a cloud computing app that can handle the tedium and calculations necessary for accounting. There are dozens of widely available small business bookkeeping apps. Figuring out which one you want to use depends on the style of your business, your business needs, and how much you want to pay.

If you are ready to upgrade from using spreadsheets to a purpose-built cloud bookkeeping app this will improve your business immensely. Spreadsheets are a powerful tool but margins are high for human error. Manual data entry is time-consuming, formulas can be written incorrectly, and if one cell is modified the entire spreadsheet can be incorrect.

Powerful accounting software and bookkeeping apps are the modern upgrade with functions designed specifically to improve where spreadsheets fall flat. Bookkeeping software can integrate into a small business’s bank accounts for real-time transaction reconciliation. Financial statements are also easily accessible. A software’s dashboard is easy to navigate and financial key metrics are presented orderly. This makes filing taxes much easier. Also important is that bookkeeping software will scale with your small business. As you grow or re-organize, your software will match your needs.

So, which small business bookkeeping software is the best for you?

1. QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks is one of the premier accounting software choices available on the market. Prices range from $10 per month to $50 per month for the Plus plan. For most small businesses’ bookkeeping, it will cost around $15.

This price is well worth it when you see the capabilities this software has built into its functioning. QuickBooks handles accounting, billing, invoicing, time tracking, accounts payable, reporting, inventory, payroll, sales, and taxes. These functions are centralized to a single dashboard. Many users also appreciate it’s seamless navigation and colorful design. This makes complicated figures easier to digest. The software also pulls from your online bank accounts. This allows you to download detailed financial reports and track your small business’s spending. QuickBooks also links with company credit cards, your POS system, and online vendors.

2. Nutcache

Nutcache is a robust cloud-based accounting application that can perform every feature of typical small business bookkeeping demands. The software is free unless you opt for the Pro plan which costs $5 for each user per month on an annual basis. The Enterprise plan costs $12  for each user per month when paid annually. For a monthly basis, this package will be $15 per month.

The simplicity of Nutcahe’s interface is valuable. With Nutcache, you can create an unlimited amount of invoices with your company logo and send them en masse to various clients. Invoicing and tracking tools come standard. Other functions include expense reporting, task management, and key performance indicators. You can track time with your budget to see what projects are the most profitable.

3. Zoho Books

Also, an application that embraces simplicity is Zoho books. There are three pricing plans that small business owners can choose from. The first is the Basic plan which costs $9 per month. The Standard plan costs $19 per month while the Professional plan costs $29 per month.

Zoho books web app ecosystem helps small business owners manage bookkeeping at each stage. The software seamlessly integrates with other Zoho business applications like Zoho CRM and Zoho inventory. Other third-party payment systems like PayPal are easily integrated. On top of this, Zoho Books performs accounting functions like organized financial reporting, client portals, and real-time bank account monitoring. Zoho puts an accountant’s knowledge at your fingertips.

4. Sage One

When it comes to small business bookkeeping, simple is powerful. Sage One cloud accounting fully embraces this idea by providing dynamic tools with straightforward navigation. The Sage One start plan costs $6.99 per month when bought in six-month increments. Sage One accounting costs $19.99 per month for the same deal.

The features for the basic plan will most likely cover most small businesses’ needs. Features like sales invoicing, tracking overdue balances, bank account integration, financial reporting, tax calculations, cash flow statements, check printing, and 1099 contractors. Additional features of the accounting plan include cash flow forecasts, quotes & estimates, and vendor billing. Sage One is well-organized and runs small business bookkeeping on autopilot. No more redundancy with this app.

5. Xero

Xero has a natural flow to its user experience that can make account management almost enjoyable. The app imports financial transactions into its database and links them to coterminous accounting transactions. Xero has three different plans. The Starter plan costs $9 per month for limited invoices and reconciliation features. The standard plan costs $30 per month with unlimited invoicing and reconciliation. With the Premium plan, you receive enhanced features at $70 per month.

The design of Xero rivals Quickbooks by providing a concise picture of your company’s financial health. Integration is also seamless with Xero as you can connect with 500 plus third party apps. Conversion from other accounting software is also handled with Xero and bank reconciliation is automatic. Xero offers developer support to help you through any issues you might encounter. Definitely worth the value.

6. Wave

This accounting app is perfect for small business bookkeeping with nine employees or less. Wave’s core functions—invoicing, accounting, and receipt features are all completely free. Payroll is $15 per month and $4 per employee for the first 10 employees. After this, it is $2 per employee.

Wave is great for small business owners who run a small operation. The developer’s mindset is that small business owners can pay for what they use with no surprises. For fundamental bookkeeping tasks, Wave is great. But, the lack of check printing, automatic migration ability, and time tracking might make growing businesses look elsewhere. This being said, Wave is a free program. You can a lot of bang for spending no bucks.

We hope you found this article helpful and good luck with your small business bookkeeping efforts!


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