Business Development

5 Inventory Management Tips For Small Businesses

Published on: August 23, 2021

Last Updated on: June 19, 2024

Inventory Management

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Regularly assessing your business to ensure everything is running as expected is essential to reach your set objectives.

Usually, this involves examining several different aspects of your business, and an important one you must never overlook is inventory management. You must always ensure the inventory of your company, whether an established or startup business, runs smoothly to remain competitive.

It is important to execute inventory management properly and it is necessary to ensure you have the correct items in stock and the right quantity of items at all times and in all appropriate situations.

If you’re new in business, achieving all this at once can be tricky. However, this guide seeks to make it easier for you by highlighting useful inventory management tips that can help you streamline your inventory tracking process.

What Is Inventory Management?

The term inventory management mainly talks about the process of ordering, storing, using and selling products from a company’s inventory. With the help of inventory management, you can manage your raw materials, various components as well as finished products. 

You can also maintain your warehouse and process items with the help of inventory management.  

So, if you are successful in streamlining your inventory through inventory management, you can possibly avoid product shortage or surplus.  

The inventory management for different kinds of methods, which includes JIT or just-in-time, MRP or materials requirement planning, EOQ or economic order quantity, and lastly, DSI or days sales of inventory.   

5 Inventory Management Tips For Your Small Business  

Inventory management might seem straightforward, but it is just on the surface. You might be thinking inventory management is about how much stock we need for the products you are selling, but it is more than that.  

The process of inventory management comprises accounting of the products in your warehouse and the raw materials that you need to manufacture and supply the final product.  

If you can properly manage your inventory, it might help you to save time, earn more money, and reach your business goals.

But how to achieve it?  

Here in this section, I have curated five tips for you that will help you conduct the right inventory management for your own small business. So, let’s learn: 

1. Apply The FIFO Approach

1. Apply The FIFO Approach

When managing your inventory, you must employ the first-in, first-out (FIFO) approach if you run a small business. This method entails selling your stock in the order you bought them. Therefore, the first inventory you bought should always be the first inventory you sell. The FIFO approach is beneficial when you’re selling perishable goods such as the following:

  • Organic items
  • Food items
  • Plants
  • Makeup

If you want to implement the FIFO approach, having devices like Cribmaster Accuport and similar equipment will come in very handy. These devices could help you ensure your older products are sold first and the newer items later.

2. Choose The Right Software

There have been a lot of technological advancements in the cloud computing industry. Thanks to this, every business, regardless of size, can get access to a developed inventory management software system at an affordable monthly fee.

Therefore, consider investing in inventory management software that can help you assess your stock levels in real time. This way, you’d be able to determine a few vital details, such as how much inventory to order and the quantity of merchandise available for sale. But before choosing an inventory management software, you need to analyze it comprehensively to confirm whether it’s an ideal fit for your business.

3. Learn How To Forecast Properly

One of the most challenging parts of inventory management is forecasting, which entails predicting your inventory’s demand. Because you most certainly are busy as a small business owner, it’s easy to ignore this and view it as something unimportant. However, you must try not to make this mistake to avoid having to deal with inventory issues later.

Forecasting is a proactive approach that gives you a better idea of what to expect in the future. Hence, you’d be able to know how best to mitigate inventory issues. Forecasting involves the following tasks:

  • Watching the whole economy
  • Examining the market trends
  • Checking for seasonality
  • Looking for upcoming promotions
  • Going through contracts and subscription sales
  • Reviewing the growth rate of the current year

When you consider all these factors in your expected future performance, it’d be a lot simpler to get a better picture of what to expect in the next one or five years. Thus, you’d be able to strategically position how much inventory is in stock to ensure your company succeeds.

5. Have A Backup Plan

In inventory management, you have to be always prepared for the unexpected. Therefore, you must always have a backup plan to go to when things don’t work out. After all, a lot of different problems can arise out of nowhere, such as these below:

  • Early delivery of inventory
  • Running out of stock or cash crunch, hence not being able to replenish your depilated inventory
  • Lack of enough space in your warehouse during seasonal spikes
  • Unpredictable sales spike resulting in overselling
  • Slow-moving of inventory, which takes up valuable space

These are just a few of the problems you can expect when managing your inventory. So it’s essential to always have a contingency plan if anything goes wrong.

6. Audit Your Inventory

6. Audit Your Inventory

You must regularly audit your inventory to ensure it’s a perfect match with the figure you’ve got. You can do your auditing either daily, weekly, monthly, or annually.

When auditing your stocks, confirm your inventory is at ideal levels by implementing appropriate practices and policies as well as using the right software.

Check whether the inventory levels, after counting manually, are almost identical to what’s being stated on the inventory management software. Through regular auditing of your stock, you’d be able to find out potential inventory waste, data entry errors, and any other problems with inventory management.

Additional Tips For Successful Inventory Management For Your Small Business  

There are some additional techniques that you can use for your small business to manage your inventory.  

  • With inventory management, you can identify low-turn stock. If you have a specific stock that hasn’t sold for the past 6 months, then it is time for you to stop restocking the time.  

You can consider putting them on sale or discount before they waste both your space and your capital.  

  • Consider tracking your stock for successful inventory management. You can implement a system to track your stock. You can also use effective software to save time and money in your inventory operation.  
  • While managing inventory, it is important to remember to categorize your stock. Many businesses consider having tight control over valuable items. They group their items into A, B, and C categories.    

Benefits Of A Successful Inventory Management  

Effective inventory management helps streamline an entire production and the fulfillment process. It also comes with major benefits, such as:  

  • Inventory management can reduce costs and help you to save money.  
  • You can prevent overspending on the warehousing storage.  
  • Effective inventory management can be useful to minimize storage needs.  
  • It reduces losses and you can further improve cash flow.  
  • You can satisfy your customers with “always in-stock” products and timely deliveries.  
  • Lastly, inventory management allows you to forecast sales and various other trends.  
  • The right inventory management can help you to automate some of your inventory processes.  
  • Real-time data helps you to make informed decisions about your stock and purchase. 


Mastering how you execute the management of your inventory (IoT can stand out in the present era) is vital as it ensures you’re efficiently using the stock and improving your company’s overall productivity.

As a small business owner, you only have a small margin for error if you want a competitive advantage over other businesses. This guide has taken you one step toward accomplishing your goal by outlining inventory management tips to help you track your stock accurately, reliably, and efficiently.

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