Organizing your Inventory For Success

I’ve posted about the importance of your direct sales business carrying an inventory, but I haven’t yet posted my tips for organizing your inventory for success!  So here are some tips that will help you be ready for anything.

1)  Move discontinued inventory into a separate location in your office.  When people stop by looking for a lipstick or lip gloss (for example) and aren’t looking for a specific (current) color, you can entice them to grab from the ones you need to move (with a discount for taking a discontinued one, or a free gift for purchasing a certain amount of discontinued product, etc).  I also take a basket of discontinued products with me on errands or to meetings from time to time.  People are curious and they ask— and it’s not only a quick sale, but it’s a quick sale of items I no longer want on my shelf.

2)  Move past limited edition items into a separate location in your office.  Once a limited edition time period has ended, those products are treated as discontinued products— priority to move!

3)  Have your discontinued and past limited edition items organized in such a way that you can find something quickly.  I’m in facebook groups where other consultants will be looking for a particular eye shadow color or a particular fragrance and I know exactly where to look.  As disorganized as my office can sometimes be, I DO know that discontinued and past limited edition items are to my left as I sit at my desk and current items are at my right in the cabinet.

4)  Alphabetize.  This doesn’t necessarily apply to those of you with larger products (Pampered Chef cooking utensils can’t easily be alphabetized!)— but for those of us selling color cosmetics in particular, it’s a great idea to alphabetize eyeshadows and lipsticks.  I get calls all the time for specific colors and it’s horrible when I’m on the phone saying…. oh gosh I THOUGHT I had this color— let me look over here— hmmmm let me look one more place……  It does happen when I haven’t had time to reorganize (does anything ever STAY organized?)— but I try not to let it happen often.  Most of the time if you call me looking for a specific color I know where to look.  This works well for those selling scentsy scents or perhaps cookie lee jewelry (each necklace has a name and you can label the sides of the boxes in a cabinet in order).

5) Unpack your inventory orders in a timely manner.  When I don’t, I think I don’t have something.  I ALMOST place an order for it and oops– what’s in that box over there?

6)  Keep popular items in stock and don’t over order on items you don’t move much.  ’nuff said!

7)  Have a computerized system that keeps what you have updated at all times.  Perhaps it’s an inventory manager your company provides wherein you can enter a wholesale order and what’s available for retail sale is a click away.  Or perhaps it’s an excel spreadsheet.  Either way, you can back it up.  Pencil and paper cannot be easily backed up!

What inventory organizing tips have you found helpful for your business?

 

Aside from parenting special needs twins, Heather Price represents three direct sales and network marketing companies. She started with a popular skin care/ cosmetics company in 2000, and added the greeting card and video email companies in 2008 and 2012 specifically to encourage other direct sales professionals to use out of the box tools to promote their businesses. Heather enjoys selling the products and building teams with these companies. Do you need extra income? You can find out more from the “work with Heather” pull down menu at http://heatheramyprice.com In 2012 she added social media services to her portfolio. For a limited number of clients, she tweets, pins, posts, connects, curates content, uploads videos, and generally explodes the social media presence of small businesses. Heather’s businesses can be found at http://shopskincarewithheather.com , http://cardswithheather.com , and http://videoemailswithheather.com . To ask Heather about her social media services, put your info here: http://heatheramyprice.com/social-media-services/

14 Responses to Organizing your Inventory For Success

  1. Amy says:

    Alphabetized? I hadn’t thought of that. I thought of that. I like to organize by color, making it much more easy on my eyes. Great insight! Thank you.

    • Heather Price says:

      I like to organize my inventory by alphabet when possible so that when someone is on the phone looking for a specific color I can see quickly whether it’s in stock. HOWEVER, I prefer to organize my samples by color so that when I have a client with me in person who wants to try a few berry colors or a few neutral colors or a few metallic colors I can pull those colors for her without jumping from this page to that page of my sample book. However, due to young children in the house who’ve taken priority, I definitely need to reorganize both my inventory and my samples yet again and take my own advice (why things can’t just STAY organized is beyond me! :)

  2. Great, common-sense organizational tips that can be applied — generally speaking — to almost any business or home. Thanks!

  3. Yakini says:

    As the company grows we will be carrying inventory of her products. Well some things, so it is good to have some tips in keeping items organized.

  4. Cheryl Gnad says:

    Great advice for Direct Sellers! I’ve done direct sales myself, but I never had to have a large inventory as some companies insist on, but then again, I wished I did have. It is easy for one to have too much left over that doesn’t get sold too! Lost money out the window that way. I love the “left” and “right” idea and alphabetizing! I will be sharing this article! Very helpful! :-)

    • Heather says:

      Thanks for sharing, Cheryl! I hope there are no companies that INSIST on consultants carrying an inventory. Some companies make it a no brainer though with lots of free bonuses. The eye buys and MULTIPLE times I’ve had a phone call from someone wanting to come check out JUST my lipsticks and she leaves with $200 worth of skin care. JUST because it was here and she was interested.

  5. Organizing your direct sales business can be a challenge. I don’t have to deal with much inventory because the company ships out the products. Most of my organizing is for my office which has over 17 years of books, training, brochures and loads of other things. Some of your tips can be applied here too. :)

    • Heather Price says:

      Melodie have you been with the same company for 17 years? Yes, periodically I need to go through my training, brochures, etc and toss the old to make room for the new! :)

  6. That sounds highly organised. I have never had to work with inventory but I bet it makes a heck of a difference. Great read Heather.

  7. Daveda says:

    Not being organized always leaves me feeling like there are too many loose ends. I think learning to organize is a valuable lesson!

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