how to keep track of inventory for small business

In practice, these cost estimates can help you make wiser decisions around inventory stocking, ordering, and delivery planning. They also give you a clear estimate of the total cost of inventory ownership. Shortage costs are incurred when your inventory has insufficient goods. For instance, you’ll be paying quite a bit for expedited shipping costs to meet orders. So, make sure that you review every process carefully with your accountant before settling on one.

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Investing in the right inventory management software provides accurate, up-to-date information to make critical purchasing decisions, such as when to replenish stock and which vendors to use. Warehouse space is an essential element of efficient inventory and order management. Managing your space well means you can store more inventory and take full of advantage of your warehouse which helps you control costs and boost sales. For instance, something as simple as being consistent in how you receive stock can help you minimize errors and control costs.

What should I be tracking for a small business?

Embedding quality control into every aspect of inventory management, and precise documentation of the critical elements of quality control, such as accurate ordering and invoice matching, is vital. It’s also important to make sure every employee understands and adheres to the processes in place. One of the key elements of effective inventory management is accurate forecasting.

This method is best for businesses with a small number of SKUs and simple inventory needs. The downside of this method is that it can be time-consuming to keep track of inventory levels manually, and it can be easy to make mistakes. Without accurate inventory data, small businesses may find themselves over-producing or under-producing products. There are many different approaches to keeping track of your small business’s finances and inventory and creating a lasting warehouse management solution. InFlow Inventory management software is a popular inventory software pick for small businesses on a budget. InFlow combines inventory management and order-tracking software to streamline inventory tracking.

Resources for Your Growing Business

Small business inventory templates also include your total inventory value , condition, category, item size, licensing, and physical location. A thorough, filled-out small business inventory template provides management and inventory personnel with item-by-item stock details and their current — and collective — value. Our Merchant Maverick list of the best inventory management software has three great options for $0.

how to keep track of inventory for small business

The platform focuses on expiration date tracking and supply chain needs. The advanced reporting of Cin7 allows you to access over a hundred customizable reports. This provides you with actionable data to make better decisions around inventory. If it takes hours for your staff to learn the software, then it’s not worth it.


InFlow combines inventory and order management software to optimize inventory tracking software. It is made for retail businesses with multi-channel selling requirements. Tracking inventory is important for small businesses because it helps them to keep track of their products and materials.

Do small businesses need to keep track of inventory?

Businesses of all sizes need to track inventory to help them manage costs and ensure they have an ample supply of products to meet customer demand. Effective inventory management allows businesses to save money and improve cash flow.

The sooner you do, the sooner you — and your customers — can start reaping the benefits. With so many good choices, finding the best inventory management software for your small business should be a breeze. Read our full reviews for detailed information on your top choices from this list, and sign up for a free trial if your top choice has that option. Sortly offers a limited free plan that allows one user license, one custom field, and just 100 entries. Significant discounts are available for users who pay for a year upfront.

How to Track Your Business Expenses

Its super intuitive functionality allows your team to learn how to track important details about your items quickly. This means you won’t need extensive training on the product either. Sortly has most of the basic inventory management software features like warehouse management, inventory management control, barcode scanning abilities, and basic inventory reports. Tracking how much of which specific items are on hand — whether used in product development or representing goods for sale to customers — can help inventory managers fine-tune their ordering processes. Establishing a well-documented and consistent inventory cycle counting process can help minimize errors that may impact stock availability and access.

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