Guest Blogger #612, Entry #1448, August 8, 2012
Can you imagine what retail shops would be like if no one kept up with the inventory? Or how about grocery stores? Although it’s not a task that’s talked about much, it is vitally important to the success of any business (no matter how big or small) to keep up with its inventory, especially in your home office. Otherwise, items get lost, orders are misplaced and expenses can end up being misused.
Image via: Houzz
If you have a home-based business and you need some tips on how to better keep up with your inventory, here are five ideas that can make your work environment both easier and much more efficient.
Designate specific spots for your inventory
Sometimes, when we’re working from home, we’re more tempted to put things in an empty room or closet (like the garage, for instance), while telling ourselves that we’ll come back to it. Before long, we realize that we’ve done that so much that everything is disheveled. You can avoid this by immediately designating spaces for all of your inventory; not just as it relates to the room that you’re going to put the items in, but if they are going to go into boxes, a file cabinet or some other form of storage containers. Also, in order to keep your maintenance time down in this area, make sure that nothing else is in those designated spots but your inventory items and supplies.
Another trick is to ensure you keep a decluttered office to find everything. There is nothing worse than a cluttered office, and not keeping up with important records.
Keep a clear record
OK, it would probably be nice if all of us could remember the total counts of items in our heads, but rarely is that the case. After you have tallied up all of your inventory, make sure to put the totals onto an electronic spreadsheet. TaskClear.com is a website that will assist you with organizing your items for absolutely free.
Image via: Elle Decor
Put them in categories
Say that you have a T-shirt design company and you have a ton of white T-shirts. It’s not good enough to simply have all of them in one spot. You must separate them according to size and make (men, women, children as well as fabric blends). Once you have them all separated into categories, it’s a good idea to then label them. Inventory labels are a great way to keep all of your products separated.
Create a map of the inventory
If you have a business with a staff that will have access to the inventory as well, consider drawing some kind of map (or writing down the instructions) of where things are in the inventory space. There’s nothing worse than waiting 20 minutes for something that would’ve only taken five had the person known exactly where to go to get it.
Go through the inventory on a monthly basis
You don’t want to buy something that you don’t need or run out of something that you do. A wise way to avoid these kinds of situations is to go through your inventory on a monthly basis. This is not just a good idea when it comes to your purchases, but also as it relates to making sure that your inventory space doesn’t get cluttered too. It’s an opportunity to keep everything is in its proper space and order.
For more home office ideas on Stagetecture, click here.
Can’t keep your home office organized? Seek inspiration in 111 Simple Tips for your Everyday Home Ebook here.