Is Stock Control So Important?
- Free up cashflow
- Increase sales
- Increase profits
- Improve customer service
- Nurture customer loyalty
- Raise your bottom line
There are SMBs out there who are not in control of their stock. Arguably, control of the business begins with control of its stock. Knowing what will sell and making sure it’s available equals higher turnover. More sales, increased revenue, cash flows where it is needed, and the business grows.
Working as a content writer for a small business, I was asked one day to have a go at placing an order. It transpired, there was no existing system, just guesswork. Enter Ms Dunklin, Queen of Stock Control! The EPOS system gave me a record of sales and I soon had an impressive spreadsheet; sales, quantities in stock and an order column waiting to be filled. It grew, quickly, and in spite of the hope this would not become a permanent fixture in my job description, I was soon ‘all over it’. I forged great relationships with the suppliers who enjoyed the massive growth in sales.
The role remained mine, and I quickly developed ‘Obsessive Control Disorder’, OCD. I had it running like a well oiled machine, spotting trends, predicting seasonal changes and creating growth. It seemed so obvious to be providing the items that people wanted to buy, all year round. Equally as obvious, the items that didn’t sell were no longer ordered. Crucially, I focused the offering to ensure it was ‘on brand’, the products were a perfect representation of the brand. While the website grew from strength to strength, the retail outlets performed better than ever and profits grew. It wasn’t difficult, it took time and attention but the results were HUGE.
I knew the stock, the suppliers, the customers; everything functioned in perfect synchrony. The website and the retail outlets carried precisely the right amount of stock, that part was nailed down. By now, I was also responsible for buying. I found new suppliers and new products to increase the range, widening the audience, experimenting, discovering, it was fun. Customers found all they were looking for and more, the website was an exciting place to be and more people came along for the ride, every day. Record sales, record results, giving the company every chance of success by plugging every hole in the boat, leaving the owner with the job of plotting the course and steering the boat.
Be warned! It’s not a perfect solution, If you have just one person with this vital knowledge and and you lose them, your business is in a precarious position. Sharing the load as well as sharing the knowledge will stop you finding yourself stranded if you lose that ‘font of all knowledge’ from the business.
Stock control is a solid foundation to success, it isn’t difficult, but it does require time, attention and someone who cares. It was a great pleasure to care so much about this business and I take pride in the results we saw during my time there. Fundamentally, I am a content writer, the content writing and every written communication were my responsibility too; now that’s another article…