The basics of keeping a retail store open and working properly are fairly simple – keep a steady supply of products on the shelves, offer them at a fair price, and meet the needs of your customers.
But while that sounds simple, it’s not. In fact, it’s a tremendous amount of work and something that can take far more work than most realize until they’ve started trying to manage it for themselves. One of the biggest challenges is certainly that of building inventory levels and sourcing products properly. You need to know where to find the right products, how to build that inventory, and more.
Luckily, a few basic steps can make it much easier to source products and keep your store selling items regularly. Here are some things to do:
- Put yourself in your customers” shoes. Think of your target demographics. Where do those customers go and what do they need? What challenges do they face and how can you solve those issues? This will give you a good idea as to how to go about building inventory.
- Do your research with the right tools and resources. Google can be your friend, but other sites like ProductHunt could help you find new products that may fit into your store’s brand. You can also look at Kickstarter or GoFundMe to get a look at products on the way, letting you stock them first.
- Find the right suppliers. You have options here – manufacturer direct purchases, wholesalers, or even small-time crafters. Different options offer different solutions, and the right one will be able to keep you stocked.
- Stay ahead of your need, too. Few things make it harder to keep your products sourced than waiting until the last minute. Keep a regular check on inventory, and order ahead of time.
These simple tips can be the foundation on which to build stronger inventory management and product sourcing. Remember them, and your retail store will always have the latest and greatest products on its shelves.