There are a few different ways that small businesses can keep track of inventory for free. Depending on the size of the business and the complexity of the inventory, one method may be better than another.
Tracking inventory is important for small businesses because it helps them to keep track of their products and materials. This information can be used to plan production, manage stock levels, and predict future sales.
Without accurate inventory data, small businesses may find themselves over-producing or under-producing products. This can lead to lost sales and unhappy customers.
What are the different methods of tracking inventory for free?
There are a few different methods that small businesses can use to track their inventory for free. These include:
-Using Excel or Google Sheets
-Using pen and paper
-Using inventory management software (such as Craftybase)
Each of these methods has its own set of pros and cons. Weighing these up will help you to decide which method is right for your business.
Using Excel or Google Sheets
Spreadsheets, like Excel or Google Sheets are a good free way for businesses to keep track of their inventory levels if their needs are straightforward. The downside of using spreadsheets is that it can be difficult to keep track of inventory levels in real-time as it involves manual periodic work to update stock levels.
-Can be customized to fit your specific needs
-Can be used to track a variety of inventory items
-Is easy to use and understand
-Can be time-consuming to set up and maintain
-May be difficult to share with other members of your team
-Does not offer any features beyond basic inventory tracking
Using pen and paper
One way to track inventory is through the use of paper-based methods. This can be something as simple as a whiteboard or a spreadsheet. 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.
Is quick and easy to set up
Does not require any special equipment or software
Is easy to understand and use
Is less accurate than other methods
Is more difficult to share with other members of your team
Can be time-consuming to maintain
No good way to back up data in case of disaster
Impossible to generate reports
Not possible to undertake any forecasting or trends analysis
Cannot take advantage of QR codes, photos or barcodes
No low stock alerts
Using inventory management software (such as Craftybase)
Is quick and easy to use
Offers a variety of features beyond basic inventory tracking
Can be used to track a variety of inventory items
May be more expensive than other methods
Requires special software
May be time consuming to set up
So, which method is right for you?
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the size of your business, the complexity of your inventory, and your budget.
If you have a small business with a simple inventory, you may be able to get by with tracking your inventory using Excel or Google Sheets.
If you have a larger business with a more complex inventory, you may need to invest in some barcode scanners and inventory management software.
No matter which method you choose, the important thing is that you track your inventory regularly. This will help you to keep on top of your stock levels and avoid any surprises down the road.
Craftybase is inventory management software that is designed specifically for small businesses. It offers a variety of features beyond basic inventory tracking, including production planning, lot tracking, location and consignment tracking, and material costing.
Craftybase is quick and easy to use, and it offers a free trial so you can try it out before you commit to a subscription.