How to Tackle Your End-of-Year Inventory
🎶 It’s the most wonderful time of the year… 🎶
For counting your inventory!
You’re wrapping up your holiday plans and sales, your customers have shopped and checked their lists twice, and you might feel like the inventory in your point of sales system has gotten WAY thrown off somewhere along the line.
So now, it’s time to get clear on what you actually have in store vs. what your POS says and head into the New Year with accurate numbers.
The end-of-year inventory process is a necessary part of being a pet business owner, but it doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds!
With a solid plan, a hyped-up team, and the proper organization tactics, your end-of-year inventory-taking can feel more like a productive party.
So let’s break it down, Pet Boss. Let’s look at what you need, who you’ll need, and how to count your end-of-year inventory!
What will you need?
☑ More than one laptop or tablet (ask each team member to bring their own.)
☑ Barcode scanners
☑ Legal pads
☑ Bins for sorting merchandise
☑ Chairs or stools
☑ Post-it notes (a different color for each team member)
☑ Cleaning supplies
☑ Snacks and drinks
☑ A music source
Who will you need?
A go-to point person.
This person is familiar with your inventory and POS system and should be a fan of doing clerical work. They have top-dog organizational skills. They’re the go-to for anyone who has questions and can keep the team on task and finalize numbers. They might even need an assistant, depending on how big your store is and how much inventory they’re overseeing.
Break your store into zones to determine how many people you should assign to this task. You’ll want one person to do food if you sell it. Put one person on clothing and accessories or anything that might have a lot of SKUs. Can you break your store up into thirds (one person in front, one in middle, one in back)? Or do you need to break it up even more? You want each team member to be able to realistically tackle each zone in the timeframe you have.
You don’t need them to count your inventory, but you need them to understand the store will be closed that day! Make sure to give them a heads up, and keep reminding them on social media and via email as the date approaches.
How will you do it?
1- If you track purchases or receive shipments in your POS system, wrap them up first! You don’t want those throwing off your counts later.
2- Map out your zones. Make sure every team member has a clear understanding of what they are responsible for counting.
3- Stay organized with bins. Label them:
Needs New $ Sticker – Counted
Expiring Soon – Counted
Expired – Not Counted
Unknown Item – Not Counted
Ready to Go Back Out – Counted
4- Your team members will count, clean, and move merchandise into designated bins if needed. They will then put their post-it note on the area they just counted.
5- Then, they’ll find another team member to review their area visually and ask questions if they are curious if something might not have been counted.
6- They’ll turn in their notepad or hit save on their tablets. Your lead person will manually enters all notepads and/or reviews and approves their scans.
7- Hit save! Solidify the new numbers in your POS.
➡️ Look at each item carefully. Check the quality of the packaging, that pricing is consistent, expiration dates, damages, etc.
➡️ Clean! This is your opportunity to deep clean your whole store so it’s not only your inventory counts that are fresh!
➡️ Remove big distractions. Prep your team for little talking while they’re counting. Make playlists that everyone can add to in an attempt to minimize chit-chat, or let team members take turn being the DJ.
➡️ Take breaks to eat, drink, and refresh!
By the time you power through Q4 and the holidays, your end-of-year inventory might be the last big project of the year hanging over your head. With these tips and suggestions, you’ll have an easier time getting it done and feeling ready and empowered to kick off the New Year in your pet business.
In the Pet Boss Club® , we offer more in-depth trainings for necessary pet business owner tasks just like this one! As a member, you can dive right into our vast library of resources, so get on the waitlist for 2023 enrollment here.
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