Tidying Up Your Business
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo and her Konmari method of tidying up any living space. It seems like everywhere you turn now, you read another article about her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and/or her new Netflix series Tidying Up With Marie Kondo.
If I’m being honest, I was completely taken with the Netflix series and began a mental inventory of my own home and what I needed to organize immediately. Marie projects a quiet and effortless authority along with an uncanny ability to make anyone feel at ease. She’s the kind of person you instinctively want to hug the moment she walks through the door (and most people in the series do just that)! There is an almost instant connection between her and the families she is helping, despite the fact that the tasks set before them are daunting.
Although Marie encourages people to throw out as many unnecessary things as possible (anything that doesn’t “spark joy”), she is never judgmental about the amount of possessions that people do choose to keep. She helps the members of each household achieve a sense of peace and satisfaction with their newly organized homes, replacing the chaos and familial strain that was present prior to the process.
It got us here at InventoryLab thinking……is there a way to apply this method of tidying up to a seller’s business? If you’ve wondered the same thing yourself or just felt like your business needs some organization, you’re in the right place!
Inventory Deep Dive
Do you keep a large amount of inventory at your home or workspace? Whether you keep it all in your office, basement, attic, spare room, or storage space, there are some simple but effective ways to keep things neat, organized, and easy to find.
Keep it simple. Various size plastic storage bins and/or fabric bins can work wonders for keeping like items together and within easy reach. Be sure to use clear containers so you can see what’s in them at a glance.
Store Like Items Together
Whether you sell clothing, toys, household goods, decorative items, or health and beauty items, remember to organize them in a way that makes sense. For instance, if you sell bathing suits of various colors and styles, you can opt to keep all the like colors together regardless of style or size. Or you can micro-organize by color, size, AND style. It all depends on how much inventory you have and how much variety there is. Try different approaches to find the one that works best for you and makes it simple to pull and ship any sold item in the shortest amount of time.
Are you still holding onto inventory that hasn’t sold in a year or more even after you’ve lowered the cost? Items that aren’t moving are just taking up valuable space. Consider doing a thorough vetting of everything you have. Get rid of anything that isn’t selling and consider more lucrative replacements.
In her book, Marie Kondo opines that storage experts are really hoarders who have discovered a way to organize the chaos around them. Sometimes, keeping everything and just making it look better can prevent you from discarding the items you no longer need.
Try to be as brutally honest with yourself as possible about what to keep and what to throw away or donate. Just throwing stagnant inventory into a nicer container doesn’t change the fact that it probably isn’t going to sell anytime soon!
It’s Not Just About the Inventory
Don’t forget your personal workspace! Take a look around. Are you working in the middle of a mess? Are there papers and miscellaneous junk piled up everywhere? It can be difficult to concentrate or feel productive if you’re constantly surrounded by clutter. Once you’ve thrown out or recycled the garbage in your workspace, utilize drawers, storage containers, filing cabinets, and shelves to organize the rest. The less you have on your desk or table, the better.
Don’t forget to sort through your office and shipping supplies as well. If it’s not readily apparent what you already have, an overabundance of supplies you don’t need can easily sneak up on you and take up precious space.
Check Your Books
Organizing your financials can often seem like the most intimidating task of all. If you keep track of them on your own, take a look at the method you’re using. Is it still working for you? Are you able to effectively manage your finances?
If not, find a way to streamline the process. Consider using InventoryLab which can track your buy costs and Amazon fees in addition to helping you list and manage your inventory efficiently. Another option is using accounting software like QuickBooks or Xero, which complement and work in conjunction with InventoryLab. Depending on what your current system is, this kind of upgrade might be a worthwhile investment.
Check out this IL video with Kim McCaffery from IL and Cyndi Thomason of Profit First to found out more about how InventoryLab works with QuickBooks and Xero.
Remember to Breathe
At the end of the day, tidying up your business is meant to help you feel LESS stressed and anxious. If at any point in the process you start to feel overwhelmed and frustrated, take a break, clear your head, and go back to it when you feel calmer and more energized.
Once you get the initial chaos under control, it should be easier to maintain moving forward. Now you can focus on the work at hand in a cleaner and more peaceful space without the distractions that disorganization can create.