There’s a reason that larger retail stores hire inventory management companies to come in and do their inventories for them. It can be a really huge undertaking that takes too much time away from your employees or causes you to have to shut down the store during business hours. If you have a smaller store or a boutique and neither of these things is an option for you, then you may end up doing it yourself. Use these tips to help the process run more smoothly. Being prepared can make the process go a lot faster, you can get more accurate results, and you can save some money too. Also there are tips for daily management of inventory that will help you to reduce theft year round and stay on top of things before they get bad.

One problem for boutiques is that there are usually only a couple of people to manage the whole inventory. They get tired of all of the counting and categorizing and start to make mistakes. If the store is not clearly sectioned off, employees can get confused and not remember if they’ve counted that display or not. Larger stores have a lot more employees and each one can be in charge of just one small section of inventory. This makes it easier for them. Clearly section off the clothing racks into different sections so that employees don’t get confused. Making the sections fairly small will make the job seem like less of a chore and people will do a better job.

If you have multiple associates working on the job, put them on teams. For a small boutique, losses can take a major toll. Getting an accurate count is imperative. Have one person count while the other records and then have them switch places and repeat the process. Offer rewards, store discounts, snacks, gift cards, bonuses, whatever you can think of to make the employees happier about doing this sort of task. A lot of employees actually like doing inventory. They get to play around with their coworkers, play music in the store, and you may even allow them to wear pajamas or some other fun incentive.

You may have to have your “inventory party” early in the morning or on a day when you are normally closed, so offering incentives is important. Most companies make inventory days mandatory. If someone is unable to attend due to another job or school, then let them do something different for you during their normal shift. They can analyze your daily inventory lists or help to organize the store’s garment racks into categories to help get ready for inventory day.

About the Author: John Garvey is on the staff of Only Garment Racks, a leading online source of clothing racks including garment racks. Find a high quality clothing rack or garment rack at