It’s been an exciting day! I spent my time with pivot tables and counting tiny parts. While it’s not an ideal way to spend a Saturday, I’m so glad that I did… because I almost made a rookie mistake. I was set to order more inventory without truly reviewing the numbers. I can feel all of the Sharks giving me the stink eye for even considering it.
Strap Savers are small.
It’s easy to look at the pile and estimate how many we have! (note to self! idea for giveaway: guess how many Strap Savers in the jar?) It appeared that we might be running low on a few sizes/colors.
But, of course, looks can be deceiving or this wouldn’t be a blog post, would it? And, I had to take into account that, as we will announce soon, we are phasing out the ¾” and 1” regular Strap Savers. (short answer: we feel that the “extra strength” does the job and are only .7mm thicker. That’s half of an American dime, our thinnest coin) It was more than just seeing if what we had was enough.
I spent some time with a spreadsheet and created tables to look at our numbers first by size, then by color and then strength. And then strength, size and color. And then every other permutation imaginable, to see what worked best to try to forecast sales for the next year. As a person who spends their days sifting through data, part of me wonders why we didn’t do this sooner. The rest of me knows it is because there are just so many other things to do when running a business. As long as we had inventory to sell I could consider this part of the job “done”.
My next step was to start counting. I took a short cut and pulled out a scale. Do you have any idea how many ¼” Strap Savers fit in the palm of your hand? The answer will not surprise you: a LOT! And… I found that we have enough inventory to make it through the year based on the last year of sales with 30% growth.
Plan for the future – act now
I hope that we grow more, obviously. I always have plans, but we’re “living in uncertain times” (trite but true!). If we need to buy more inventory, we always can. It doesn’t take much lead time and we have advanced warning. (Unless, Sophia Vegara decides to tweet about us, then all bets would be off anyway!)
The takeaway is that it frees up our funds for things like direct advertising and partnering with influencers. Yes, I see that will lead me back to needing more inventory, but I can certainly handle that problem. It’s much better than having much more than I need and no path to reaching potential customers.
We even have a nice stock of envelopes, instructions and pink bags! Now I just need to find someone who lives to silk screen tiny logos in small bags. Any takers?