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When you are starting a Canadian franchise with product sales, it's always exciting to get that first inventory shipment. You can already see the loonie signs, and all you need to do is get your marketing into gear to make those sales.
However, if you spend too much money on your inventory, you won't have enough left for marketing, and those products may not fly off the shelves like you thought they would. This is such a common issue in new businesses that it even has a name: inventory imbalance. This is when you've ordered too much product and you don't have the cash flow available you need to run your business as a result. The cashflow/inventory balance is a crucial one in your new Canadian franchise, so here are some tips to get yours off on the right foot.
Keep close track
There isn't any data to start with, so you should err on the side of caution in your first inventory orders and keep close track of how much you're selling over time. Use this data to get a clearer idea of how much stock you need on hand for each type of product and when you need to reorder.
You can also invest in supply chain management software to make this process easier. Some programs "learn" the patterns in your business as you go along, automating the inventory ordering process with more precision.
Have inventory forecasts and schedules in place
Inventory forecasts are estimates of how long it will take for your products to arrive at your door. These are especially helpful if you have products that come in from overseas, as it can take longer to schedule and receive your shipments.
Schedules reflect the different things you may encounter at various times over the year. Christmas, for example, is a peak period for toys, while summer is when outdoor items soar. By knowing how seasons will affect demand, you can anticipate adjustments you need to make to your ordering process.
Get up close and personal
Last but certainly not least, take a look at your products on occasion and get familiar with what sells and what doesn't. Speak to your employees about what isn't moving and what is flying off of the shelves. When you become more familiar with your inventory, you'll be able to make better assessments of its levels.