Wednesday, January 18, 2012

5 Tips For a More Efficient Business in 2012

With the economy beginning to stabilize after a tough few years and e-commerce sales continuing to grow, acquiring enough inventory at the right price at the right time has become more and more important. Here are 5 tips that can help you manage these challenges and think about how to operate in an online world that is becoming more social.
  1. Buy in Bulk – One of the best ways to improve your business’s profitability is lowering the cost of the products you sell. Work with existing and/or new suppliers to see if buying in bulk will save you money, and make sure to have adequate capital on hand to make these purchases.
  2. Inventory Management Part 1: Seasonality – Do your products sell better at some times of the year than others? Do you have enough inventory to meet customer demand at these times? Make sure to plan ahead and have enough merchandise, and enough capital to purchase it, at your busiest times of the year.
  3. Inventory Management Part 2: Holiday Sales – Do you buy some of your merchandise from clearance sales at stores in your area? Do you know when those sales occur? If you sell swimsuits, maybe you can buy them cheap and in bulk in the fall. If you sell ski apparel, maybe you can do the same in the spring. Understanding these ebbs and flows can help reduce inventory costs.
  4. Temporary Employees – Sometimes you can’t do it all. Maybe it’s a busy time of the year or you just picked up a large amount of inventory that needs sorting, tagging, and pictures taken. Hiring short-term help can take a load off of you and allow you to do things you can’t always get to on your own.
  5. Connect Personally With Your Customers – The term “social media” is ubiquitous these days. Social media 1.0 was about connecting with your friends. Social media 2.0 is about connecting with your customers. Associate your online store with a face and a personality that your customers can connect with, and turn window shoppers into new customers and new customers into loyal customers. Creating a trusted brand online can help attract and retain customers in a way that wasn’t possible only a few years ago.
For cash to help you grow your business, Kabbage is a financial services company that provides working capital to online businesses.  Businesses that sell on eBay, Amazon, Etsy, Yahoo or have a store via Shopify, can get the cash they need to take advantage of these tips and kick start their 2012! It takes less than 10 minutes! Check them out online at