What do you do with supplies that just aren't selling? Items that sit around for months and months, years maybe, with a sale or two here or there. After you've tried discounting or practically giving the item(s) away through your store and they still linger, what should you do?
You often hear that a cluttered home can impact your cognitive abilities while the act of de-cluttering your home clears your mind, decreases stress and increases overall productivity and happiness. This is true for your business space and mental mindset as well!
Organizing your stuff is an action that must be done over and over again. In your work space, if items are not selling they are just sitting, getting moved around whenever you try to make room for more stuff. If it’s not selling you need to simply get rid of it.
If you’re like most small shops, you have limited space to store inventory. How do you grow your business while keeping to your small space? If you have limited space you cannot keep items around that are not selling well. How do you know something isn’t selling well enough to keep around? Look at the numbers.
When evaluating your shop, considering what to restock and what to let go, you need to look at the stats. Take each item and ask yourself some simple questions:
Are people buying one or multiple at a time and how often does it sell? Knowing these two questions and how they correlate can help you gauge how many of this item you should keep in stock, if any. There is no point in keeping 100 of something when you only sell one or two a week. When introducing a new item I always start with a low quantity. If they respond well I restock with a larger quantity. This helps to limit items that are not selling as well as I expected to a small number. If my audience doesn’t respond to a new item I am not losing much by discounting them to a quick-sale or simply getting rid of them altogether. You heard me. If all else fails THROW THEM AWAY.
"BUT I CAN'T!"
If you find yourself saying you just CAN'T get rid of inventory, here are some idea's of what you can do.
*One of the best strategies I use in my business to get rid of inventory is to create “Grab Bags.” These bags of miscellaneous floral are full of beautiful flowers that either have defects or weren’t worth listing in my shop (for whatever reason). They are highly discounted as an incentive for my customers. I’ve been doing this for years and my audience has come to know what an amazing deal they are. It took a few runs to see what sold (color combinations, price points, ect) but now that I understand what my audience wants I have an amazing way to move large amounts of floral out of the shop quickly. Our Grab Bags are also for “last chance” flowers. Flowers that aren’t selling well get grouped into the mix. If there are Grab Bags that sit around and just won’t sell, eventually I throw them out or use them in service based opportunities (see our flower crafting service centered post HERE). To see what our Grab Bags look like see our current offerings HERE.
*As mentioned above, your product may be put to good use in a service based project. Since we sell flowers we can donate them to a local youth group (along with our time) teaching them how to make flower headbands and clips. This is a great way to move inventory and a great way to provide service. This may also be a beneficial marketing tool.
*Another idea is to create something using this unwanted inventory. Use your creation as a marketing tool. Create a video or picture tutorial for your audience showing them ideas on how to use your product. Post these ideas on your social media to boost sales.
When you get rid of items that are collecting dust it relieves a stress and burden you may not have realized was there. Without fail, whenever I get rid of something that has been sitting around for too long, I feel lighter, more productive, my space feels cleaner, organized, and is filled with items that are turning over quickly.
So if you have items that you simply cannot sell and you’ve tried everything you can to find a buyer, donate them to someone who could use them or throw them away. Trust me, you’ll feel better - and then come back and tell us!