Whether you’re an established brick & mortar or a trendy online boutique, you know all about the planning involved with inventory buying. You might be wondering how to keep your cash flow and engagement going when you are away from boutique headquarters.
We’ve compiled these 4 ways to give small business owners peace of mind and keep up sales momentum while they’re out of town.
1. Mark Your Calendar with Trade Show Dates
Sourcing inventory at apparel trade shows takes a high level of planning and organization. This applies to both buying the inventory and planning out your travel.
Don’t let the markets sneak up on you. Instead, research upcoming trade shows and mark them on your calendar. You’ll be better prepared to handle all the planning that’s involved. This tactic also helps with the next step: scheduling inventory during the time you are absent.
2. Schedule Inventory in Advance
You already plan out what inventory to sell and when to sell it when you’re sitting back home in your office. Planning out inventory releases when you’re away is no different. Before your departure, you can schedule out what inventory will be published on each selling channel on which dates.
Scheduling out inventory will free up you and your team to do more in your business. As a plus, it can help you to forecast potential revenue.
3. Schedule Fresh & Fun Social Content
Whether you’re away to Atlanta Apparel Market, Sourcing at MAGIC, or visiting the Dallas Market Center, you should keep your brand’s social media feed fresh and fun while you’re gone.
Continue engaging and cultivating social sales through these suggested mediums.
Make a Lineup of Fit Videos & Static Posts
Schedule out fun bite-sized pieces of content like fit videos. These short pre-recorded videos are not only engaging but informative. Models can show off a piece, talk about the size, model fit, and demo styling tips.
Mix it up by scheduling some static posts as well. A photo of a flat lay or modeled item can still catch stop a customer in their tracks as they’re scrolling their newsfeed. A good mix of fit videos and static posts will be sure to give you good results.
Go Live from Market
With your studio at home, you may not feel equipped to handle a Live Sale (literally). However, with your smartphone, you can start selling items by going live pretty much anywhere that is not too loud and where there is good lighting. Consider popping into Cash and Carry to have some on-hand inventory to go live with that evening.
Another great tactic is to use Facebook Live to poll customers on which items to buy before you buy products in bulk. You can get the most bang for your buck when you perform market research like this.
Mimic Lives with Watch Parties & Premieres
Want to mimic the feel and energy of going live without you having to be present? You can schedule pre-recorded videos with live engagement even if you can’t be there. This can be done with Facebook Watch Parties for previously recorded Live Sales and Facebook Premieres, which can be used to debut a never before seen pre-recorded Live Sale.
4. Delegate Daily Operations
The sustainability of sales will rely on far more than the task of scheduling inventory. While you’re gone, you’ll have to consider the daily operations that will consequently impact your bottom line as well.
Some business owners would balk at the idea of disconnecting from daily operations, but as you grow and scale, the need to delegate tasks becomes a necessity. Yet, fear of relinquishing control can hold retailers back from focusing on important inventory sourcing objectives.
Instead, make a plan for handling daily operations. Here are some ways to easily do this.
Assign Tasks to Team Members
Recurring tasks can be delegated to qualified team members and systems with some groundwork.
If you don’t already have a standard operating procedure, consider implementing one as soon as possible. This can outline day-to-day activities, who performs them, and how to execute each without question. These guidelines will help you to build a strong, dependable team to handle all aspects of your daily operations without the need for a constant check-in.
Get More Done with Tech
Even with a reliable team, you should use tools that will empower your business to be more efficient and productive, and overall, more successful in its daily operations.
Tech can perfect your inventory management with ease and accuracy. A system like this can provide your team with real-time inventory, negating the need for manual inventory counts. There will never be a thought of over or underselling. In addition, these inventory management tools can assist you in scheduling your inventory to social, websites, and mobile apps before your travel dates.
Fulfillment is another essential operation that cannot paused while you’re away. Technology can increase the speed and accuracy in which items are picked and packed. Online boutiques that use strict fulfillment will create error-free orders, which leads to speedy shipping and increased customer happiness.
Email marketing can even be put on auto-pilot with automation. Automated emails use behavioral triggers to send personalized messages that keep old customers coming back for more and new customers incentives to shop again.
You don’t need to be present to hammer out every detail when much of your business is helped along by technology.
With a little planning and some help from technology, you can make arrangements for your business that will keep daily operations running smoothly without you.
Your focus at market should be spent on sourcing the latest and greatest trends, not with your preoccupation with business back home. With these tips and tricks, you can rest easy knowing both your sales and your business can continue without your presence.