Running a successful small business in a rapidly changing market requires agility and optimized operations. One of the biggest challenges faced by small businesses is maintaining a balance between quality and growth, especially as they scale. As small firms grow, limited resources and an increasing inventory count can lead to mismanagement of assets which can snowball into much bigger problems.
Mitigate this risk and secure your business by investing in robust asset management practices. Mainly, because a reliable asset base can help a business grow and scale quickly and successfully. By adopting the correct asset management techniques, about 82% of small businesses earn more than $100,000 per year. Ready to plan a streamlined asset tracking routine? To get started, the first step is to learn about asset tagging. Generally, there are three major types of asset tags:
Perhaps the most versatile type of asset tags, barcodes have been around for decades. They are used across different industries because of their efficiency and affordability. Being a popular choice, barcodes are also most suitable for small businesses looking for an asset tracking solution.
- QR Codes:
Typically designed for marketing purposes, QR codes have become increasingly popular for instant information retrieval. Given the abilities, QR codes are a good fit for small businesses looking to expand, and focus on their marketing.
RFID tags are an advanced version of barcodes used by large business chains. These tags are useful where large quantities of goods must be tracked with item specific information.
Why use asset tagging for your small business?
Asset tagging enables you to track physical capital and make calculated decisions about management; like deciding a maintenance schedule for the company truck or finalizing the procurement cycle for consumables.
As a small business, you are likely always looking for options that don’t take out a large chuck of the budget and still get the job done well. Barcodes are a great fit this criteria and offer seamless tracking for physical assets and inventories.
Note: To optimize on this process and get started right invest in an asset management software which you can use to design customized labels for all your assets. This way you can add unique identifiers to various assets across departments.
Once you’re done with the basics of asset tagging, it’s time to understand how it actually helps your small business progress:
Reducing asset costs
As a small business owner, you may not have adequate resources for a tight security system. Lapses in surveillance often lead to a large number of misplaced or stolen assets. However, a robust tracking software enables you to create customized barcode labels for all your assets. Employees use these to check-in and check-out items against their credentials. This way, asset tagging allows you to verify custodianship and trace back users.
Apart from this, barcode labels can also be scanned to enter locations for all assets. This is useful especially in highly mobile businesses. For instance, if you run a clothing store and want to find out where all the stitching machines are located, just log into the software and enter the label ID and all the details will pop up.
Instant access to asset information lowers costs associated with mismanagement of items across locations. Whereas having a verified line of users reduces the risks associated with misplaced items. These are great value additions to a small business where controlling costs is a huge challenge. Having real time asset tagging enables seamless business operations with a greater rate of return and faster progress.
Unexpected breakdowns can take a toll on equipment performance and lower the useful lifespan in the long run. This is a cause for concern for small businesses that don’t have extra cash to spare. In such cases, the best way forward is asset tagging for all kinds of equipment and machines.
Assets can be set up for preventive maintenance sessions by entering their barcode IDs. Once maintenance is automated, there is a lower chance of unexpected downtime. As an added bonus, you can also set up recurring service events for large equipment.. Regular maintenance events are helpful for small businesses as they prevent last minute costly repairs. Moreover, proper service improves equipment productivity and performance overall. With decreased downtime, small businesses can finally focus on maximizing resources to their full potential.
Regulate inventory cycles
Inventory visibility is a big determinant of small business growth. This holds true because smaller firms take a greater hit when there is stock miscalculation. Around one-third of businesses have missed a shipment deadline due to shortage of stock items.
Here is the simple solution to this problem. Start off by labelling all your inventory items and entering their ID’s into a tracking software. Next, based upon your consumption, set procurement cycles for every stock item. Once this is done, you will receive low stock alerts every time you are about to reach the minimum threshold level for inventory items. Effective asset tagging practices enable small businesses to maintain a stock balance and avoid untimely shortages. This way firms can cope up with the incoming customer requests and run steady on the growth path.
Analyse asset performance
Being a small business, you cannot afford to overlook loopholes in asset performance. This means you have to watch out for minute fallouts and investigate the reasons behind it. Mainly because the smallest setback can withhold growth potential.
After you have created a database of all assets in the tracking software, you can simply pull up performance reports for a certain time period. For example, you want to compare two different brands of laptops for your digital marketing firm. In order to do this you identify the laptops through their barcode ID’s in the system and run progress reports. These can be anything related to maintenance, service or even parts replacement.
Once you have access to asset reports, you can then compare trends over time and take decisions on future investments. Doing so is actually beneficial for small businesses as it saves money spent on useless purchases and helps redirect the funds in the right direction. A guided asset management approach promises business growth and improves profitability.
Smart investment for an improved business outlook
Starting a small business is easy but scaling it successfully requires hard work and meticulous planning. One way to ensure success is to focus on your asset and inventory stock. Build a streamlined management plan for asset tagging all items and running them through a tracking software. This enables you to automate tasks and reduce chances of human error and ultimately costs. Even with the best approach on board, the key to successful implementation is consistency. As a small business you may feel bogged down with small failures. Nevertheless, stick with your management styles and stay updated with market trends and business growth will follow.