As a new online business, one of the biggest challenges can be having the right inventory in stock while also staying afloat financially. You don't want to miss business opportunities by having a limited range or supply of inventory, but you also don't want to spend too much of your income on inventory that you may never sell. Here are some tips on how to grow your inventory while also keeping good financial sense.
Should You Buy Quantity or Variety?
There are two competing strategies that you could use to stock your online store. Should you buy a few items and promote them heavily in your store? Or should you stock your store with a wider variety of items so that there's something for everyone? On the first count, buying in larger quantities could save you money. But being too narrow could also lose you money if it's costing you sales.
It depends on how well you expect items to sell in the end. If you have a proven item that sells well, focusing your budget on that item is a smart way to go. That way, you can focus your marketing dollars on that product more effectively, too. But if you haven't had your shop for a long time and you're still feeling out your market, it could be a better move to fill your inventory with a bigger variety of products.
How Should You Finance a Purchase?
Adding to your inventory is costly. Aside from your own funding, there are many loan sources to consider. You could look for loan programs that loan money to online merchants at special rates. Banks and private lenders are also good sources of income to consider, and taking out smaller loans can help you build credit towards a larger purchase later. Getting hard money loans can be fairly simple if you have real estate to use as collateral for your business. On the other hand, if you don't have a lot of credit now, you might need to take out a low-limit credit card to begin building your reputation as a good debtor. That will be something that can make or break your financial success as an online vendor.
How Should You Choose Items?
Finally, choosing which items to actually add to your inventory is a step that requires a lot of research. Look for online wholesalers you may not even have heard of-- just check their vendor ratings to ensure that you won't get ripped off. Check what your competitors are selling. And don't forget to ask yourself what makes your store unique; that should inform any buying decision you make.