Founder of Staged4more.
As we are fast approaching Halloween, this is the perfect time to start thinking about planning your home staging inventory for the next year! This way, you can refine your inventory buying and management strategies to optimize the performance and operations of your home staging business. When you understand how to manage and buy staging inventory effectively, it’s going to help you everywhere in your staging business, especially when it comes to dealing with Q4 challenges. Nailing your inventory game will help you streamline your home staging business operations and boost the profitability of your staging business. It is also critical to staying competitive and relevant in your market.
Effective budgeting and money management are the foundation of any successful home staging business. Knowing and understanding your finances will help you make intelligent, informed, and strategic business decisions for your staging business.
It’s important to chat with financial professionals to learn a comprehensive understanding of your business finances so that you can set realistic budgetary goals. You also want to evaluate how to buy to maximize your profits.
One of the misconceptions about buying wholesale is that it is cheaper to buy wholesale. But actually, depending on what you buy, buying wholesale is not always cheaper than buying retail. When we operated our staging business, we bought a mix of retail and wholesale.
For larger pieces like furniture, it is usually cheaper to get them wholesale since the markup on furniture is at least 200%. For rugs, I have heard from reps to be as high as 1,000%.
For lifestyle and home accessories, we usually bought retail. When you buy wholesale, you usually have to reach a minimum for your order. That can be $X or quantity. With accessories, that’s generally quantity. For example, a case of vases. But a case could be 6, 12, etc. of the same vases. We didn’t need 12. With furniture, we want something classic that we can use for as long as we can. With lifestyle and home accessories, we want things that are on trend.
Here are some questions for you to consider:
Considerations like this are important. At the end of the year, you can look back at how your inventory performed this year and gauge its profitability.
CFO Danielle Hayden gave an Expert Talk on the Renting vs. Owning Staging Inventory. As a Stagers’ Adventure Club member, you can catch up on the replays for free. Find out more information here.
Q4 often brings a surge of returned inventory that requires maintenance, which can include getting rid of inventory that is old, outdated, or damaged. This is where you will be putting your warehouse and your workflow to the test. By developing efficient processes to streamline your workflow and organization, it will save you valuable time, effort, and resources.
If you have team members, this would be a great time to sit down and chat logistics to see what some of the day-to-day workflows can be improved and tightened up:
By optimizing your moving and maintenance processes, you can maximize the lifespan of your inventory and the sanity of your team, especially when you are slammed during the busy season.
With the year-end influx of inventory, we know a headache may be coming soon! No matter how busy or slow the season is, it’s always crucial to maximize space in your warehouse so you can work efficiently.
This is the time to review your workflow and see how you can optimize your warehouse layout, traffic flow, and storage systems to make the most of the available space and the best route for your inventory to be moved in and out of the warehouse.
You also want to implement smart organization techniques like:
Here are some questions for you to ask:
By maximizing your warehouse space, you can improve efficiency, reduce clutter, and ensure smooth inventory management. Being able to see clearly what you have and what you will need, will also help with buying so that you are not buying things you already own. Most importantly, when you have an organized warehouse where you can see your inventory clearly and access it quickly, this will also protect your valuable resources and the sanity of your team.
As you wrap up another wonderful and eventful year in the home staging industry, we want to encourage you to take proactive steps to tackle your year-end inventory challenges. They may look like a lot of busy work, but this is essential for maintaining a thriving home staging business. When you can operate efficiently, it will help with the productivity and profitability of your business, you will be able to serve your staging clients better and enjoy your work more, which is crucial in today’s competitive real estate market.
By budgeting effectively, evaluating your buying decisions, figuring out renting versus buying, streamlining inventory moving and maintenance processes, and maximizing space in your warehouse, you’ll be well-prepared to conquer any obstacles that come your way. Remember, successful inventory management sets the stage for success in the year ahead!
Lastly, Sonya MacDonald, a seasoned home stager and the Home Staging Coordinator for Lori Pedersen Home, one of the top home staging companies in Canada, will be speaking in our November Expert Talk. To find out more about her talk, Tackling Q4 Home Staging Inventory Challenges, click here for more info.