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Stock Control Tips with Emma Williams

bowls spa

Always having the right levels of stock in your salon or spa is essential for you to deliver treatments and services and to be able to recommend the best homecare for your clients. 

But how do you know what products to carry and more importantly, how many? You don’t want to risk holding too many products that you rarely use or sell and equally, you don’t want to risk running out of a product you need for a treatment or service, or losing a sale because you have sold out. 

Creating a simple and effective stock counting system means you always have the right levels of stock at the right time and will deliver numerous benefits to your business. If you want to achieve maximum profits on your treatments, services and retail sales, increase your retail sales, minimise wastage, stop tying up your cash in an excessive stock holding and save time, read on! 

These easy steps will help you record and monitor your stock quickly and efficiently and provide accurate data for weekly, monthly or quarterly stock counts. But before you start, spend a little time planning your stock counting system to make the whole process easy to follow and quick to complete. 

Stock lists 

* Are your stock lists up to date? Check that all stock items are listed with the right name, size and price. 

* If possible, store and display your stock in the same order it appears on the stock lists. This will avoid missing stock items and makes the counting process quicker. 


* Decide when and how long you need to spend counting your stock so you avoid distractions. It maybe when the salon is closed or during an off peak time so you can concentrate on accurately counting and recording stock levels. 

* Many salons and spas choose to count their stock at the end of the month, to tie in with month end accounts. You can count all or part of your stock at any time to check levels and prepare orders. 

* Count stock before you place you orders, it means you will have less to count and you will know exactly what you need to reorder! 

What to count 

* Retail stock – Counting retail items is simple as they are single, whole items. Make sure that you check all areas where retail stock may be stored like retail shelves, display cabinets, windows, treatment rooms and the main salon. 

* Treatment stock – Products used for treatment may be full or they may be partially used. Counting only unopened stock is quicker but means your final stock value will not include that partially used stock which may collectively hold a high value. Counting open stock will give you a more accurate stock value but only if the person counting is consistent in their measure of partially used products. 

* Decide which option is best for your business and be consistent. Again make sure you open drawers and cupboards and check trollies so every stock item is accurately recorded. 

* Equipment items are not part of your stock control, they are assets. Only count items and products that are consumed or disposed of as part of a treatment. E.g. a wooden spatula would be used and disposed of as part of a treatment but a wax heater is an asset. 


* Record your stock numbers accurately, regularly checking you have entered the correct levels for each item. 

* Some items come as a pack so make sure you record each item as it is listed e.g. bed rolls can be listed as single items or as a case of bed rolls, so check the unit price is correct for the items counted. 

Once you have accurately recorded all your stock items you will be able to get a total value of all the stock you have in your business. This is a really important value for you to know as it contributes to your business accounts, shows you how much money you have invested in stock and helps you manage your cash flow.

Emma Wiliams

Business Solutions Clinic, Emma Williams Consulting

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Thursday, 06 August 2020