This article is sponsored by your friends at Sortly

Did you start your business so that you could “control your destiny” or “control your time” or maybe just to spend more time doing what you loved?  But then, as soon as you shifted your hobby into a business, all of that changed. In fact, the time and attention you spend working in or on your business have probably sucked the joy right out of your original vision.

Today, I wanted to focus on just one of those time and joy-sucking elements — managing inventory.  I know – it’s not as fun as marketing, not as sexy as marketing, but it’s an activity that has to be done.  And, when it’s not done, it takes away from all of those fun activities that make your business worth doing.

In fact, when your inventory is in a state of chaos, it impacts your customers’ experience of you and your business.  Late deliveries, being out of stock, increasing your costs because you’re ordering more of something you have but you can’t find.  Let’s not even get into the hidden hours and costs that you and your staff spend looking for things or even managing things by hand that technology can do for you.

I’m telling you all of this because — I was THERE, both in my business as well as with several of my clients.

That’s when I heard about Sortly .

A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from the folks at Sortly — just as I was pulling my hair out over some inventory issues of my own.  When I got on a call with them to do the demo the first thing out of my mouth was “Where were you three months ago when I was filling out this stupid spreadsheet and trying to track all my stuff by hand?!”

Well, here they are — I wanted to share this super quick demo with you because I don’t want you to say the same thing.

A few quick tips on how to get started with Sortly

I know you’re pretty excited right now – but before you go off and download apps and start zapping pictures of inventory, please save yourself a few headaches and follow these simple tips:

  1. Take a minute to think about one simple thing you want to track in your inventory.  For me, it was trade show furniture and materials.  So focus on ONE thing.
  2. Think about how you want to organize these items.  One service business organized their inventory by focusing on what materials and parts were in each of their vans.  If you’re a retail business, you might choose a specific product type or maybe a room in your store.  So think in terms of rooms, vans, locations.
  3. FIRST — open a trial Sortly Pro account on their website.  THIS is where the organizing happens.
  4. After you have organized a few folders, download the free Sortly Pro app and then you can start taking pictures and playing around with all the need features such as moving inventory from one folder (room) to another.

That’s all there is to it — and yeah, you can thank me later.