Is Product Inventory Standing in the Way of Your Sales?

Is Product Inventory Standing in the Way of Your Sales?

What is the number one thing a small business can do to increase its sales?


There is a passage from Atlas Shrugged that goes something like this:

“Why do we always buy from them? Well, because they deliver.”

And I don’t mean deliver as in they bring the product to me. I mean they fulfill their obligations.

A friend read a blog I did on a customer service experience and had a different take on it. In the post, I wrote about being in a crunch and calling a retailer during business hours and getting a message that had a bunch of roadblocks in it. This led me to take my business to a competitor, who offered an opposite experience.

This is the message:

“Thank you for calling. You have reached XYZ BUSINESS, and we can’t take your call because we are busy making our wonderful product. If you want to order for Thanksgiving, do so at the beep but orders after Friday are not guaranteed. We will have some product available for the holidays, but it is first come first served. BEEEEPPPPPPP.”

My friend’s take was that my story had more of a marketing and operations slant to it than customer service. Here’s why. If you don’t have product to sell you can’t sell it. If you have $200 in inventory you can’t expect to sell $1,000 that day. One of our franchisees has a famous saying along these lines:

"You have to make it to make it." — Bread Business Wisdom

plan_product_inventory_to_increase_sales.jpgIn a fresh food business people generally won’t come back. They need what they need when they need it. But this rule applies to all businesses. To sell a product you have to have that product.

How can you grow your sales?

If you choose growth for your small business, the road to more sales starts with planning your product inventory so you have what people want when they want it.

Back to my original question of what is the single most important thing you can do increase sales in a small business? Have product and inventory available to sell and merchandised in a way that encourages buying.

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Read more about profit, production and inventory:


Rand, A. (2005). Atlas Shrugged. New York: Plume.

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