Bottom Line Up Front: The New Year is right around the corner. Your shop needs to be ready to kick it into high gear. Do you have a business plan to make this your best year ever? Find out how InkSoft can help.

It’s hard to believe another year’s almost over, meaning a New Year is RIGHT around the corner. But chances are your shop is so busy filling orders right now that you barely have time to think about what worked last year. Even still, now is the perfect time to take a few minutes out of your day and ensure you’re heading into next year with everything you need to fill orders, improve your shop’s workflow, and grow your business with e-commerce. You can head into the New Year strong with a comprehensive business plan.

Reviewing Your Business Plan

If your shop doesn’t already have a business plan, try putting one together. There are dozens of templates and checklists like this online if you need a starting point. They can help you narrow down goals based on your business size and style. In short, you’ll want to review the goals you want to reach, as well as the challenges your business encountered last year.

Maybe you’re a shop that usually prints for local boutiques or corporate clients, and you want to expand into other markets next year. Or, you want to ramp up your school sports volume and bring on new accounts. Sometimes shops are too busy, so scaling back next year might also be a goal. Whatever your goals are, line-item them out in your business plan. After you have your list, take time with your team to discuss them.

Shop employee working at computer

As for challenges, we’re guessing you’ve seen more than your share in the last couple of years. Many businesses lost team members, which put a strain on the workload for the remaining team members. And ongoing supply chain shortages have slowed deliveries of all types of raw goods. These headaches have made it harder for businesses to fill and ship orders to customers promptly. 

How do you tackle these challenges and build a business plan for next year? We can’t predict how the labor market or supply chains will shift over the next few months. But there are some things under your control, so let’s talk about how InkSoft can help you tackle those challenges in the New Year.

Make E-Commerce Part of Your Business Plan

For starters, your shop needs to be on top of its e-commerce game. That means creating a seamless, positive online experience for your customers. InkSoft helps you master the complicated world of e-commerce with online stores for you and your customers.  You can use InkSoft Stores to build a website for your shop, an online store for your clients, or temporary stores for time-sensitive events like fundraisers. All without any web design experience. The InkSoft website style editor is easy-to-use, has built-in features you can drag and drop, and even has a secure shopping cart and checkout option. These features make it easier for customers to shop directly with you and for your clients to sell to their end customers.

e-commerce screenshot

Order Management

If speeding up order processing is in your business plan, then InkSoft is perfect for your shop. Instead of going through paper order forms one by one, use InkSoft’s bulk actions feature to select multiple customer orders. Team members can handle essential order management tasks like printing receipts and sending information to accounting software.

And, if you’re bringing in new customers for next year, they’ll be added directly into InkSoft after they’ve purchased products through online stores, invoices, and sales presentations you create. InkSoft creates a new customer profile and saves their activity inside the platform. You won’t need to spend time entering as much information. 

These features all ensure you’re in control of order management and do not lose track of order statuses.

business plan for inventory management

Do More With Less

If your team’s size is a lot smaller going into next year, then everyone’s wearing multiple hats. You need solutions to work smarter, not harder, as part of your business plan. Maybe your screen prep person is now part of your art team. Or, your front desk team member now also helps pack orders. InkSoft’s production management tools feature practical tools like a job board view, so everyone knows what job is a priority, timelines for better communication, and an automated work order creation function. Your team members can easily hop onto the platform and check the status of a job, and its priority and communicate with other teammates if there are questions or concerns. No more whiteboards with confusing timelines.

Team members can also multitask without it becoming a sloppy or unorganized process. When orders are finished printing, they can filter statuses by categories like “ready to ship” and “ready to pick up” for easy organizing inside InkSoft. Orders can also be organized by statuses like “Open,” “Completed,” and “Canceled” to see which jobs need to be completed ASAP.

Business plan for order management

Improve Your Inventory Management

The supply chain headaches we discussed earlier are out of everyone’s control, but you can still keep “improve inventory management” on your business plan. InkSoft allows you to update orders and quickly make changes since we all know things move fast these days. For example, if one of your T-shirt blanks suppliers is running low or on backorder for a specific size, InkSoft handles that change management. Team members quickly open up that existing order and change quantities to reflect what’s currently available. You can also substitute a different shirt or an alternate product with these updates.

Business plan for shop production

If a customer wants to cancel their order because they can’t get the item in time, InkSoft makes that process straightforward. Canceling and refunding should be a last resort, but it happens. Plus, the quicker you’re able to resolve your customer’s refund, the better chance they’ll do future business with you.

Business plan for online stores

Heading into the New Year is nerve-wracking, but it should also be exciting. Make InkSoft part of your business plan so you can hit the ground running as soon as that clock strikes 12, and we’re all starting fresh. Plus, if you have your business plan lined up in advance, you’ll be ready to go that extra mile for customers and stay ahead of the competition.

Ready to make InkSoft part of your business plan? Sign up here for a tour.

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