Behind the Scenes – Setting SKUs

We’ve participated in a few local events here in New Hampshire and are starting to sell our personalized laser engraved signs to so many people in the local area that we decided we needed to create a way to track inventory.

As with any business, knowing what your customers buy means you can tailor your products and services to fit the needs and desires of your clientele.

We wanted to share a bit of our behind-the-scenes “fun” here at Rustic Cabin Designs! Today we’ll be showing you a few photos and small business tips that we’re learning as we start to sell more laser engraved wood signs to people at local events and online.

We use Square for our credit card processor and thought why not use this for inventory control?! This way both the office manager, Brandy from Brandy Ellen Enterprises, and Justin the owner of Rustic Cabin Designs will know what’s selling and what’s not selling.

Rustic Cabin Designs is a family-owned and operated business established July 2021.

We sat down with our 150 plus laser engraved wooden decor signs and started to determine a SKU code procedure that we will use for every sign in our shop. Let me tell you what, this process can be tedious especially since we have over 250 laser engraved signs stored for our Etsy shop and local events.

We have a few tips to help other business owners out there searching for the perfect way to track inventory and manage it with Square:

  • Know what data you want to track.
  • Assign numbers or letters to each design.
  • Assign a 2-4 digit code for each piece of data you want to track.
  • Use code 39 for a barcode so you can insert a hphen between each piece of data.

For example, we may use numbers to track a specific sign design, letters to assign the type of wood, a letter to determine if the laser engraved sign is for desks/mantles, etc or to hang in the home.

A SKU for this data may look something like 12-M-D. 12 is the numbered assigned to the laser engraved design, M is for maple – the wood used, and D is for desk meaning that you can put this sign on a desk or mantle, etc – it will not include a jute string for hanging.

So we got busy assigning a number to each design we have live on our Etsy shop for starters. Each design has a folder in our business computer storage area. The folder will be numbered with the laser engraved sign design; sign 53 will have the programs that Justin has to create for each design and type of wood, notes, along with the images of each sign inside folder 53.

Once the numbers were assigned, we got busy inputting this data into the Square inventory items list and then exported the list to make barcodes using Excel.

Once all the barcodes were created, we printed a master list and a usable barcode on stock paper with the price for the physical signs. Each sign has a barcode taped to it so we can scan it at all local events. Well, we will start scanning once we get our barcode scanner.

If you don’t have a barcode scanner, no worries! You can just take the barcode off each item when it sells and place that SKU in your cash box to review later and update manually in Square when you get home from each event.

That’s all we have for you today! We thought it would be nice to share a little bit of hour husband/wife behind-the-scenes teamwork that helps bring the signs from our little internal shop to the outside world.

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