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Being organized and efficient are some of the most important traits of a business owner. Whether you sell tangible products or services, there are items and equipment on site that your business cannot live without. That’s why it’s crucial to maintain an inventory so you can monitor all the products and properties that keep your business running. Not only will this list inform you when it’s necessary to place new orders for products, but it will also assist you when making an insurance claim in the event of a disaster. Here's how to build a business inventory list to keep your company safe.

Building a Business Inventory List

Creating a business inventory list serves many purposes, such as tracking the properties associated with your business, keeping equipment maintenance schedules, and simplifying item storage. Here are some tips on how to start your business inventory list:

  • Use a Digital Spreadsheet: Using a computer application like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets, or a point-of-sale system is the easiest way to track your inventory. Save your documents to the cloud so you can access the inventory in the event your business’s premises are inaccessible.
  • Record Relevant Contacts: At the top of the spreadsheet, add relevant contacts, such as who tends to the list, the vendors responsible for product delivery, and your insurance agent or carrier information.
  • Identify the Important Data: Determine which information is crucial to your lists, such as item names, the condition of your equipment, the amount the items were purchased for, and the date they were bought.
  • Take Inventory: The final step is filling in the spreadsheet with all necessary equipment and products on your premises. Enlist the help of employees to find out when the business’s property was last serviced or maintained to ensure all information is accurate.Woman taking warehouse inventory

Familiarizing yourself with your choice of spreadsheet program will also make sure you can easily navigate your list and customize it to your needs.

Regularly Update Your List and Create Backups

Whenever you purchase new products or equipment or have repairs done, you should set aside time to update your business inventory. Not only will this help you maintain accuracy and efficiency, but it'll also ensure you can account for everything in case you need to make an insurance claim. Also, make sure you’re backing up your list every time you make changes. The best way to do so is by saving your document to a cloud-based server, so even if a natural disaster or a fire were to destroy your premises, you still have access to the list.

How a Business Inventory List Helps with Insurance Claims

You want to account for everything in the event that a fire or natural disaster damages your business or in the event of a burglary. Having an inventory list allows you to relay to the insurance company everything that was in your building and how much each item was worth. Much like a home inventory list, this expedites the claims process and makes sure you don’t mistakenly leave anything out. You can even provide documentation of proof of ownership to ensure you get the maximum coverage for lost big-ticket items.

A business inventory list and suitable business owners insurance can save your company from financial ruin in the event of a disaster. Creating this list is a small precautionary measure that ensures you take advantage of your policy’s full coverage.



This article is not intended to be exhaustive, nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.

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