If your business holds a lot of stock, you need somewhere to properly store it all. Well organised storage, for stock or other business materials, can help you to keep your business running smoothly. From your stock room to your desk, your storage choices can make a big difference.
Image – free for commercial use
Organise Your Stock Room
A storage room that is kept disorganised is frustrating. You can’t find what you want, and that can cause delays to your business operations. To keep your stock room well organised, avoid turning it into a maze. Create neat rows with clear walkways between them so you can get to everything easily without having to climb around stock. Label any boxes clearly, and label the space on the shelf where the box should go. This means everything can always go back to where it should be kept, and everything stays well organised.
Make it simpler to get at what you need, by keeping the fastest and best selling items nearest the door. This makes them faster to find when you need them, meaning you fulfill orders faster, keeping profits up.
Don’t let slow sellers linger on the shelves, taking up space which could be filled with items that sell. If something is hanging around for too long, have a sale or a giveaway to shift them. Don’t let dead items linger in the stock room.
Make Smart Storage Choices
Make the right choices for storage. Some businesses will require different amounts of space. If you need a lot of space, you could invest in industrial sheds, which have ample storage space. If you don’t need as much room, you could choose to save some money by opting for secure self storage. Many self storage facilities are now accessible twenty-four hours a day and are very open to business use. Whatever option you choose, make sure it’s secure and easily scalable for busy and quiet periods of business.
If you’re renting storage space, whether a warehouse or a storage unit, make sure you check what you can store. Some storage facilities have rules about you can and can’t keep in them. Most business storage, such as stock, tools or spare furniture, would be allowed, but often perishable items are not, and there may be other rules. Check first to avoid disappointment later.
Make sure that your storage space is properly insured. Not all rental spaces will be covered by your business insurance, and you don’t want to end up out of pocket if stock is ever damaged or stolen.
Create A Home Office
If your a small business owner, space can be challenging to find, especially if you’re running your business from your home. If you can, take over a spare room to turn into work and storage space.
Use a bookcase as a room divider to section off working areas and storage areas. The shelves can be used for useful storage too, for office supplies and equipment.
If you’re storing stock at home, make sure you’re storing it safely. Think about possible hazards like falling boxes or trailing wires. Do you have adequate delivery access? If your stock is large or heavy, it might be easier to store things in the garage instead of in the loft.
Cut Down On Paper
If you can, try and reduce the number of filing cabinets taking up space in your office by adopting cloud based storage for digital documents. You can start off with free storage, or upgrade to a paid account if you need more storage space. Cloud based storage is also useful if you often work from different locations, or have to regularly share documents with remote staff or clients.
For online accounting, look for document storage that will work with this, giving you the extra advantage of being able to attach invoices to specific transactions and other useful business tasks.
Combine Storage With Business Operations
If you’re a small business dealing mostly with online sales, you can make the most of your time and storage by creating different zones within your storage area. Make a designated zone for packing and dispatching, close to the stock. Add a small desk and somewhere to keep packing supplies, and you can prepare orders and get them shipped out much faster. You’ll save time and money on transporting goods somewhere else to be packed and shipped.
Use Appropriate Containers
Storage that hasn’t been properly organised can lead to stock being lost or damaged, both of which can hurt your profits. You can limit the risk of this by storing things in the proper containers.
Paper goods should be kept in archive boxes. This prevents the paper from turning yellow and becoming brittle with age, and from becoming faded from sunlight getting to them. Transparent tubs are a good idea for small items, as you can see what you want, helping you to find them faster. It also means you can see immediately when stock is running low.
If you’re storing things in cardboard boxes, choose ones with lids. These are much easier to stack, so they will take up less space than boxes which you can’t stack. If you have clothing to store, use garment covers and hang things on rails. This will keep hanging items in good condition and protected from creasing and dust.
Getting a good storage system can save you time and money in the long run. You’ll be free to work on growing your business, rather than looking for lost stock, paying storage bills or replacing damaged items.
Storage might not seem like an obvious business priority, but by getting it right, you can make all kinds of business processes easier. By storing things properly, you can save yourself time by making it easier to find, pack and ship stock, and save money by keeping things prompt and minimising lost or damaged stock. Get your storage in good order and tick one worry off your list of business concerns. Instead, you can focus on growing your business.