Thousands of small businesses start up every year in the UK, most as sole trader operations or run on a partnership between a couple of friends. Unless you’re selling virtual items, for instance downloadable info-products or eBooks, you’re likely to run into storage problems sooner or later. The only other business model that doesn’t have extensive storage needs is the one where sales are mostly service based, and for these, cloud storage for digital documents is the ideal answer. In retail where you’re selling physical stock, storage can be a big issue.
Storage Problem :
Many small business owners start by storing stock at home. Right at the beginning it can make sense when needs are small. There are disadvantages, however, and they include:
- Finding an exclusive space that’s safe and secure
Keeping children out of valuable stock boxes
Avoiding cluttering your home
Maintaining safe working practices with regard to access and delivery
Blurring the work/life balance and risking burn-out
Savvy business owners know that forward planning is the key to profitability and effective marketing. You need to know what’s coming up, what actions to take, and how you’ll meet your changing (and growing) business needs.
Retailers need flexibility in stock storage in order to take advantage of out-of-season or overstock sales. If you can foresee a time when you’ll have an upsurge in sales, it’s best to plan as far ahead as possible to make sure your storage facility can cope.
Here’s where home storage falls down. You may have a corner of a garage, space in the loft, a spare bedroom or a couple of cupboards, but think how much more profitable your business would be if you could buy in bulk, at pre-season prices.
Storage Solution :
Self storage is a solution not many small business owners consider. Amongst those who had thought of this option, a straw poll revealed huge misconceptions and incorrect assumptions. For the record, here are the facts:
Self storage isn’t expensive when weighed up against increased profits due to a greater volume of sales.
- You’re not locked into a long-term contract, which means you can upgrade or downscale the size of your storage space at very short notice (often just 7 days if you want to give up a room, with additional or larger rooms often available immediately)
You’re allowed to use the room to do your packing, so you don’t need to cart items back home or to an office to wrap them up before posting. Put a desk in your storage room and you have a complete pack and dispatch station.
Parking is never an issue, and there is plenty of room for larger delivery vehicles. You can even have access to pallet trucks if needed.
Someone is always there during business hours and often beyond. Staff at the facility will very likely agree to sign for deliveries on your behalf if you can’t be there yourself.
Security is tight, so you don’t need to worry about break-ins or theft.
Storage rooms are dry and free from damp so there’s no chance that paper based products or boxes will wrinkle, and no fears of mildew developing on clothing or other textiles.
If you’re serious about building a profitable and viable business, thinking bigger than home storage opens more doors and can lead to more profits. Storage should work with your business, not against it, providing the solution, never the problem.
Drew writes for Big Yellow Self Storage For more information see their business storage section or blog. This guest post complies with my PR guidelines and disclosure policy.