Storage Ideas for Space-Starved Startups
Business storage; the how, the where and the when. It is the key to efficient selling and stock control. The bigger the space, the more complicated it gets to keep track of everything. Regardless of your stock level during the startup phase, putting methods and systems into place early can most certainly help you be organized and efficient into the future. Here are a few ideas for you:
Cloud Based/Online Storage
The smartest start-ups get their cloud storage organized as one of their first jobs, and as a matter of priority. For security and peace of mind, as well as streamlining business operations, cloud storage is a smart business investment. Your business is going to need things and the more cloud based software and storage you have the better. Here are a few reasons why?
- Computers can crash
- Devices get misplaced
- You need access to files on the go
- You need to share files with colleagues or co-workers
- You need to collaborate with colleagues in real-time
- Some multimedia files are too big to email
- You need reliable data backup
- You need effective project management for efficient teamwork
- You need to simplify banking and accounting
Cloud based software and storage solutions is the answer. There are many business solutions available to start-ups regardless of their budget or IT knowledge.Thinking ahead is key to arranging the best fit cloud storage solution for your future business needs. Because you can’t predict everything your business will need in the future, look for a solution that offers scalability.
Examples include Microsoft Office 365, which you can join as a personal user and move up to an Enterprise level subscriptions as your business expansion warrants it. Alternatively, file share system like Dropbox offer both free personal user accounts and subscription business accounts as you grow and scale.
Every start-up will have different needs, so get familiar with the software before you make your choice. This will save you unnecessary complication and the expense of having to change providers in the future.
Check into their customer support also. Are they easy to get a hold of? Do they answer your questions promptly? Do they offer live chat for immediate help? These are other very important considerations if you anticipate having a lot of questions as you grow and scale.
Physical Storage Space
Many businesses today begin at home in an office area or garage. While this is a great idea in the beginning, as your business grows you might feel the need to take on employees, and more stock and can quickly outgrow your home space. When this happens, a more professional space will be the answer.
It is pretty hard to skimp and save on office space, professional fees, insurance and staffing expenses. However, one area you might be able to save money is on physical storage for your stock.
Your business might require additional space for many reasons. Everything from needing to store seasonal inventory to being able to take advantage of overstock purchasing opportunities. Whatever the case, not having the space can lead to lost opportunities for your business.
One solution that can be temporary and easily scalable is self storage units. These units can be used for both storage and for operations like packing and dispatching. Often times you can tailor your rented space size to your startup needs. Cost advantages include low rentals and short term contracts. You’re not locked into long term arrangements, and avoid utility and VAT expenses. Many soft storage companies welcome business owners. And the best part? This feature is not limited to self storage in London or any other big city! Even storage facilities in smaller towns are all open to customers seeking business storage.
Organizing Storage for Peak Efficiency
Wherever stock is kept, it needs to be organized in an accessible way.
Knowing your inventory is key to stock organization. Make sure you know:
- How quickly items move.
- Which items take the longest to sell.
- How varied your stock is.
- How it changes from season to season.
- Which items/colors/sizes are most popular.
Having the answers will help you organize your shelving:
- Place the fastest sellers between shoulder and waist height.
- Order items by category, color, or size.
- Use transparent tubs in place of cardboard boxes so you know what you have
- Label everything upon receipt, especially stock in a new line or range.
Make stock taking easier by performing stock counts every month instead of having a massive stock take at the end of the year. Maintain a physical running tally on the outside of boxes or containers as well as religiously updating computer records.
There are a hundred and one things to consider during startup, with stock storage and it’s care and organization being one of the most important. Take the time now to set up your systems in the right way and as you grow, you will be very glad you did.