If you own a micro business, you’re probably very familiar with some of the stock headaches such businesses frequently run into. As a sole trader, you have only yourself to rely on, and while this can be a good thing it also means you shoulder all the responsibility and all the costs.
When you make the right choices regarding storage, you can make huge savings in terms of both time and money.
Save on Office Rentals
Balancing space and overheads can be quite a juggling challenge for many micro businesses. You have two main choices: home-based or rented office space. Both offer advantages depending on the type of business and how established you are, but when you’ve ruled out using your home as your office or storage area, there are even more choices.
- Self storage facilities.
- Storing with friends who have more space than you.
Let’s look at each:
- Warehousing: You’ll get loads of space, but do you actually need that much? You could partner with another business, but you’d have to come to strict agreements about how to divide the space and what would happen if anything went wrong. You also have to factor in utility costs, VAT and business rates that bump up rental costs.
- Self storage rooms: This should be a strong contender for your micro business and here’s why. You can choose exactly the amount of space you need, and be able to upscale or downsize at short notice if you need to. You pay a fixed cost with no added extras. Self storage facilities are used to dealing with small business owners, and welcome them. Finally, they’re usually in handy locations so you don’t have to travel far.
- Renting space from friends: The trouble with relying on friends for storage is that friendship often gets in the way of business. Could you access your stock at any time? Is the access to the offered storage easy for delivery vehicles? Would you end up feeling like a burden or a nuisance? Even a micro business demands professional attention that friends or family may not be able to provide.
Efficient Stock Handling
A well equipped self storage room can easily double as an office for certain operations, especially those in the online retailing sector. As well as shelves or boxes and hanging rails for your actual stock items, all you need is a corner where you can place a desk.
From here you can undertake all your packaging since the desk can hold everything you need from posting boxes to mailing bags and tape. You don’t need to travel to collect ordered items only to make a return journey in order to package them for posting.
Efficient use of time can mean the difference between make or break for a micro business. Any way you can use time more efficiently, squeezing value out of every minute you’re working, is profit for the business and a better, more relaxed lifestyle for you.
Flexible, Tailored Storage
Running a micro business often means responding quickly to offers or opportunities, especially those that can affect seasonal sales. With many traditional types of business storage, you have a set amount of space and you must make that work all year round.
Self storage units on the other hand give you a great deal of flexibility in the amount of space you have. For one thing, you’re not locked into a fixed contract. With very little notice (just a week in some cases), you can move your storage to a bigger or smaller room.
But further than that, because rental terms are short there is the opportunity to rent an additional room in the short term instead of moving your entire stock when you need a bit extra.
This allows you to take advantage of seasonal restocking that you know is short term, for instance in the run-up to Christmas or any other nationally celebrated holiday. You can confidently order quickly when an opportunity arises, knowing storage won’t be a problem. It’s just as quick to downsize again once the rush is over.
When considering storage for a micro business, weigh up all the pros and cons for the available options. For many,