Running a retail business online certainly has its advantages. You don't have to deal with customers rummaging through an actual store, and you get to set your own schedule. However, when your business really starts booming, you have to keep your inventory up... and all of those shirts, mugs, dog collars, or other items start taking up more space than there is in your spare bedroom. So, just what should you do with all that extra inventory? Here's a look at some strategies other online retail business owners have used.
Rent a storage trailer.
There are plenty of storage companies that will drop off a storage trailer in your backyard. Usually, the intention is for you to fill the trailer and for them to later move it to a new location, whether than be their storage facility or your new home. However, the companies will generally leave the storage trailer on-site at your home indefinitely as long as you pay a monthly fee.
Storage trailers come in various sizes, and you can choose the size you think you currently need for your extra inventory. If your inventory expands again in the future, you can always call the storage company and have them replace the trailer with a larger one. Renting a storage trailer in this manner allows you to get your inventory out of your actual home, creating a sense of separation between your home and business. At the same time, your items are still easy to access in your own backyard -- you don't have to drive anywhere.
Rent a storage unit.
If you would rather have more separation between your home and business, or if you do not have a backyard where the storage company can leave a trailer, you may want to rent an off-site storage unit at a local storage facility. Many facilities even have climate-controlled units, which are a good choice if your products are sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and humidity.
Look for a storage facility with excellent security, such as cameras, keypad entry, and 24-hour security guard presence, so you do not have to worry about your inventory getting stolen. A setup that allows you to drive right up to the entrance to your storage unit is also handy as this saves you having to carry your items very far. You can always re-arrange your work schedule to have yourself visit the storage facility for new inventory just once or twice a week, still keeping a small stock of items in your own home for immediate use.
Build an out-building.
If you have the money on hand and know you'll be running this business for a long time into the future, then you may want to consider having a small shed or out-building constructed on your property. You can include a large space for inventory storage and another small room to serve as your office. This setup is ideal if you want to have the feel of going to work every day, even though you can technically work from anywhere.
The expense of building the out-building and maintaining it can probably be written off as a business expense in most cases. (Check with your accountant to be sure.) Plus, you can modify the building however you like as time passes and your business's needs change. Add a bathroom, space for employees to work, and so forth.
When your inventory no longer fits in your spare bedroom, that's a sign that your business is doing well and that it's time to make some upward moves. Choose one of the options above, and get started. The more space you have for storage, the more you can expand your markets!Share