AD| Reselling is a popular business model. It’s relatively easy to set up and control in the early days and you can get organised in your own time to minimise risks.
While this is fine when you’re finding your feet, but it only takes one or two popular product lines and you suddenly need to upscale. When big decisions are in the air, it’s a good idea to look around at the options to find a solution you can tailor to your personal business needs.
Storage is a big deal for any business holding stock. It can be especially problematic for small businesses that started at home. You might find yourself living in a warehouse, with boxes up the stairs and overcrowding the bedroom.
When you need to move stock storage to somewhere more suitable, there are a few choices:
- Warehouse space – you probably don’t need this much room unless your business has really exploded. It can be expensive and bring other complications such as security issues, and business expenses like VAT and rates. Maybe this solution is ideal for you, but if it’s not there are other options.
- Self Storage – the cost of self storage is much less than some other options, yet the facilities, access and security may offer everything you need. Many welcome business users, and by renting a room a little larger than you need for storage, the space can also become your packing and dispatching station.
- Better home storage – such as consolidating all your stock into a dedicated room, fitting out a garage or using a loft conversion, or even roping in friends and family who have space and may be willing to help.
Finding the right space is only the first step when you’re upscaling a reselling business. How you arrange the stock room can also have an impact on time and efficiency. A well-ordered stock room can also help you maintain your good business reputation as you won’t accidentally sell stock you’ve run out of.
Some tips on organising for efficiency:
- Have a process and stick with it, such as unpacking and sorting items immediately on delivery.
- Categorise your items in a way that makes sense, such as by age, gender, size, colour, type, use, brand, and anything else that’s relevant. Have separate areas in your stock room for all the different categories.
- Label all the stock containers, and even go a step further by using transparent tubs so you have a kind of double-check system. You can see the items as well as read the label.
- Label the shelves as well as the tubs. This way, you know where to put items on the shelf, and so does anyone who comes in to help.
Preparing items for posting is a major part of the job when selling online or mail order, so a well-organised stock room is the key to time efficiency. As mentioned earlier, self-storage rooms can also become your packing area which saves you the time of picking orders and then transporting items elsewhere for processing.
Managing the Office and Admin
As the business grows, you may not be able to keep up with everything that needs doing. In this case, you may need to also become an employer and so find yourself in need of office space.
As with storage space, renting office space can be a worrying concept if it’s new to you. Traditional offices can be expensive with long-term contracts and may become a drain on your profits.
There are alternatives, however, with flexi offices being worth a look. Just like a standard office rental, you’ll have all the professional facilities you’d expect, but with monthly rolling contracts and no hidden extra fees so you know exactly where you stand. This contract type also makes it easier to expand further when the time comes. But to start, when your needs are relatively small, the flexi office could be just what you need.
Any kind of expansion or scaling up can feel quite daunting, since you may feel the risks are at least equal to the potential advantages. Before you make any final decisions, sit down with your books, go through all the numbers, and plan your aims and objectives.
Once you’ve explored all the various options and costed each one out, you’ll see a clear path forward and it won’t feel like such a huge leap. You’ll know when your business is ready for scaling up, and hopefully, we’ve given you some ideas to help make your ambitions a reality.