Stock management is one of the daily challenges you face if you run your own business. And this already complex issue has been further complicated by the pandemic. Cancellations, closures and more cautious consumer behaviour have meant that many businesses find themselves with a backlog of stock, and no easy way to store it.
If you’re looking for stock storage solutions, there’s an easy one close at hand. Have you ever thought of hiring a self-storage unit? Our business storage units are an easy, affordable means of storing business stock for however long you need to. Let’s take a look at some of the main considerations.
Choosing the right size of unit
Like any business expense, it’s important to consider value for money when choosing between stock storage solutions. Of course, you need enough space to store all your stock without crushing or crowding, and you also need to be able to retrieve it easily. But you’ll be paying for the unit by square footage, so wasted space is wasted expense. How do you pick just the right unit size?
Our storage space calculator is one place to start. But the good news is that you can save a lot of space – and make your life easier – by organising your stock in the right way. And of course, if you find that your current unit is too big or too small, our flexible stock storage solutions allow you to upgrade or downgrade as needed.
How to organise business stock storage
How you organise your stock makes all the difference in the world. Not only can you make more efficient use of your storage unit, but you’ll also find it much easier to retrieve, sort and manage your inventory. And of course, it’s far safer to work with stock that is securely packed, adequately shelved, and easy to reach, lift and carry. You can find the relevant health and safety guidance here.
When it comes to stock storage solutions, there are a few basic rules that will help you to get the most out of the space available.
- Pack properly
Your stock might be delicate and perishable, or it might be lasting and robust. Either way, you’d be surprised at how much damage can be incurred through improper storage. Accidental knocks and bumps, the wrong temperature, damp or aridity, unnecessary handling, exposure to light and air, improper stacking and plain neglect can all harm your stock and shorten its useful life. Most types of stock benefit from being packed in robust, acid-free boxes, with padding such as bubble wrap to protect against shock, impact and environmental factors.
- Think vertically
Your unit’s square footage is only part of the picture. You’ll have plenty of height to work with, so use it! Sturdy, stable shelving is a must, and it’s crucial to arrange your stock with the heavier items at the bottom and the lighter ones further up. You should also provide stepladders and stools as appropriate so that items can be safely retrieved from the upper shelves.
- Be strategic
Are specific items especially popular? Store them at the front of the unit so you save time fetching them. Is your stock perishable? Put newer items to the back and move older ones forward so you send those out first. Clear labelling, with production and expiry dates where necessary, will help you pick the right stock with minimal effort.
If you follow these basic rules, you’ll soon find that self-storage is not just a temporary sticking-plaster, but can actually help you grow your business. But if you really want to make the best of the stock storage solutions available, we recommend implementing an inventory management system if you don’t have one in place already.
Basic inventory management
Clear labelling and strategic storage will already do a lot to make your life easier when storing business stock. But you can streamline operations even more by using an inventory management system to track your turnover, as well as returns and damaged goods, delivery times and other key information.
While some business owners prefer to do this the old-fashioned way, with pen and paper or a spreadsheet, you’ll find lots of helpful online tools out there to make inventory management even easier. A huge advantage of this type of software is that you can generate a range of reports – a substantial saving in terms of time and effort.
At Clear Space, we offer flexible stock storage solutions for an affordable flat rate – no hidden costs! If you’d like to find out more, just get in touch for a free, no-obligation quote.