In today’s uncertain economic climate, with political turmoil and the financial sector travelling an apparent roller coaster of highs and lows, ways towards better business may seem complicated and fraught with pitfalls. Sometimes we are so bogged down in the big picture, we forget what a difference small changes can make.
Storage is one of those small considerations. Get it right, and business operations run smoothly, but get it wrong and you’ll waste time, spend more than you need, and create unnecessary complication.
Time spent handling stock can be better spent on other tasks, such as marketing or balancing the books, or even Increasing the amount of time you have to spend with the family. Regardless of where you are storing stock, organisation is key to finding what you need when you need it. Accurate labelling, keeping a tally of the items held, having suitable storage containers that allow you to see what’s inside at a glance, or all small things that can speed up fulfilling customer orders.
If you operate the business from home, but store stock at an offsite location such as a self storage facility, combine storage with packing and despatching. If you are travelling to your storage room, collecting items, then travelling back home to pack them up, you’re spending too long handling items. Install a small desk or table in your storage room and pack things on-site, ready for posting.
Small business owners don’t necessarily need a dedicated office, but if you are already renting premises, it may be possible to install an extra desk and rent it to a freelance business owner, setting aside the income towards your office rental. Check your contract before going ahead with this, to make sure subletting is allowed.
It’s impossible to do away with all paper when running a business, but we no longer need to keep as many physical records as we used to thanks to the wide availability of cloud storage. Even HMRC recognises the value in time and space saving along with convenience. They will now accept digital business records such as receipts, meaning there is no longer any need to keep hold of the physical item. For some documents, you still need the paper copy so it’s best to check first before throwing anything away.
Cloud storage can also improve inter-office communications and, for larger businesses, streamline efficiency through the real-time updating of customer records and contacts. With business data available on all mobile devices, sales reps or other field service workers can, for instance, instantly check stock availability or check on communications with clients made by other staff members.
This level of joined-up communication will probably require an enterprise-level subscription to a service such as that offered by Microsoft 365, but businesses with less complicated needs can achieve similar colleague collaboration through document sharing via Google Drive or Dropbox.While using cloud service, a high-speed internet connection might be essential for the smooth functioning of office operations and unhindered communication between employees. You can look for platforms like test my speed to know the ideal internet speed required for your company.
Create New Opportunities
Stock storage availability, and the fear of taking on long storage contracts that may not be needed in the long-term, can sometimes prevent business owners taking advantage of expansion opportunities. Seasonal fluctuations often present lucrative opportunities to those businesses in a position to take advantage of them, but this necessitates flexible storage availability.
Self storage facilities are tailor-made for businesses that need this kind of nimble response. With short-term contracts that often run on a weekly basis, it’s a simple matter to expand or reduce the amount of storage available with very short notice. Simply open up another room to take advantage of additional stock, and close it down or reduce the size as the stock is sold.
Optimising storage and building in flexibility makes all areas of business more efficient, and it doesn’t have to be complicated or depend on wider world business outlooks and forecasts.