In near enough every aspect of life, we convince ourselves that size matters. We see larger as better in every way. In our eyes, large items are indicators of both success and capability. Be it a large house, a large car, or, you know…a large warehouse. If your business has a beast of a warehouse behind it, you may assume that you’ll be able to serve your customers better. You’ll undoubtedly have a more impressive cache to show off, and a chance to stock every item you could want.
But, large warehouse life isn’t all a happy story. The larger the warehouse, after all, the larger the amount you’ll pay for the space in the first place. Substantial storage capabilities can also lead to losing stock. It may be that items sit around for so long that they fall down to damp and other rot issues. Or, it may be that you spend a fortune stocking that large space with stuff you don’t need. Either way, it’d be naive to assume that large is always the way forward.
It’s possible that a small warehouse would serve you better. While there are downsides here, such as having to order stock by the job, there are also plus points. Smaller spaces are cheaper, for one. They also ensure you only buy the stock you need. This all means you get started sooner in your enterprise, and also save money in the long run. Win-win.
If you’re still worried your small warehouse won’t be enough to please customers, keep on reading to find out a few of the ways that you can make sure it does.
Use your space wisely
The way you manage the space always matters when you operate a warehouse. Whether the space is large or small, organisation is essential for practicality and safety. But, this becomes an even more pressing priority when you’re working with a small warehouse. Suddenly, you’ll need to come up with cunning ways to get the most from what you have. If you put your mind to this, you’ll find that it’s possible to fit far more here than you would’ve thought. Think of this like storage solutions many of us use at home. They free us up to fit a great deal into even the smallest spaces. And, the same applies in your warehouse. Installing storage boxes and smart shelving units could work wonders here. You may also find that something as simple as a decent organisation system makes life easier. As well as helping staff find what they need, this will help you prevent clutter which takes up unnecessary space. With a bit of luck, your plans here could see you with a small warehouse which packs just as much punch as any large ones.
Stock the stuff you use the most
As your business grows, you’ll come to find that there are certain items you use far more than others. Things like screws and tools, for instance, are going to come in handy for near enough every job you accept. As such, you know for a fact that you could benefit from stocking these on a regular basis. Even if you dedicate a large area of your warehouse to options like these, you know you’ll use them in no time. That means you always have the essentials to hand, and you don’t risk buying stock which takes up space and rots. If you’re unsure at this stage what you might need, take note of the jobs which come your way. Trends will soon start to make themselves known, and you can then start adding them to your regular order. If possible, stick with smaller items such as nuts and bolts which you can stock without taking up much space. Then, you’ll have plenty of room for the stuff you order on a job-to-job basis. Speaking of which, you should also…
Get on good terms with wholesalers
Ordering things as you go isn’t going to do you any good if your wholesalers always send you to the back of the queue. This kind of thing could see you having to take double-time for each job, and that isn’t going to help your reputation. Instead, then, you should work to get on the best terms possible with your wholesalers. That means always paying on time, bringing them custom on a regular basis, and being a name that they flag up for good reasons. Get these things right, and you’ll become a priority order every time you need stock. Whether you’re buying in skylights or simply need timber to get started, your wholesalers will have your back. That alone could see you getting orders within a matter of days, instead of needing to wait weeks until you’re able to make progress. Even if you do manage to forge a decent relationship here, though, it is worth bearing in mind that you should also…
Take sourcing into account when you give time estimates
Nothing will damage your reputation more than overrunning with your time estimates. This is unprofessional, and it’s sure to make you look like an amateur, large warehouse or no. The thing to bear in mind is that you may need to take longer on jobs than a company with all their stock to hand. But, for the most part, your customers won’t care about that if you’re honest. Few customers will expect you to be able to start a job straight away. Most builders will give a time frame at least a few weeks away as standard. Customers will only be annoyed if you keep putting that date back because your supplies haven’t arrived. Don’t let it happen. Instead, account for the time it’ll take to source those items ahead of time. If that means adding another week on until you tackle the job, then so be it. It’s better to be upfront now than having to backtrack later on. This way you can keep your customers happy, and your business going strong.