Organisation is at the heart of every successful business, and at the heart of organisation is clever use of space and storage. These two sides of the same coin can make or break you, so getting them right is vital.
Know Your Needs
If you’re just starting up, don’t rush in before answering a few vital questions regarding space:
- Do you need an office?
- Do you need space to store documents?
- Do you need space for staff?
- Do you need storage for stock?
- Are your storage needs fixed or might they fluctuate?
Drilling down into the answers to these questions provides clues about the type of space you need to successfully operate any business. Understanding your needs, you can then move forward with confidence.
Without careful consideration, rented office space can seriously eat into profits. Consider the location, size, and the facilities you need before signing any lease agreements.
If you already have a lease, investigate the possibility of sharing your space with another business. Sometimes called hot-desking or co-working, shared office space works well for both parties. All you need is a spare corner of the office and Internet access to install a spare desk. Check your lease agreement beforehand to make sure you’re not breaking any of the contract terms.
If you’re just considering renting office space, consider your business model to weigh up alternatives:
- E-retailers could use self storage units as combined office and stock storage areas.
- Flexible office rentals are available from some self storage companies in a few locations. With this option, office rentals run for periods from just 4 weeks. Everything is included (rates, water, security etc.) without long-term commitment.
- Try hot-desking yourself, by renting from someone with spare space.
Savvy Stock Storage
E-Commerce is a growing business sector for both micro-business owners and major corporations in both B2B and B2C sectors.
When you’re starting out, you probably don’t need an entire warehouse, but you do need a place that’s secure, dry, and convenient. Many self storage companies have embraced the business community, and offer advantages that go way beyond mere storage rooms.
As well as easy vehicular access, staff who’ll take delivery, long opening hours, and 24-hour security, there are other hidden gems you may not realise exist:
- Courier Services – look for storage companies who offer discounts with major delivery firms like DHL and UPS. It’s a real time and money saver if your alternative is daily post office visits.
- Call Answering – never miss another call when you’re either out of mobile range or in a meeting. If you think the only way to be available when you’re actually not is to rent an office and hire staff, a call answering service or virtual receptionist is an overlooked space-saving solution.
Plan for Growth
Knowing how, where and when to expand will instil the confidence needed to capitalise on opportunities. Even if you don’t take advantage now, just knowing the available options means you can keep your ear to the ground and move swiftly when necessary.
- Flexibility with self storage – physical stock levels can rise and fall quickly, following a sale promotion or bargain purchase, for example. Adding on and taking away self storage space is simple thanks to short term rental periods.
- Cloud Storage – systemised cloud-based permissions for staff – whether temporary or permanent help – makes mobile or field work as efficient as office-based work. Get your business data and CRM in the cloud and you can grant immediate access to anyone who needs it, without the need for additional equipment or office-based staff.
Getting organised with space doesn’t take a lot of time, money, or effort. It’s mostly about knowing what’s available, how to take advantage of it, then adapting it to your business model to make it profitable.
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