Posted on: 22 June 2017Share
Starting a home-based business selling inventory is an inexpensive way to break into the retail marketplace, but it presents several challenges. One of the challenges is finding a place to store your business' inventory. Self storage units offer flexible, affordable storage solutions. If you're opening a home business and need a place to keep products, here are some tips on finding and setting up a self storage unit for your business.
Find a Self Storage Facility
You'll first have to find a self storage facility that works for your business. You'll want to limit your search to facilities near your home, as you don't want to spend too much time driving back and forth to get products. A good facility will also have the following:
- Climate controlled storage units to protect your products from temperature changes
- Security measures in place to help prevent theft of items stored in units
- Flexible contract terms so you can rent larger units as your business grows and has more inventory
Of course, you'll also want to look at rental costs so you can accurately predict your business' cash flow. You don't necessarily want to choose the cheapest self storage option. Because time and inventory are both precious, it's often using the closest facility that has all of these features even if the facility costs a little more.
Check the Miles You'll Be Driving
If you aren't already keeping track of the miles that you drive for business, you'll want to. As Efile.com explains, you can deduct your automotive expenses if you drive a vehicle for qualified business expenses. While you can deduct your actual expenses, a lot of drivers take the standard deduction -- which is a per-mile rate. In order to take advantage of this deduction, you need to keep track of how many miles you drive for business purposes.
Knowing how far it is from your house to the self storage facility you use and then to the post office will make tracking your mileage easier. You'll likely be driving this circuit regularly to ship orders, and when you do you can simply add the appropriate number of miles.
Make the drive once and calculate how many miles it is. Then, you won't have to watch your odometer every time you mail orders to customers.
Find Sturdy Storage Materials
You may be tempted to skimp on storage materials when starting your business in order to save money. Using old storage materials that you get for free, however, can cost you a lot of time later on -- and it might not ultimately save you any money. Old materials will eventually break down and need to be replaced.
Instead of setting up a storage system with used materials, invest in some sturdy new materials that will last for years. Good-quality new moving boxes aren't expensive, and they'll last for a long time in a self storage unit. Build your own shelving from boards, and you'll have a storage system that's custom-made, durable and inexpensive. You won't have to spend much on these materials -- and you won't have to replace them in a few months.
Create a Map of Your Inventory
Once your inventory is stowed in the self storage unit, create a map of where everything is. Having a map will make it easier for you to locate products -- especially ones that are only occasionally ordered and you might not remember where you put them.
A map will be essential if you have family members or employees helping run your business. If they ever go to pick up products for shipping, they'll need a map to know where the products are. For more information, contact companies like I-70 Self Storage.