How to double your warehouse space

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When you started your own business, you may have been tempted by the freedom to work when and where you choose. After all, if your business is primarily online you can work from your bed in your pajamas if you want to! That’s unless you have a business where you’re shipping a physical product where you’ll probably run out of space at home pretty quickly.

After that, your warehouse space starts to cost you money, so you have a big incentive for making the best of every bit of space you have. Here are some tips to double your warehouse space:

Get organised

If you take a look around the warehouse you currently have – is it as well organised as it could be? Are there packaging materials hanging around that need to be thrown out? Are the shelves stacked as efficiently as possible? You might be surprised at how much extra room you can squeeze from the space you already have.

Look at the stock you already have

Is too much of your space being taken up by product lines that have been hanging around for too long? You could free up that space by taking a look at how you plan your inventory and by having a sale to shift the old stock that’s taking up precious space.

Add a mezzanine floor

Or if you’re looking for really creative warehouse storage solutions just add an extra floor to the warehouse you already have! Mezzanine floors don’t necessarily have to be for big buildings, you could have a small floor fitted and use it for office space as well as warehouse space.

Change your shelves

Your racking needs could have changed since you started out. For example, if you were selling fewer, larger items then over time switched to many smaller items, then your shelving may no longer be the best use of the space you have. Perhaps you have space at the back of the shelves that are out of reach? Replacing some of the larger shelves with smaller ones could make more space available.

Temporary space

If your stock levels vary throughout the year, for example you have much more stock on the run up to Christmas than you do at any other time year, it could make sense to look at temporary storage.

This can sometimes get expensive, so you could consider sharing storage with a small business that has seasonal peaks at a different time of the year to you, for example in the summer months.

Get someone else to do it for you

Actually, you don’t have to have your own warehouse at all. You could use Amazon’s Fulfilled by Amazon service or a fulfilment service local to you (Google fulfilment and your town/city name for ideas). What you do is send your products to the fulfilment company in bulk and they pick, pack and dispatch them for you when an order comes in. Of course there is a cost to this compared to doing it yourself, but as it frees up your time to do more marketing, it may well be worth it.

So there you have it, six ways to increase your warehouse space!

Alternative options for businesses low on space

cleaningAs your business goes from a start up to a success, you will probably find your space that was once half empty, is now bursting at the seams with staff, products and equipment.

But, just because your business is starting to succeed, doesn’t necessarily mean that moving to bigger offices or a space with a warehouse is an option.

This may be for financial reasons or because the space simply isn’t available – or both! Central London office space availability, for example, has fallen to its lowest rate in 14 years according to CBRE.

The first quarter of this year saw a 3% drop in office availability to 10.8million square foot, alongside the take-up of 3.1 million square foot. This high take-up and low availability is of course now causing a spike in rent as a result!

So, when you find yourself in this situation, how do you find the space?

Storage

If your business is selling a product, a rise in sales has probably resulted in a lack of space that has come from the rising stock, you originally kept in a storeroom out the back.

You now have so much that a warehouse to store it all in seems to be your only option. But after purchasing a warehouse, you would then require extra staff to work in it, as well as other costs and inconveniences. Have you thought about using self-storage instead?

Somewhere such as Kelly’s Mobile Self Storage will keep your items secure and allow 24/7 access, so you could see it as your temporary warehouse space. If at a later date a warehouse is the right thing for your business, your storage pod can be delivered directly to the door!

Think outside the box for meetings

Do you have a lack of meeting space? Or could the meeting rooms you do have be put to better use, as they are only used about 10% of the time? Then you need to think outside the box when it comes to meetings. You could, for example, hire a meeting room, or hold a conference Skype call if attendees of the meeting are a distance away.

Share/temporary office space

Maybe your lack of space is from a growing workforce. Your original small team has grown significantly and with that comes desks, IT equipment and the rest! So where do you put everyone? A temporary office would provide you with the space that you need, without getting tied into a long-term contract you can’t afford. Another option is to share office space. Team up with another company that require more room themselves or haven’t filled their office, and take advantage of that unused space.

Hot desking

An option, that keeps all your staff in one building, is hot desking. So rather than all members of staff having there own desk, they find an empty desk, set it up for the day and clear away in the evening. Hot desking can cut the running costs of an office by up to 30% and will of course provide you with much needed space, by cutting down on the number of desks that you require.

Storage solutions for businesses short on space

shelf-384558_640A small office may have been ideal when you were setting up your business, but now your company has grown! In fact you have practically doubled in size, and your initial team of five staff is now well into double figures.

This is exciting, but new members in your team also mean extra furniture, papers and stationery and as a result you might be left feeling like you don’t have enough space anymore. However, while your business might be doing well, but this doesn’t mean you can afford to move into a bigger space, just yet.

However, a small office is not ideal. Not only will it be detrimental to the productivity and motivation of your workforce, but your cluttered space will also be seen as a representation of your company. Therefore it is important that you make space to ultimately boost morale and increase productivity. But, how do you do this?

First of all, have a huge clear out. You will be surprised how much ‘stuff’ your business has accumulated over the years (including those leftover crackers from last years Christmas party) that you simply don’t need anymore. This organisation and disposal of unwanted items will free up a significant amount of space.

You may also be surprised to discover just how much room sheets of paper actually take up. Therefore it might be time to get rid of those cabinets full of paperwork and store them electronically instead.

This will not only free up space, but it will make your documents easily accessible, saving time that would have been spent searching through files to find the required one. (FYI, you should be filing your documents in this manner already anyway, it is a much safer way of storing important information!)

Once you have done this, re-arrange the furniture. Perhaps, invest in new pieces that will utilise the space you already have – after all, it will be much cheaper than an office relocation.

For example, to maximise wall and floor space, consider storage that goes upwards rather than outwards. These shelves and cupboards will help keep offices clutter free, by taking up unused wall space instead of much needed floor space.

Providing your workforce with new desks will also help with your storage issues. These can be smaller, but more importantly you can choose ones with extra storage built into the framework.

Investing in storage is another quick and efficient way of removing all the unnecessary items in one go that are cluttering up your space, without having to dispose of them. Shop around for a storage company, such as RSS, who will make this process incredibly simple.

Pack up anything from furniture to IT equipment and store them with peace of mind, safe in the knowledge that they will be secure until you require them. And with 24-hour access, there won’t be any delays in getting hold of your items.

Still need more space? Then you could consider expanding the area you already have. Do you have the option to knock down a wall or create an extra room? Perhaps the meeting room that is empty 90% of the time, could be put to better use as a storage solution?

You will discover there are many ways to obtain the space you need, which in the long run will save you a lot of money that could be better spent elsewhere!