If you run a small business out of your home or a small storefront, you know that storage space can be hard to come by. A self-storage space can be a great option for warehousing your inventory, but it can also be used as your very own shipping department. Here are a few ways to make this idea work for you.
Create A Picking Workflow
The key to finding items that need to be shipped to customers is creating a workflow in your storage space. This means strategically organizing your inventory on shelves so it is easily accessible every time an order comes in. Invest in freestanding shelving units, and divide each shelf into multiple sections. Each section should be dedicated to one item or SKU number. Label these sections with the item numbers and bar codes for your products, and organize your items so that the most frequently ordered items are at eye level.
Build A Packaging Station
You'll want to create a packaging station so that all of your boxes and packing materials are in the same place. Place a long table with a bottom shelf in the center of the storage unit, and invest in gift wrapping stations that can be placed at either end of the table. Gift wrapping stations typically come with rolls you can use for mailing paper, tissue paper, plastic wrap, and other mailing essentials. They also have drawers and shelves that can be used for mailing tape and labels. Stock each station with the smaller supplies you need, and stack shipping boxes on the shelf under the table.
Schedule Weekly Packing Times
Come up with a weekly schedule for when you will pick and ship your orders. This makes it easy to give customers an estimated shipping and arrival date, and it also helps to keep you on task with all of your customer orders. Print out packing lists and mailing labels ahead of time, or if your storage unit features electrical outlets, keep a printer in the unit so you can print them out on-site. Be sure to track the items that you are taking out of your inventory for customer orders, as this will help you to determine when you need to purchase more inventory items.
With a little planning, you can create an off-site shipping department for your small business in a self-storage unit. Look for a climate-controlled unit to help keep your inventory safely stored away, and ask about units with electrical access so you have more freedom to set up your shipping department in the way that makes the most sense for your business. Check with places like East "O" Street Self Storage LLC for more information.