Nowadays, inventory storage and organization strategies are essential for small businesses. As a small business owner, you’ll have to face inventory storage challenges.
For example, business owners may have a small inventory to manage and are tasked with finding a cost-effective space for it outside of their homes.
Or they may have limited access to storage space, so they have to find the most effective ways to organize their inventory for their space. If you have an inventory storage or organization challenge, this article can help.
We’ll walk you through options for storing your inventory, ideas for organizing your stockroom, and how to best protect your inventory from getting damaged. Let’s get started.
Options for storing your inventory
Finding a place to store your inventory is the first obstacle in the storage and organization game. Here are three options for storing your inventory:
#1]. Your own home
One of the most cost-effective storage options for your inventory is your home. You don’t have to spend money renting out an office space or warehouse. Instead, you can use space in your home to keep your inventory secure.
A garage, in particular, is one of the best places for your inventory. It can protect your inventory from excessive heat, water damage, and other contaminants that may affect the value and use of your products.
If you don’t have a garage but own your home, consider building one. Not only will you have space for your car, but you can also build your garage large enough to house your business inventory. Doing this can increase your property’s value as well.
#2]. Designated office storage space
If you already have an office, designate an extra room, closet, or other storage space for your inventory. If the area is relatively small, then focus on only ordering the stock you need.
This will enable you to be able to effectively use the space. In addition, make use of space-saving tools and other great stuff like shelves, and collapsible bins.
#3]. A warehouse
Finally, renting or buying a warehouse is a good storage option for inventory. This may come later down the line because expenses to maintain your own warehouse can add up quickly.
So, you want to ensure you’re in a financial position to do so first. You’ll also want to consider if an entire warehouse is necessary for your small business’s inventory.
A giant warehouse is enticing. However, you want to look at excess inventory, how your stock fluctuates throughout the year, and future casts before deeming it essential.
Furthermore, you can explore co-warehousing as a creative, less-expensive warehouse storage option for your inventory. It’s a bit cheaper than a traditional warehouse and can be accessed on an as-needed basis.
Ideas for organizing your stockroom
Once your inventory is stored, it’s time to organize it. Here are three ideas for organizing your stockroom:
#1]. Label everything
One of the first things you want to do with your inventory is to label it. Labeling everything in your stockroom makes it easier to identify what you need.
You’ll also know where things belong and can return a product to its proper place when it’s misplaced. Color coordinate storage containers, use signs to tell you where things are, and label individual items and the containers they’re in.
Barcodes are brilliant, too, mainly because you can connect them to inventory management software to further your organization’s efforts.
#2]. Use inventory management software
If you want to use your time wisely as a small business owner, ditch manual inventory and adopt inventory management software. The right software can help you reduce human error, accurately track your stock, manage incoming orders, fulfill them, notify you when it’s time to reorder products, and track costs.
Doing in-depth research is a given when choosing inventory management software. You’ll also want to request a demo for your top choices. That way, you can see how each would better the way you organize your inventory.
#3]. Ensure everyone is on board
It’s important to make sure that everyone on your team is familiar with your organizational methods. Keeping up with your organizational processes is easier when it’s just you in your business.
However, if you have a small team, it’s essential to ensure everyone is fluent in how to organize your stockroom. Group and individual training sessions may be necessary.
At the very least, create a guide for organizing your stockroom and distribute it to each employee. Be open to questions, concerns, and suggestions to continue carving out the best organizational methods for your stockroom and team’s workflow.
Protecting your inventory from damage
When you get your inventory stored and organized, the last thing you want is for any of it to get damaged. The most reasonable way to protect your inventory from damage is to get property insurance.
Most property insurance policies cover inventory and equipment and your building, signage, and landscaping. You’ll want to confirm how the property insurance differs if you’re running your business out of your home.
It’s also a good idea to inspect where you’re storing your inventory. Make a note of any pertinent damages to your facility and get them repaired as soon as possible.
Small businesses may have to do extra work to find inventory and organization strategies that work for their unique needs, but that work is an absolute must. So, carefully consider your options for storing your inventory.
Organize your stockroom effectively with the tips above. And finally, be mindful of the soundest ways to protect your inventory from damage.