Do you own your own business? Do you have stock piling up in your house that is constantly growing? Having to find physical space to store your merchandise is a hassle and overhead you could do without. Many companies have come up with a way to get around the traditional merchandise cycle, which we will take a look at:
The Invisible Widget: This means that you do not handle the stock at all, which sounds fantastic. The retailer selects a product, sells it, and hands over the delivery to a drop shipping company. This is great as there is no storage or handling costs however there are a few things to think about with this method. There are some costs involved, such as, some drop shippers will charge you a membership fee and the initial cost of the product will affect your mark-up. Also you need to think about stock availability and fulfilment as it’s no good if the products never turn up when the customer has ordered them. The key tip is to choose a drop shipping company that’s as close to wholesale as possible. This will ensure your costs are low and will improve your customer service. Although it is a good idea to do your research before you commit and contact other customers of the drop shipper and ask them about the company.
You also need to ask yourself it is possible with technology to move your product into the virtual world. Of course if you are selling clothes then this might not be the best option for you however if you are a real estate company for example that publishes a range of selling and buying guides then you could turn this into an e-book. The key is to do your research and find out if there is a real desire or gap in the market for your virtual product.
Smarter Storage: Did you business start as an eBay or Amazon seller operating from home? As your company grows it inevitably means stock and merchandise will also expand and grow. So it is time to think of where to store everything when this happens. Traditional warehouses expect long leases and overheads such as business rates, VAT, utility costs and initial deposits, which can be a considerable outlay. There are some savvier solutions.
The first to consider is to share assets or storage with another company. Warehouses can be too large and too expensive for one business to manage so partnering with another company could be a smart move. However this can lead to potential problems such as security issues if several parties have access to the site. This makes it very important to negotiate terms of service in the contract.
Lastly if you want your own storage space and a warehouse is too big or too expensive self storage could be the answer for you. One of the biggest benefits is the flexibility as a small company can hire a storage room for the exact requirements they need. But the flexibility doesn’t stop there. If you are a seasonal company and you experience booms and fluctuations in your sales you can hire a room and upscale or downscale it whenever you want according, to your demand. If you completely run out of stock then you can shut down the storage room altogether until you have more merchandise.