No matter what kind of small ecommerce-based business you run, as long as you’re trading a product for money, you will always need to have a plan for your inventory. Running out of space means running out of opportunities for growth and improvement. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to ensure that your company’s growth isn’t limited by your inventory space, and you can check them out below.
Adapt Your Home
If you run your business out of your home, you might use a closet or similar small space to store inventory that you will ship out as orders come in. This can work well for someone who’s just getting started, but if your business grows, you will need to consider alternatives. Sometimes moving into a spare bedroom will buy you some time, or you might even consider moving your products into a finished basement or attic space – at least until you discover the best and most affordable long-term solution.
Rent a Space
If you’ve outgrown your home and you need more space for inventory, you might also consider renting a space. Though you could rent out a warehouse, keep in mind that the contracts typically last anywhere from three to five years, and depending on where you live, the rent might be higher than you expect. It may also be possible to rent out a climate-controlled storage building or perhaps even an office space, too. Think about how much and how fast your business is growing before you make any decisions, because once you do, you’ll be locked in for a while.
Buy a Space
Some business owners prefer to buy their own storage or warehouse space, and while this isn’t necessarily a bad option, it isn’t right for everyone. Buying warehouse space means you expect that space to be enough for you for many years to come, but you also have to consider the real estate aspect, too. Will the property you buy appreciate with time? If not, it may not make sense to invest in it, even if it will serve you well in the immediate future. When it no longer fits your business needs, you don’t want to take a loss.
Outsource Your Inventory Management
Finally, if you’re out of room at home and buying or renting a space isn’t the best option for you, then you might want to consider outsourcing your inventory management. This practice, known as dropshipping, is beneficial in many ways. First, you don’t have to store or manage your inventory – all that will be handled by the experts who work hard to make sure your company succeeds. Second, rather than spending your time picking, packing, shipping, and even processing returns, you can leave all the logistics to the experts and free up your time for things like marketing, lead generation, and growth.
When it comes right down to it, your ecommerce-based business is only really limited by the amount of space you have available to you. Even if you only sell one product right now, growth involves more customers, and more customers means more product. Of all the options available to you, outsourced inventory management is by far one of the best and most flexible since it grows right alongside your business without the headaches of a lease or mortgage.