Being a little parsimonious in business is never a bad thing since success or failure largely hinges on profitability. Without being a skinflint, there are ways savvy business owners can trim expense and streamline operations.
One of the more obscure and often overlooked ways of doing this is through more efficient and clever use of storage.
Count the Cost of Space
We tend not to like change because of the accompanying upheaval. But if you’ve been in the same office space for more than a few years, chances are your needs have changed since you first signed the contract.
Look around and decide if you still need as much space as you have, or whether more efficient solutions would improve cash flow. If you can downsize office storage needs it might, for instance, be possible to rent a smaller office to save money. Ways to improve office storage and efficiency include:
- Finding alternative storage methods for stock, stationery or hard-copy documentation so you can get rid of a few cupboards or filing cabinets. Solutions include cloud storage for documents or small self storage units for paper records you need to keep safe. You may want to look into commercial storage units as well to see how they can help with any overflow that you need to keep but not in the immediate vicinity.
- Using reclaimed space to sublet part of your existing office by installing another desk and renting it out (lease terms permitting of course).
- Introducing a hot desk environment for field, temporary or part time staff. If staff members don’t need a desk full time, sharing one with other employees won’t cause any hardship and will reduce the amount of floor space you need for underused desks.
Reducing Travel Costs
Many businesses have a good additional income stream through online auction sales, and that includes some of the biggest High Street names. Others rely solely on ecommerce for sales. For the entrepreneur or small business owner the logistics of storing, cataloguing, packing and dispatching can become a time-sinking headache. Disorganisation and fragmentation in business practices waste too much time, eating into profits.
One smart solution that many are currently using is the rental of self storage units as business centres. They’re cheap to rent and perfect for keeping stock organised and secure. With the ability to pack up on site, too, all stages of an ecommerce business are efficiently carried out from one central location, saving money on transport costs.
Storage facility staff who will receive deliveries on your behalf are an added bonus, saving you waiting time when orders are expected. Remember to also ask about other associated services such as photocopying or courier services. Many don’t realise that some self storage companies offer these to business owners.
Take Advantage of Technology
Mobile devices help businesses connect the dots once other storage solutions have improved the use of physical space.
We’ve mentioned cloud storage but, if you have employees, it may be worth taking this a step further with services such as Microsoft 365 for business. You’re probably using some Microsoft products already, and with 365 subscriptions becoming more standard, it could make sense for your business to take it a little further. Here, all connected staff can access databases and customer records, as well as communicate with each other.
Having such records immediately available to everyone promotes efficiency because current stock levels, or any other business record, can be checked from any remote location.
Modern storage solutions encompass both the things we can touch and the information we need to keep business operations running smoothly. By taking advantage of both types of storage, business owners can stay in control of their space, stock and staff in a more cost effective and efficient manner.