Small business retailers understand the unique dilemma of growth in sales and limited inventory space. Sales increase is the ultimate goal of all the work you do, and have done, since the day you opened your doors. Increased inventory can be a problem, a serious headache, with seemingly few affordable solutions. Whatever your product: whether it’s fishing lures, craft items, knitted caps or costumes, at some point, keeping your inventory in your back office, or worse yet – in your garage – your product is going to crowd your family – and your family’s good will toward you – out of the house. If you are a small business retailer, the reality is, you either already have, or will one day need to, look into storage or warehouse services.
Options for Storage in Baltimore
There are 183 listings in the yellow pages for storage in Baltimore. About one third of these are “cold storage” units, meaning they are refrigerated or insulated to keep food products fresh and they are costly. Unless your product is perishable, these are not what you are looking for. About another third of these facilities are “self storage” units, which means you get a key and are entirely responsible for transporting, stacking, organizing and retrieving your own product. Self-storage may be an option for you if your inventory is very small.
The other third of these companies are warehouse storage facilities. Warehouse storage facilities offer logistical assistance to our company. They offer delivery, organization, management and retrieval of your products. A good warehouse company can be an important partner for your small business.
What to Look for in Storage in Baltimore
Location: You need to find a warehouse that is located within a ten-mile radius of your business. Even if the warehouse provides product delivery, the farther they have to drive, the more it will cost you. And, of course, if you are transporting your goods yourself, distance is key to minimize time and fuel expense.
Cost: It is important that your warehouse costs do not exceed 20% of your company’s annual revenue. So if your business profited $100,000 last year, you need to find a warehouse company that you can contract for $20,000 for a full year of services.
Customer Service: A quality warehouse management system (WMS) is going to operate as a partner to your business and will provide: an efficient receiving plan, an organized storage plan, a simple order form, a streamlined retrieving plan, shipping services and an inventory auditing system.
The good news is, if you’re looking for storage in Baltimore, you have many choices available.