How to Start a Warehouse Business
Being an entrepreneur is a dream job for many. Sure, there is a lot of responsibility, work, long hours, and stress involved. But the rewards are amazing. You have created something new, and something of your own. You will have unparalleled freedom, you will be your own boss, and, best of all, no one to answer to but yourself. However, it seems everybody wants to get their own start-up, or the next artisanal whatever. What people fail to take into consideration is the validity of other business branches. In this instance, we are talking about starting up a warehouse business.
Warehouse businesses have been a valid entrepreneurial option for a very long time. In fact, part of them being so valid now is that the completion is not as tough as it would be for an app development company for example. Below are some tips for starting a profitable warehouse business.
First of all, you need to have the required capital to actually start your business up. The average cost of a business varies from country to country, of course. But, just to give you some example, in North America, starting the whole thing up will set you back somewhere between ten and fifty thousand dollars.
Next, ask around. See what warehouse companies can be found in the city of your choosing. See what they offer, how much room they have, what kind of customers do they service. Then figure out if this is in line with your needs. If you want to store heavy machinery, you need a larger warehouse with large doors and walkways. On the other hand, storing chemicals and hazardous materials necessitates a specialized warehouse, most likely in a specialized part of town.
Get the right people
A company is only as worth as the people within it. This means that just because you’re hiring people for warehouse, you should still get hardworking professionals. This is important not only for your manual labour staff, but, obviously, for your logisticians as well. Tracking and shipping of products is not an easy tasks, and people in charge of the logistics of a warehouse serve as its nervous system, in a way.
So, get educated people with a good background. Even if they charge extra, you should still take them on. It will prove as a valuable investment. Furthermore, motivation is very important, so even though your company is new, that doesn’t mean you should pay them a poor wage. If you do, the chance of you getting quality staff will be negligible.
Get the right licenses and gear
As we've mentioned earlier, getting the right licenses is important. Depending on the type of products you intend to keep, you should get the appropriate licenses. For example, keeping certain biohazards or chemicals will mean you will need a host of permissions from the county or municipal government you are operating in. Not only that, but you need to check with zoning laws as well.
You should also get the appropriate gear. So, forklifts, pallet jacks, the works. Getting a good electric forklift from a proper company will be worth every penny. You will save up on time and on money in the long term if you get high-quality gear. While going top of the line may be a bit early, know that getting cheap equipment will just cause you heartache in the long run. Repair costs, high fuel consumption, all of this will add up over time.
Getting out there
Don’t forget to set up a good marketing system. While you won't have to go all out due to the smaller competition when compared to other types of business, you should still invest in proper advertising. One section is online marketing. First, you should set up a proper website for your company. A simple site with a couple of pages, listing out what you offer, your rates, and your location is all you need. Next, know that a big part of online marketing is proper SEO set up. Search engine optimization can help you push a bit forward, and help you end up on the first page of a Google search.
Networking can also bring you a lot of good. Set up meetings, join conferences that are connected with your line of work. Offer your services there, and mingle.
Starting a warehouse business is a neglected and viable business opportunity. With low competition, and a relatively open market, you will not have to worry about getting customers. Just remember to get the right staff, and to market yourself properly. Invest in the right gear, follow all codes and regulations (and get licenses to prove that), and you will not have to worry about getting yourself a nice piece of the pie.