Finding the best facility to house your first warehouse is a huge milestone to hit as a small business owner. However, it’s important to make the right decision. When considering the right warehouse space for your business, here are three important factors to consider.
One of the most important factors is going to be the location where your inventory is stored. You need to think about your proximity to your suppliers, as well as your customer base. For some, this may be a coastal location that can yield significant savings in terms of shipping costs, for others it brand perception might be another consideration. For example, an apparel company may have reasons to wanting to link their company image to California or New York. Other organizations may simply want aspace close to their home, easy access to unloading and loading, and convenient means of shipping.
While you might be thinking that a warehouse on the coast is ideal, coastal locations come with higher real estate prices. This might make sense for companies that ship in high volumes, but labor costs should also be taken into account. Some states have higher desirable cost of living and therefore more wage and hour laws that are more desirable. For some businesses, warehouses on the outskirts of a small town might be more reasonable. Even within a state, labor costs and real estate prices fluctuate. State sales tax and tax incentives should also be taken into consideration.
Last but not least, you will want to consider the type of space you need. Size and amenities are important factors. There is a very big difference between storing microchips and refrigerators. The nature of your product will also determine how you will organize your warehouse. Consider if you can stack your product up to the ceiling, or if you need it organized within reach on the floor, which takes up more space. Sales volume and product turnover should also be taken into account when determining the amount of space you need.