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With many ventures emerging from left to right, there has never been so many options when it comes to investing. Did you know that you can even start a business without coming up with a unique idea of your own? Many aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners hesitate in establishing their own businesses because of this. However, you can operate a highly profitable business by purchasing, storing, and then eventually selling goods. This venture is known as a warehousing business.
If you’re looking into starting a warehousing business, read on as this article will discuss the basics of and several tips on doing so.
What Is a Warehousing Business?
A warehousing business involves storing products and goods purchased from a manufacturer, keeping those items in your facility, and then delivering them to another location for fulfillment. By operating a warehousing business, you’re essentially assisting retailers in storing their products before they’re sold to customers.
The right warehousing solutions are the core to every business offering physical goods and commodities. Your primary role as a warehouse owner is to ensure that all the goods entrusted to you are stored and taken care of properly. You may also offer additional logistics and supply chain solutions outside warehousing, including:
- Inventory management
- Third-party logistics
- Order fulfillment services
- In-house fulfillment services
Regardless of the size of your warehousing venture, it’s paramount to use the right tools in managing your warehouse operations, which is what warehouse management software is for. Take a look at this list from Camcode for the best management software for your warehousing business.
Key Steps In Starting Your Warehouse Business
It’s time to turn your warehouse business idea into reality. To kickstart your venture, here are the critical steps in establishing a warehouse business:
1. Collecting Background Information
While it may sound entirely straightforward, a warehousing business requires significant capital in order for you to set up the tangible and intangible elements of your business. Take note that the costs of starting a typical warehouse business range from USD$10,000 to USD$50,000. For a closer estimate depending on your location and preferred niche, you can look up business listing websites for your area.
As a warehousing business owner, you should choose a specific line of products to focus on. Do you want to store office supplies, beauty products, or food items? Taking a specific path can help you decide on many elements of your business, including warehouse size, storage equipment, additional utility costs, and your overall approach to storing your products.
Moreover, you can start searching for potential clients. Small businesses with insufficient storage space are ideal first clients.
2. Getting Equipment And Licensing
To ensure that the legal aspects of your business are taken care of, accomplish the necessary documents required in your city or state. Typically, the requirements associated with a warehousing business include the following:
- Tax identification number (TIN)
- Employee identification number (EIN)
- Doing business as (DBA) registration
- Tax permits according to city or state
A warehouse facility isn’t just a room with four walls with the purpose of storing goods. To keep items in pristine condition, you have to invest in warehouse equipment necessary for the types of goods you accommodate. For instance, perishable items like food need to be placed in freezers and chillers, which will raise your energy costs.
Here’s a list of equipment your warehousing facility should have:
- Storage solutions including shelves, racks, and carousels
- Lifting equipment such as service carts, forklifts, and pallet jacks
- Conveyors like belt conveyors and gravity roller conveyors
Warehouse management software is also included in your resources, which can help make your operations easier, more efficient, and seamless.
3. Organizing Logistics Manpower
Employees will become a crucial part of your warehousing operations, thus the importance of choosing the best team. Since your business is still new, you can hire the most vital roles and positions first, which may depend on the services you offer:
- Warehouse manager
- Inventory control manager
- Distribution center manager
- Shipping and receiving associate
- Shipping specialist
- Machine operator
- Material handler
Using machines like conveyors reduces your employees’ risks of injuries. However, some equipment and machines require an individual to operate them. This is also where your manpower comes into the picture.
In contrast, during the pandemic when close employee contact was highly discouraged, many e-commerce businesses invested in smart robotic solutions for warehousing purposes. Therefore, there was an increase in unemployment among warehouse workers. You’re free to take that route if you believe that your business calls for it.
4. Locating Your Customers
Warehousing businesses are unique from other profitable ventures since you’re marketing and selling your services to companies and not individual clients. Therefore, you should look for your potential clients among entrepreneurs who may need your assistance.
E-commerce businesses are typically those that need warehousing solutions. Since they don’t have physical establishments, they need to find a way to keep their products safe before those reach their customers’ doorsteps.
Here are some of the reasons why you should offer warehousing services to e-commerce businesses:
- Online businesses need a physical storage unit for every stock-keeping unit (SKU) in their inventory.
- They need professional services for receiving incoming inventory, storing it, and transporting it again via their chosen carrier. You can also offer this service to other types of clients.
- E-commerce businesses can’t offer in-store returns, so your warehousing services can help address that issue. Just make sure that your warehouse is prepared to accommodate returns.
- If your warehouse serves as a distribution center, larger companies with both online and offline presence will need your help with short-term storage. You can provide rapid in-and-out services where manufacturers drop off bulk items you’ll have to deliver to wholesalers, retail branches, or consumers.
To expand your network, you can join a dedicated warehousing organization, such as the International Warehouse Logistics Association, which will label you as a local warehouse owner discoverable by prospective entrepreneurs looking for warehouse services.
5. Integrate WMS Software to automate business processes
Regardless of how you want to grow your business, you need quality software. Warehouse Management System Software is designed for companies that provide warehousing or 3PL services. With this solution, you will be able to:
- Automate most business processes within your company.
- Integrate other services into your business. For example RFID tags, GPS tracking, document exchange, etc.
- Provide additional services to your customers. For example, track inventory, picking and delivery of shipments.
- Automate data exchange with customers and so on.
Choosing the ideal software for warehouse companies is a complex issue. This article describes well how WMS Software can improve your business and how to choose the right solution.
Final Thoughts : Is A Warehousing Business Worthwhile?
A warehousing business entails investing in efficient systems and dealing with various operational tasks. If you’re prepared to do those and you have the right skills and experience, running a warehousing business can be a lucrative experience for you.
The competition in the warehousing industry is getting tougher because of its profitability. If you’re planning to take this business path, you should optimize your warehouse operations by hiring the right people; having the right equipment and tools; maintaining a safe, injury-free environment; finding the right customers; and keeping every aspect of your warehouse organized.
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