Inventory Concerns: An Overlooked Aspect of Home Business Start Up
There are plenty of sources that will tell you about the basics of deciding what to sell with a Home Business Start Up, but they tend to focus on factors that aren’t entirely physical. You can easily learn about things like market testing, whether or not you need an LLC, and various tax issues. What is often overlooked is the basic, physical nuts and bolts of a retail Home Based Business sales operation.
Alas, in some cases, it is these hard physical aspects that determine whether your new endeavor will be fun or a pain. To help ensure that it remains on the fun side, here are some important factors to consider before choosing a product line to sell:
Where Will You Put Your Inventory Before You Sell It?
When you first start out, you might have plenty of room for stock right in your Living Room. Later, as you add products to your array, you’ll find that you need more space. A spare room is, at first, the perfect location to put the new items as you await buyers. At first, this is easy enough to deal with – but what happens when it’s time to expand your Home Business Start Up again?
Despite stories of people using their garages as mini-warehouses for their Home Businesses, the garage usually isn’t a good place to put stock. Garages typically don’t have the humidity control needed to prevent mold and mildew, and some may even flood when the snow melts in the spring. Unless you have a well-finished attached garage, complete with the heat needed to dispel humidity, you’ll have better luck with a temperature and humidity-controlled storage unit. This is fine as long as you remember that such units aren’t free and you must budget accordingly.
When you deal in perishable stock, you’re constantly working under the gun. You have to sell the items before they spoil or else you lose your investment. This is fine if your Home Business has a sure market for your goods, but even then, you have increased risk whenever there’s a hard time limit to beat. One good way to mitigate this risk is to keep less stock on hand.
The hidden trap is that perishability doesn’t only apply to food items. It also applies to plants, paper goods, and even fabrics. Inanimate, porous objects like paper and fabric tend to become odorous or even moldy over time unless kept in pristine storage conditions. You will typically have far more time to wait than you would with a food-based product, but eventually, the day will come when the items can no longer be sold.
One of the big keys to avoiding problems with perishability is resisting the urge to buy too much stock. Ignore any deals on giant lots until you’re absolutely sure you can sell that amount of products within the window of the items’ shelf lives. Over-optimism is the enemy of anyone dealing in perishable merchandise.
Shipping and Other Product Transport
When you Start Home Business, the seemingly basic process of shipping products can contain unwelcome surprises. The first of these is the price of boxes. Due to the weight of the cardboard, getting empty boxes shipped to you can add significant cost. Be sure to add this cost to what you’re charging for your items!
Also, don’t forget the weight of your packing materials and how it affects what it costs you to send your products out. Skip the latest trend of using paper for padding despite how “green” it may seem. Use cornstarch-based peanuts instead. They’re much lighter (so they keep package weights down), are reasonably priced, and melt into a biodegradable liqui-gel when exposed to water. This gives them all of the “green cred” they need – and they’re superior at absorbing impacts, too.
By keeping the physical aspect of a product-based Home Business Start Up in mind from the start, you’ll avoid common pitfalls and money-eating traps. Then, all it will take to perfect this part of the business is practice.
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