What To Know Before Opening a Warehouse Business

The goal of a warehouse is so simple that it is hard to believe that people make their living running them. But housing goods is essential to keep a company running, so it makes sense why so many would go into the business. But just because a goal is simple, does not mean that it is easy to accomplish. Discover what to know before opening a warehouse to run one successfully.

Budgeting

Start-up costs are always one of the first considerations when starting any business, and the same is true for opening a warehouse. Warehouse start-up costs usually range from $10,000 – $50,000. This includes the cost for the lot and building itself, as well as equipment and other business costs.

Your knowledge of budgeting shouldn’t end with start-up costs. There are several other factors that impact warehouse budgeting that outside observers may not consider. Here are just a few items that may impact your warehouse’s budget:

  • warehouse layout
  • storage organization
  • employee retention
  • equipment downtime
  • loading dock efficiency

It’s a good idea to talk with other warehouse owners for budgeting insights before opening your warehouse.

Layout

A warehouse’s layout directly impacts its safety and efficiency. A warehouse must be set up in such a way that employees and forklifts can navigate aisles easily and be able to locate items on the shelf. Over-crowded and disorganized shelves can also pose a significant safety hazard because it makes driving forklifts significantly more challenging. Disorganization also leads to a rise in “dead inventory” which puts a drain on a warehouse’s finances.

Employees

Compared to other industries, the warehouse industry has a high employee turnover rate. Being aware of this fact beforehand can help you to take steps toward creating a positive work environment to retain employees. After all, it costs a company much more to hire new employees than it does to keep old ones. Start creating your employee culture the moment the first prospective employee walks in for an interview, and continue to maintain it afterward.

Maintenance

After employees, your heavy equipment will be one of the biggest investments for your warehouse. And the cost of the machine doesn’t end when you purchase it. A machine malfunctioning comes at a great cost to a company’s finances, both for the cost of repairing it and the loss of time and efficiency. To reduce downtime, regular machine maintenance is essential. Create a standardized equipment maintenance checklist for employees to follow and establish a consistent maintenance schedule.

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