How to safely store surplus stock
Whether you own a small business and work from an office in your home or have a dedicated shop front, sometimes your stock levels can get a little out of control.
In this guide, we’ve looked into what you need to consider to ensure your stock is just as good as it was when you stored it away, ready for the future.
Reasons why you may have surplus stock
Let’s say, you run a business that offers products enjoyed by customers during the summer months when the weather is pleasant. However, the summer is a long, wet and cold one. This means, you’ll likely have a surplus of stock as you initially accounted for warmer weather. Unpredictable weather can have a negative impact on sales, so be sure to have a plan for storing excess stock should the storm clouds come.
A change in the economic climate
Our global and economic climate of course has a huge impact on businesses and what they sell. If unemployment levels rise that means people have less disposable income which in turn can have a knock on effect. This may lead to a surplus of stock that you need to keep safe, ready for when things pick up again.
Ordering too much
Let’s be honest, sometimes human error simply comes into play sometimes. Perhaps you just ordered too much stock and now need somewhere to house it, out of the way, while you shift it.
Ordering more than required due to a supplier shutting down
If, for example, you create wall hangings out of wool and learn that your favourite stockist is closing down with a big sale, you may be inclined to stock up on more supplies than you perhaps need to at that time. This may then lead to you requiring some safe storage space.
How to safely store your surplus stock
Whatever the reason for your surplus of stock, consider these tips before moving your inventory anywhere.
1. Take time to take a count before moving stock
It’s important that you keep a log of what you have and how much. This reduces the need to constantly check and means that you can accurately quote customers.
2. Choose a dry and temperature controlled location
It’s important that you choose a location that is dry and where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much. A storage unit is a great solution, as these secure environments keep stored items safe and dry, prolonging their life. There is minimal risk of damp or mould build up, which means when you do need to finally get that stock back out, you don’t need to worry about any damage.
3. Select a location that is security managed
Whatever you sell, you want to ensure it’s protected from theft and damage. This means choosing a location that has security measures in place, such as secure locks on doors, CCTV and staff at certain times of the day. Again, a storage unit can offer all this with 24 hour monitored CCTV and PIN coded access to the facility.
4. Check sell by dates if you deal with food or beauty products
Ensure items that have a best before date are stored correctly, so the products that are due to expire next are placed at the front of the shelf. This ensures you don’t have any waste and can sell on the items that are closest to running out of date.
5. Look into insurance
It’s likely that your business insurance will cover any loss of stock but if you are storing it away from your business address it’s a good idea to check your policy and take on additional cover if necessary.
6. Stack items correctly
It sounds simple but it’s important you ensure you stack your stock correctly, wherever you choose to house it. This means, heavier items go on the bottom to avoid crushing fragile products underneath. Shelving is ideal for organising stock in a manageable manner.
What to do with your surplus stock
Once the stock is safely stored, it’s the time to find ways to sell it. This means getting creative with marketing, here are just a few ideas:
- Have a sale – A one-off sale can help you get rid of some stock and get a quick turnaround.
- Create a social media competition – Giveaways are a great way of getting rid of some surplus stock and getting your name out there. A competition that encourages followers to share your web page and business could get you in front of more potential customers.
- Find new reasons for buying – Look into alternative uses for your products. Let’s say, you’re a stockist of swimwear. In recent months, you have found that sales have slumped. To give them a boost you could partner with an on-line influencer to show people how to wear your products as part of an everyday outfit or target fitness fanatics and encourage them to take up swimming.
- Finally, donate some stock – If you have items that could be of use to a worthy cause, then drop some off to be used by those who need them most.