Using a self-storage unit for your inventory and supplies for a home based retail business has many great advantages. Saving space in your home is just one example. However, there are a few things you should know ahead of time that will allow you to get the most out of your storage unit.

Estimate the time frame you will be accessing the unit

For many people, a home business is a part-time business, at least in the beginning. If you still have your day job, you will need to have an idea of when you plan on going to storage. This will be critical for picking your inventory and filling orders. Will you do it in the morning or in the evening? Storage facilities are seldom open 24 hours a day, so you will need to make sure that the facility you choose is compatible with your projected schedule. If you are going to be there in the evening, you may need additional lighting. Most storage units have a single light bulb. There are battery powered lamps if you need more light.

Get a large enough unit

You want to be able to have a little bit of walking room and be able to get to your inventory quickly. The more time you can save when pulling inventory out of a storage unit, the less cost there will be associated with processing orders. If you plan on using shelving in the unit, sketch it out on paper to make sure you will have enough room for the shelving given the square footage you are considering leasing. If you plan on packing your orders at the storage unit, you will need to make sure you have room for a bench to pack, and a place for the shipping supplies.

Protect your inventory

Remember to keep your unit clean. You will need to decide how to protect your inventory from dust that will accumulate over time. A duster may be all that is needed. If you have an outdoor unit, you will need to inspect the unit for any leaks that may develop. Many storage spaces can develop a small leak that will allow water to run down the metal beams inside the unit, and will lead to water dripping. If you have an outdoor unit, you should inspect it after every rainstorm. And finally, you should consider buying insurance for your inventory. A policy for a storage unit will protect you from fire and smoke damage as well as vandalism and theft.

If you take the steps above when shopping for the right unit and take precautions to safeguard your inventory, you will have laid an important part of the foundation of a good home-based retail business. Find out more here.