There are challenges that every kind of business faces; but when you sell products (especially if you run your company from home) you have a number of issues to overcome. Here are a few things to consider if you’re considering setting up a home based business that sells physical items.
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When you’re working from home, chances are you don’t have tons of storage space to keep stock. If you only sell smaller items, you may be able to utilise a spare bedroom or your garage, however as your business expands you may have to start hiring warehouse space. You can still manage your company from your home, but you will of course need to employ people to run your warehouse for you. Otherwise, outsource this area of your business to a third party experienced company. That way, you have peace of mind that everything is being handled correctly, you don’t need to worrying about hiring staff or premises and you can stick to managing the parts of your business that you’re comfortable with.
The packaging you choose will depend entirely on whatever it is you’re selling. Smaller items could be sent in a padded envelope, while more fragile things will probably need wrapping in bubble wrap and boxing. Large items or bulk orders may need putting in wooden crates for them to be able to be shipped suitably. The type of packaging you use will also depend on where things are being shipped, whether it’s locally, nationally or globally. Again, you could outsource here, or you could rent out premises and hire workers to package things for you.
Finally, you will need to find the right method to physically transport your items from your warehouse or home to your customers. For smaller items, the postal service can be the most efficient method- you can even arrange collections so you’re not taking bulk items down to the post office. Just be aware of the restrictions that the postal service has, some items and ingredients can’t be shipped to certain places and some can’t be sent at all. You might need to change what you’re selling slightly if you want to use this method if it includes restricted items, otherwise utilise a different shipping method. Couriers can be useful if you’re delivering nationally, be sure to research the company you use as late shipping and things arriving broken can damage your reputation as a business. Some delivery companies have been known to put parcels in bins, thrown over fences and delivered to neighbours with no card to say which neighbour as a ‘safe place’! if you’re sending overseas then ships are usually the preferred method, again get quotes here as prices will vary dramatically. Getting your products to your customer efficiently is something that all businesses that sell products have to consider. You will need to make sure that this is right, or negative reviews and complaints will soon start coming in.
What do you think are the biggest challenges that businesses that sell products face?