When you decide to open your warehouse business, the first step is to determine exactly what services you should offer. There is more to a warehouse business than shelving and equipment, you can cater to specific areas of expertise. You can offer storage services or distribution and shipping, or a combination of the two, just keep in mind what your targeted clientele will need. You will need a business plan for your warehouse, but that comes after you determine your niche and look into your competition.
NUTRI-GO offers a meal delivery service. Customers pick their weekly meals from the NUTRI-GO website, then the company cooks and delivers the meals. NUTRI-GO’s combination warehouse and fulfillment center was designed by General Steel and offers one central headquarters for the company to operate from in each country.
Types of Warehouses
Catering to specific types of businesses that cannot use all-purpose warehouses is a good way to find a niche. For example, art dealers and food companies have specific requirements for their storage needs, and they need warehouses that meet those needs. When you are working on finding your niche, you will need to take into account what type of warehouse you need. While on the outside many warehouses look like a “one size fits all” type structure, they have quite a few differences.
There are one of the most lucrative forms of warehouse businesses. A distribution center generally stocks things for a short period of time before shipping them out to companies or customers.
A public warehouse usually is rented out to companies for short-term distribution. Sometimes retailers need to rent space in a public warehouse to store their overstock of products because there is not room in the warehouse they normally use.
These are also important to the agricultural industry, which has led to the government trying to encourage the opening of more public warehouses. Public warehouses usually rent out smaller sections of their building to different smaller businesses that do not have the need to buy a warehouse all for themselves.
These warehouses are for things that need specific conditions. Sometimes the temperatures can be freezing in these if frozen goods are what is stored in them, other times it can be adjusted to store art or furniture that has special atmosphere needs.
The warehouse industry is all about having good relationships with your clients, but when you are first starting out, you need to build those clients. Attending trade shows and conferences about your industry will allow you to network and meet potential clients. Social media is another key way to help you connect with clients, as is having a website. Another way to help you gain clients is to join the International Warehouse Logistics Association, which provides many different resources for people in the warehouse industry.
Warehouse Businesses Who Chose General Steel
MAS Cabinetry and Countertops
MAS Supply created a mixed use warehouse and manufacturing facility when it was time to expand their business.MAS Supply
Master Electrical Contractors
MEC bought their building over 20 years ago. MEC owner Dan says the space has totally changed how he does business.MEC, INC in Colorado
Northern Logistic's warehouse demonstrates how important a column free building is to a warehousing operation.Learn About Norther Logistics
Steel Building Kits
A building kit from General Steel can be customized to fit whatever your warehouse will store. Our prefab warehouses offer open spaces for up to 300 feet, giving you plenty of open spaces for your goods. General Steel will research the location of your warehouse to determine what kit is best for you. When your building arrives, it can be put together easily, with significantly less time than a building constructed from traditional materials. Steel is also more durable than traditional construction materials, so it is more likely to stand up against bad weather events. You can save up to 50% in construction costs with a steel building kit.
The start-up costs for starting a warehouse business are generally between $10,000 and $50,000. Create a list of everything you will need to start your business, from equipment to employees to the warehouse itself. This will help you estimate your startup costs a little more accurately, and help you determine what your ongoing costs will be.
One of the most important decisions you will make about your business is where your location should be. You need to find a location that works for whatever you will be selling, but not too close to your competition. Most importantly, if you are building a new warehouse, be sure to measure your land to determine if it would accommodate the building size you intend to develop.
The equipment your warehouse needs can be expensive, so this is something you definitely need to factor into your startup costs. Most warehouses need pallet trucks, forklifts, and electric stackers to run efficiently. You may need other equipment too, depending on what your niche is.
Resources for Warehouse Projects
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Recommended Warehouse Building Sizes
Having a good idea of what size your building needs to be will help you find the perfect location. Make sure you find an area where you have room to grow as your business does. With a steel building you can easily expand your warehouse as it grows, so you do not have to get a huge warehouse before your business is ready for one.