With the holidays all but a distant memory and Valentine’s Day over and done with, your retail business has a bit of downtime until the next hurdle: tax season. Take advantage of this slower period. You and your staff finally have some time to do something other than help customers. Head to the backroom and get organizing. Though you may want to pay more attention to the front-end duties of your business, an organized business will save time and improve productivity — not to mention you’ll be prepared to file your taxes amid the Liberals’ most recent changes.
Whether you’re having difficulty making space for all your out-of-season holiday stock, or if you find that supplies seem to get up and walk away a bit too often, here are some tips to make the backroom a more organized area of your store.
1. Speak with your staff
Unless you steer a one-person ship, you probably have a staff that works closely with you every day. That means you’re not the only one to deal with the backroom — so do they! Get feedback from your employees to see if they have any concerns or ideas about the organization of this space. Tackle problem areas your employees identify and brainstorm how you can improve them together.
It’s important to ask everyone about your potential changes, too. If you do something that isn’t intuitive to everyone using the space, all your hard work go to waste. Make sure everyone’s on the same page and that everyone understands labels or signs.
2. Invest in storage materials
You don’t want to shuffle mess from one area of the backroom to another, but spring cleaning can easily fall into this trap if you don’t have the right storage supplies for your stockroom. For example, stacks of unlabelled cardboard boxes are begging to be misplaced. Add in fixtures like shelving, and transfer contents to wire bins or clear plastic containers so that everything’s easy to spot and access. If you aren’t sure what’s at your disposal, head online to look up effective storage supplies, and see how other businesses use them.
3. Add square footage with a storage unit
Sometimes, organized items require more space. That’s not something you can add onto your storefront unless you’re willing to move. And in today’s market, buying and leasing commercial property is incredibly expensive. The real estate bubble surpasses just Toronto’s expensive core; it’s consumed most of the GTA, including Richmond Hill. When you can’t afford an upgrade to a larger store space, consider moving your excess stock and paperwork to an off-site storage unit in the GTA.
A mini self storage unit is a great way to keep infrequently needed seasonal overstock and paperwork out of the backroom. Located in facilities all over the GTA, these units range in size and are priced reasonably for their size. The best commercial storage units Richmond Hill can offer come with state-of-the-art security and careful environmental controls, ensuring your important stock is safe in their care. Take the time to research a facility that meets your security standards, so you can rent self storage units with confidence.
4. Create a culture of cleaning
Keeping the backroom organized takes more than one big spring clean every year. It takes a consistent dedicated effort to maintain the clean and tidy standards you set. But it definitely makes your life easier. Consider assigning weekly backroom cleaning duties to employees on a rotating schedule. Being proactive about organizing day-to-day clutter prevents small messes from growing into huge problems.
Every backroom is individual to the business, so no plan will ever be one-size-fits-all. By using this list as a guideline, you’re off to a great start. But it’s important you invest enough time that you create a dependable system that works for your business’ specific needs. Schedule a time before taxes, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day steal away your attention. With careful consideration and proactive measures in place, your backroom will be tidy in no time. More importantly, you’ll be better prepared to handle these events in the spring.