Is your storefront is a business fail in the front, but a big whopping party in the back? It is most likely in need of some organization. Your storefront is probably suffering from “back pain” because there is way too much going on in your back room. It’s the kind of pain that is crippling your bottom line and driving away customers. If this is the case, you should seriously consider getting the assistance of a professional organizer.
A common problem in retail environment is that 99% of the effort in setup goes into the design, layout, merchandising and window dressing of the store front. The Back Room (or store room) on the other hand, is far too often neglected and treated like the “red-headed-stepchild”– receiving no love but carrying the chores of housing all the excess merchandise, visual displays, company directives, and files, along with acting as a business office and lunchroom.
A well-organized backroom is essential to effectively ordering, processing, storing and transitioning merchandise into sales. A well-organized backroom will turn your business into a well-oil machine with few aches and very little pain. Your store’s backroom is basically the nerve-center of your operations, so it should receive as much or even more attention. Too much time is wasted trying to find things. Too much time is lost in unproductive hours resulting in a weakened bottom line.
Professional organizing services often cater specifically to independent and small businesses with a focus on areas of storage, function, process and flow. Here are some tips and techniques that you should consider when organizing your backroom space:
- PLAN MAPPING—Create a plan of action by assessing the space usage, and dimensions. Design a floor plan that will maximize storage and accommodate the various types and sizes of items and boxes to be stored. Think “seasonally”. Store merchandise to move quickly and efficiently throughout the seasons and holidays. Purge merchandise every 6-12 months. Display a floor plan indicating the layout areas and inventory. Orientate your staff with the layout. Update as back room plans change.
- SPACE STORAGE—Build space that adds flexibility with adjustable, movable fixtures to accommodate space as you need it. Utilize wall space. Build upwards, while keeping in mind your employees who may need certain items accessible. Free standing shelving units as best back to back forming a center aisle in larger back rooms. Identify if an item actually needs to be stored in the back room or whether the item needs to be stored off-site.
- PROCESS FLOW—Your back room should be organized to flow easily and efficiently. The user-friendly backroom will allow incoming merchandise and paperwork. Refine your paper process designating areas for filing and incoming invoicing etc. Ensure adequate open area for assembly, packaging and unpacking. Discard unnecessary and excess packaging and paper right away or by end of day. Create a listing of fast-moving merchandise and moving the items closer to the entranceway for easier access and shorter travel time.
- FUNCTION FLEXIBILITY—An essential element of organizing backroom space is functionality and flexibility. The space should focus on distinct usage with a regulated flow and flexibility in movement as well as usage. Clearly identifying and labelling areas will offer consistency and fluency in the space. Incorporating solid storage capacities such as filing trays, locked cabinets, wire/plastic bins for loose items and dry goods. Group like items together and by category.
- MEET GREET EAT—A store’s back room often serves as a meeting room, a business office and a kitchen. The space should be a clean, organized space that is a welcoming host for staff quiet time, making phone calls, computer communication, vendor appointments, writing and manager/staff meetings.
A store’s Back Room needs to be a supporting partner in your small business. It should help not hinder its growth or success. Promoting a prideful space that is bright and energetic will motivate and boost morale among staff. Decorate your Back Room with color, sales training postings and inspirational posters.
Remember that maintaining the back room is everyone’s responsibility. As an owner delegate, assign and review tasks focusing on staff strengths. An organized retail space can really be a big pay-off for your business providing an easy and stress-less environments.
Organized and booming, your store’s Back Room will be less of a clutter party with more business both in the front and the back. Today is a good day to be ReallyOrganizedNow!
Rose Nixon, is Your “Anything” Organizer, Chief Professional Organizer and Principal Owner of ReallyOrganizedNow(RON), A Professional organizing company that brings Mindful Solutions for Stress-Less Living. Rose knows that Life can be stressful enough without having the added burden of Disorganization. Rose also knows that when you’re Organized you Smile more. You are more pleasant to be around. You enjoy people, places and things with greater ease, comfort and focus. Rose helps active women and families find solutions and support to Stress-Less and Live More. She helps them BE ReallyOrganizedNow. Are you ReallyOrganizeNow? Rose Nixon is the is an active volunteer in her community, offering support to several causes and organizations. She is a business owner, aspiring blogger and author, and an ambassador of creative expression.
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