I think the better question to ask here is How small can it be?
More is just more it is not necessarily better.
I will never forget a phone conversation that I had recently with a consulting client about the road blocks that were keeping him from launching his new contents division in his cleaning company. He told me he was having trouble finding a building big enough. I asked him how big the buildings were that he had been looking at and he told me 2000 to 2800 square feet. I asked him how much space he thought he needed and he said at least 4000 just for the cleaning areas and about 3 to 4 times that for vault storage.
When I told him he could easily setup shop in under 800 square feet the phone went silent with disbelief.
Some of you reading this will completely disagree with this last statement. But I would challenge you to think outside the box here with me.
Our Company processes a complete household of contents in just under 7 days in a cleaning warehouse that is a little less than 320 square feet.
In fact, I feel that the smaller your cleaning area is the more efficient you are. If you have all of your equipment spread out over 1000 or 2000 square feet that means you have more movement going on to clean, pack and process each and every job. Wasted movement that you are wasting money on.
You also need to remember the bigger the building the more it will cost you in overhead. Like utilities, insurance and upkeep not to mention the cost of purchasing or leasing all this extra space.
Thinking that you have to have a huge warehouse in order to be successful at processing and cleaning contents is a limiting belief. And one that is simply not true.
Now having a huge warehouse is fine as long as it is setup in the right way so your work area is super efficient. But what I don’t want you to think is that all of that space is required or you won’t be able to get the job done.
It can also make you be more efficient being in a small space out of necessity. No different than when you live in a small house you have to be organized and efficient with the use of your space because there isn’t very much of it. So when looking at your warehouse space think about how much area do you really need to work in? Don’t think you have to use all that space just because it’s there. What I actually want you to think about is just the opposite. How small of an area can use?
To begin with you need to plan and draw a layout of your work area with your equipment in place. Design is very carefully for productivity. This planning stage will also help you get a better feel for your space needs.
When you are in the planning stages you need to decide what equipment you are going to buy outright and what are you going to rent or lease. There are also some pieces of equipment that you may decide to downsize to save space.
As for storage of cleaned and processed contents you have a few different options. You can have a nice big warehouse space setup with vaults or bays to organize and store your jobs. Or you can rent storage units and store and organize completed jobs that way. You can still make a profit on charging the insurance company for storage just not as much as you would if you had your own warehouse.
What I really want you to get out of this is that you don’t need a ton a space and whatever you do don’t let this be a stumbling block for you getting off the ground. Start in a small space and work your way up from there.
You may even find you don’t need all that space after all.
What are some things that you feel would be a draw back to a not having a huge warehouse of your own? How about some advantages that I haven’t mentioned?