We explore the tell tale signs that your eCommerce business has reached capacity and may need the support of third party logistics (3PL) for sustainable growth
It’s a romantic idea — the small start-up with a big idea, operating on a shoestring budget from a cramped garage. The history of business is littered with such success stories, Apple and Microsoft amongst them.
But at some point, even those businesses realised that the garage, lounge room or spare bedroom wasn’t going to cut it anymore, and it was time to scale their operations in a way that allowed them to grow sustainably.
Here’s 4 tell tale signs that your online business has reached capacity and it may be time to explore 3PL as a way to grow and enhance your operations:
1) Storage and Inventory Has Become a Nightmare
Seeing order volumes increase is the ideal outcome for any eCommerce business. But more orders means managing more stock, which requires more space. It also means having a better handle on your inventory and knowing what stock you have available and where it’s located.
If your stock is taking up space alongside car-parts in the garage, or has become substitute furniture in the house, it may be time to consider a more sustainable warehousing and storage solution in the form of 3PL.
2) Potential Partners Want To See Your Operations
Growing a successful business means finding potential partners and establishing mutually beneficial relationships that open new markets for growth. But before you can land a potentially prosperous new business partnership, they may request to see your operations. If that means giving them a tour of your spare bedroom then it may not be the best way to start a new professional venture.
However, taking a new partner on a tour of a professionally run warehouse with state-of-the-art storage, packing and distribution, positions your business as a legitimate and trustworthy operation. It also increases the likelihood you can land an exciting new business partnership.
3) You’re Running Headfirst Into Zoning, Coding or OHS Issues
While it’s easy enough to run a home-business, if your growth gets to a point that you’re working until the late hours of the night or employing staff to help you, it can put you on a collision course with the local council.
Councils have strict rules about where and when businesses of certain sizes can (and can’t) operate. All it takes is one complaint from a disgruntled neighbour to grind your operations to a halt.
Meanwhile, if you are employing staff, you’re also taking on the OHS obligations that come with being an employer. The crowded garage and flimsy towers of boxes may leave you legally exposed if something goes awry. Best protect yourself, your staff and your business by exploring outsourced logistics.
4) It’s Time To Take Your Brand And Culture Seriously
When working alone you have the freedom to run your business in the way that suits you. But a certain level of success demands that you start seriously considering the culture and reputation your business stands for. This is especially true if you’re considering employing staff or have plans to take your business to a new level.
If you have ambitions to position your business as professional, modern, state-of-the-art or industry-leading, then such claims need to be backed up by your operations. Shifting the gears of your home-based business to a scalable 3PL solution may be the logical next step for a growing business.
The Secrets to Sustainable Growth
If you’re managing a growing eCommerce business, then sustainable growth is vital to your success. Learn how 3PL can support and scale your success with our free guide Using Third-Party Logistics to Enhance Your Business’ Growth