How to Start a Warehousing Business

How to Start a Warehousing Business

How to Start a Warehousing Business: Decide what types of business customers to target with your warehouse. To keep costs down when starting a warehousing business, you must determine what types of products you want to store.

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Warehousing Business

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Entrepreneurs have many available opportunities when starting a small warehouse business. Many small businesses or independent contractors do not have the space for storing their products. Their options may be huge warehouse facilities, which are extremely expensive, or impractical self-storage units. To keep costs down when starting a warehousing business, you must determine what types of products you want to store, such as paper products, books or electronics, to determine the building size you need.

How to Start a Warehousing Business: Start-Up Information

The average warehouse business costs between #100,000 and #500,000 to set up. You will want to obtain some initial background information about the warehousing industry before starting your venture. Start by searching the yellow pages or other business listings in your area for warehousing companies. Visit their websites to determine what services they offer, and the types of customers they serve. Call warehousing companies outside your city as they are more likely to discuss various issues they face or pitfalls to avoid when getting started. Visit these warehouses so you can better understand how the operations work. Target small businesses who may need warehousing services, such as small book distributors. Create your own niche in the market by differentiating your services from competitors.

Licensing and Equipment

Register for a DBA, or “doing business,” if you want to use a fictitious name for your warehousing business. Obtain the forms for your DBA through your local county or city administration office. Typically, the application fee costs between #2000 and #5000. Most of your investment will go towards specific equipment, including shelving units, forklifts, storage units like freezers or refrigerators if you carry perishable items, shelving, crates and computer and inventory software. This software helps you to keep track of items in storage, and when these units enter or exit the warehouse. You may also need a truck if you get into the distribution side of the business, delivering products for clients locally.


Hire employees experienced in logistics if you offer distribution services. Logistics professionals arrange shipping and track products to their final destination points. They also oversee items that enter the facility, as they need to track when products first arrive at the warehouse, as these are the items that are usually shipped first. As a warehouse owner, an experienced shipping and receiving person can help check items in as the arrive. This person can also set up specific locations in the warehouse for storing each client’s items. Most warehouses label certain sections with letters “A” to “Z,” for example. Locations are usually recorded on computers. Hire employees to physically lift items and operate forklifts in your warehouse facility, as well.

Obtaining Customers

Sign up with the International Warehouse Logistics Association. They will list you as a local warehouse, which can help you generate leads for your business. Advertise in trade publications like “The Bookseller” in which your clients are most likely to read. Call on small businesses in your area that sell the products you stock. Present your services to them, explaining the key benefits you can offer. Selling points can include freeing up space in their showroom and inventory tracking. Leave a brochure and business card with all business owners. Create a web site so you can promote it through search engines and the local online yellow pages.

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