Sunday, March 6, 2011

I am so Pooped! ~ We're Moving to our New Location...

I am so Pooped! For the last several days we have been moving to our new warehouse/shipping center.  That means that we are moving the contents of our 3200 square foot brick & mortar store to our 2400 square foot warehouse/shipping center!  It is not as cramped as it sounds, in the warehouse we can put things on our metal shelves that are over 6 feet high.  Plus we don't need all of the display area that we had to have in our brick & mortar store.

If you are new here, let me bring you up to speed...we opened our brick & mortar store in a small 1400 sq ft shop in February 2008.  After just one year we outgrew that space and moved to a larger 3200 sq ft store one block away.  In April of 2010 we added an online store to our business.  By August our online store had grown so rapidly that I was working my fanny off trying to keep up with two separate businesses.  We thought they would function as one business but it soon became obvious that each operation has it's own unique needs and the only thing they really shared was the inventory.  My small office had been taken over by my shipping supplies and I was going nuts. 

With the economy in our small town really taking a hit, the brick & mortar store appeared to have reached it's maximum potential, while the online store, which was open to customers across this great country was still growing and thriving beyond our expectations.  The day finally came in November 2010, after almost 3 years of being in business, to make a decision about what direction we wanted to take The Baby Store Plus. We decided to close the brick & mortar store and focus our attention on the online store.  Since we did not need the main street location for an online business, we started planning where we would set up our warehouse and shipping center.

That is how we got to this day, and the big move.  Through some strategic brainstorming we came up with a plan to make the primary move over a weekend, while keeping operations running smoothly without interruption.  I had my doubts that we could really pull that off, but so far we have.  I doubt that any of our customers were even aware of what was going on behind the scenes.  My office -slash- shipping hub, was disassembled on Friday afternoon and re-assembled in my new larger space by Friday evening.  We were even able to ship orders on Saturday (we don't normally ship on weekends) that came in on Friday evening.  I was anxious to give the new assembly-line style shipping center a test-drive.  It worked wonderfully...Whew!

The rest of Saturday and Sunday was spent moving inventory to the new warehouse.  I am so dog-tired now.  Tonight (Sunday) after we called it a day, I came home and soaked in a steaming hot tub.  I feel so happy about the move.  The new open space that is set up specifically for an online operation is going to make my work-life so much nicer.  We still have lots more to move, but most of this was already in our storeroom so it doesn't need to be packed, just moved to the new warehouse.

One neat thing about moving is that you find all kinds of hidden treasures.  In clearing out our storeroom I have already found several boxes of products that I didn't know we even had.  Somehow these things got tucked away in a dark corner and forgotten.  I will be digging them out and offering them as either fun giveaways or super discounted items...perhaps for our Thrifty Thursday deals. 

Another really cool thing about the move is that this was the perfect time to re-evaluate some things, such as our credit card processing system, our internet services, and our telephone system.  At our new location we were able to get a much faster internet connection, which means that I can get my online work done faster and we could also upgrade to a new online credit card processing service that offers seamlessly smooth credit card processing on a super secure server.  The change of these two things meant that we were not dependent on a traditional landline for our telephone service.  That meant that we were able to change to a cell phone for our business line.  That may not seem important on the surface, but with a cell phone I am able to take our business phone with me, and therefore provide personal customer service anytime, anywhere!  Now our customers who need assistance do not have to call during normal 'working' hours and take a chance on missing me when I've gone to lunch or to drop-off packages.  I can answer their call anytime and I can assist them right then.  I think that is pretty great! 

Well, that is all the energy I have for tonight.  Like I said in the opening of this post, "I am so Pooped!"  Thanks for taking the time to read our blog posts and for shopping in our store, we truly appreciate you.  You are the reason we are always working on our business, striving to offer you the best products and customer service that we can possibly give.  Thank you!

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