Warehouse space can be put to use in a variety of ways to turn empty shelves and floor space into a profitable venture. If you own the warehouse, you’ll have more freedom to use the space to make money as you see fit. If you rent a warehouse, check your lease first to determine what types of activities you’re allowed to initiate as part of your money-making business.

Short-Term Rentals

Identify businesses that need to rent space for a short period of time, such as a week or a month, once or twice a year. Companies that need short-term storage are one possibility. Talk to people who want to hold a one-week or month-long consignment sale but don’t have a storefront. Organizations that put on community garage sales or charity events may also be interested in leasing short-term space, especially if the threat of rain is a concern. Leasing the space for Halloween haunted houses or Christmas craft shows and fairs gives you more options.

Rehearsal Space

Rent part or all of the space to a band that needs a place to practice where it won’t disturb the neighbors when it turns up the amps. If you allow more than one band to rent space, erect walls and doors with locks to allow band members to securely keep their equipment locked up until their next rehearsal. You’ll also need to install soundproofing in the walls and ceiling in the event the bands want to rehearse at the same time. Another option is to rent the space by the hour for those bands that don’t have the funds or need for a permanent rehearsal space.

Handle Return Merchandise

Some companies prefer to contract handling and sorting of a high volume of returned merchandise to a facility with the storage capacity to handle the job. This is especially true near the holidays. Be prepared to hire a few people to sort and document the returned items to determine if they are defective. You may even want to work a deal with the company to liquidate the returned merchandise, allowing you to pay for the returned items at a discount and then turn around and sell the items to make a profit.

Aquaponics Farm

Turn empty warehouse space into an aquaponics farm to grow and sell vegetables or herbs to grocery stores or restaurants. Setting up your warehouse for aquaponics requires changes in the electrical and sewage system. Since aquaponics relies on raising fish to create the fertilizer for your plants, you also need tanks to hold the fish. A way to pump the filtered fish tank water to your raised beds where you grow the plants is also necessary. You also need to install grow lights that act as the sunshine for your plants.