Oliver Kitson, Operations Director at StoreFirst.com, gives his advice on how self-storage facilities can be the perfect base for a business operation
When we think of self-storage, what usually comes to mind is people moving house, or people with huge collections of records that their partners have demanded be moved out of their spare room.
Yet over recent years, self-storage facilities are helping sole traders, SMEs and other businesses to become fully operational and profitable. With a number of cost and security benefits, self-storage units can move your business out of your garage and into your industry.
Here are a few tips to help you answer the question: Can I run my business from a self-storage unit?
Choose your facility wisely
This may seem like an obvious tip, but when it comes to picking your self-storage facility, it helps to check out exactly what you’re getting for your money. Alongside the storage unit itself, some facilities offer meeting and board rooms, a kitchen area, forklifting, Wi-Fi or printing services and even a postal delivery/collection service. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your storage fee, have a chat with the storage company to see what extras are included in the price.
Check the security systems in place
Any storage facility worth their salt will offer a full and complete security system to protect your business and your stock. Alongside an individual lock for your site, all areas of the facility should be covered by CCTV and intruder alarms. Some storage companies will even offer 24-hour access to your unit. Additionally, it’s crucial that you look into contents protection for your items whilst on site, some will include this in the price, whilst others will charge this as an additional fee.
Consider the environment
If you’re running a business, especially a brand new business, you’ll know the importance of being able to work whenever necessary, sometimes at all hours. When it comes to choosing your self-storage, take into account the location, to make sure that the facility is easily accessible and close enough for you to be able to work from each day. The opening times of the storage units should also be taken into account. Some facilities offer 24 hour access, meaning that you can be on hand to receive deliveries, take enquiries and service your customers whenever you need to. These facilities may also be able to sign for deliveries on your behalf, taking away the stress of coordinating when your stock comes in.
What are the benefits of running a business from a self-storage facility?
Self-storage units can offer many benefits for SMEs and other businesses, especially those looking to cut on costs and increase profitability. Here are a few of the benefits you can expect to receive:
Reduce bills and overheads
With utility bills and rent constantly on the rise, operating your business from a self-storage unit can dramatically reduce these costs. Some self-storage units can be half the price of a conventional office space in terms of rent per month. And, when it comes to business rates and utility bills, some storage facilities will even include this in their fee.
Increase the flexibility of your business
If you’re happy with your current office, but are feeling the need for extra space, storage facilities can make this nice and easy. You can store your goods while they wait for delivery, excess furniture and equipment and even paperwork that you don’t need right now, all in your storage unit. Instead of paying hefty costs for a warehouse which your stock may only half fill, self-storage enables you to only pay for the storage that you need. Make sure to check the construction of your storage, as the operators should ensure that rain or adverse weather won’t affect your belongings, but also that there is adequate ventilation in the facility.
If you’re considering running your business from a storage facility, and you aren’t sure where to begin, get in touch with your local storage operator for some advice on how they can support you and your clients.