This week, in our Inside Store First series, we sat down and spoke to Store First, Rochdale, tenants, MSDS Solutionz, to find out a little bit more about them, what makes them tick and why they chose to base their business from Store First’s Rochdale self-storage centre.
We caught up with owner, Shaheryar Ahmed, to find out more about him and why he chose to base his business from a self storage pod at Store First.
Who are MSDS Solutionz and what do you do?
“MSDS Solutionz is an online retailer. We sell various items, mostly on e-bay.”
How did you hear about Store First?
“I was looking for somewhere to base my business from, as it was fast outgrowing my house, and a friend of mine, who had used Store First for self-storage, mentioned that it might be worth coming down and seeing what the guys here could do for me.
“I did, and found that Store First was the perfect place to base my business.”
Why did you decide to operate from a self-storage unit at Store First, Rochdale?
“From the second that I walked in, the staff at Store First, Rochdale, were really friendly and helpful. I was immediately made to feel welcome and the staff seemed really professional and knowledgeable.
“In addition to this, and I think most importantly, for me, was the fact that Store First has all of the facilities that I need to run and grow my business successfully, with no added costs associated with using them. Perfect for a growing SME like mine.”
So how long have you been at Store First?
“I moved in on the 25th July, 2016. So, I’ve been here for nearly a year, now.”
How big is the self-storage unit that you’re based from?
“I started out with a 135 sq ft unit. I have grown significantly since moving into Store First, though, and I now have two 175 sq ft units, 350 sq ft in all.
“That’s one of the great things about being here, too; when I grow, and need more space, I don’t need to wait, the guys let me move immediately. Because there’s no lengthy contract, I only pay for what I use, and can up-size as and when I need to. It’s great.”
So, what exactly do you use your self-storage units for, just to store equipment or do your business operations take place there, too?
“I run my full business from my self-storage units. I keep my stock there, and carry out all of my day-to-day operations, as well. The guys have even let me bring a desk in to my self-storage pod, so I can set up an office for myself here.”
What additional benefits do you get from operating from Store First?
“There are plenty of benefits to basing my business from a self-storage unit here at Store First, Rochdale.
“The staff are helpful, professional and knowledgeable. And most importantly, they’re always smiling – which makes for a really positive atmosphere and working environment.
“The entire self-storage centre is spotless. I’ve rarely seen better-maintained facilities. And I have 24-hour access, as well, which means that any late deliveries, or work I need to do at unusual hours, or on the weekend isn’t a problem at all.
“There are boardrooms and break-out areas, that as a tenant, I am able to use for no extra cost, which is really convenient when I’m meeting suppliers and helps to make my business look extra professional.
“Finally, there’s a gym, that again, as a tenant, I can use for free. And the guys here are always on hand to receive and sign for mail that comes for me if I’m not around.
“In short, Store First is a truly brilliant place to run a business from.”
Do you make use of the free facilities that are available at Store First?
“Yes. All the time. You’ll regularly find me meeting suppliers in the boardroom or making use of the gym after work.”
How has being based at Store First’s self-storage centre in Rochdale helped you to run your business?
“Being based at the self-storage centre in Rochdale has helped my business to be successful in a number of ways, really.
“From things, as seemingly mundane as accepting deliveries and post on my behalf, if I’m not around – which isn’t something I would ever have thought of before, but now, if I didn’t have that, I’d really miss it – to the boardrooms that help my business to look the part when suppliers visit, to the units themselves – they’re safe so my stock is safe – and the 24-hour access; I couldn’t really pick one thing.
“There are so many ways that Store First helps you to run your business successfully, that it seems arbitrary to try to select just one. It’s the whole package. I couldn’t be happier than I am here.”
If you had to choose something, what would you say the best thing that Store First has done for you is?
“I knew you’d follow my last statement with this (laughs). Ok, since I’m choosing one thing, I’d probably say it’s the flexibility.
“When I needed to upscale, the staff gave me priority to move from one unit to another because my business was growing. I really appreciated that. And it really helped me to expand my business.”
Would you recommend Store First to other SMEs?
“Yes. Wholeheartedly. I think it’s great here, and I’m confident that other businesses would, too. In fact, there are a few other guys running businesses from here, and I know they feel the same as I do, so I don’t see why anyone else wouldn’t agree.
“I’d go as far as to say, give Store First a call and take look around yourself.”