When you’re running a business, storing all the materials and products you need for day-to-day operations can be a challenge. You want to operate as efficiently as possible, but you also don’t want to take up valuable space with items that are not currently in use.
If you have some extra room in your office or warehouse, it might make sense to store some of these items yourself. But if your offices do not have such thing as “extra room.” In this situation, it’s time to look at renting outside storage space. If your office is too cluttered to function, self-storage can be a great solution: It will help keep your office clean, organized, and easier to navigate.
A self-storage rental is a great option for many small businesses and it’s easy to see why. It’s flexible, convenient, and relatively cheap – providing you find the right solution for your business.
What’s the best self-storage solution for your business?
Whether you’re a new small business owner or you’ve been in the game for decades, you’re bound to run into issues with storage. Luckily, there are plenty of self-storage solutions out there to help you get organized and keep your business running smoothly.
Here’s what you’ll want to consider when choosing self-storage for your business.
- What are you storing?
- Location. Do you require convenient access to your items stored?
- How much space do you need?
- How long will you need storage?
- Does security matter to you?
- Would climate control be beneficial to the items being stored?
The answer is: it depends on what it is that you are storing, how much space you will need, how long the storage will be needed and if the facility provides some of the higher-end features like security and climate controls.
Self-storage is flexible and can be used for a variety of purposes
- The length of the lease is flexible, allowing you to use your unit as long as you need it
- You can scale up or down as needed. For example, if you’re planning to expand your business and need more space than what you’ve leased, there’s no problem with having one or more additional units
- Units can be used for storing nearly anything, such as files, supplies and equipment that have been replaced but are still usable. Some businesses even use their units for overflow inventory. There are some restrictions on using them for perishable items (e.g., food), hazardous materials (e.g., radiation) and live creatures (e.g., mice). However, these restrictions vary from facility to facility so it’s best to check with individual facilities before renting a unit
- Storage facilities provide secure storage solutions through fencing and gated access requiring key cards or codes known only by tenants
What are you storing?
The type of goods that you’re storing will also play a role in how you choose to store them.
Are you looking to store items that will be seasonal, or only needed at certain times of the year? If so, then you need a flexible storage solution — one where you can decide to rent out space for just a few months at a time.
Or are the goods that you want to store something that your business uses on a daily basis? If this is the case, then it might make sense for you to look for somewhere close by. The storage facility doesn’t necessarily have to be on your premises, but it should be close enough that transportation costs aren’t going to cut into your profits.
If your business involves storing goods that take up a lot of room (like furniture), you’ll need more space than if what you’re storing is small (like paperwork). If possible, measure the items before going on a storage unit tour.
Location. How important is this factor?
The location depends on what you’re storing and where you need to access it from. For example, if you’re storing furniture for a home staging business and the furniture needs to be close by to make it easy to swap out pieces as needed, then location will be a major factor. If you’re storing documents or other things that aren’t time-sensitive and can easily be shipped when needed, then the location may not be a major factor.
How much space do you need?
The right amount of self-storage space depends on your type of business and the volume of goods you produce or sell. When calculating how much space you need, it’s important to consider not only the items themselves but also other factors such as the size and type of packaging (which varies with products and shipping methods).
Space calculators. Many self-storage companies offer online space calculators to help you estimate how much room you’ll need for your goods. These calculators take into account various factors such as the sizes of your items, whether they’re boxed or loose, and how many containers are needed to pack everything in. You might want to check out Squab Storage (https://squabstorage.co.uk/) guide to determine which size storage unit is best for your needs.
Packing tips. If you already know what kind of items you want to store, review tips from experts like Squab Storage, which offers advice on packing household goods and storing books. These tips can help make sure that your packed items don’t end up taking more space than necessary.
How long will they be in storage?
If you’re going to be using the storage unit temporarily while moving from one office to another, or as a temporary warehouse until your goods are sold, then you might not need as much space as if the goods were being stored for a long time. If there’s no set date for when the goods will leave the unit, it’s best to overestimate.
Does security matter to you?
Theft is one of the most common concerns for self-storage users. If your unit is ransacked and your belongings are stolen, it can be very difficult to get compensation – especially if you’re storing valuables.
One way to protect yourself from this risk is to opt for a facility that offers 24-hour CCTV coverage and onsite security staff. Some storage facilities also have cutting-edge biometric locks, which means only a shortlist of people will be able to access your goods.
It’s important to be aware of what kind of security measures are in place at each self-storage facility you’re considering. Most facilities will have some combination of the following elements:
- CCTV cameras monitoring the area
- Security gates with PIN codes or access cards are required for entry and exit
- Well-lit areas outside storage units
- Keypad locks on storage unit doors
- Security guards patrolling the site
If security is a top priority for you, make sure you check the storage provider’s website or call them up before making any commitments. . Also, investigate whether the facility has had any incidents in the past (especially theft), and if so, how they were resolved.
Would climate control be beneficial to the items being stored?
Climate control refers to the temperature and humidity levels of the storage unit. It is important to remember that these two things are separate, and therefore it is possible to have climate-controlled units that are not temperature controlled or vice versa. In order to understand how important climate control is for your items, you need to consider both what type of items you’re storing and what kind of environment they will be stored in.
Stuff like paper records and electronics should really be stored in an environment that’s not too hot or too cold. If this equipment gets damaged by heat or humidity, it could set you back quite a bit financially.
Finding the best self-storage solution for your business
So what are your options for self-storage? I hope your takeaway from this guide is that you have more than one option to choose from. Different businesses will have different needs, and one storage solution may not fit all. Whether you’re a new business or an established business with expansion plans, there’s an option out there for you.
Just make sure you do your research before choosing a storage provider—and if they can’t accommodate your specific needs, fall back on the possibility of building your own storage sheds. After all, if it’s important to keep your business running smoothly and efficiently, it’s best if you do so with the right tools for the job.