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The Ultimate Guide To Business Storage
Business Storage Tips: The Ultimate Guide To Self Storage For Businesses
All businesses are constantly optimising and looking for opportunities to become more profitable. But as the business grows, so does the need to have more space. Sooner rather than later, you will need business storage for your assets and maybe even need to enlist the help of a property management company.
But why exactly are self-storage units beneficial to businesses? Moreover, what exactly can you use them for? To answer these questions and more, we have developed the ultimate guide to self-storage for businesses. If you want to learn more about these services and how you can use them to increase efficiency, cut business costs and make your company more profitable, read on.
Why Do Businesses Use Self-Storage Units, And How Does It Benefit Them?
Self-storage units are usually associated with storing furniture, collections, and clothing during the relocation process or when downsizing occurs. While these are some reasons why self-storage services are increasing in popularity, they aren’t the only ways you can use these facilities.
Self-storage is the ideal solution for businesses facing a lack of office space. Whether you have your own independent business or are a large corporation, you could benefit from having your own unit.
For growing businesses, the need for more inventory and equipment to cope with the increase in demand can take up a lot of space. Only a few types of businesses can operate indefinitely without needing to store products, tools, and equipment.
In addition, growing businesses need to hire more staff members to handle different jobs. This will inevitably cramp the office with additional desks, furniture, and electronic equipment. With skyrocketing real estate prices, it is difficult for businesses to immediately shift to a bigger office.
Space in the business premises is also crucial to the overall productivity and efficiency of many businesses. Clutter, after all, can be distracting and stress-inducing, which in turn, makes working efficiently more of a challenge. Hence, many business owners find a way to provide their employees with as much space to move and work as possible.
These are just some of the reasons businesses choose to use self-storage facilities. WhatStorage can help you find self-storage anywhere in the UK, including self storage Blackpool, self storage Belfast, self storage in Glasgow, and self storage Brighton.
Is Business Storage Right For You?
Before you knuckle down and start looking at prices, you first need to be entirely sure you need the extra space. Business storage can be a big decision in terms of finance and logistics, and you shouldn’t rush into it lightly.
It’s a versatile solution to many different problems, and talking it over with the service provider will be the clearest method of being sure of what they can and can’t do for you. Different storage sizes, styles and sites are available, and there are a few distinct aspects of the services provided that you should take into consideration when choosing the storage solution that best suits you.
What Can You Use Business Storage For?
You might be surprised at the many different industries that use business storage and what they use it for. Whatever the reason, though, your goods could not be in safer hands, and you’ll definitely want them out of the way and at far less risk of damage than if you kept them onsite.
When asking the question of whether or not business storage is right for you, this is the first thing to consider. This is where the benefit will come into play more obviously. With that being said, here are some of the most common uses for business storage.
Storing Important Documents
While many companies are now thinking about using cloud storage and going digital when it comes to paperwork, there are also documents that need to be kept in their original form for decades.
For example, financial records, tax documents, invoices, and receipts are required to be kept by companies for at least 7 years, which makes cloud storage impossible for most businesses. When we are talking about almost a decade of paperwork, the amount of space needed to store these documents is quite substantial.
And the truth is that bigger offices are expensive, especially if you want one in a good location. Business owners end up spending a few extra thousand every year for each office if they choose to store their paperwork in the same building.
Many startups and small business owners don’t have the budget to afford larger offices, but the paperwork needs to be stored in a safe space regardless. Storing paperwork in a climate-controlled unit is one of the ways businesses are getting additional space and cutting costs. at the same time.
Warehouse for Your Online Store
If you are running an online business, storing your products or tools in a unit might be a good idea. In some cases, a self-storage unit is preferred because it comes with more features than your home (e.g., climate control and less dust).
On top of this, you won’t have to worry about having a cluttered home again.
Vintage clothing and furniture can also benefit from being stored in a unit. Humidity and sudden temperature changes can damage wood and fabrics, but a climate-controlled self-storage service can prevent this from happening.
Security is also a concern. If word spreads around your neighbourhood that you are storing large amounts of products in your home, you might end up being robbed one day. Self-storage units are permanently under surveillance, and most of them have security guards patrolling around the clock.
If you are a service provider and you work from home, using a self-storage unit as an alternative office might be a good idea.
Sometimes it’s hard to work when your family is around the house, especially if you have children living under the same roof with you.
An office in a self-storage unit might bring you the solitude and quietness you need to perform at your best. If there is loud noise outside you may want to consider soundproofing the windows and doors at your new office. Electricity and wireless internet can be used in the unit as well, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to use your laptop.
Contrary to common belief, not all units look like a bunker without windows and light. There are storage facilities that are made specifically to be used as offices. Some self-storage companies even offer access to business centres with extra facilities.
For more tips on moving office, check our Moving Office Checklist.
Freelancers have a hard time bringing their work home.
When you work for a company, you can store all of your tools in their building, but if you are self-employed, you probably end up cluttering your garage with hammers, screwdrivers, and other tools.
Keeping everything organized in your home is often an impossible task, especially if you don’t live alone. Self-storage units are often used as a place where freelancers store their tools and work on projects.
Many video producers don’t have the budget for a big studio, and they can’t work from their homes either due to excess noise and distractions.
Instead, they opt for decorating a unit and shooting a video inside it. Since units come in different sizes, some of them are big enough to shoot YouTube videos and commercials. Just make sure you have electricity and internet access in the unit.
Restaurants Store Equipment, Furniture, Canned Foods, and Wines
Restaurants usually go through seasonal makeovers, which leads to a lot of clutter. Furniture, equipment, and decor from the previous seasons end up being stored in one place
Unfortunately, managing a restaurant is quite stressful, and clutter only makes it worse if you don’t have a spacious setting for workers.
Self-storage units are used by restaurants to store kitchen supplies, outdoor furniture used only during the warm seasons, decorations, canned food, cleaning products, and dishware.
There is also an option for restaurants that want to store their wines. It includes a climate-controlled unit, a generator in case of a power outage, and surveillance.
Temporary Business Storage and Business Centers
Businesses moving into another building or renovating their current building might benefit from storing their office furniture and equipment during the process.
Units come in different sizes, and you won’t end up paying more for a unit unless you have more items stored. In a storage unit, you can temporarily store anything from coffee machines to furniture, documents, office decor, and computer.
If you need to use the equipment during the time you renovate your old offices, you can use the conference room offered by the self-storage company.
Some storage facilities offer conference centres that come with laptops, printers, internet connections, and more.
What To Look For In A Good Storage Facility
1. Figure out what you need to store.
Before you look for business storage providers, you need to determine what your business needs to store. This lets you learn how much space you need as well as the features you need to look out for, i.e. Climate controlled and damp proof. The type of storage you need varies depending on what you are storing.
For example, if you are storing antiques, artwork, documents, or inventory needing climate control, you should look for facilities with climate control features. If you want to store a business vehicle, a facility with outside storage can do the job.
2. Consider the facility’s location.
The location and accessibility of the facility is a huge factor when deciding on a storage provider for your business as it dictates your overall business storage experience
No matter how good the deal you get on a storage unit, it will be for nothing if you factor in the additional expenses and hassle of driving across town to get particular equipment or product. If you are going to do this on a regular basis, the time and money spent driving to and fro may end up costing you more. However, if you do not need regular access to the things you are going to store, opting for a cheaper option even if the facility is not close to your office will save you more money.
3. Check the security of the facility.
When looking for a business storage provider, it is important to consider how safe and secure their storage units are. Especially if you are storing confidential documents and expensive equipment, the security and safety of your items should be your number own priority. For your peace of mind, choose a secure business storage facility with security cameras, round-the-clock alarm systems, high-grade security systems, security staff, insurance, and fire protection.
4. Look for reviews on the internet.
When you have a shortlist of possible business storage facilities, check some of the reviews of their service on the internet. Reviews are not always fair so take everything with a grain of salt. However, if you notice a recurring pattern of similar complaints, you may want to look for other storage providers. Check user reviews before visiting the facility as these comments can provide insight on what to look out for and what to ask the facility managers regarding their service.
5. Clarify late payment policies.
The payment and lien rules in many business storage facilities differ from an apartment rental. Grace periods vary across different storage providers so missing out on payment by a few days may mean late fees. You may face substantial daily fees and even eviction if not managed properly. In some cases, your storage unit may be considered abandoned and auctioned off. Make sure you know the late payment policies before you sign the deal.
There are many forms of storage ideal for businesses, but container storage is often the most popular solution – and for a good reason. Containers can be stored on-site at your business premises, meaning you have 24/7 access to your stock or equipment, without having to worry about security. Here are some reasons why container storage may be the best option for your business:
1. You can use it to run your business from
As aforementioned, storage containers have been explored for the architecture of business sites: however, not every business requires an empire of storage containers. Instead, you can purchase a single container in the size of your choice to run your business.
With some built-in walls, a lick of paint, some decoration and connection to plumbing and electrical points, you can easily create something different for your customers to admire. Think of a pop-up shop that sells coffee, cake, crafts or clothes – there’s so much you could do with a storage unit that would provide a unique space for your business. Plus, your customers would admire the effort you have gone through to create something so niche.
This method would require you to purchase your very own storage unit and find a spot of land with successful planning permission to proceed with your business. Don’t let that scare you as this could still cost less than renting a store in the city centre.2. Containers storage units can be used as a workshop space
Whether you’re a busy industrial tradesman or have turned your love for arts and crafts into a business, a space to keep your materials in one place where all your magic work will happen is essential.
Considering the idea of a workshop could be just what you need – not only will it provide you with your very own personalised space for your tools and day-to-day jobs, but it will free up space in your own home.
A shipping container has proven to be a reliable resource for this as it provides you with a secure space that doesn’t clutter up your home or garden. That means you’re free to create your very own masterpieces and can show them to the world from one contained, yet spacious storage room.
3. You can keep your stock away but close to home
No matter what your business is, it’s almost always guaranteed that you’ll have stock that needs a home. Rather than letting your stock clog up your home, a storage container could be your perfect solution and can store everything from tools to clothes. Using a container as your stock room is to keep everything in one place and organised, so it’s no good aimlessly throwing things into your container.
The motto ‘out of sight out of mind’ won’t work in your favour when you’re frantically searching for your spanner. A storage container has space so you can easily utilise it properly for stock. If you are planning on using your storage unit for inventory purposes, here are some tips you might find useful:
- Clean items before storing – If you put your items into storage covered in dust and dirt, then you’ll take them out of storage that way too. To keep your belongings in good condition, give them a good clean before storing them.
- Pack your items correctly – Make sure to find the best ways to pack your items. For example, breakable items such as vases and glasses should be wrapped in newspaper or bubble wrap for extra protection. You will also want to make sure that you use the correct packing materials for different items.
- Invest in storage insurance – Storage insurance is there to protect your belongings in case of any accidents or damage that may occur whilst in storage. This will give you peace of mind knowing that your belongings are protected.
- Organise your items with a labelling system – When packing your stock into boxes it’s easy to forget where you put them. By packing all relevant items together and labelling them, you will make it easier for yourself when you come to find an item.
- Create an inventory list for your return – When you store your items, create an inventory list of everything that is going into storage. This will make it easier for you to keep track of your belongings and know exactly what is in your storage container.
Businesses that benefit from storage units
The list below will provide you with inspiration for businesses you can actually run from a container:
- Cafe/restaurant – this kind of business could benefit from purchasing a container to trade from. This would be a quirky concept but would require a spot of land.
- Bar – a vision that has been turned into success in York –
- Salon – a lot of independent beauty therapists run their business from home or a shed in their back garden – by purchasing a storage unit you could decorate it how you like and give yourself that extra space for customers
- Photographer – your very own studio in a space designed by you
- Retail stores – Whether you are selling books, clothes, toys, or other items, a storage container can easily be turned into a warehouse for your retail shop.
- Events – events often require both small and large materials that you don’t want invading your home until the next event comes along. With a storage unit you can put these items to the back of your mind.
Transporting Your Items Into Storage
After choosing a business storage unit, you will need to decide how you will get your belongings to the facility or unit. You can move your belongings yourself if you have a truck or trailer. However, if you do not have access to a large vehicle, other options are available. Here are some of the most common ways to transport your belongings to a storage unit:
Storage Pick-up Services
Many storage companies, including the ones that offer container storage, provide pick-up services for their customers. This is a convenient option if you do not have a way to transport your belongings to the storage facility yourself. Storage pick-up services will usually charge by the hour, so it is important to get an estimate from the company before using this service.
Rent a Truck
You can rent a truck from a moving company or a rental company such as U-Haul. This option is typically more expensive than other options but is also the most convenient.
A removals company will come to your home and pick up your belongings, then transport them to your storage unit. This is a good option if you have many large or heavy items you cannot move yourself.
One thing that makes hiring a removal company an excellent idea is that they will have insurance if anything goes wrong during the move. This will protect your belongings if they are damaged or lost during transport. Moreover, because such companies have the experience and the right equipment, they can do the job quickly and efficiently.
Use a Courier Service
You can use a courier service if you have smaller items to transport to your storage unit. This is often the cheapest option but also the least convenient since you will have to package and label your belongings yourself. In addition, you will need to drop off your items at the courier service’s office, which may not be close to your home.
If you need help moving your belongings but do not want to use a full removals company, you can hire a man and van service.
This is often cheaper than hiring a removals company and can be just as convenient. Some man and van services even provide the same services as a removals company, which means they can come to your home, pack and pick up your belongings, and transport them to your storage unit.
Storage for business is a great way to keep your belongings safe and secure. It is also a convenient option if you do not have the space to store your belongings at your home or office. If you are considering using business storage, be sure to consider the above factors to ensure that you choose the best option for your needs. Thanks for reading!