Storage units are multifunctional. Not only can they be used for your big house move or to store any additional belongings you don’t want cluttering up your house, but they can also be used for business purposes. Whether you have your own independent business or are a large corporation, you could benefit from having your very own unit.
In fact, there are probably many ways that you can use a unit for that you don’t even realise are possible. To name a few, containers have become so popular that people have used them to build their own home or business. Take a look at Spark in York. Two young entrepreneurs set out on a new business venture and have reached success by creating a quirky business from storage containers. I’m not suggesting that you go and buy hundreds of units and hire a construction team (though by all means do so if you wish), I’m simply demonstrating the extremity of a storage unit in use for business.
Carry on reading to find out exactly how you can utilise a storage unit for the benefit of your business.
1. 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. Rather, you can purchase a single container in the size of your choice to run your business from.
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. For your very own workshop
Whether you’re a busy industrial tradesman or have turned your love for arts and crafts into a business, a space to keep all of 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. To find your stock a 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. The whole purpose of 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. Follow the below steps for optimal business storage.
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. This includes:
- Washing clothes
- Polishing kitchenware and furniture
- Using disinfectant for all appliances
- Dusting and vacuuming furniture
Pack your items correctly
What’s next is to make sure you pack your stock into your chosen packing items correctly. Some examples follow:
- Hang clothes to reduce creases – if you want to pack them in a box, fold them properly. Not only will this reduce creases, but it will also save space.
- Wrap breakable items in bubble wrap and secure with sellotape. Then place these in cardboard boxes and secure with duct tape. This will reduce the possibility of any damage. Make sure to label the box as fragile too so that you remember to be careful with is when it comes to unpacking it.
- Dissemble all large items such as furniture and keep all small parts like screws together in a plastic bag. This way you will be saving space.
- Wrap your homeware items in plastic sheets and tie them shut.
- Wrap books in paper before piling them into your boxes.
- Don’t overload your boxes – if you pack too much into your boxes then they will be too heavy to lift which will make the moving in process a lot harder. Plus, there’s only so much weight a box can carry, and you certainly don’t want all your hard work going to waste by breaking a box.
- If you have any space left in your boxes, fill them with light material such as packing peanuts or tissue paper – this way, items won’t move around so much.
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.
Sort your storage unit
To make your unit even more organised, you can go beyond the labelling system by creating sections in your unit. This can be done by the following:
- Stacking similar items together
- Put shelves in your unit to separate items
Create an inventory list for your return
- So that you can keep a check of what you are putting in and taking out of your container, it’s a great idea to create an inventory list. That way, you know what you have stored in your unit and from when.
4. Examples of business that benefit from storage units
The 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 – take a look at
- Spark’s story for more information.
- 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
Most business ideas would benefit from a container unit for stock but take a look at the list below for inspiration:
- Clothing store
- Fancy dress store
- Accessories store
- Craft store
- Toy store
- Homeware store
- 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.
- Office work – paper work after paper work after paper work can be a never ending mess but with it neatly packed into a container you won’t have to worry about the clutter
- Mechanic – if an independent business, you can store your vehicle in a unit until you’re ready to work on it
- Joiners – to store items and prepare materials
5. Why storage units are so good for businesses
- Security – shipping containers are made to be secure and your items will be locked inside when you leave the site.
- 24 hour CCTV – most companies have surveillance monitors all day every day, meaning you can walk away from your belongings with peace of mind
- 24 hour manned site – most companies will have someone on site 24/7 to help you with any enquiries you might have
- Airtight – shipping containers are airtight and are more than likely installed with proper ventilation, meaning your belongings are protected from any harsh weather conditions or dust
- Lighting – shipping containers can easily be installed with lighting so that you can access and use your belongings with ease
- Electric sockets – electric sockets can also be installed which means you have power to use electrical equipment