No great business is great enough unless you’re considering the unpredictable. However, you shouldn’t just anticipate the occasional challenge, but you should also be prepared for the times when your business is thriving. As it happens, any business will require space to carry out their operations. This is where renting a self storage unit comes in handy. It helps you dedicate your main business-designated space to the important tasks, while some of your inventory and a range of other items can go their separate way into storage.
But still, how can you use self storage for your business? And which types of businesses are most likely to benefit from using self storage for commercial purposes?
Let’s see why getting self storage is a good idea for business owners.
1. Entrepreneurs Can Make the Most of Their Work Space
Every business owner has experienced it: your work space becomes too small for your expanding business. There simply isn’t room enough for all the inventory and all the business byproducts. If you’re a small business operating from home, it’s not unusual for work to spill into areas of your home such as the garage or the living room. Entrepreneurs or small business owners can use the extra space provided by a storage unit to store some of the merchandise associated with their business. If they decided to set up their office inside their home, they can put the previous contents of that room in self storage. This is where using self storage can help, by offering space for a business to spread out while other items are kept safe elsewhere. Self storage can become truly essential for many types of businesses, especially because it can help free up workspace, whether it’s a leased space or a private home.
2. Legal and Medical Professionals Can Easily Keep Files and Records Outside the Office
Unless one goes fully digital, having a business entails large amounts of paperwork which tends to pile up fast. You might rely on filing cabinets at first, but with drawers stuffed with increasing amounts of paper they can multiply and gradually start to take over your valuable work space. Think about moving them into self storage. Your stacks of financial records, invoices and tax documents can find their spot in mini storage units equipped with the climate-control necessary to protect important documents.
Many professionals, including legal and medical employees are still required to keep hard copies for legal reasons. For example, if you have your own practice and office space is limited, storing your files away creates more space for you and ensures document security
3. Retailers Can Get a Handle on Surplus Supply
If you’re a retailer operating a brick and mortar store you can also benefit from the perks of self storage. Oftentimes, it becomes difficult to keep your inventory under control with the change of seasons. Counting on that extra back pocket to store extra merchandise can help you better manage your day-to-day operations, by offering temporary storage for items that either don’t fit on the shelves or need to wait to be displayed later.
Businesses can better prepare for the seasonal sales by acquiring merchandise in advance. Summer clearances, typically taking place in late July and August, can be tackled much earlier by buying stock in advance and keeping it in storage. With a quick trip to your storage unit, you can ensure your store is well stocked as items start flying off the shelves. Or, as a business, you can purchase clearance stock which you can later sell at a regular price with strategic buying.
Depending on your location, you should consider climate-controlled units to help protect your merchandise. For example, a Texas retailer boutique owner could rent a climate-controlled unit in Houston in order to store their merchandise in a low-humidity space. On the other hand, a boutique owner living in Wisconsin could look into getting a climate-controlled unit in Milwaukee during the winter, as below-freezing temperatures are not merchandise-friendly.
For specialty businesses such as carpet retailers it is worth your while to keep a few samples on the premises of your store, while the bulk of your merchandise can safely sit inside a storage unit ready to ship as needed. Similarly, utility stores can take advantage of container storage to keep some of their stock outside the store. As sledges, gloves and snow shovels will sell at a higher markup during winter, it is sensible to put them into storage as opposed to selling them for a reduced price in the summer. Make the most of your investment using the same strategy for fair-weather merchandise such as gardening tools, barbeques and summer sporting equipment.
4. Blue Collar Businesses Increase Workflow With Bulky Equipment in Storage
Mechanics, landscapers and construction contractors routinely use heavy equipment that’s quick to take up a lot of space. Many of these businesses do not come with an office, but they still need to store all their hardware. Using a self storage unit is the perfect solution to keep supplies in a convenient and secure location. As is often the case, not all equipment is necessary for every job. Additional inventory such as power tools, shingles, adhesives and paint sprayers can be put into storage. You should check with the facility manager about which industry-related items can’t be kept in a storage unit.
Rent a storage unit that is closely located to your work site, to save yourself and your employees driving time — something that many contractors are looking for. “We typically will have a storage unit for 3-6 months depending on the job duration. The advantage to us is, we can keep job materials in a safe location that is near our job site. Additionally, we can give contractors access so they can pick up the materials they need for their specific trade,” says Colby Hager, owner of Capstone Homebuyers, a family-owned business offering real estate solutions to homeowners.
Not only is keeping extra inventory and construction materials in storage convenient, but it also ensures their safety. According to Hager, “Self storage offered us the flexibility of being located near our ever-changing job locations, we have a low fear of theft, it saved our employees and contractors from using valuable time driving to a location that would often be inconvenient.” Many storage facilities feature electronic gate access, video monitoring and also onsite management.
Another perk of using self storage is that surplus material can be stored for later projects, ready to be used at the earliest convenience. “If our customer has an emergency project that we need to jump on, we can do so, knowing our equipment is a few minutes from the site, instead of a few hours,” says Jeff Neal, an estimator for Capital Coating, an epoxy flooring contractor. According to Jeff, “having these satellite storage units for our floor grinders, epoxy mixer drums, and broadcast media makes a big difference in the service we can offer our customers.”
The advantages of using a storage unit also extend to landscaping, a growing industry that also uses large equipment. Commercial storage units can come in handy in this context as they offer considerably more extra space. Consider finding a storage facility that includes drive-up access, allowing you to make easy drop-offs and pickups.
5. Short-Term Storage: Realtors, Home Decorators and Relocating Businesses Use it
Whether you’re a home decorator, a staging company or a realtor, you’re in industries that require fluid amounts of storage space. Using a storage unit offers you the right solution to temporarily store the items adjacent to your business, such as various types of furniture needed to stage a house for sale in order to make it more appealing. In storage, they can stay clean and undamaged, especially if you opt for a climate-controlled unit.
Renovating or relocating are also times when businesses can enjoy the benefits of storage units as they can temporarily store their stock and a range of other items during the process. Select a storage facility that offers moving truck services for convenience. With various businesses come various needs, so you might want to store diverse items such as desktop computers, file cabinets and documents, cubicle dividers and break room appliances. In the unfortunate event of a fire or storm, you can safely store your business-related items in a storage unit until you can begin carrying out your business as usual again. Whatever you can’t put to use, leave in dumpsters, and the rest recycle, reuse, or repurpose.
6. Crafters and Ecommerce Businesses Can Expedite Handling and Delivery of Their Products
Ecommerce business owners can equally benefit from self storage services to help sustain their day-to-day operations. Think of your storage unit as a command center for your merchandise. You can easily pick up and drop off inventory. Whether it’s canvas, epoxy resin or molding clay, many artisans or crafters use a storage unit to keep either their materials or their finished products prior to delivering them to clients. Partnering with courier companies can significantly aid in streamlining door-to-door service, increasing your delivery efficiency. Many businesses can thus boast a same-day or next-day delivery.
7. Pharmaceutical Representatives Can Safely Store Specialty Items
Pharmaceutical representatives also utilize temperature-sensitive stocking samples which require a temperature-controlled environment. Additionally, storing all the promotional material at home can quickly take over your garage or the back seat of your car. Renting a storage unit can help you stay organized as you handle client calls.
These are just a few examples showing how self storage can be a massive boon to small businesses. Do you run a small business that we haven’t covered here? If so, let us know how self storage has benefited your business in the comments section below.