Self-storage is changing, and in ways that can help your small business.
Self-storage companies have traditionally been associated with individuals and families looking for a temporary place to store their stuff. But in the last decade, the self-storage industry has been going through an evolution, offering a wide range of services to help utilized by businesses operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. Thus, self-storage is a fine solution for all types and sizes of business. Whether you need a place to store your business equipment, furniture and other items because you’re expanding quickly, you want to cut back on your normal office and warehousing commitments, or you have equipment that you can’t store on your property due to zoning laws, you’ll find a solution in self-storage.
Self-Storage Companies Are Targeting Business Owners
Many self-storage facilities are now offering a full range of services such as mail-boxes, office facilities, meeting rooms, and even pick up and delivery. Some self storage companies reserve of the storage units specifically for business use. This is usually done in order to offer lower prices on longer contracts compared to the month-to-month agreement.
Moreover, business customers are often given preferred access to general facilities, which can be a big plus if you intend to use a unit as a distribution point for stock. Many storage companies offer additional security as well as climate-controlled units.
How Your Small Business Can Take Advantage of Local Self Storage Facilities
Although running a business from a storage unit may strike you as odd, it’s actually very similar in practice to using the services of a virtual office space. Self-storage units tend to be affordable, running you from $0.75 to $1.50 per square foot depending on type of storage. A handy reality is that most storage units are leased on a month-to-month basis, which means you don’t have to worry about locking yourself into a long-term contract. On the other hand, if you find yourself needing more space you can request an additional unit on the spot.
Most self-storage facilities also accept deliveries. This service alone can save your business a significant amount of time and money and can turn your unit into a small-scale warehouse or. In addition, zoning laws and the risk of theft often make the option of storing vehicles and equipment in a self-storage unit attractive.
Flexible, auxiliary storage can allow you to double double the inventory that you can carry during your busiest times or to acquire space for archived documents, seasonal equipment, and other supplies you don’t access on a daily basis. What about having a space to build a showroom for prospective customers?
For example, a landscaping company in Virginia could use a storage unit to house their machinery when it’s not in use. A retail shop in Florida, can search for a local facility with climate control during the off-season months without worrying about goods being damaged by the heat or humidity… a carpenter could use a storage unit as a showroom for certain decorative furnishings and setups.
Before Choosing A Self-storage Facility for Your Business
If you’re considering using a storage unit for your business, remember that not all storage facilities are created equal. Property features and quality of a storage facility vary significantly from location to location. Here are some things to factor when choosing a storage company:
- Are certain items that the self-storage company cannot legally store?
- How well is the facility maintained and secured? Could your items be at risk?
- What are the access hours? You want to make sure the storage facilities access hours meet your needs.
- If you are storing merchandise that is sensitive to temperature or humidity, pick climate-controlled storage. Ideally, these will have thermostat-controlled heating and air conditioning, as well as back-ups for power outages. I wouldn’t take chances here when deciding whether or not your merchandise is sensitive to humidity, moisture, etc. or if you can get away with storing sensitive materials for just a few days.
- If you will be receiving bulk deliveries on pallets, make sure the property will accomodate a semi trailer.
- Does the self-storage facility offer a delivery service? Will the storage manager sign for a delivery from UPS or Fed Ex?
In short, your local self-storage facility make actually make a great business partner. If you are need of some of the features mentioned above, it probably pays to make some inquiries.