Self-storage is not only an ideal solution for your average individual or family but can also work extremely well for businesses of all sizes. As the self-storage industry has evolved, so has its range of services, which can be utilized by business users to help them operate more cost-effectively. Many assume that the only business use a self-storage facility can offer is storage – the reality is that many are now offering a complete range of services such as mail-boxes, office facilities, showers and coffee/meeting rooms that can help any business on a daily basis. Some self-storage facilities even specialize solely for commercial use with purpose built storage units to meet every business need.
Self-storage is a great solution for all types and sizes of business. Whether you’re looking to store because you’re expanding too fast or want to cutback on your normal office and warehousing commitments for short periods, then you’ll probably find an answer in self-storage. It’s proved to be such a successful business logistics solution that an increasing number of businesses have cut back their office space to a bare operating minimum and are using self-storage to keep everything that isn’t needed on a daily basis in one place with easy access.
Business opt for self-storage for various reasons, the most common of which is the need to free up or to cut down on expensive office space, for use as a small-scale warehouse, distribution service or as an archive. Business users are often given preferential access to general facilities – an added advantage if you use a unit as a distribution point for stock that may need to be dispatched at short notice and at odd times. The most common uses for businesses include:
- Archiving documents, files and paperwork.
- Freeing up office space by storing items that aren’t needed on a daily basis.
- Storing office furniture and equipment.
- Storing stock, either full-time or on a seasonal basis.
- Storing office equipment and files during a move.
- As a small-scale distribution centre.
- As a store for excess stock, reps’ sales samples and display or exhibition equipment
- Storing office supplies, allowing businesses to buy in bulk and gain discounts.
Self-storage companies claim to be able to store anything, however there are certain items that they legally cannot store. It’s worthwhile checking out their individual rules before you commit to renting space.
Specialist self-storage facilities may also offer climate controlled units that are adapted for archiving so your business documents will be kept in good order and you’ll be able to access them whenever and however often you wish. You may be offered the use of purpose built archive units with ready-built shelving or storage bays or may be allowed to put in your own stacking depending on the individual self-storage facility. The use of self-storage for archiving has proved very popular across various business areas, including:
- Sales organizations
Self-storage for business works in exactly the same way as for personal use. You hire the space, transport your items over and then unpack into your unit. As business users may be storing large items or a higher volume of goods, you’ll probably find that facilities are more likely to offer you additional services such as removals and packing/unpacking rather than you having to do it yourself. Although you’ll have to pay for such services, you may be able to negotiate a discount business rate.
Discounts may also be available if you commit to a long-term rental. As with general self-storage, it’s important to check out the facility before you opt to use it. A badly maintained or poorly secured site will simply lose you money if damage is caused to the items you store. It’s also vital that you make sure that you have adequate and comprehensive insurance in place. You may be able to negotiate this with your current business insurer or via the storage facility itself.