Many small business owners, especially those who are just starting out, lack the space they need to store essential items such as supplies, inventory, and spare equipment. If you’re dealing with this problem, you may find the ideal solution in a business storage unit.
Self storage or business storage units can be used for more than just stashing away extra items – they can be a valuable yet cost-effective way to grow your operations and run the business more efficiently. In fact, commercial self-storage services are becoming more popular across a number of industries, thanks to their business-boosting benefits!
What Is Self Storage?
Self storage, also known as device storage or self-service storage, involves renting out rooms, containers, lockers, and other spaces typically on a short-term basis. Self-storage spaces are most often rented on a month-to-month lease, but there are also options for longer contracts. While individual tenants are usually associated with self storage, business storage facilities have risen in popularity for commercial purposes.
Why Do Businesses Use Self-Storage Units?
Businesses often offload excess inventory into self-storage units. They are also used to secure archived documents, store seasonal inventory such as Christmas or Halloween merchandise, and as a temporary way to house office furniture and equipment while transferring between locations. While personal renters usually store household goods, it’s prohibited to use these spaces as a residence under almost every jurisdiction.
As a Business, What Can You Expect From Self-Storage Facilities?
Some self-storage facilities make it as convenient as possible for tenants to move their possessions inside. They may offer additional services such as assistance in packing and transporting goods, or even complimentary use of a truck for first-time clients. Some also sell locks, boxes, and packaging supplies to make the process easier.
Since a lot of these stored goods have value, many storage facilities work with third-party providers to offer insurance for sale to their tenants. If you prefer, you can use your own policy to cover the items in storage or buy special coverage just for the objects specified.
Tenants have their own lock and key to access the rented space. Compared to other options such as warehouses, employees of self-storage facilities are not allowed to casually access these spaces. This benefit goes both ways – tenants enjoy greater security for their possessions, while the facility cannot be held responsible for cases of theft. Finally, self-storage facilities can only take control of any content through a lien brought about by the tenant’s failure to pay the rent.
Types of Self Storage
There are several types of self-storage facilities available today. First is self storage, which offers secure and clean spaces for personal use. These offer various features and come in a range of sizes.
Next are business storage units. Used mainly for commercial self-storage, these come in small to large sizes.
Climate-controlled self-storage units are specially designed to maintain a specific temperature range.
Finally, vehicle self-storage offers enclosed storage units and parking spaces for vehicles of all types and sizes such as RVs, cars, boats, motorcycles, and trucks.
Key Benefits of Renting a Business Storage Unit
Renting a self-storage unit can be a real asset to small businesses. The following are some major advantages that set it apart from other options:
For one, it’s an effective way to reduce clutter while keeping unused but important business items in a safe place. It’s also an excellent way to stow way seasonal merchandise or extra stocks until they’re needed.
Ensures Security for Valuables
Entrepreneurs who don’t have their own facility sometimes operate out of their own homes. This means that valuables may simply be stored around the house such as in the basement or in a supply closet. This makes these valuables open to possible damage and burglary attempts.
Fortunately, self-storage units give small business owners access to advanced security measures they may not be able to afford. Renting business storage units places their items under the protection of elements such as surveillance cameras, gated entry, exterior lighting, pass codes, authorization, security fences, limited access time, and security guards.
On top of these, such facilities are also made with fire and disaster safety in mind, so expect sturdy construction and insurance in case of untoward incidents.
Space for Extra Stocks
Does your business involve stocking hoarding products and supplies during sales, such as in retail? Self-storage units are a great way to take advantage of these opportunities without crowding your home with purchases. Better yet, you can access your storage space any time you want to take out things you might need.
If you operate your business out of your home, chances are that your equipment and tools are also within the vicinity. If your tools include potentially hazardous items such as saws, hammers, drills, and ladders, it can be a safety risk to the rest of the household. Self-storage units are a great way to keep these types of equipment out of reach of children to reduce the risk of injuries
Space for Large Items
Do you own vintage cars, recreational vehicles, canoes, ski boats, and other big-ticket items, but don’t have the space for it? Self-storage units are the answer. In response to the demand for large-item storage, many storage facilities now offer much bigger spaces to accommodate the need.
As part of their security protocol, tenants are given their own set of locks, keys, and access codes to their storage space. Almost no one else has this sensitive information, which adds an extra layer of protection to your belongings. While it’s almost impossible for anyone else to access the contents of a space, it’s an easy process for tenants themselves – use your code to get through the facility gate anytime you need.
Efficient Business Relocation
Planning to relocate your business? Transferring the contents of your office, including furniture, equipment, and tools that you don’t often use, can be an expensive process. Lighten the transportation expense by freeing up space and stashing away unnecessary office items and documents in a secure self-storage unit.
Optimized Use of Office Space
If you don’t have the budget to transfer to a bigger office yet, a self-storage unit can help you maximize your current one instead. Over time, office spaces get filled up with paperwork and unused furniture and equipment. A lot of small businesses have found that keeping these offsite is more cost-effective than wasting precious working space into storing them.
Insured for Peace of Mind
Storage facilities have insurance coverage in case of unforeseen damages from disasters, fires, and similar causes. Depending on the terms of your lease, you may be able to get reimbursed for any damages to the contents of your storage space that are covered by the insurance.
Convenient and Accessible
Finally, self-storage units are designed to be incredibly convenient to use. There are available pallet jacks and trolleys to assist tenants in moving their belongings to their storage spaces. There are typically packaging services on site and optional transport services as well. In terms of access, these storage facilities are open 24 hours every day, and all you need are your access codes to retrieve your stored items or add more.
Types of Small Businesses Using Self Storage
Self storage is an amazing solution for a wide range of industries. It’s a great option for any business looking for different types of affordable, safe, and climate-controlled spaces to house their documents, inventories, and more.
Retail and Commerce
Retail business can always use extra storage space, even if they have a physical store or sell entirely online. Self-storage units are the perfect way to store inventory, marketing materials, and supplies for trade shows without risk to the integrity of the items.
Subcontractors in the construction field don’t commonly have their own office spaces, but they still need a lot of space to store what they need for their projects. This includes supplies such as sheetrock, lumber, cement, and nails. For heavier items, storage facilities have loading docks that makes transport easier.
Like construction subcontractors, a lot of landscapers don’t own an office, but they still need a place to store tools and equipment. A business storage unit is perfect for the job, allowing landscapers to take only what they need for the project while leaving the rest behind.
Food and Beverage
Another industry that constantly deals with a lot of excess supplies, equipment, and tools is the restaurant and catering business. However, restaurants owned by small business owners need to devote as much as square footage to the dining area in order to increase profits. Therefore, they typically have enough space just for the dining lobby and a commercial kitchen.
Despite this, restaurants still have a ton of essential items that are better stored elsewhere. This includes tables and chairs for special events and banquets, spare china and glassware, and larger appliances. Stowing them away in business storage units allows the crew to access what they need for service without having to waste precious space on the rest.
Roofer contractors, especially independent ones, need power tools, adhesives, shingles, and many other supplies for the job. Without an office or warehouse, they may be forced to store these at home, risking both damage and the safety of occupants. A business storage unit provides a better alternative, with option for long-term lease if needed.
Aside from these specific industries, small business owners will find a lot of potential uses for business storage units. For instance, they’re one of the safest places to store crucial business and legal documents that are not for immediate use. Larger units also work well for machinery that are only needed occasionally.
Business Storage Units versus Mobile Trailers: Which Should You Choose for Your Small Business?
Professional industries like construction, for example, that need of commercial storage commonly turn to mobile trailers. As the name implies, mobile trailers allow contents to be transported to different locations. However, commercial storage units can be more beneficial than mobile storage for small businesses.
One reason is cost. The cost of renting a self storage monthly can be much more affordable than renting a trailer. In addition, you typically pay more in order to have the trailer delivered and when changing job sites.
Need a fully-climate controlled space for your products and records? You have to pay extra just to have this feature in a mobile trailer. Even then, not all trailers offer this capability. On the other hand, your monthly rent for a self-storage unit already includes the cost of climate control.
Opting for a mobile trailer might also restrict where you can transport your items, since not all areas allow the use of trailers under their zoning laws. Sometimes, there’s simply not enough space to accommodate a big trailer in a site.
Perhaps most importantly, commercial self storage can be much more secure than mobile trailers which are vulnerable to theft and break-ins. In contrast, business storage units are housed in facilities that employ a complete security team and an on-site property manager. Your possessions are further protected with video surveillance and pass code-access gates.
Renting a Self-Storage Unit
Once you’ve decided that a self-storage unit is right for you, the rest is easy. Begin by finding a location; many storage facilities offer several options, so it’s just a matter of finding one nearest you.
Next, reserve your unit. The most convenient way is to do it through the website or over a phone call. The facility will hold the unit for you for a certain time. During your conversation, discuss insurance, length of the lease, features, any available discounts, and other concerns.
Finally, move in. The facility will give you a move-in date and ask for valid identification upon your arrival. Afterwards, start storing and organizing your belongings inside your self-storage unit.
Before anything else, make sure to do your research to help you choose the best storage facility. Look for one with a strong reputation for trustworthiness, and spend time checking their amenities and features. A reputable self-storage facility will guarantee the security of your possessions and ensure a positive experience from start until the end of your lease.