There are numerous reasons why businesses rent storage units. This is because they have a space requirement, and this cannot be fulfilled at their premises. Or if they work from their Home Office, self storage becomes a convenient and flexible solution for their business storage needs.
But there are several things that should be considered before renting a storage unit for business purposes. This article looks at some of the things that should be considered prior to renting a storage unit.
Size of the Storage Unit
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when renting a storage unit is underestimating the size they need. Depending on what they are storing and why, will determine the size of storage units required.
For example, if you have an e-commerce business and you want to use the unit for picking and packing your stock to send out to customers, you will require this to be well organised and in excellent order. This will involve shelving. Therefore, you need to calculate the space requirements based on how much shelf space you require. Also, circulation space in order to be able to easily pick and pack the various stock items.
Another consideration when shelving a storage unit is the height of the unit. It is all well and good having a unit with a massive head height but if this is being shelved then your staff need to be able to reach the top shelves easily. You do not want this to become a health and safety issue with staff teetering on ladders to try and reach items and potentially having an accident.
Therefore, calculating how many shells you can fit into the unit and the circulation space, to comfortably be able to work when picking and packing is essential.
Does your business need additional space for palletized storage? Considerations will include the width of the corridors, in order to move pallets along them. Also, does the unit have double doors or a roller shutter door to enable easy access to roll the pallet into the unit? Generally, a single door in a self storage facility will not facilitate access for a pallet.
Also, can pallets be moved around within your storage unit so you can access them? Another important consideration is looking at the quality of the floor of the self storage facility. If these are rough, this may cause problems with rolling pallet trucks across them. If they are made of wood, then you must consider the load-bearing capacity of the floor. Also, the load-bearing capacity of any lift you may use. In some cases, the loads you are trying to store may be over and above the capacity of the lift and the floor, if this is not concrete.
Another use for storage for many companies, particularly professional organisations that are required to keep their records for a period of time, is archive storage.
Often solicitors, accountants and other organisations use self storage as a simple solution to keep their records. In many cases they will not need to access this paperwork but will have a legal requirement to keep these records for a number of years. However, if you are renting a storage room for these purposes, then it is essential that all the records are catalogued and easily found if required. It is often the case that archive files go into storage and are not required for many years. But you do not want to find yourself having to rake through boxes of files in order to find one document or one piece of paper. Therefore, having these organised and a record of your cataloguing system is essential.
Many businesses, particularly shops will have peaks and troughs to their trading year. Christmas is the busiest time for retailers and in many cases, they have a requirement for additional space for a few months leading up to the festive season. Self storage provides a convenient solution to this short-term requirement. However, considerations include access to the unit and access hours, as well as how the unit is organised to ensure you can get to the stock you require easily.
Storage units are often rented for short-term distribution requirements. An example of this is when the Yellow Pages is published each year. Storage units are rented and then the various distributors can access the unit, to load and distribute the new directories over a period of a few weeks or months. This applies to any type of distribution that is required locally Due to the flexible terms storage rooms can be rented, this provides the ideal solution for distribution companies.
Working from Home
Many people who work from home, whether this be trades or office based, find self storage incredibly useful, rather than using their home as a place to keep work related equipment or paperwork. Many tradesmen keep stock and tools in self storage facilities. They come and go every day to pick them up and drop items off.
One of the main considerations if you are using self storage on such a regular basis, is the location of your unit within the facility. You do not want to have a unit on an upper floor or at the other end of the building if you are accessing it every day, to pick up tools and materials. This needs to be located near a door to enable you to load and unload easily. If the storage facility has drive-up storage this is even more convenient.
You may be running an internet-based business from your home, where you are selling various stock. Many of these businesses start with storing stock in your home or garage. But as your business grows, the stock often starts to take over your home. Self storage is a great way of being able to get your home back and move your stock into some flexible space that can grow as your business grows.
Whatever your reason for storing it is essential that you check on the security provisions for the storage facility you are using. Whatever you are storing it is essential for your business and you do not want to find that there are ever any problems in terms of security and break-ins. The minimum requirement would be intruder alarm and CCTV, but also ask about external monitoring.
Cost of the Storage Unit
Probably one of the most important considerations is the cost of your storage unit. When you are looking around and getting prices always ask whether there is a Manager’s Special or promotion that the storage company is offering at that time. Invariably there will be. Also, as you are potentially a long-term renter, you should be able to negotiate a far better rate than the one you are initially quoted.
Storage businesses generally offer a discount for a period of time when you move in, but they also offer discounts for prepayment. For example, for a 6-month or 12-month period. This may be beneficial to you if your business can afford to pay up front. It is always worth asking. If the storage business has lots of vacant space, then they are likely to be more flexible on the price.
Whatever your storage requirement for your business is, it is worth spending some time doing your homework. Self storage is a great resource to help in the growth of your business due to its flexibility. But also getting the right self storage unit, in the right location, at the right price is critical and can be a benefit or burden if you get this wrong.
Stop and Store Fareham offer self storage units from lockers to 200 sq ft in the heart of Fareham.