No matter how big or small your business is, paperwork is impossible to escape. But once you’ve got more than a shelf or two of receipts, invoices or letters, it can become more difficult to maintain a practical filing system that doesn’t take up valuable space in the office.
Archive storage is the ideal solution to managing data without becoming overwhelmed by paperwork.
What Is Archive Storage?
An archive is ‘a collection of historical documents or records providing information about a place, institution, or group of people’. Business documents might include financial statements, personnel documentation, written or photographic records of important events. Businesses are required, by law, to keep some documents for a certain number of years or even decades. A decades’ worth of business information could take up an entire room or floor of your business premises.
Archive storage at a self storage facility is a great solution for keeping business information safe and secure. Renting business storage can also give you and your colleagues back some much-needed desk space.
Why Do I Need Business Storage?
A tidy workplace can help to promote better productivity in the office. Staff who are surrounded by files, paperwork, or clutter may be less efficient, and a messy workplace is not conducive to a happy workforce.
Even if you once started off with a tidy filing system, as pressures mount, it can be easy for standards to slip. It is not uncommon to find paperwork creeping onto desks and other surfaces, and any hopes you had of maintaining a filing system may fall by the wayside.
Careful organisation reflects a careful, well-managed company who takes the business requirements of staff and clients carefully. Carefully ordering your paperwork into files, boxes, and cabinets can reduce any stress you may be feeling about maintaining professional standards.
Moving an archive to a budget storage unit may give you back a significant amount of office space at a reasonable price. This newfound space could be used as a breakout area, a staff relaxation zone, or even become a home for sports equipment to boost staff well-being.
What Do I Need to Do?
If your documents are already organised, you can easily decide on an appropriately sized storage unit using an online space calculator such as the one available through Stop and Store. If you’ll require regular access to your documents, you will need to allow extra space for walkways between your boxes or filing cabinets. You may be able to save money by paying for a longer period of storage upfront, or by speaking to the manager about any special deals that are available.
If your documents are a little more muddled, set aside some time to begin organising them. It is never too late to get your business records up-to-date and categorised, and a move to a storage unit could be the nudge you need to regain control of your paperwork. Once your documents are ordered, you will have a better idea of how much storage space you will require.
What Should I Look For?
When searching for business storage, you want a convenient storage solution that won’t cost the earth. If you likely need to retrieve a document unexpectedly, be sure to look at storage facilities that are open seven days a week. You may even want to consider units that offer 24-hour access using a PIN code or swipe card.
Business documentation is essential to your livelihood, and you want to be sure that your documents will be safe. Enquire about defences against fire, flood, damp, or rodents, to ensure the risk of damage is minimised. A climate-controlled unit may help to protect paperwork from damp or extreme heat.
Similarly, security systems should be in place to prevent break-ins or theft. The presence of CCTV and alarms may help to put your mind at ease. A business storage centre may have a better security system than your workplace, and so moving paperwork to a storage rental can be a very smart move.
How to Make the Most of Storage
Before moving your boxes or files into storage, take time to plan exactly how you want your storage unit to work for you.
If your unit will be a working part of your business, rather than simply a holding room, you may wish to install metal shelving, filing cabinets, or bookcases to make accessing documents easier. Before move-in day, draw up a plan or map of where you envisage each unit being placed.
When you move your records and paperwork in, annotate your map so that you know exactly where to find invoices, quotes, or tax returns, for example. Having a map will make it much quicker to retrieve the information you require on each visit. If required, bring labels to make it clear which documents are on each shelf, or in each drawer or box.
Some self storage facilities rent out storage containers including plastic storage boxes for business items. Renting containers can be a more cost-effective way of storing important information. If the storage unit you choose has a packing room or sells packing supplies, ask about what they can do to make storage even easier for you.
Although archive storage might be your priority, it can also be useful to use your storage unit for equipment or office furniture that is not currently required. This can free up even more space in the workplace, leaving a minimalist or uncluttered environment for both you and your co-workers.
Stop and Store Fareham
At Stop and Store in Fareham, we are pleased to offer storage for businesses in Portchester and Titchfield and the surrounding areas. Storage units can be booked online or over the phone, and we welcome visits to our storage facility prior to committing to a rental period.
Whether you require a 12 or a 200 square foot unit, we can offer space for archive storage for businesses of all sizes.
Call us today to discuss your business needs or to find out more about our storage solutions.