When you think of business storage options, self storage units are probably not the first solution that springs to mind. Far more likely, you imagine warehouse space – perhaps even one you have built yourself out of metal building components – or maybe the garage and loft if you’re thinking about startups or small businesses on a budget.
Offering convenience, security and flexibility, self storage ticks all the boxes and, in many ways, creates growth opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist.
Secure and Hygienic
Most business owners have a huge financial investment in the stock they hold, putting security top of mind when it comes to premises.
Angel Brides, a wedding dress retailer based in Leeds, found the volume of stock needed simply wouldn’t fit into their existing retail premises. Security was a priority due to the high value of the stock, so with measures such as electronic coded access gates, CCTV and pin code entry along with secure perimeter fencing, self storage was a reassuring solution.
Wedding dresses need careful storing, where they’re protected from dirt and dust, so the individual closed rooms provided through self storage are ideal. It’s a bonus that the valuable dresses are also protected from damage caused by sunlight.
Another consideration is for those in the food industry who need hygienic surroundings for their stock. One such business is Love For Local, which supplies food and drink to independent retailers like farm shops and delis.
Security was also an issue for Fancy Footwork, a network of dance schools located across London. As well as needing storage for theatrical costumes and props, Lucy Clay found a safe and secure home for her business records behind the locked doors of self storage units.
Convenience Built In
It was the scalable nature of business self storage that first attracted Love For Local. Having rapidly outgrown their original space at home, it solved the conundrum of how to expand without overstretching.
This is arguably one of the most important factors in the benefits of self storage. A business needs to grow to stay profitable, but that growth needs to be carefully controlled. In just two years, Love For Local has expanded from a 30 square foot space to their current 150 square foot unit.
Short-term room rentals offered by companies like EZ storit and similar ones tend to make it possible as you’re never locked into a long contract so can make quick decisions to expand or contract as needs arise, without penalty. It works very well in the short term such as when Angel Brides needs temporary expansion space during exhibition season.
Long Opening Hours
Another business that’s found itself on a winning streak thanks to the flexibility and convenience of self storage is Green Bear, one of Europe’s largest producers of environmentally friendly beauty and cleaning products. The company, which sells through Amazon.com, expanded into the UK from the Netherlands in 2008 and quickly outgrew the loft and garage space offered by family and friends.
One of the biggest advantages they cite is the out of hours access their self storage company offers, enabling them to secure lucrative deals by being able to fulfil last minute orders.
Love For Local owner Toby Drought says the ability to access stock at 6am so he can get out to customer’s early has been invaluable in the company’s success. And Angel Brides owner Heidi France often needs to access her stock on a Sunday.
All the businesses appreciate the helpful staff who’ll take deliveries for them when they can’t be there, along with the availability of pallet trucks and trolleys when large deliveries arrive. There are even cardboard boxes and packing tape to buy should the need arise.
For some, self storage has provided a half way house while for others it’s become a permanent home. In today’s fast paced business environment, nimble flexibility often gives the edge that wins out against competitors stuck in more rigid conventional contracts, and self storage offers a versatile platform which businesses can mould into whatever form best suits their needs.