Realising you need more space to effectively run your business can be both scary and exciting – in roughly equal measures. It’s exciting because it means the business is growing, but scary because getting more space can mean taking on higher overheads.
Before you rush into making decisions, take a little breathing space and consider all the options.
Types of Storage Space for Business
There are various options, all with different things to consider depending on the type of business and how much space you need:
- Warehouses – do you need vast areas of storage? Only you can decide but be aware of some of the pitfalls. On top of rental, you’re likely to have additional costs such as VAT and business rates. Given the large areas within warehouses, you could potentially share space with a fellow business owner, but make sure you consider shared obligations and liabilities, preferably having a proper contract in case things go wrong.
- Rented Offices – the world of rented office space is changing. As well as conventional offices, there are now flexible offices available which give you a similar professional environment and amenities but without the long contract to tie you down.
- Self Storage Units – convenient locations, short contracts, flexible terms and other perks like long opening hours and helpful staff on hand, make self-storage rooms attractive options for secure stock storage.
If you’ve not quite reached the stage of needing either a dedicated office or storage room, rearranging existing home storage might tide you over. Think about:
- More shelving: Are you using all your wall space as well as you could?
- Overlooked areas: Such as under the stairs or beneath kitchen cabinets. Depending on the type of things you’re storing, alcoves or nooks and crannies like this can offer a surprising amount of space.
- Furniture storage: Consider tables with drawers or shelves, chests and trunks, ottoman beds or divans. These may not necessarily help with stock storage (although they might), but they can help you rearrange personal possessions so you can clear some space for business.
Some spaces at home are not ideally suited to stock storage. These could include anywhere that might be damp or not totally pest-free or secure, such as garages or sheds. Other areas, like the loft, could be hard to get to, especially if you’re lifting heavy boxes or awkwardly shaped items.
Try not to involve friends or family if you can help it, for the sake of ongoing friendship and harmony as much as convenience.
Nearby Self Storage
As mentioned earlier, self-storage rooms are ideal for all kinds of business storage. Many business owners don’t realise how welcoming storage facilities are to professional users, thinking it’s just for personal, household use.
You can, in fact, run most of your business from a storage unit when you depend on sales of physical items. The staff will often take deliveries on your behalf if you can’t be there yourself, and if you put a table in your room you even have somewhere to pack up parcels ready for posting, instead of carrying them home to deal with.
You also won’t have any parking issues at most storage sites, and you’ll find trolleys to help with moving items.
An added benefit is the flexibility in terms. You can take a larger room at short notice if you need to, say to take advantage of overstock or seasonal fluctuations. When business is brisk, and you need to think about time management, self-storage has a lot to offer.
There’s plenty to think about when your business needs more space. Hopefully, some of the ideas here will have given you some food for thought.