A Step Up for Start-Ups with Self-Storage
If you’re running a start-up, then there’s a good chance your house has become more and more cluttered since even before you launched your project. As the business comes to life, so does your living space – with all sorts of paperwork, inventory, marketing materials, and the like. At a certain point, the business outgrows the space in your home, and the most economical way to expand that space is to employ a self-storage unit.
We work with businesses of all sorts at Real Storage, but start-ups are some of our favourite clients. Their project is one that we cannot help but admire, and we love to be a resource to help them achieve the success their business deserves.
For these reasons and more, we’ve put together the following tips for start-ups, so they too can take advantage of the revolution that self-storage has supplied for small business.
You might be wondering why we even suggest self-storage for small business: wouldn’t it be more advantageous to rent an actual office? Isn’t it better to have everything in the same space, and move the working space out of one’s home at the same time?
Yes, is the short answer – of course an office with a view and loads of room for meetings, etc. is better!
It will also cost something like 4-8 times the amount at least. This is where self-storage is best utilized: as a bridge between home to office. And then even after you graduate to a proper office, the storage unit will still provide many affordable benefits for your company.
The benefits of self-storage…
For you and your family
Moving your excess paperwork, inventory, supplies, equipment, etc. into self-storage is a huge win for everyone in your household, including you. It’s always nice to not have to clear documents, packaging, and materials from your sofa to relax in the evening – especially if, like your family members, it’s not your stuff. You and your family will be grateful for removing the clutter created from operating a business out of home.
Relaxing in the evening will become, well, more relaxing.
As we stated above, moving into a self-storage unit is far more economical than moving into a full office. Unlike an office space, which typically requires long-term leases, self-storage is a far more flexible option that you can arrange for only months at a time if you would like. If your business suddenly explodes and the office move therefore happens quickly, then it’s not like you’re stuck in a contract for another year. We’re more flexible than that.
Never mind the expensive hydro bill or maintenance costs associated with renting an office space – you won’t have those either with self-storage. You’re also renting something far less sophisticated than a proper office, so, again, the rental cost itself is dramatically less than an office. This is exactly what any start-up needs to hear.
It’s a likely concern to most people who have never rented a self-storage unit before that access to their storage belongings may be difficult. It’s a fair concern, but let us rid you of it: many storage facilities have 24-hour access; if they don’t, then typically they will have access hours from 6am to 11pm, but with the opportunity to arrange 24-hour access for certain occasions. Access should really prove to not be a problem at all.
(Fins your location and their specific access hours here.)
The self-storage unit also provides another benefit here: rather than meeting clients or employees at home, the self-storage unit can provide a space to meet at that keeps your business life separate from your home life. It provides access to your clients and employees, while also not providing them with access to your personal life.
Having the peace of mind to know that your storage belongings remain under complete protection is also a great benefit of self-storage. All of Real Storage’s facilities are outfitted with state-of-the-art security systems that keep your items protected while in storage: head home to a feet-up-ready sofa, and enjoy your relaxation time without having to worry about your offsite belongings.
(For details of Real Storage’s security features, go here.)
For the right start-ups
No matter what your start-up is, there is excellent value to be renting a self-storage unit as your business expands. Decluttering the office space of documents and files, creating space for inventory storage, storing excess and old equipment – all of these are perfect to relieve yourself of their hinderance. Moreover, creating extra space at the office also affords you the room to add a new employee if required.
If you are selling items online, then a huge portion of your business will involve the inventory you are selling. Work from home, but keep your inventory offsite in storage, and you will win huge with the more relaxed space in your workplace.
(For more on inventory management, check out this article.)
When it is time to pack and ship to your customers, the self-storage unit, as well, is the perfect place to arrange all of this: pick the inventory items, pack them, and even ship them from the facility. While not all of our facilities contain a shipping service, many Real Storage complexes do have this option, which makes things only that much more convenient for any e-commerce business.
(Take a look here for a list of Real Storage locations with a FedEx shipping centre onsite.)
Real estate agents can find a huge benefit from renting a self-storage unit. If you’re a real estate agent, then you know that pretty much any time you are selling a home, you’ll likely need to stage it. This means moving out the family’s personal furniture, and replacing it with more neutral, stock furniture.
A self-storage unit cannot only house your stock furniture between stages, but it can also serve to house the family’s furniture during the staging. This not only provides storage space for your stock furniture, but adds a great value to your clients (that you can also charge them for if you would like).
(For more on self-storage and selling your home, read this article.)
Contractors and tradesmen
Tradesmen usually own a number of expensive tools, and contractors usually own even more, as well as have extra supplies and materials. Rather than attempting to jam them in your garage or basement, a self-storage unit can be an economical way to solve this storage problem.
But it doesn’t merely solve the problem, it adds more value than that. A contractor can utilize the unit as a meeting place for his or her workers.
Smaller projects can even be executed at the facility where your tools are, and then you can transport the finished product to where it is needed.
The ability to preserve unused materials from one job to repurpose them for a future job is also a great way to lower your costs, and a self-storage unit provides the ability to do this very easily.
Discuss with your self-storage provider
Now, before you do start jumping into your own self-storage unit, we certainly suggest speaking with the facility about your intent with the unit to be sure they allow what you want to do. Some facilities are stricter than others with certain things, such as allowing visitors in to meet you. If you have plans like this (or similar), then do reveal your intent ahead of time to the facility so that you avoid any issues with them afterwards.
At Real Storage, we work to make your storage projects as easy as possible. If you’re a start-up business needing additional space to grow, then speak with your Real Storage agent today to learn what will work best for your needs.