HOW TO MAKE STORAGE WORK

Standfirst: Any start-up will need to store stuff – whether it’s equipment or goods. Here are the best storage options for you.

More and more start-ups are making use of self-storage. It’s simple, effective and affordable. The market is growing but with so many options to choose from how do you select the best option for your needs?

The self-storage market is growing and there are more and more businesses offering flexible storage options for companies of all sizes. As a result, it is easier to find a flexible and affordable option which works well for you and your enterprise.

Self-storage offers a number of benefits for start-ups:

  • Flexible contacts: These allow you to use as much or as little storage as you like. You can upsize and downsize relatively quickly.
  • No notice period: You’re not locked into a costly contract which could see you paying for more space than you actually need. Overheads are driven down and you can cancel or change a contract whenever you like.
  • Better security: Self-storage providers are now offering better security with plenty of people on site and CCTV. They have 24-hour access meaning you can get to your goods whenever you like.
  • Easier to take deliveries: Flexibility over deliveries is growing and it’s now easier for even smaller start-ups to take larger deliveries.
  • No business rates to pay: Overall running costs for your business are driven down.
  • VAT: You can claim this back.
  • Secure services: Self-storage companies can receive and dispatch services in a way which works well for your enterprise.

The self-storage market is also growing and developing rapidly. In particular, the market has seen a number of exciting and innovative start-ups entering the marketplace. They offer services which are more effectively tailored around the needs of clients. They can be more flexible about space and access, allowing clients to change their requirements and use their services as and when they are needed.

Such a busy marketplace, though, makes it difficult to choose between them. Make the wrong choice here and you could be counting the cost for some time.

ADOPTING THE RIGHT STRATEGY

As with any other part of your business you should think about your requirements and tailor a strategy to suit. Ask yourself these questions:

  • How much space do you need? Do you have a lot of stock and will you need a place to store it for a prolonged period of time? Do you have marketing collateral, such as banners, which you use at conferences and shows. You might only need these once or twice a year but it’s good to have somewhere to store them.
  • How flexible are your needs? How variable are your storage requirements? For example, will there be peaks and troughs – times when you need a large amount of storage and others when you won’t need so much?
  • What about the future? As a growing business, you may expect rapid growth in which case your storage needs could potentially rise rapidly. Equally, though, it’s difficult to be certain, so you need the flexibility to change your storage capacity as and when you need it.

If you’re a seasonal business with fluctuating storage needs you may want the capacity to add and subtract storage capacity.

  • How secure is it? Last but not least, how secure are the facilities? It is tempting to assume all self-storage companies offer the same level of security, but that’s not always the case. Some offer cheaper deals and the way they do this is to cut corners on security.

Find out what security measures are in place such as CCTV and on-site security guards. Is it fenced and is the property secure? How are the security containers sealed and are their alarm systems installed throughout the building?

It’s good to know, not just for your piece of mind, but also for your insurance company. They need to know where your goods are stored and how safe they are. Storing in a cheaper facility which doesn’t have a good track record on security, might push your insurance premium up.

Self-storage is one of those details that many entrepreneurs don’t think about. Your focus will naturally be on growing your business and driving it forward. However, it’s worth doing a bit of research. The right storage partner will offer more flexible services and a better value for money. In a business environment in which start-ups operate on fine margins, every little factor can make a big difference.