In business the ability to adapt and respond to changing circumstances, especially in periods of uncertainty, is critical.
Business premises and commercial leases are typically one of the most significant and least flexible business costs. By contrast, with no lengthy tie-in contracts and no business rates to pay, self storage can help businesses navigate uncertainty and periods of change securely and cost-effectively.
But what are the critical factors to consider in choosing the perfect business self storage provider for your needs?
Get clear on what you need to store
To work out the type of storage facility and features you need, start with getting clear on what you want to store, and how often you are likely to need access.
For example, if you are storing important documents, stock or merchandise, you will want to be sure your space is damp-proof at minimum. If you have items that are particularly vulnerable to temperature fluctuations – IT equipment, works of art or wine, for example – the availability of temperature controlled units will be important.
Conversely, for tools or large pieces of equipment you use regularly, a key factor will be proximity to parking for easy van loading. A drive-up unit may be perfect in this case, ideally perhaps with the ability to leave your vehicles in a secure business parking area overnight.
It’s an obvious one, yet easy to overlook until you’ve been making the drive regularly to pick up or drop off stuff; or perhaps simply consulting documents you’ve stored. Everything is so much easier when your storage facility is within easy travel distance.
The trouble, expense and wasted time of having to drive across town or far into the countryside quickly adds up, and will outweigh small cost savings in any headline ‘deal’ for storage.
Choosing a storage facility close to where you live or work will make a huge difference to your overall storage experience, so that it is a real asset to your working life and not a drain on time and resources.
Flexibility and Accessibility
Flexibility and accessibility are important considerations in your choice of provider, especially if you are using your storage unit as an integral part of running your business day-to-day.
You will want to be able to kit out your unit to meet your business needs, for example shelving and racks to store items neatly and safely, and perhaps a desk for occasional work. Extended, 7-day a week opening hours will make a real difference, as well as the ability to change your unit should your needs change.
Ability to Base your Business in Your Storage Unit
Maybe you’ve just taken the plunge to set up your business, but you know it simply won’t be practical to store your tools and equipment or stock at home. Or you’ve been working on your small biz successfully from home, but now your business is growing to a point that it’s beginning to take over your house.
Instead of taking on new or alternative commercial business premises, a storage unit allows you to be flexible. With a storage provider such as Clear Space Storage you have no extended commitment and can move units whenever you want. You can take on extra space as needed, to have enough stock for busy periods, or as your business continues to grow.
Alternatively, if there are lulls or periods in the year when you are not busy, you can quickly and easily downsize to a smaller unit so that you are not paying for empty storage space.
Making sure security is a priority
Whatever you need to store, whether expensive equipment, confidential documents, or simply the tools of your trade, you want to be sure they are stored safely and securely. So, when choosing a business storage facility, check that security is as high a priority for your storage provider as it is for you.
Check that the facility has proper security and fire protection measures in place. For example, security cameras and round-the-clock alarm systems, preferably linked to a central monitoring control station and the emergency services.
Additionally, in the best storage facilities, you will be supplied with a brand new cylinder lock for your individual unit, to which only you will have access to the keys.
You’ll want to see that proper safety routines are in place and operated by the staff; and, whilst you will need to have your own insurance in place for your items, ensure the provider has the necessary insurance in place for their business.
Third party reviews and personal endorsements
Before making your final decision on a storage provider, it’s a good idea to check online for reviews of the facility, in particular on third party or local area websites.
As in all areas of life, some reviewers are less fair than others in their reviews and comments so, as ever, exercise some caution over individual reviews, but if you see a pattern emerging this can be useful in either confirming your decision or suggesting it might be better to look elsewhere.
It’s also worth asking fellow members of your local business networking groups whether they have any recommendations.
Check the late payment policies
Different storage providers have different terms and conditions. Before signing the deal, make sure you know the policy regarding late payment, and what level of penalties might exist. The last thing you want is for an inadvertent late payment to incur massive penalty fees, or indeed the possibility of seizure of contents or eviction.
Choosing the Perfect Business Storage Provider
Before you make your final decision, compare several business storage providers in your area if possible. Take some time to discuss your needs with the various storage providers in your locality and see for yourself how they might meet your needs and provide a convenient and secure service within your budget.
If Shepton Mallet as a location works for you, do contact us here at Clear Space Storage. We are always happy to provide information and advice and lend a helping hand, and no-obligation quote, so that you find the right unit for your business needs.