Running a Business From a Self Storage Facility
Running a startup can be extremely difficult, especially in the beginning when you need to keep the costs at the very minimum. Growing your business, however, usually requires you to move to an office, which can be quite a substantial investment. But what if there was a much cheaper alternative, the one that goes by the “low risk, high reward” slogan?
Think self storage.
Most people usually associate self storage with relocation, or with storing surplus possessions. Yet in the last five years, there’s a steady increase in the commercial use of self-storage facilities, which made the self-storage industry expand their services and offer something other than traditional storage space. Today, these facilities are more than suitable for a wide range of businesses.
Before we dive in, you might also want to know how to Health Proof your Office.
Plan the Costs
When choosing an office, besides rent you need to consider costs like heating, electricity bills and internet connection. If you’re going for the self-storage option, you should know that some facilities offer high-speed internet, printing services, or even boarding rooms and dining areas. Lighting and heating could also be included in the rent, so it’s important that you know what you’re getting for your money. If you compare the operating costs of a regular office and the one you’d get in a storage facility, you’ll see that the running costs of a self-storage office are about half the price of a regular one. And that money you’d save can be invested in your business expansion.
Furnish Your “Self Storage” Office
When considering what you’ll need in your office, you should probably always start from the bare minimum. When choosing the desks, consider your needs vs the costs and go with whichever option is more suitable for you. You should always organize your office in such a way that it’s easy and fast to move about. Having an office in a storage facility also offers two perks that are hard to match when it comes to office equipment.
- Depending on your needs, you can always opt to upsize or downsize your self-storage unit. Whether you’re expanding or trying to cut the costs, you can always pay for just what you need. And this applies to your furniture as well. You can actually have your self storage built to perfectly fit the needs of your furniture.
- You have stuff that you need, but you don’t use very often? Well, you can have your extra stuff stored in a completely different storage unit, where it’s easily accessible but doesn’t affect the look of your office.
Equip Your Office
Every business today needs to stay connected, so a stable internet connection is a must. We mentioned that some facilities will have a WI-FI option included, but you need to check if it can support your business, and if not – get a better deal.
If there’s no printing service available in your facility, you’ll need a printer and a scanner. Yes, we’re living in a digital age, but having a stationery is still vital for running a successful business.
If you’re not going to be exposed to natural light, you need to invest in an optimal lighting system. Having a quality lighting also increases productivity, since the eyes don’t tire as much.
Make an Impression
You may be thinking how having a storage unit for your office will affect your potential clients, but you need to think outside the box here. Some self storage facilities have evolved to a point where they have completely separate areas for their office space, with reception and parking areas, all in order to make it feel less like a storage facility and more like a shared business center. So don’t say goodbye to your business cards just yet, because you might just be proud to give them out and have your clients visit you in your office.
Check Your Facility for Security
Most of the reputable storage facilities will offer a full security package to protect your business, but you need to know about it before you make your choice. You’ll want your facility to be covered with CCTV cameras and have intruder alarms in place. Fire protection is also an important thing to check, as you’ll want the facility to adhere to the standards for the fire protection of storage facilities. Also, make sure that the storage facility offers insurance for your items while on site, and if yes, do you have to pay an additional fee for it.
Decorate Your “Self Storage” Office
We already talked about the impression you need to leave on your clients, and decorating your office is a huge part of it. The last thing you want when a new client walks in is for them to feel like they’re in a self-storage unit. It can be an amazing reveal though if your office looks excellent.
It’s imperative that your interior design fits the brand it’s representing. For example, if you’re an SEO startup, you don’t want antique, wooden furniture in your office. Leave that to the law firms.
You’re Sticking With the Traditional Office
If you’re completely satisfied with your old office and just want to free some space, you can still use self storage units to store some of your unnecessary stuff. Most companies will come to pick up your possessions, pack them into mobile storage units, and drive them to a safe location (or if you choose so, even your front yard). It’s a good choice to store the extra furniture, desktop computers, or anything that might be waiting for an expansion of your business.
You might also be interested in Tax Deductions for Freelancers.
In today’s world competition isn’t getting any smaller and every business owner should participate in the race to stay relevant. Cutting your running costs by half can just as easily keep you in that race, and we’ve already covered multiple unique perks of having an office set up in a storage facility. While many business owners opt towards self-storage offices as a permanent solution, you can just as well use it temporarily if it fits you better. If you make sure you check all the boxes from this guide, we’re certain that you’ll be satisfied with everything that self-storage office has to offer.