Storage units aren’t just for storing holiday decorations, sports equipment, or Great Aunt Bertha’s antiques – they’re also a great resource for commercial or retail storage. If you own or operate a small business and you’re ready to graduate from storing inventory in your basement or spare bedroom, a self-storage facility can be a great option. Here are some distinct advantages and points to ponder if you’re considering using self-storage for small business inventory or retail merchandise.
Size options: With an individual storage unit, you can pay for the exact amount of space that you need. If your inventory increases or decreases, especially seasonally, you can simply scale up to a larger or smaller unit with the same storage company rather than be stuck with under-utilized space during a slow time.
General safety of the area: Warehouses are often in areas that are easily accessible for rail and truck transport, but this also means that they’re generally in areas that might get unsavory after dark if you have to drive up to pick something up or drop it off. Warehouse spaces are also often shared, meaning that other tenants could have access to your items. A self-storage facility with controlled access and one lock that only you control keeps you and your stuff safe.
Climate control options: If your products are sensitive to temperature or humidity, consider a climate-controlled storage unit. This is also important if you’re storing any additional paperwork or electronics related to your business.
Flexibility of lease terms: Warehouses often require annual leases, leaving you stuck if you need to relocate for any reason. With a storage unit, you’re free to cancel and clear out at any time, so you won’t be stuck paying for a space you no longer use.
Frequency of access: If you’re going to be visiting your storage unit on a daily basis, make sure it’s in a convenient location. See if an interior unit is an option – this can keep you out of wind and rain while transporting your inventory. If you need 24-hour access, make sure the location you’re using offers it.
If you run a product-based small business, you will eventually run into the challenge of where to store your inventory. For larger businesses, the logical step may be to rent warehouse space, but if you’re not ready for that scale, a self-storage unit may be a better way to go.