Statistics from a number of sources suggest that there are in the region of 2.9 million home-based businesses in the UK.
On top of this, there are those who have hobby or sideline online businesses; these are the many thousands who have eBay shops or sell their goods via Amazon, ETSY, or Not on the High Street.
And then there are private sector businesses in general to consider. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy estimates there were a record 5.5 million private sector businesses at the start of 2017.
Of this, small businesses accounted for 99.3%, and 4.2 million of the total figure were non-employing businesses.
With so many small and home-based enterprises, it is not hard to understand why there is such a demand for outsourced business storage services, such as those offered by Extra Room Self Storage.
Many home-based businesses start on the kitchen table, but soon outgrow that environment! This is where self storage becomes an invaluable resource; a key reason why self storage centres are popping up throughout the country to meet such demand.
But the established, reputable self storage providers offer much more to business users than just a room and a key! We explain some of the many benefits that business storage can offer and why more than 10,000 businesses started up from a self storage unit last year.
Of course, it’s the most obvious of all the benefits of business storage. Storage space (or lack of it) is an issue for many businesses, especially those operating from home or smaller premises. If you rent an office, or any type of commercial premises for that matter, it is not always cost-effective or practical to use premium space for storage purposes.
Self storage services allow you to make the best use of space, especially if you work from home. Homeworkers have told us time and time again that by using self storage for their small businesses, they have been able to reclaim their homes – it really is quite liberating when it comes to making a home a home once again.
There are many different types of businesses that use self storage. The list is a long one, but typically some good examples include online retailers, wedding planners, tradespeople such as landscape gardeners, plumbers, builders, cleaners – in fact, any business that needs to store stock or equipment.
Other business self storage users, such as accountants, solicitors, insurers, estate agents, and IT consultants use the facilities to securely store paperwork and archive files – a great way to declutter the office.
Self storage companies have different rules about what they can and cannot store. Extra Room Self Storage has published a list of prohibited items.
Another advantage of renting self storage rooms is the flexibility they offer. For example, at Extra Room Self Storage we offer secure rooms in over 20 different sizes to suit your business needs. With units from 16 sqft. to 1,000 sqft. available, there’s bound to be the perfect size to suit your business storage needs.
With self storage, businesses can be flexible and reactive to market conditions as space can be increased and decreased as needed. At this time of year in particular, many online businesses take on an additional storage unit to cope with seasonal demand before giving it up after the busy Christmas period.
Access isn’t restricted. You are free to come and go during opening hours as you please. Extended access hours apply to many of our storage rooms, which can be handy for some businesses. These rooms are accessible 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Racking can be rented as required for storing stock and equipment or you can install your own. Having your stock stored in an orderly fashion makes it more accessible and allows you to develop your own storage system so that your business can run efficiently. It can also mean that goods are less prone to damage, which can so frequently occur when space and items are crammed together.
Security plays a big part in self storage. Using self storage services can very often be more secure than storing stock or equipment at home or onsite at your business premises. Why? For a start, at Extra Room Self Storage we have implemented robust security systems to guard against theft and fire and our rooms are humidity-controlled to provide the best conditions for storing stock and equipment.
Storage rooms are individually locked and alarmed and you have a key to your own unit. There are PIN access control systems and 24-hour CCTV surveillance onsite, 365 days of the year. Intruder alarm systems are linked to the police service. Again, these measures are probably something you won’t have at home!
So, for example, if you have an eBay shop and you store stock at home, theft can be a concern – not only distressing but very costly to your business. Your home insurance may not cover you either for stolen or damaged stock.
When you’re a one person business, there is nearly always pressure on time and resources. Many self-employed people will relate to the sometimes frustrating situation of having to stay in to accept deliveries that may (or may not) arrive within a certain time slot.
Some self storage companies will offer businesses a range of supporting services such as accepting deliveries. It’s a service we offer at Extra Room Self Storage and it really does help take the pressure off trying to be in two places at once.
We’ll even place the goods directly into your room. It means that you can concentrate on your core business activities rather than more mundane tasks such as hanging around for deliveries. We have forklifts, pallet trucks, and a range of handling equipment onsite for larger deliveries.
Affordable business self storage really does offer much more than just a bit of extra space. It can help you grow your business and ultimately become more profitable. There are so many examples of successful businesses that started from the home or garage, growing through self storage before ultimately having their own premises. Could yours be the next one? We hope so.
If you would like further details or to arrange a tour of the store, please get in touch.