The Self-Storage Revolution
Behind corrugated metal doors, a small business revolution is taking place. As high street rental prices soar, the economy struggles to recover and businesses increasingly trade online, a new trend is gripping start ups: the self-storage revolution.
A growing number of small business are setting up shop in the metal corridors of self-storage outlets, and their motivations make a lot of sense. If you’re a struggling SME or a budding entrepreneur, read on to find out why…
According to Rennie Schafer of Self Storage Association UK, one of the most appealing things about trading from a glorified metal box is its flexibility. “For businesses it’s a flexible way they can store their goods and their materials,” he explains. “They only pay for the storage they need rather than a warehouse which could be half full one day and overflowing the next.”
This, and the short notice periods associated with self-storage facilities, make them a particularly appealing option for seasonal businesses like Sent 4 U, run by Hirren Patel, who comments that: “It’s convenient. You don’t need to pay council tax, it’s all included in the rent.
“It gives you choice too. If the business isn’t performing you can give one month’s notice and move on, or you can reduce your space so it gives you nice flexibility.”
Storage companies such as Safestore even offer a business lounge with free wifi.
Ease of Expansion
Part of the flexibility offered by self-storage lies in the ease of expansion it affords business owners. If your enterprise proves successful, there is always the risk (and the hope) that it will grow quickly. If it does, it helps to know that you have the option to increase your floor space. Self-storage offers you this opportunity, with minimal stress and upheaval, and usually proves more financially viable than increasing the size of your high street premises or struggling on with too few staff.
The overheads associated with self-storage facilities are also appealing, in that they’re far lower than the overheads of running a high street business. Rental prices have soared in recent times, driving many smaller enterprises from city centres and prime retail space. Lock ups are usually located on the outskirts of towns, yet within easy travelling distance for customers and staff members. The land they’re built on is cheap, and as a result their rents are too.
Front of House Facilities
An added boon of self-storage units is that they often come with a front-of-house reception area as part of the package. This means that there is always someone on hand to accept deliveries, helping to lower the labour requirements of start-ups and save them money.
According to Mike McGuire, an employee at a self-storage facility, this is one of their main attractions for SMEs: “The main reason why small firms especially store with us is that we accept deliveries on their behalf. We sign for and take goods into the store. They [business owners] are out and about running their business and don’t waste time awaiting delivery of stock.”
No Business Rates
Perhaps the most attractive benefit of self-storage facilities is that those who run businesses out of them are not liable to pay business rates. The Valuation Office Agency places this burden on the self-storage business itself, saving its inhabitants a substantial sum each year.
If your business is struggling to get off the ground, why not consider moving it to a self-storage facility too? It could be the best decision you ever make.