On the face of it self storage facilities aren't the most interesting of places. Rows and rows of units, doors and shutters painted uniformly, dangling padlocks, units spanning several floors...it can seem like a desolate space.
But in reality the units come alive during the day and the number of small businesses using our self storage facilities as a base is on the rise. Some stores have reported that up to 60% of their self-storage units are now being used by small and medium sized businesses.
Small business types using self storage
Independent ebay sellers account for the largest number of our small business users and while many of us have tinkered with eBay, these individuals are doing it on a much larger scale. Allison Peters, an equestrian supplies specialist, has been storing with Safestore for 5 years now and has seen her eBay business grow as a result.
"The flexibility available at Safestore is one of the reasons my business has been so successful. During quiet periods I was able to downsize my unit (and pay for less space) and when business picked up again I could scale up. It's great to work in a space that is reactive to your needs and the costs for storage reflect how well business the is going."
Contruction firms often require additional space to securely store their tools and materials. Simon Hurst, who owns an electricians firm, recently secured a large 2-3 year deal with a client and decided to rent a Safestore self storage unit for the duration of the contract.
"When I discovered that Safestore could sign for our deliveries, renting a unit with them was a no-brainer. It means my team don't have to hang around waiting for deliveries and the items are kept safe until someone is free to collect them. The unit is great as it's on the ground floor and means we can transfer some of our larger tools in and out with no fuss. I can also access my goods 24/7, perfect for some of our super early starts."
Street Food Kitchens
Steet food is all the rage in London and almost every square in the city is now filled with incredible aromas from around the world. Every food stall owner has perfected their culinary art and the fare available rivals some restaurants! Richard Hutchinson, a street food kitchen owner and gourmet burger extraordinare, parks his food trailor in a secure holding area of one of our London stores.
"I always wanted to start my own business and run a mobile kitchen, but living in central London added a few extra challenges. I struggled to find somewhere to leave the trailor overnight because I live on a busy road in East London and only have one residents parking space. Being able to drop the trailor off every evening and not worry about security is fantastic - it also reduced my insurance costs!"
Some products or services are specifically linked to times of the year or special days, like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. Christmas is a seriously busy time for Safestore and one of our units is used by Hanif Amin who puts together corporate hampers.
"I started my business from my living room and it quickly outgrew my living space so I moved to self storage. Each year I start renting a unit in October and have everything I need for the hampers delivered to the store. When the orders start coming in I work out of my self storage unit, putting together hampers by hand which I then ship out to my customers. As soon as the season ends I sell any remaining items at a reduced cost and close the unit for another year - it's great because I'm never tied into anything long term."
Other Business Types
Our customers import and store wine (our ambient controlled units are ideal for wine!), electrical goods, beauty products and more.
Our units are perfect for accumulating goods over time before shipping bulk containers overseas.
Self storage units are great for archiving records/data and the high level security in each of our stores means confidential documents are safe with us.
Some of our storage facilities have external units, perfect for storing cars or automotive parts.
A number of our facilities are used by artists who need space to create and store their work.
Whilst our units are used for storing stock and fulfilling orders a large number of our stores have offices too. Many of these facilities come with Wi-Fi, communal kitchens and toilets - everything you need for day-to-day working. Customers can rent office space with or without a storage unit, depending on their needs.
Our in-store teams can accept deliveries on your behalf. Once signed for the goods are transferred to a secure 'goods holding unit' which can only be accessed by our staff so the goods are safe and ready for you to pick up at your convenience. However it's not just boxes we sign for - many of our stores have forklifts and our staff are trained to maneouvre pallets around the building!
‘We love being able to increase or decrease the amount of storage we need at short notice’ owner of webuyanybrands.com