15 businesses you can run using a storage unit

15 businesses you can run using a storage unit

Why base your business in a storage unit?

Perhaps you’ve just set up your business and know that storing your stock, tools and equipment at home simply isn’t going to be practical. Or maybe your business was doing well, based from home, but is now growing to such a degree that it’s taking over your whole house and you need more space.

If either of these scenarios applies to you, you may be looking at alternative premises for your business stock and paraphernalia. Commercial leases can be costly, though, and don’t take account of the fact that income can fluctuate massively from month to month for SMEs and start-ups — come what may, you’ll have to pay rent and bills on premises that might, in any given month, be larger than you really need. 

Let’s say you sell clothing on eBay — you know that some months (typically at the beginning of a new season) are busier than others. During those busy periods, you need a lot more space and have the extra income to pay your bills. During lulls, though, you may end up paying for empty storage space you don’t really need. Flexible self storage units may be the ideal solution for your business storage needs.
 

Benefits of basing your business in a storage unit 

Choosing to base your business from a storage unit allows you to be flexible: you can increase or decrease the size of your unit so that you’ll only pay for what you need, and you can keep your unit for just a week or for as long as you need — there are no lengthy tie-in contracts involved and no business rates to pay. 

Modern storage units are clean, secure, manned by helpful staff and the buildings are covered by CCTV. 
 

15 Businesses that may suit working from a storage unit

These businesses may suit working out of a storage unit but do double-check with your local self storage facility as not all may be able to accommodate these businesses.

1. eBay and Amazon sellers - whatever you sell (as long as it's not a prohibited item), you can store it in your storage unit. Clothing, books, sporting goods, toys and games can all be stored perfectly safely in your self storage unit ready to pack up and deliver to your customers. 

2. Online retailers - if you’re an independent online retailer, you can use one of our self storage units to store all of your stock, have space to get your orders ready and post them out to your customers without delay. 

3. Etsy sellers - maybe your craft hobby has attracted a lot of attention and you’re ready to mass-produce your products. A storage unit will give you somewhere to store your equipment and the components for your craft, and we can provide shelving to help you organise it all.

4. Vintage clothing/furniture sales - if you take your products to fairs, car boot sales and auctions to sell, keep your stock in your storage unit rather than trying to find space for everything at home.

5. Catalogue sellers - whether you sell Tupperware, beauty products, health supplements or household cleaning products, keep your samples and deliveries safe in one of our storage units ready to deliver to your customers. Many of our stores can accept deliveries to the store for you, so you won’t have to wait in for them to arrive.

6. Charities - store donated stock to be sold in your stores and keep records there to monitor stock flow, Gift Aid receipts and turnover. 

7. Fundraisers - store marketing equipment, raffle prizes and donations, and have a professional address from which to communicate with potential sponsors.

8. Heating engineers - keep your spare parts for boilers and ovens somewhere easily accessible. Our stores are all located close to major road and/or railway networks (many are available 24 hours a day, all year round) so you can collect any parts you don’t have in your van for customers who may need emergency repairs outside normal working hours. 

9. Car spares retailers - you’ll need somewhere dry to keep your goods, and plenty of room for larger spares. As long as there’s no fuel or flammable materials, you can store your spare parts in one of our storage units, and increase or decrease the size of your unit as stock levels fluctuate.

Read more about Redline Components who store and distribute Lotus Seven car parts from one of our stores.

10. (Pop up) Uniform Shop - use it to store, sell and swap second hand uniforms. Fit it out with some clothes rails and racking for an instant pop-up shop. You can keep your unit for a week or however long you need, so you can keep it going as an ongoing resource for your school, or just at the end of the holidays to help people get organised for the new term.

11. Fashion designers - your storage unit will have plenty of space to store your materials. You could set up a cutting table and mannequins for when you’re ready to assemble your designs.

12. Gift card makers - keep everything you need to make them in your clean, dry storage unit.

13. Event organisers - if you organise events around the region or nationwide, you can keep all your advertising equipment and props etc in one central location (we have 125 stores around the country to choose from).

14. Market stall holders - keep your stock safe in your storage unit, and keep on top of your paperwork by keeping records of your sales, purchases and turnover in your unit or in one of our dedicated archive storage units.

15. Sports club organisers - if you run after-school or breakfast sports clubs, use a storage unit in a central location to store your equipment. Many of our stores can be accessed 24 hours a day, so you’ll be able to retrieve your sports gear early enough to get to school on time! 
 

What you’ll need to run your business from a storage unit

There are a couple of things you might need to bring to your unit when setting it up.

1. Furniture
  • Depending on the size of your unit and how much you plan to store, you might have room to fit it out with some basic office furniture as well as your stock and equipment. You could use it as a base to catch up with a bit of paperwork or to double-check the details of orders you’re sending out. 
  • You could also set up a table for packaging up orders and printing out order labels (see 2, below). Our stores are all DHL pickup points, so you can easily send your parcels out for delivery direct from the store, or you can make your own arrangements — whichever best suits you. 
  • Shelving and racks can be added to your unit to make the most of your space and make it even easier to access everything you need. If you’re thinking of reserving a unit, call and find out what shelving or racks are available at the stores nearest you.
  • We also recommend that you have a look at our range of boxes and packaging to help you to keep your belongings organised and easy to access in your storage unit. 
2. Electronics
  • If you need to keep in touch with your office or check on orders when visiting your unit, some of our stores offer free WiFi. Otherwise, you may find it helpful to use your mobile’s WiFi hotspot to access emails and the internet. 
  • Our units are not fitted with electrical sockets, so make sure that if you plan to use your laptop or phone whilst in your unit that you charge the batteries beforehand. 
  • Your laptop’s battery can power other equipment such as label printers or speakers so you can listen to some music while you load or unload your unit!
 

Need a bit more time for calls/paperwork/emails?

Some of our stores also have office space to rent on site, so you can use dedicated, comfortable office space for doing your paperwork, sending emails and making calls, and your storage unit for your stock will be right where you need it. Those offices are unfurnished to keep the cost low, and so you can kit them out to suit your business.
 

Why Safestore?

Our friendly teams are on hand at all of our stores to help. At many of our stores, they can even accept deliveries on your behalf, so you’re not tied to having to stay with your unit all day, every day. Units at several of our stores can be accessed 24 hours a day, so you’ll always be able to access your business’s stock and equipment and get your products to your customers without delay. 

So what's stopping you from looking for a storage unit as a base for your business this year? 

Find a storage unit near you!
 

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1 comment
Chris | 19 February 2020 at 09:53 AM
Handy article thanks!
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