A guide to operating a business out of self storage unit

If you’ve been running a small business from a dedicated room in your home and  it’s getting to the point where it’s spreading across to more than just the original, agreed room – then fear not. Vanguard Self Storage are here to offer a solution that’ll help you to free up the space in your home and potentially, expand your business. Today, multiple businesses are operating their day-to-day pursuits with the help of a self storage unit, so we’re here to tell you how they manage it.

Women, owner of small business packing product in boxes, preparing it for delivery.

Can you run a business out of self storage? 

This is an important bit to take note of. It is against the terms and conditions to properly run a business in a storage unit – as you can’t actually use one as an office or workshop because you wouldn’t be insured for that sort of usage. Not to mention, the majority of storage units often don’t have electricity and wouldn’t have the feasible amenities needed for full-time work. However, this doesn’t mean that self storage is useless, quite the contrary!

Renting a small business unit is much cheaper than getting an office or leasing an industrial area, this can be costly and you’ll have to pay utility bills on top of this too. Hiring the perfect sized unit with an easy in, easy out contract means that you have the flexibility to opt for short-term storage, long-term storage or move on, if you no longer require a unit. Should you wish to expand or reduce the size of your unit, this can be done with ease, so there’ll be no need for moving vans – we can help you change to a better sized unit that’s more suitable. 

Businesses you can run out of self storage

The kinds of businesses that could benefit from a storage unit include those who would use the extra space for stock, work equipment or documents. Below, we have listed examples of those professionals who would benefit from self storage: 

  • Tradesman – contractors and landscapers require a lot of equipment to do their day-to-day jobs, so to keep expensive tools safe and to free up space in the garage or home, a self storage unit offers the perfect solution.
  • eBay seller & eCommerceif you sell products online and have your own eBay shop, for example, a self storage unit would be an ideal place to house your stock. In your storage unit you will be able to sort out orders and take professional photographs of your products. In addition, some self storage companies such as  Vanguard Self Storage can also take in deliveries for you, freeing up your time and saving you waiting around. 
  • Furniture restorerbroken parts and large tools can be dangerous to store at home – especially if you have young children and pets – which is why many use self storage units if they regularly restore furniture and other items. With enough space to store small parts and large parts, you will be able to organise and house the backlog of any repairs. You may even be able to quickly complete simple repairs here too.
  • Documentsaccountants can better organise paperwork in a safe location where damage is highly unlikely because the contents of the unit will remain untouched, until you wish to revisit your storage unit. 
  • Stock for a designer/artist/etsy -handmade clothing, art, ornaments and trinkets are very popular and the market keeps on growing. If you’re making money from your creative flare, set up your own place where you can store your finished products, this can help you to be ahead of the game and gives you the potential to sell more, expanding your business and its profits.
  • Photo studiowith a big, clear space you will be able to set up adequate lighting, backdrops and your camera equipment. You could also build a desk here so you can edit your photographs – then all you need to do is to bring a laptop and you’re sorted.
  • Small publishersbooks, brochures, magazines, they all stack up – so opt for a storage unit where you can label and box all items for optimal organisation and protection.
  • Service Engineers – If you have service engineers working in central city locations parking can be difficult to find and very costly. You could also run the risk of parking fines if your work runs over and possible congestion charges. Many companies also have foot engineers, so receiving and storing parts can be a logistical nightmare. A self-storage unit can offer somewhere to receive deliveries whilst your engineers are out working and a safe and secure place to store parts and products.

Benefits of self storage for businesses

Shot of a young woman using a laptop while working from home

  • No overhead costs – with self storage, you won’t be paying utility bills like you would if your were renting offices or other, the only sum you’ll be paying for will be for the space you use.
  • Flexibility – if you wish to expand your business, you have the flexibility to do so with ease. If you are still running a business from your home, it’s likely that finding the extra room would be difficult, which is why the flexibility of finding the perfect sized unit for your needs, is even better.
  • Keep stock & distribution all in one place – if you are selling your goods online, distributing and shipping from a storage unit gives you the added option of operating all in one place. This can keep logistics organised and allows greater peace of mind too.
  • No business rates – business rates do not apply but you will need to be checked to ensure that your activities are in line with the terms and conditions of the proposed contract.
  • Keeps work separate from homeif you live and breathe your business, chances are it’ll become too much. Keeping work and home separate can help you feel more motivated when you are at work, and feel more relaxed when you are at home – win, win!

If you have any questions, give Vanguard Self Storage a call. We have over 50 years of experience within the industry and a long history of happy customers. We provide our services throughout a number of locations including: West London, Oxford Circus, Manchester, Soho, East London and Bristol. With personal and business storage options, you can be sure that our friendly team has you covered. We offer a free porter service, immaculately clean and secure storage facilities and exceptional customer care.