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There are over 50,000 self-storage facilities in the US alone and the 2.5 billion square feet of available storage space is increasingly taken up not by families but by businesses. If that fact surprises you, ask yourself this question: Does your company use everything in your office on a daily basis? Weekly basis? If you’re like most businesses, you probably have archive files, extra office supplies, and even seasonal decorations that are stacked in some storage room — a room that costs office rental rates.

Advantages of Self-Storage for Businesses

Storage bins and racksThere are numerous reasons for renting a self-storage unit for your company, but the one that matters most is cost. Why pay office rent of hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month when you can get a storage unit of the same size for a fraction of the price? Keep the executive offices, meeting rooms, and cubicles, but all those file rooms, store rooms, and stock rooms? Those can be moved offsite and save you thousands of dollars a year.

Self-storage facilities have other benefits too, with flexibility being a big one. Instead of being locked into an annual contract to lease warehouse space that may be half-empty part of the year and overflowing the rest, you can simply add and subtract the number and size of units you rent on a monthly basis. During the slow season you may only need one unit for documents and equipment storage. When demand picks up, rent a few larger units at the same facility and you have all the space you need. This idea works great for companies that generate a lot of paper too. As your archive grows, simply rent another space. If you decide to convert records to digital format, you can reduce the units as your archive shrinks.

Another advantage to utilizing self-storage is the ease of access. Most facilities have units that allow you to drive up to the door for easy loading and unloading. Many have expanded hours of operation, so if your business isn’t standard banker’s hours, you don’t have to wait. Air cooled units are often available and most facilities provide security without you having to pay extra or hire your own security firm.

What Businesses Store

Still not convinced? Here’s a small sampling of businesses that use self-storage units and what they put there.

  • Small e-commerce companies – inventory, shipping supplies, business records
  • Retail (brick & mortar) – surplus inventory, seasonal inventory, business records
  • Restaurants and bars – seasonal decor, extra linens, employee uniforms, surplus tables, chairs and dishware, business records
  • Contractors – equipment, surplus supplies, business records, extra tools
  • Sales – samples, inventory, business records, office supplies
  • Home businesses – product samples and inventory, office supplies, tax and other business records

Stacks of office boxesNotice the one commonality? Every business has a paper trail. Even in the digital age, your company is doubtless boxing up records at the end of a year or quarter and you need a place to put them. A nice, clean, air cooled space with good security. A place that is out of the way, but easy to access. Sounds like the description of a self-storage unit, doesn’t it?

The next time your company is trying to find ways to save money, or wondering if they need to expand their office space, run the numbers and see how using self-storage wins out over other options.

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