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. Commercial storage is just that popular. If that fact surprises you, ask yourself this question: Does your company use everything in the office on a daily basis? Weekly basis?
If your business is typical, you probably have archive files, extra office supplies, and even seasonal decorations that are stacked in some storage room — a room that adds to your office rental rates.
Choosing affordable commercial storage is one way to reduce your overhead and still have everything your business needs to be successful. It’s essential if you are downsizing your business footprint, but you want to keep operating at the same level of efficiency.
Even if you are just moving your business, using storage temporarily has big benefits.
Five Surprising Advantages of Commercial Storage
There are numerous reasons for renting a self-storage unit for your company, but there are five that matter most to the majority of business owners: rent savings, tax deduction potential, flexibility, and easy access. Last but not least, keeping extra boxes and other items out of sight can be a smart move.
Probably the advantage that matters most is cost. Why pay office rent of hundreds or even thousands of dollars a month when a storage unit price is a fraction of that?
Keep the executive offices, meeting rooms, and cubicles, but all of those file rooms, storerooms, and stock rooms? Those can be moved off-site and save you thousands of dollars a year.
Potential Tax Deduction for Off-site Business Storage
Furthermore, your storage unit may be deductible whereas your extra square footage may not. This could give your business a small break when tax season rolls around.
Flexibility with Commercial Storage
Flexibility is another big advantage for commercial storage leases. Your business doesn’t have to be locked into an annual contract to lease warehouse space that may be half-empty part of the year and overflowing the rest. Instead, you can rent month to month, adding and subtracting the number and size of units you need on a monthly basis.
During the slow season you may only need one unit for documents and equipment storage. When demand picks up, you can 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.
Out of Sight
Never underestimate the power of hiding away a mess. This makes a business look organized and prosperous. If it is subject to inspection for health and safety reasons, all of the extra stuff is locked away where it won’t be included. That leaves the business owner and staff free to focus on what matters most: what people see.
How Do Businesses Use Commercial Storage?
Still not convinced? Here’s a sampling of businesses that use self-storage units and what they put there.
Small e-commerce Companies
While the shop is totally online, the inventory is totally real. Commercial storage provides a place for inventory, shipping supplies, and business records.
Retail (brick & mortar)
Just because you have a brick-and-mortar store, it doesn’t mean you have enough room for everything. Retailers use commercial storage for surplus inventory, seasonal inventory, business records, and seasonal displays.
Restaurants and Bars
If you serve food you’ve got to keep everything spotless. You’ll have less to do, however, if you put items in a storage unit. This includes seasonal decor, extra linens, employee uniforms, surplus tables, chairs, and dishware. When you need it, you can make sure it is clean and can pass the health inspection. Until then, it can be out of sight and out of mind.
When you work out of a van or truck, it is hard to stay organized. If overcrowded, you risk either crushing it or knocking it out onto the pavement. If unsecure, you risk vandals or thieves making off with your gear. Contractors find it easier to keep their equipment, surplus supplies, business records, and extra tools in a commercial storage unit. They can even take advantage of vehicle storage at some Storage West locations.
When you have lots of samples and inventory, it’s clear you are in sales. That stuff can clutter up your SUV and overtake your home. There’s also a matter of business records and office supplies. It can all be put into an easy-to-access commercial storage space.
Home businesses tend to overflow their dedicated space, even if it’s a whole office, and start to cover the house with boxes and gear. That’s why smart home business owners are using commercial storage for product samples and inventory as well as office supplies and business records. Furthermore, people who work from home may find it easier to put items in storage to allow them to have a neat and clean office area.
Real Estate Agents
This one is a no-brainer. Real estate agents often have furniture that they use to spruce up a property. With commercial storage, they have a place to keep it until it is needed. If you run a home staging business, a unit is the perfect way to protect your furniture.
Notice the one commonality? All businesses have items that they don’t use every day. Some items are used only once a year, such as seasonal decorations. That’s why it helps to have 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. Find the right unit here: Arizona, California, Nevada, and Texas.