Every square foot of retail space can make money for your business… unless it’s being used for storage. If stacks of supplies, awkward fixtures, seasonal decorations or unused signs that are taking up valuable room in your shop or restaurant, self storage can be a cost-saving option.
Just about any business can put self storage to profitable use. Brick-and-mortar businesses and online store owners alike need convenient, inexpensive ways to store merchandise, equipment, marketing materials and supplies. In most cases, self-storage space will cost less per square foot than the same space in your restaurant or store. Plus it provides a convenient way to stock up on inventory and stay organized when storage space is limited.
Keep these guidelines in mind when planning to use self storage for your retail business:
Choosing a Self-Storage Facility
- Security at a self-storage facility may exceed what you have in your store or restaurant. Keypad access, security cameras, perimeter fencing and on-site management are common security measures in facilities.
- Arranging for deliveries to be accepted by the facility manager is another cost-saving benefit to self storage. Typically the manager notifies you by phone when a delivery has arrived, and you can pick up your packages within 24 hours.
- Your schedule may require access to your unit at unusual times such as early morning or late night. Talk with your storage facility manager about typical keypad entry access times, or if necessary, special arrangements. Some facilities allow 24-hour access.
- If you plan to store items that are sensitive to extreme heat or cold, or plan to visit your unit regularly for lengthy periods of time, be sure to check if the facility offers climate- controlled space. This may cost a bit more, but ensures the temperature within your storage space stays within a more comfortable 50-80 degrees.
Choosing Self-Storage Units
- Estimate size based on long-term use (most people end up storing more for longer periods than they originally planned).
- If you have multiple locations for your business, multiple, smaller storage units can be more convenient than one large unit. Some units may be used for longer-term storage, while others used primarily for inventory and delivery.
- The location of the unit within the facility can make a difference if you are loading and unloading heavy or awkward objects. A unit near on the ground floor, near an elevator or close to the entrance may cost a little more, but can save a lot of effort.
- Drive-up or outside storage space is useful for parking delivery vans, lawn care trailers and equipment, and other business-related vehicles.
- Storage of non-perishable items such as canned foods or wines is permitted, but perishable items can attract unwanted pests so storing them is generally prohibited.
- Selling directly from a self-storage unit is typically not allowed.
Your storage facility manager is a great resource for answers about how self-storage can help your business succeed.