Office space is pricy and that’s only set to go higher. If you are a small business owner, entrepreneur, or sole trader, you might not want to fork out for a big office, but also want somewhere outside of your home to work privately, hold meetings, and make your own. If that sounds familiar, then a storage unit could be the surprising solution for you.
In the startup climate, more and more creative options are popping up to help people start a business on a budget. Here are some key things to bear in mind if you are seriously considering moving your business day into a storage unit.
As you build up a new office space, it’s important to have a clear plan moving forward. Business owners should always have clear goals and a timeline in place, but when your physical workspace is in flux, this has never been more important. Develop your own OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and put together a means of tracking them. If you’re looking for guidance and inspiration, WorkBoard has sample OKRs for you to have a look at before you get started. If you have other team members working with you, then bring them into the brainstorming session and listen to their opinions. No matter what type of business you’re running, you need to be planning ahead – both in terms of business growth and finalizing your workspace.
Do your research
There are dozens of self-storage options out there. The good news is that means you will be able to take your pick of what suits you. The bad news is it might take a while to make your choice! Make sure you take your time and find a storage space that suits you. There may well be factors you wouldn’t think about, like the importance of climate-controlled storage. In regular buildings, you wouldn’t need to think about this as a key factor, but it’s definitely not a given with self-storage. Of course, different states have different climates, but if you are likely to be facing any kind of extreme temperatures, it’s a good idea to think about how your storage unit will hold up in extreme heat and invest in climate control. No one can be productive in a sweatbox!
Evaluate your business
Not every business can work from a storage unit, but there are plenty of success stories to motivate you. Nonetheless, before you commit to a rental, think about whether it’s right for your type of business. For example, if you have lots of valuable items, entertain clients regularly, or are set to experience explosive growth, then you might want to pick something with a more professional or secure exterior. If your business is less highbrow and you need to keep costs low to start, then it might be the perfect real estate choice.
For example, starting a cannabis business is a classic example. With legalization spreading, being a cannabis business owner is kicking off in popularity and success. You won’t be needing to hold many corporate meetings (if any), but you’ll still need somewhere to run the business and even grow the product from. In this case, a storage company could provide you the perfect cannabis space to kick off your new chapter as a dispensary owner.
Be picky with locations
If you’re going to go with long-term storage, you need to think carefully about your location. Is it a convenient commute from your home? What kind of business owners do you want to surround yourself with? Does the location offer WiFi secure enough to give you peace of mind during the working day? These are all things that should be considerations before you commit, rather than obstacles after you’ve already done it.
Don’t commit too fast
With that in mind, take your time in general. Storage units won’t be going anywhere, so you have a lot of time to make your decision. See if you can get a short-term contract to start and test it out. The company culture for storage unit businesses is different and doesn’t suit everyone – but it might also be the best decision you ever make.