Can you run a business from a storage unit? In this guide, we’re covering the benefits, the rules, legalities, and what businesses may benefit from using a storage unit to operate.
Many newer or smaller businesses reach the point where operating from home is no longer feasible (whether that’s due to having too much stock, taking on extra staff, or simply needing more space to expand). However, taking that step to rent out an office or business premises can be expensive.
In these circumstances, it may be best to consider alternatives. For example, some people choose to run a business from a storage unit. In the UK there are a number of businesses that you may be able to operate to some extent from a storage unit. Here, we’re going to cover some of the ones some of the most popular ones odds.
- Benefits of using self-storage for your business
- Operating a business from a storage unit: the rules
- Businesses that may benefit from renting a storage unit
Benefits of using storage for your business
There are a number of benefits to using a storage facility to base your business – not least, that this will save you significant money. Other benefits include:
A storage unit rental gives you a lot of flexibility. You can choose what size storage you know you need, with the option to increase or decrease the size of your unit depending on the needs of your business.
What’s more, you can also choose what contract length you need to have your storage unit for, as opposed to having to sign a lengthy contract as you would have to do with most business premises leases.
What’s more storage facilities are often well lit, clean, secure, and manned by CCTV 24/7, making them generally a very safe place to keep your stock and business files when you are not on site.
Read our article on how safe your belongings really are in a storage unit for more on this.
The big advantage of using a storage unit for your business is the additional space it gives you – something you may be short on if you’ve been running your business from your front room or garage!
From storing business documents and archives to having a clean, dry, and secure space for your stock and equipment, a self-storage unit can provided a lot more room for your business to grow.
Can you actually run a business from a storage unit?
In short, it depends. While storage units are a fantastic solution for securely storing stock and business equipment, it’s not always possible to actually operate your business out of a storage unit (i.e. meeting customers there, working from the unit itself).
There is no set rule to this, however, so contacting storage facilities around you and finding out their individual policies is recommended. Overall, the rules regarding operating from a storage unit seem to be a grey area, so we’d always advise you to do your own research and ask your storage unit directly as their policies may differ.
Can I run a business out of a storage unit legally?
Running out of business out of a storage unit can be a grey area when it comes to each storage facilities rules regulations. It is always a good idea to check with the facility manager whether it is ok for you to set up your business, meet customers, and conduct your business within the storage unit itself.
For many storage facilities, you are only able to store stock within your unit rather than actually work inside the unit.
If you’re hoping to use your unit to actually run your business you may need to either find a facility that accepts this or reconsider whether renting an office lease is a better idea – or storing your stock in the facility while working from home instead. Read our post on things you should never put in a storage unit.
Businesses you can run out of a storage unit:
Running an eBay or Amazon fulfilment business out of a storage unit is an extremely cost-efficient way of running a business. Storage units are perfect for keeping large amounts of stock without cluttering up your home.
Running a business selling vintage furniture or clothing fire boot sales or other thrift style events a storage unit can be the perfect place to store your stock when not in use.
Likewise, if you run an outdoor sports club for example in a nearby park or field having a storage unit nearby to store your equipment can be a fantastic idea. This will save you having to bring your equipment to in from your home every time you run a class and can also provide a safe place to store items as your business grows full stop
When hosting events around the country, having a storage unit to keep hold of your stock such as tables, banners, podiums, and other equipment is a good idea.
A storage unit will allow you to save space in your own home as well as providing a safe place to store your stock for all of your staff to access at all times.
Finally, if you sell stock online having a storage unit can be the perfect solution to keeping your stock safe and secure without taking out large expanses of your home full stop
Is a good idea to make sure your facility is close by as often you will be going to and from your facility every day so well you will be saving money on storage you want to make sure the facility is within easy reach at all times.
Whatever your reason for using a storage unit, having a storage insurance policy that covers the value of the items you are storing is essential. In the last three years, fires at storage facilities have left customers with a basic insurance policy (or none at all) looking at thousands of pounds worth of goods lost, not to mention no means of replacing sentimental items.
Our storage insurance allows you to calculate a quote based on the value of your items, so you can live life confidently knowing that your goods are covered.
Self-storage has a lot of benefits, such as freeing up storage space in your home or providing a safe space to store your belongings when going away, but low rental prices do come with some potential risks – including making it extremely easy to end up hoarding things instead of throwing them out.
Storage can be extremely helpful if you’re in need of a safe, secure place to keep your belongings. Your reason for needing storage could be a number of different things, such as:
- Moving house
- Renovating your home
- Downsizing your house
- Moving abroad
- Going to university
- Freeing up space at your business premises
- Safely storing items you don’t currently need for your business
- Storing stock and archives for your business
So, there are a lot of legitimate uses for using a storage unit. However, with many facilities charging for the use of a storage unit based on square metres, it pays to use a smaller unit if you can.
As this article recently highlighted, hoarding can get out of control when it comes to storage units, and that translates to high costs for storing items you don’t even need.
How to avoid hoarding things you don’t need in storage
1) Go through your belongings before packing them into storage
Before you put your items into storage, go through them and decide what you really need. It’s a good idea to think about why you’re putting them into storage and decide whether you’ll actually need them once your contract is over.
For example, if you have furniture and gadgets when renovating or moving house you’ll probably need these, however, if it’s just clutter from your home it may be a good idea to declutter now and save yourself money on the size of the storage unit you need to rent.
2) Keep an inventory
Another good way to avoid hoarding is by keeping an inventory of all the items you are putting into storage. Keeping an invoice inventory allows you to keep track of the items you have stored currently – and the items you’re adding to it.
In the future, when you come to either take your items out of storage or to add more to them, you can have a look at your inventory and decide what you no longer need, or simply replace items rather than having to scale up and pay more for a larger storage unit.
This is particularly beneficial to businesses who are looking to use storage to store stock or archive old paperwork as an inventory can be extremely useful for business purposes as well as for ensuring you’re not holding on to any unnecessary items.
3) Reanalyze what you have stored
Finally, it’s a good idea to make sure your re-analysing the items you having storage every couple of months it can be easy to forget what you having storage and realise that you no longer than actually need it full stop
If you’re a student, for example, you’ll probably have forgotten half of the things you already having storage so coming back to your unit and having a look at what you’ve got could easily save you money by deciding that you:
a) either no longer need a storage unit or
b) can declutter your items and pay less for a smaller storage unit full stop
However big your storage unit is, taking out a storage insurance policy to protect your belongings is always a good idea.
Often, this is a mandatory requirement for most storage facilities in order to ensure that your belongings are protected in the event of a fire, flooding, vandalism, theft, damage or other unexpected incidents.
We believe in offering competitive storage insurance for all of our customers to suit all budgets. Get a quote for your storage insurance policy today.
Charities Call For Stricter Regulations On Mobility Scooters
Mobility scooters were back in the headlines this month with a number of influential road charities calling for tighter restrictions on mobility scooter users, particularly scooters used on pavements.
IAM Roadsmart, a leaving driver awareness group in the UK, suggests that those caught committing offences such as driving a mobility scooter under the influence of drugs or alcohol repeat times should face having their scooter seized.
Under current legislation, mobility scooters require no licence in order to be driven – which means anyone caught committing an offence can continue driving their scooter and are charged with penalties (fines) instead.
Rebecca Ashton, from IAM Roadsmart, said: “Anyone driving a mechanically-propelled vehicle must be in full control of it, they need to be fully capable of controlling the machine to avoid causing danger to themselves or other road users.”
What’s more, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has added that “the number of accidents and casualties involving mobility scooters is increasing.
It would help if it was made clear that road traffic laws governing careless and dangerous driving all apply to mobility scooter users.”
The calls for stricter regulations come after a man was punished with a driving ban for three years after being found driving his mobility scooter under the influence of alcohol – a ban put in place even though the man concerned doesn’t use a car.
Additionally, incidents with mobility scooters appear to be increasing each year, with more accidents involving scooters than ever before both with cars and pedestrians.
Don’t get caught out when using your mobility scooter – make sure you know the correct rules and regulations you should be following to stay safe at all times.
A recent study published by NHS Digital has revealed that 60.6% of carers reported feeling stressed in 2018-19, a 2% increase from the results in 2016-17.
The survey, compiled from a pool of 50,800 adult carers, sheds some light on the difficulties carers are facing in our current climate, with many carers unable to find the emotional, financial, and hands-on support that they need.
On top of an increase in the number of carers that report feeling stressed, carers feeling depressed also increased from 43.4% to 45.1%, while the percentage of carers reporting feeling tired and having disturbed sleep also rose.
Over three-quarters of the carers surveyed reported spending more than 20 hours per week as a carer, with 38.7% spending more than 100 hours per week in their role as a carer.
Potentially a contributing factor to the increased stress, repression, and isolation carers are experiencing is a correlation with financial difficulties. 10.6% of respondents reported that caring had caused them financial difficulty in the past 12 months, an increase from 9.6% of respondents in 2016-17.
The report also showed that:
- Over 67% of carers were female
- The majority of carers are in the 55-64 age bracket, with 18-24 year olds accounting for the smallest age bracket
- 65.4% of carers had been carers for five years or more, with 23.5% being carers for 20 or more years
- 38.6% of carers were extremely or very satisfied with the support or services they received, compared to 7.2% who were extremely or very dissatisfied
Results were first shown by NHS Digital.
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