Any business will be well aware of how quickly paperwork can pile up. Sensitive documents, records, and important information is essential to continue the growth of your company, but storing these documents on-site can quickly take up space that could be better served for other reasons.
These days, storage facilities are so popular across the UK that it is easier than ever to securely store your documents and keep them archived until a date that you need them. In fact, many businesses choose to store their documents off-site to free up space in their office for more employees and equipment.
There are a few key factors to bear in mind regarding document storage for businesses.
What is Document Storage?
Document storage is a method used for organising files and documents. It is an off-site storage facility where all of your files are professionally organised and can be accessed within a matter of minutes.
Document storage is especially important for businesses to consider. Using large amounts of office space for document storage can be costly and an unnecessary use of space – but it’s important to find a secure way to store those documents for if they’re needed in the future.
Why Is Secure Document Storage So Important?
So, why is keeping your business documents safe and secure so important? Some of these reasons might be common sense, but others are worth considering for the security of your business.
– GDPR Compliance: Navigating through the maze of legal and regulatory requirements can be tricky. Secure document storage will help you stay compliant with laws like the GDPR in the UK, saving you from potential legal headaches and hefty fines.
– Protecting Against the Unexpected: Secure storage is like having an umbrella in a storm. It protects your important documents from physical threats like fire, water damage, or even pesky pests, ensuring your vital business information stays safe and sound.
– Building Trust with Your Clients: When clients know that you take document security seriously, it speaks volumes about your business’s reliability and professionalism. This not only strengthens their trust in you but also enhances your business’s reputation in the marketplace.
Considerations for Secure Document Storage
Here, we’ve covered what you need to consider.
1. Accessing Your Documents
Storing your documents off-site is a great way to save on space in your office to allow you to scale up your business, but you do need to consider how easily you will be able to access your documents.
Things worth considering in regards to access include:
- The location of the storage facility (how far is it from your office?)
- Storage facility opening hours
- How often you will need the documents
If you need to get access to a document urgently and find that your storage facility is closed without any way for you to get into your unit, it could be a disaster for your business. Doing your research beforehand and making sure you would be able to access your documents when you need them is, therefore, a good idea.
If you are storing sensitive documents, you want to know that they’re being stored in a secure facility with the appropriate measures to keep your items safe.
Standard security procedures will be to supply industry-grade boxes that will prevent mould or damp getting into your documents, with some storage facilities also offering temperature-controlled rooms to protect your documents long-term.
In more general terms, a secure storage facility should have:
- A manned presence at all times
- A check-in/check-out list
- Dry and secure storage units
Read our guide to checking how safe your storage unit is for more.
Currently, all UK businesses are bound by the General Data Protection Act to ensure sensitive documents and records held are protected. Document storage for businesses means that you are responsible to ensure the records you hold are stored with the appropriate level of privacy and security.
Taking care to ensure that you select the right storage facility with a high standard of security is therefore essential to the interests of your business.
If you aren’t quite sure if storing your documents is the best move for your business, it’s worth calculating the cost-effectiveness of this decision first.
Moving your files into storage can help you save money by:
- Freeing up space in your current office rather than needing to up-size
- Reducing the amount of equipment and storage materials you need
- Freeing up time for your staff to focus on other tasks
These days, it’s extremely easy to store your documents safely in a storage facility in the UK and arrange the transport of them back to your headquarters when you need them, that it’s well worth considering just how cost-effective this move could be for your business before making your decision.
How long will you be storing your documents? Is this a temporary move while you relocate offices, or is this a long-term move to cut down on costs and save space in your current office?
Considering the length of time you plan to store your documents for is a good idea before signing up to any single storage facility. This is because you may be able to negotiate a better rate with some facilities if you are storing your documents long-term.
Most storage facilities will make having insurance a mandatory requirement. Storage insurance will keep your items covered in the case of things such as:
- Flooding, storms, and natural disasters
- And more!
Document storage for businesses may not feel like a high-value item to cover, but storage units can be useful for a number of reasons for businesses, so covering the value of anything stored inside is always worth it.
At Surewise, we offer commercial storage insurance for short and long-term rental from as little as £13.49 per year. Make sure you’ve checked the policy details and wording that the documents you want to cover are covered under your policy.
Read more about our storage insurance and get a quote today.
Digital Document Storage: A Good Alternative?
Digital document storage is an increasingly popular alternative to traditional paper-based methods.
Its most notable benefit is accessibility; digital documents can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection, greatly enhancing convenience and efficiency. Additionally, digital storage systems often feature advanced search functions, making it much easier to locate specific documents compared to sifting through physical files.
In terms of security, digital storage provides robust protection against both physical threats and cyber attacks through encryption and secure backup systems. It can also be more cost-effective in the long run, reducing the need for physical storage space and supplies.