How to run a business from a storage unit

Whatever your business, whether you fashion handmade jewellery from gemstones and silver or run a successful photography company, as you grow you’re likely looking for an accommodating space to run your budding enterprise from.

Many small businesses start in the spare room of their home or at the kitchen table but over time may find that they outgrow these spaces. In some cases, a storage unit may be the perfect space to expand into – especially if you have stock that you can’t find room for in your home.

You can set up a desk in a storage unit and run the day-to-day stuff, plus many storage units can be provided with lighting and electrical outlets. Wi-Fi is also available in certain units. In addition, there is also a receipt and dispatch service to help you run your business more effectively.

In this guide, we’ve considered how to run a business from a storage unit and what to consider before going ahead and renting out that space.

Businesses that can be run from a storage unit

  • Furniture renovator – If you’re in the business of upcycling or restoring vintage furniture, you can use a storage unit to house finished pieces for sale.
  • eBay seller – If you purchase items then sell them on eBay for profit, then a storage unit offers the ideal space to house these before they’re shipped to customers.
  • Tradesman – A storage unit offers a safe and secure space to store larger tools that aren’t needed for everyday jobs.
  • Art dealer or artist – You can use your storage unit to house any items you have for sale, then pick them up and dispatch them from the unit to customers.
  • Charities – If you work with donations, you can keep these safe in a storage unit until they are needed.
  • Market stall holder – You can keep your stock safe at the end of each day with a storage unit. Then simply collect it in the morning to display at your stall each day.
  • Photographer or videographer – Keep your props, large lighting kits and other equipment safe in a storage unit when not in use.
  • Sports coaching – If you coach sports and have a lot of equipment then a storage unit is a great space to house this between sessions.

Why should you consider running a business from a storage unit?

Wondering if keeping your stock safe in a storage unit is the best move? Here are just a few great reasons why you should:

  1. It can be cheaper than renting a whole new office space or warehouse
    Keeping your stock in a storage unit can cost much less, as there are fewer overheads such as lighting and heating.
  2. You can set up a receipt and dispatch service with most storage units
    This means you don’t need to worry about hanging around waiting for couriers as your storage unit provider handles the day to day receipt and collection of important deliveries.
  3. You can choose a storage unit in a size that works for you
    You’ll find a wide range of sizes available, whether you’re just testing the waters and want to see if you prefer housing stock away from your main office or if you’re after a large space to set up in.
  4. You have more flexibility when it comes to contracts
    With some warehouses or office spaces, you may find yourself tied in for months. However, with a storage unit, you’ll enjoy much more flexibility. Cubic Storage, for example, only requires businesses to stay for a minimum of one month – after that, you are free to move on or can keep your storage unit for as long as you need.
  5. It can create a distinct work and home life divide
    When working for yourself and managing a business, it can be easy for the lines between your work and home life to become blurred. Having your stock stored out of sight and away from your home means you can create distinct, separate places for each. You’ll need to physically leave the house to get stock, which can feel like commuting, creating a balance that’s right for you.
  6. It’s easy to expand
    Running out of room for your stock? You can simply move to a bigger storage unit on the same site! This means no costly moves or searching for another location.
  7. You can enjoy peace of mind, knowing your stock is safe and secure

Most storage unit providers offer around the clock CCTV that monitors your unit. At Cubic Storage, our CCTV monitors our units 24/7 and staff are on site Monday to Saturday. You can also gain 24 hour access with our additional plans should you need to reach your stock outside of our 9.00am to 5.30pm office hours.

Tips for storing stock in a storage unit

If you choose Cubic Storage, you’ll find that our units are dry and clean, ready to safely store important stock inside. We also provide pallet trucks and trolleys for easy movement. Wherever your storage unit, ensure you follow these tips to keep your stock safe and secure.

Label stock and store by sell-by date

If you sell non-perishable food or beauty products ensure you store them with the stock that is closer to its sell-by date, at the front of the unit. You can then work through it and ensure everything is in order and in date for customers.

Ensure stock is in protective wraps or sleeves

If you’re working with paper products or non-perishable food ensure this is protected with the right packaging.

Place items on shelving units

It’s best to keep your stock off the floor to ensure it stays at a consistent temperature and protected. At Cubic, we offer racking and shelving units to make storing your stock easier.

Store heavier boxes first 

You don’t want to crush or break fragile items so ensure you place heavy boxes on the floor and stack on top of these.

Create an inventory system

When your storage unit is full, you’ll need some sort of checking and inventory system that notes what is being added or removed so you know how much stock you always have. A simple sheet listing the items in stock and removing or adding to this is simple enough to set up. This template from Smartsheet can be downloaded and adapted to suit your business needs, to get you started.

How Cubic Storage can help you run your business from a storage unit

Here at Cubic Storage, we provide a range of options for businesses. From our receipt and dispatch service which allows you to have deliveries held safely until you collect them and collections arranged from our reception desk to our warehouse storage options – ideal for businesses with larger stock runs.

Our units are available in a range of sizes, from 9 sq.ft to 500 sq.ft, which allows us to accommodate a range of businesses and needs. Get a free online quote today for our Southampton or Farnborough sites.

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