For millions of Americans, running a small home business is no longer a dream, but a reality. For many of these entrepreneurs the biggest challenge they face is where to store their inventory. Even a large single family home can become overcrowded, and people who are working from apartments may not have an attic, basement or garage to use. Luckily, an affordable solution is available. Self-storage provides an easy and accessible way to manage inventory without having it take over a home.
Self-storage companies are plentiful today, so finding one that is close to home or the area where the majority of the business is conducted, should be simple. However, it is important to find the right facility that will meet the needs of the company. There are some basic requirements to consider.
- The unit should be accessible 24-hours a day, because business owners often work odd hours to stay on schedule. If no 24-hour facilities are available in the area, at least look for one that offers extended hours, beyond the basic 9-5 workday.
- They should offer security, either with a nighttime security guard, gated entrance or surveillance cameras.
- A variety of unit sizes should be available. No one wants to pay for more than they need, but as the business grows, it is important to know a larger unit is available when the inventory requires more space.
- Look for companies that offer the ability to have deliveries made directly to the unit. This will save time and effort. It will require the facility to have an attendant available to allow the delivery person to access the unit and secure it once they leave.
- Remember to choose a facility that offers climate controls if the merchandise could be damaged by extreme temperatures or humidity.
- Know if shelving is available for use in the unit. Some companies offer shelves as an additional rental item while using their facility. If not available, ask if mounted shelving is allowed, or if only freestanding shelves can be used. This detail can determine how large a unit is needed to comfortably fit all of the necessary inventory.
- Ask about insurance. Many companies offer some coverage in the event of fire or theft, but it may not be enough. Most business owners will be better protected by purchasing their own policy to cover their inventory.
Unlike warehouse space or office rentals, storage units (such as those offered by Nine Mile Self Storage) are usually available on a month-to-month basis. This makes it much easier for businesses that are only operated during a few months of the year or are concerned about the commitment of signing a lengthy lease. Storage units eliminate the clutter at home and make it possible for people to have the space they need to take advantage of sales and bargain prices on their inventory when it becomes available.