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How to Choose the Correct Storage
for Your Business

Nothing impedes productivity faster than clutter. When there's stuff in your way, it's hard to get things done. It's a common problem when a business is ready to expand, and self-storage is the ideal solution. You can still access what you need when you need it, but it allows your items to be in a location where they're out of the way. To find the self storage unit that best meets your needs, it's about location, logistics and support from the experts.

Location, Location, Location

To make your storage unit work efficiently, you need easy access. Look for self storage that's near your business, but Alan Henry of Lifehacker recommends that you "Cast your net wide enough so you have a good handful of options that you can investigate. After all, wouldn't you rather drive or walk an extra 10 minutes to store your belongings in a nicer location?"

Find out how many units are available. This is especially important if you need lots of space or if you expect that you'll need additional units in the future. If you do need multiple units at the beginning of the lease, request units that are close to each other so you can seamlessly move from one unit to the other when necessary.

Before you sign on the dotted line, check the cleanliness of the unit. Top-notch pest and rodent control is essential if you plan to store business information in those units. Take time to notice the edges and corners of the unit for pests or rodent droppings. If your exact unit isn't available for show, ask to see one like it. Generally, if that unit is clean, yours will be too... but be sure you inspect your unit before items are moved in.

Logistics, Logistics, Logistics

The logistics of your storage unit is just as important as the location, because it needs to fit in your budget and help you accomplish the things you need to accomplish.

When it comes to your budget, be thorough. The Better Business Bureau warns that the costs go above and beyond the monthly rate a storage business might advertise, including:

  • Monthly rental fee,
  • Storage preparation,
  • Padding,
  • Electricity,
  • And pest control

"Ask how these fees are to be paid and by what date."

To protect your items, choose a climate controlled self storage unit. The actual definition of "climate controlled" will vary from business to business, but it generally means that temperatures in the unit will not fall below freezing when it's cold outside or exceed 90 degrees when it's hot outside. Consider a climate controlled unit if you plan to store anything of value, including:

  • Electronics
  • Recorded media
  • Paperwork
  • Wooden or leather furniture
  • Machinery

Exposing these and other items to extreme temperatures could cause warping, mold, mildew, cracking or corrosion.

Officials from the Insurance Information Institute suggest you ask these questions of an informed manager, "Does the storage building have onsite security features such as 24-hour video surveillance cameras and coded security pads to access the building? If so, does the code work only for your floor or for the entire facility? Are there video cameras throughout the building or just at the entrance?" This is especially relevant information if you need to monitor which employees have access to your unit.

Take Efficiency to Another Level

As a business, you need quick and easy access to the numerous items stored so employees remain efficient. To boost efficiency, consider a third party management system for your self storage needs.

Third party management systems, like Uncle Bob's Business Alliance, streamline the process so you can focus on your job instead of balancing storage units. If you have multiple units with payment due on varying dates, third party management personnel can combine all of your storage fees into one easy-to-pay invoice. You can also view all of your spaces through a secure web portal. Third party managers handle paperwork, general maintenance, property visitation, and even authorize deliveries directly to the storage unit.

Whether your business storage needs are large or small, there is a storage unit for you. With a little research, and maybe a little help from third party managers, you'll find a unit that exceeds your expectations.

Sources

"How Do I Choose a Storage Unit?", Lifehacker - http://lifehacker.com/5859303/how-do-i-choose-a-storage-unit

"Hoarding Too Much Stuff? Self-storage Units Can Provide Useful Extra Space, But Belongings Must Be Properly Insured", Insurance Information Institute - http://www.iii.org/press_releases/hoarding-too-much-stuff-self-storage-units-can-provide-useful-extra-space-but-belongings-must-be-properly-insured.html

"Business Alliance", Uncle Bob's Self Storage - http://www.unclebobs.com/commercial-storage/business-self-storage.cfm