There are many reasons your business may be looking for commercial storage. Maybe you’re running out of office space, but moving right now is not convenient. Perhaps you are expanding your product range, and need more space for raw materials or inventory items. Or maybe you want to make space in your office by archiving files and documents that you only need access to occasionally.
Whatever the reason, there are numerous considerations to make before selecting your commercial storage unit.
What Type of Storage Do You Need?
You have two main choices here, standard storage or climate-controlled, although there may be choices within the type of climate-control.
Standard storage is the same as storing things in your garage. The contents are protected from the worst of the weather, but not variations in temperature and humidity. There is also the potential for rodent damage, as a standard commercial storage unit will need ventilation.
Climate-controlled may offer temperature control, humidity control, or both. Which you need will depend on the items you are storing, and the commercial storage company can advise on this.
If the facility is unkempt and unloved, would you expect them to take good care of your valuable items? Just seeing the storage area from the outside may make up your mind!
Taking a commercial storage unit too far from your main business location will quickly cause problems. You need easy access close to your current office, so there is no hassle when you need something.
If you are storing valuable stock or documents, security will be high on your priority list. Ensure that there are locked access gates into the facility and that there are high-quality locks on the storage units.
A fence should enclose the compound, or the storage units should be inside a locked building.
Check the CCTV coverage, and make sure it is adequate. Ask how long they retain the recordings, particularly if you will be visiting the storage infrequently.
Will security staff be present during the day? What about during out of office hours periods?
Smoke and Fire Alarms
Fire is a minor risk, as most people are not storing highly flammable material. However, it is essential to have the detection equipment in place, just in case. Also, check if they have a fire suppression system in place and what type it is. A pure water system will damage documents as much as the fire and smoke would have done! Specialist storage units with CO2 or dry powder fire suppressants may be available if you need them.
Commercial Storage Size
You don’t want to pay for more storage than you need, but you don’t want to be struggling for space either. Rent commercial storage that is too small, and every time you need something at the back, you’ll have to empty the unit. Make sure you have space to get to everything by leaving space for a corridor. If you run out of space, you’ll have to move everything to a new, larger unit anyway, so plan ahead.
Check that the opening hours are convenient for you and your business. Some storage facilities will have 24-hour access, but not all offer this, so check before signing a contract.
The difference between an adequate commercial storage unit and a great one could be down to the extra services on offer. Can you rent shelving units from the same company? Will they recommend or offer van hire? Is help available for moving in or moving out?
Commercial storage units will not come with insurance as standard, so it’s essential to take cover with the unit or source it privately.
Don’t Rent the First Storage Unit You See
There is a lot of commercial storage choice, so make sure you visit plenty in your local area before deciding. This allows you to check how well the units are maintained, but more importantly, speak to the staff and owners. It is often said that you form your opinion of someone within the first few seconds of meeting them. If you don’t get a warm feeling speaking to the staff, move on to the next one.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to commercial storage. Use the ten points above to assess any potential units for your items, and you should find a great storage company.