With the widespread use of the Internet, almost anyone can start their own business from home. However, as a business grows, it can start to take over the entire house. One way to solve this problem is to rent a storage unit to use for fulfilling orders. This type of unit is typically cheaper than warehouse or office space and doesn’t require a long-term commitment, making it ideal for small businesses just getting started.
Look for Climate Control
When using a self storage unit instead of a warehouse or a home for order fulfillment, you should rent a unit that’s climate controlled. With climate control, the unit won’t get too hot or too cold, and it will be comfortable for you to spend some time in boxing up and getting orders ready to mail out. Climate control will also protect your products from extreme temperatures that could otherwise damage them.
Decide on the Lease Length
If you’re not sure how business is going to go, you might want to rent a unit with a month-to-month contract. However, if business is steady, you may want to consider a longer contract if doing so gets you a discount. Should business increase during the term of the contract, rent another unit as needed to keep pace with storage needs.
Keep Things Organized
You may need more space than you originally think, as you will need to be able to easily get your hands on any particular product quickly and without a lot of effort. Labeling all boxes, using shelving units, and leaving aisles between rows of shelving will make the unit more user-friendly for order fulfillment.
You’ll also want to organize a space where you can package up and label goods to be mailed out. Keeping a designated area free of clutter can also mean you have a location for photographing inventory for the website. All you need is a decent backdrop and sufficient lighting.
Get an Internet Connection and Electricity
It may be a good idea to find a unit that offers Internet connections and a place to plug in electronics, as then you can log on to check out orders. With Internet access and electricity, you can print out mailing labels and receipts right from the storage unit and make fewer trips between home and the unit.
Don’t Forget Insurance
When keeping inventory in a storage unit, you should purchase insurance for the items, as storage facilities often do not cover the loss of items should something happen to them. Sometimes items in storage are covered under home insurance, but this isn’t always the case.
Check Security Arrangements
Different self storage facilities have different security arrangements. Check to make sure that the facility you choose has a suitable level of security. For example, the storage company might require people to enter a key code to get in or have CCTV surveillance.
If your inventory is particularly valuable, choose a facility that has alarms for individual units. You may also want to look for a facility that has someone on site at all times as an added security measure.
Look Into Multiple Locations
Some locations offer cheaper rates than others, so check with multiple sites in different areas to see whether considerable savings in fees would make it worthwhile to drive a bit further. Units with climate control and additional security are already a bit more expensive than standard units, so consider the costs and benefits of a premium location before choosing your unit.
Ask About Deliveries
Going back and forth to a storage unit can take a lot of time, but you may be able to streamline the process. Some storage facilities will accept deliveries for customers, and you may be able to arrange for UPS or FedEx pickups as well, further streamlining your business activities.
You can contact the professionals at North Star Mini Storage for more information on the options available.