Whether you're working out of a small retail space or running a business from home, finding storage for your inventory can be difficult. A self-storage unit provides an inexpensive solution if you only need a small space to house your products or warehouse supplies.
Ask About Amenities
Not all storage units are created equal. When looking for the best one to serve as your mini-warehouse, make sure they offer all the amenities your business needs. Things to look for include:
- 24-hour security and access.
- Climate-controlled or interior units, if necessary for your products.
- Delivery acceptance services, if you have product shipped directly to the unit.
- Flexible lease terms, so you can move or upgrade your unit when necessary.
- Available equipment, such as hand trucks and dollies, for moving your stock.
- Convenience to your business or shipping location.
Security and safety of your products is the prime concern with any storage facility. Interior units are marginally safer than drive-up units, but you will have to transport stock by foot. Generally, you can achieve adequate security in both indoor and outdoor units with a combination of self-protection and by selecting a secure facility.
Select storage units with gated controlled entry. Those that have a person on duty 24 hours a day are often more secure than those that don't. Check for security cameras and adequate fencing.
You may need to supply your own lock for the unit, so make sure to pick the strongest lock available. It's also a good idea to insure your unit just in case theft, vandalism or damage occurs.
Make the Most of the Unit
Moisture and pests are the main concern in a storage unit. Erect shelving units to keep all inventory off the ground, and make sure that the heaviest items are placed on the lower shelves. Arranging the shelves in rows or aisles will make it easier to access everything when you need to process orders. You can further simplify the process by labeling each aisle with the contents, and keeping a map of your storage layout and inventory on hand.
You should keep an up-to-date inventory of every item you have in storage. Not only does this make good business sense when comes to filling order or replacing stock, it may be a necessity if you need to make an insurance claim.
Many self-storage units are accustomed to working with business customers, so if you need something, don't be afraid to ask. Keep a record of all lease agreements and paperwork, to protect yourself and to ensure you uphold your end of the agreement.