Could you run a business from a self-storage unit?


A little while ago on our sister blog Money Bulldog I wrote a post about a program I’d seen on TV exploring the booming self-storage industry and how we just can’t seem to bear to get rid stuff even when we run out of room to store it at home. But it isn’t just our inclination to hoard that is contributing to the self-storage boom. Many people are using self-storage units for a variety of other reasons including to operate a business and not just a makeshift business, a full scale business in fact.

The producers of the television program in question interviewed a few of these business owners and asked them why they had chosen to set their business up in a self-storage unit and I found the answers really interesting and in many cases quite sensible.

No real commitment to start up

One of the first and most obvious benefits for business start-ups is that there is no real long term commitment and no lease to sign when setting up an office and stock area in one of these self-storage facilities. If you’re running a business from home then and it is growing fast but you are not quite sure whether it is big enough yet to justify having your own office space outside of the home, setting an office up in a self-storage unit could give you a chance to test the benefits of renting a space without having to take on a minimum lease, you just need to give one month’s notice if you want to leave.

Lower overheads

Many of the people who were interviewed also said that the overheads of operating out of a self-storage unit were lower than they would be in a standard office space. According to Big Yellow all of the utilities, maintenance, security and water rates are included in the monthly rental price.

The ability to increase and decrease space instantly

Some of the business owners interviewed operated quite seasonal businesses or businesses where they needed to hold a lot of stock at a certain time of year but not so much at other times. Under normal circumstances this could present a dilemma for business owners, leaving some of them paying for space they don’t actually need for a large chunk of the year. In a self-storage unit you don’t really have this problem as you can increase or decrease the amount of space you rent quickly and easily.

Grow without having to relocate

Usually as businesses grow they are faced with the need to relocate to bigger premises which can often involve large costs. Again the ability to easily increase the amount of space you have at your disposal as your business grows can be very advantageous and remove some of the challenges to business growth.

All of the business owners interviewed then only seemed to have good things to say about the flexibility that came from operating their business out of a self-storage unit and I have to admit that before watching the program I really wouldn’t have thought of this as an option.

Would you consider running a business from a self-storage unit or do you know somebody who does?

4 Responses to Could you run a business from a self-storage unit?

  1. I have seen some beautiful homes using storage units featured online and in magazines and they are fantastic! Complete with all that a home needs. So why not a business? It’s nice that people found a way to put storage units to good re-use.

  2. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

    I ran my business out of Starbucks for a while, then out of my garage, then out of shared office – and only last year we got our own small office space. Proper, like with a door and a small window 🙂

    • Adam Buller says:

      Yeah I know how you feel here. It’s not easy in the early days and I’ve occasionally found myself sipping a slow cup of coffee in Macdonald’s just to make most of the Wi-Fi. 🙂

  3. constance k says:

    With a bit of commitment anything is possible a friend of my started here business literally on the garage today she runs a successful business

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