Storage Guide: Business

By Staff

There are many reasons businesses may need to use outside storage. Often, space may not be available in the office or the real estate may be so expensive that it is not cost effective to use some of the space for storage. You will pay the same per square foot for storage space in an office building as you will for the office.

Less expensive public storage is ideal for these businesses. If you are fortunate enough to work in a rapidly growing company, your business may need more storage space and self storage is an excellent, secure and cost effective option. Almost any type of company can benefit and take advantage of outside storage from law offices to medical practices.

Outside storage offers both a cost effective and convenient solution for storing such items as

  • Files
  • Office furniture
  • Any type of excess stock
  • Marketing presentations
  • Miscellaneous office equipment
  • Computers
  • Electronic equipment
  • Musical instruments
  • Pianos

If you are looking at storing items from the workplace, always check to find out if the company has a record storage retention policy or if there is any governing regulatory requirement on the length of time you need to keep these records. The records may be obsolete or out of date and you may be able to shred them and throw them out.

When looking in to storage for your business you will need to check out if you can go and collect any items from storage you may want at any time and if you have to give any notice to do this. This may be especially important to businesses where important business records are being stored.

You will need to decide if you wish to take out any supplemental insurance above the $0.30 per pound minimum that all warehouse operators are required to provide at no additional cost. Your company's insurance policy may cover goods in storage so be sure to look in to this first.

Security is probably going to be of the first questions you will ask the warehouse operator about and if it is not it should be. You will want to understand the security arrangements at the warehouse so be sure and ask some key questions including:
  • Is there 24 hour security coverage?
  • Are there any CCTV's?
  • Has the building got fire alarms?
  • Has the building got burglar alarms?
  • You may also want to ask if access cards or keys will be provided to you and if so who else will have them?

Environment is the next topic you should bring up if the warehouse operator does not. Do your items require any special climate conditions such as temperature and/ humidity control. If you are planning on storing paper files these will need to be stored in an environment with humidity controls. High humidity is the single biggest cause of damage to paper products. You will pay extra for climate controlled storage but it is definitely worth it as your goods will remain in the same conditions as when they went in to storage.

Many warehouse operators that do most of their business with large companies offer some extra options for convenience. These may include packing and loading up of your goods and bringing them to the storage unit and loading the items directly in to your storage unit. These options will come at a cost but this may be well worth it. Do you really want your highly paid workers doing work that can be completed for a much cheaper cost by the warehouse employees?

If your company or a sister company is using outside storage, ask the company if they offer any bulk discount or indeed your company may have a contract with the storage company for discounted competitive rates.