Top 5 reasons to use a storage facility

The UK leads the way in Europe when it comes to storage facilities. At around 44.6 million square feet, it has more than quadruple the storage space as the next closest rival France, which has approximately 10.5 million square feet. What’s most surprising is that more people in both the UK and Europe aren’t taking advantage of the massive benefits to be had from using storage facilities.

They don’t just supply self-storage units either; some facilities even offer document storage and management services, as well as scanning and confidential waste destruction solutions too. These services are useful to many businesses, whether they know it or not.

In this post we will outline the most common reasons why people use storage facilities. This applies to commercial as well as domestic use, and goes beyond simple lock-up units.

Moving house or office

Upping sticks and moving home or work place can be one of the most stressful times in a person’s life. All that boxing up, bubble-wrapping and backbreaking transportation is enough to make you stay on one plot for the rest of your life. Sometimes though, it’s unavoidable.

The process would be made a lot smoother if you could pack everything up and move it straight into the new place. While this is the case for some, it’s a different story for many. As you wait for your new location to become available you’re going to need a place to safely store your household and workplace items.

Storage facilities offer secure units to temporarily house your stuff, keeping them safe without cluttering up your home or your best mate’s living room. While traditional lock-ups tie you in with lengthy agreements, storage facilities offer short-term contracts to keep costs low.

When it comes to security, it’s hard to better a professional storage facility. Fire and waterproof steel containers, 24-hour CCTV surveillance and manned premises are a far cry from a mouldy, urban garage.    

Relocation & long holidays

The world is a much smaller place than it was even 20 years ago. It’s never been easier to travel around the world or relocate to another country. Whether you’re in the process of moving all of your stuff overseas or just need a place to store your things while you’re travelling, storage facilities have a solution.

Units of various sizes are available to store a variety of belongings. As you will not need regular access to your stuff, some facilities can offer cheap rates that will give you peace of mind while you’re away but also not break the bank.

Building work

When you’re renovating your home, things can get ugly. If it’s not all the paint being splattered around it’s the workmen shifting heavy items and tools in and out of rooms. It therefore makes a lot of sense to clear out as much non-essential items as you can for their safety and for the convenience of the workers.

Moving your belongings into a storage unit removes clutter from your home and makes it easier and quicker for your renovations to be completed. If you’re a Tetris champ and manage to squeeze everything into a spare room – then great. However, if you’re not, it’s always nice to know you have a flexible, cost-effective solution in a storage facility.

Unforeseen circumstances

It’s a sad fact of life that things don’t always go the way you planned. Whether that be your health, your relationships or any other major aspect of your life. At these difficult times it’s important to know that you have options. In these situations, it may be necessary for you to move belongings out, move yourself out or even sell the house entirely.

Either way, a storage facility provides a secure and cost-effective solution for any cherished personal items that can’t be relocated right away. These times are naturally going to be stressful for anyone so knowing where your belongings are and that they’re safe makes it that little bit easier.

Vehicle storage

Whether you have a classic car that you cherish, a fair-weather motorhome or an extreme sports vehicle you only need for events, keeping it in a storage unit is probably your best option. If you’re not lucky enough to have a garage, you may be forced to keep it on your drive or parked in the street. This leaves it exposed to both the elements and potential damage from other vehicles or vandals, which is far from ideal.

Self-storage units allow these vehicles to be securely stored away for the periods you don’t need them but leaves them accessible to you at any time. Coded gates allow you to come and go as often as you please so you never have to miss out on a sunny driving day again.

If you would like to know more about the various storage services available at Flexible Storage, get in touch with us today. One of our professional storage consultants can talk you through your best storage options as well as give you a tailored quote.

How can storage facilities benefit start-ups and small businesses?

Running a business can often be daunting when you first start out. From licensing to taxes, financing to insurance, you’re going to need to keep many plates spinning if you want your business to succeed. It’s hard to keep on top of everything yourself or even within a small team, but there are effective ways to streamline your operations and reduce avoidable costs.

One of the best ways is to take advantage of a storage facility. This might not be the best option for every business but storage facilities offer a range of valuable services for businesses that go far beyond locks and bolts. In this post, we will outline the key benefits available to businesses from using storage facilities, especially for smaller companies and start-ups.

Flexible Contracts

In order to prosper, start-ups and SMEs need to be able to expand and contract. High turnover of staff, uncertain financing and seasonal fluctuations in stock all demand a great deal of flexibility in smaller companies. Operating your business from your home can be messy and inefficient whilst renting an office space or traditional lock up ties you in to lengthy contracts and can be very costly.

Using a storage facility allows you to quickly and cheaply adapt to changes in demand, financing and other commercial variables that influence your trade. Unlike commercial leases that bind you to long-term contracts, storage facilities give you the flexibility to rent more or less storage space for limited periods of time or indefinitely. Short-term rolling contracts keep costs to an absolute minimum while allowing you to quickly adapt to your business demands – expansion has never been easier! This flexibility saves you valuable time, energy and – most importantly for a burgeoning business – money.  

Cost Saving

Running a business from your kitchen table keeps costs low, without a doubt. However, it won’t be long before you outgrow your home and a space for all of your stock, materials and business documents becomes a necessity. Similarly, renting an office at a business park may offer you the required space but it inevitably comes at a high cost – often too high for most new companies.

Establishing a storage unit as your business headquarters is perfect for non-customer facing trades. Not only do you benefit from the extra space and lower costs, most storage facilities happily accept deliveries on your behalf, with some even unloading your deliveries directly into your storage unit. Customer service doesn’t come much better than that!

Basing your company at a self-storage facility has the added benefit of avoiding paying business rates. A legal obligation for most non-domestic properties such as traditional warehouse units, firms operating out of storage units avoid this cost as the Valuation Office Agency deems only the operator of the storage company liable for the payment of business rates.

Security

A major benefit of keeping your stock, tools, materials and documents in a storage facility is the peace of mind knowing they’re securely stored. Unlike a residential garage or traditional lock-up, storage facilities have fire and waterproof containers, CCTV surveillance and on-site staff. However, this heightened level of security does not impede access as customers can easily come and go using access-controlled gates, activated by unique codes or phone number recognition.       

Document Storage & Management

It’s not only self-storage units that can massively benefit SMEs; some storage facilities offer additional services that will ensure you keep on top of all that paperwork. As you are more than aware, running a business involves masses of documentation, which will only grow with your company. Much of it needs to be securely stored for years at a time to comply with legal or tax laws, especially since the recent changes to GDPR.

Storing your business documents and records at a storage facility ensures their safety, allows you to easily manage them, and also keeps your office or working space free from clutter and sensitive material. The best storage facilities offer a document management service that scans and indexes your files to make it as easy as possible for you to retrieve important documents when you need to.

When your documents reach their compliance expiration date or are no longer useful to you, certain storage facilities can even securely dispose of your confidential waste with their shredding services. What more could a small and aspiring business ask for?

Business types that could most benefit from storage services:

  •      Removals
  •      Retailers & e-commerce
  •      Events
  •      Importers/exporters
  •      Builders/construction
  •      Ebay sellers
  •      Marketing
  •      Theatre companies
  •      Furniture

Whatever your storage needs, our self-storage, document storage and shredding services will allow you to focus on your business in a clutter free, cost-effective working space. For help choosing the best services for your business, get in touch today.

Storing your records & paperwork – what is the document storage process?

Whether you’re a small company looking to free up office space or a large business that needs to securely store its records, document storage may be the best solution for you. Saving you both time and space, a document storage service ensures your paperwork is out of sight, in secure hands and always accessible.

But how does the process work? In this post we will take you through our document storage service to demonstrate exactly how we collect, store and manage your documents. At each stage you will see the meticulous care we take to ensure the safety of your records, as well as the measures we put in place to keep you involved and in control throughout the entire process.  

Storage boxes and collection

No surprises here, the process starts with boxing up your documents. All types of files from company data to medical records can be stored in our robust full archive boxes. You are welcome to use your own storage boxes or we will happily supply them for you.

Our friendly team will then be round to collect your documents. Collections can be arranged immediately or whenever is most convenient for you. Many customers choose to index their own files and boxes before collection and record this data on a spreadsheet. Alternatively, we can also take care of all indexing for you. We then use this indexed numbering system to generate a barcode for each file or box, depending on your preference, which will then be entered into our Warehouse Management System.

Tracking and indexing

Are all of your records in storage cabinets? No problem – we can provide boxes to transfer the files to or we will box them up for you. If you’d prefer, we can also index, log and barcode individual files so that any specific documents can be easily found and accessed through our Warehouse Management System. This is particularly beneficial to companies in industries that are heavily reliant on compliance such as finance, insurance and solicitors. Our tracking service allows you quick and easy access to each and every file that you store in our system.

We are also able to facilitate a handover of your document archive from another storage facility. Your previous supplier should already have an electronic record of all of your files, which can be transferred into our system. If not, we can work with you to re-index your files to ensure you are now receiving the best document management service available.

Storage

Your documents will be stored at our Essex-based archive centre in the most secure fire and waterproof units. Once in storage, we can offer bespoke warehouse management access, whereby you can barcode and scan any files or boxes and manually enter its details into our system. This can all be done through our website in the comfort of your own office. You can view and be in control of your inventory 24 hours a day.

For those looking for a standard or deep storage service, we can simply store your boxes at our archive centre, which will be entered into our barcode system. This service still benefits from online document management, as all information will be available for you to view online.      

Retrieval

You can retrieve files and boxes whenever you like by contacting us either by phone or email, or via our document management system. We provide weekly, next day or same day delivery to locations all over London and the Home Counties, including Essex, Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Hertfordshire. All retrievals are logged so there is an audit trail for each file and box. This ensures that everyone knows exactly where a particular item is as well as the history of its movements.

Secure destruction

Once your documents come to the end of life in terms of compliancy or general usefulness, we can securely shred them for you. As much of your files will contain confidential information it’s imperative that they are securely destroyed. We can transfer your documents from our steel archiving stores to our partner company’s state-of-the-art document-shredding machine.

Once you have flagged a certain item for destruction we will contact you to confirm the exact details of the documents for absolute clarity. (Once your paperwork has been introduced to the industrial-grade shredder and its pulverisers, there’s no going back!). We can also provide a quote for the destruction of any documents you may have in your possession, or organise the collection of your confidential waste from your offices.  

Our partner company holds BS EN 15713:2009 for secure destruction of confidential data, as well as ISO 9001, ISO 27001 and ISO 14001. All destructions come with professional certification.

Whatever your document storage needs, our various document storage services allow you to focus on your business in a clutter free, efficient office. For help on how to choose the right document storage for your business, get in touch.