Business is good, products or services are selling and you may even be considering taking on a staff member or two. But at the moment you’re working from your kitchen table at home. So, what do you do? Take on business premises with all those overheads? See if your new staff member is happy to work from your kitchen table too? You need more stock and the paperwork is piling up – where is it all going to go?
Whether you’re a new start up or an existing business with business premises, if you’re a growing business you’ll have to come up with some answers to these questions at some point and there is no right or wrong answer; it will depend on the type of business you have and your business model. You will need to decide which is the best way forward for you. If you’re not sure of the best way to manage your growing business, there’s lots of help out there, both free and paid for.
As a starting point there are a few questions to ask yourself when you get to this point:
- Do I need somewhere to see clients or customers?
- Does it have to be my office?
- Does my stock or equipment need to be here with me?
- Do staff have to be office based?
- Is it just an overflow of paperwork that’s the problem?
Even if you’re a retailer with bricks and mortar premises the same questions apply when deciding whether to expand into bigger premises or take on additional ones. A key area for consideration will be your desired geographical location and coverage.
Lets’ deal with the questions and some potential solutions.
A place to see clients or customers
If you are a consultancy based business you may have to see clients. You may well opt to see all clients at their premises – problem solved. But what if a client wants to see you in your office? If you don’t have a home office to suit, there are still options available without having to take on a premises lease. There are many hotels that rent out meeting rooms of all sizes, as well as smaller businesses that have meeting rooms that aren’t always in use. There could be businesses in your locality that are trying to maximise the use of their facilities, who for a small fee may let you use their meeting rooms. There are places like Growth Hubs who allow businesses of a certain criteria to use their facilities free of charge. If you are honest with your clients about the size of your business, it will come as no surprise to them that you will be utilising other organisations meeting facilities.
Stock or Equipment
Whether you’re an online retailer or have a shop premises, do you really need all your stock to be at the same site as you? Many online businesses use self storage facilities to store their stock securely away from the home. It keeps their home and garage uncluttered, but they know that they can access things whenever they need to and that it’s kept clean, dry and secure. If you have an expanding retail business and have a shop premises, perhaps just re-organising your stock levels and utilising self storage for overflow and excess stock will help keep the overheads down in the short term. This will give you chance to tell if the growth is likely to continue before signing a long term lease on bigger or additional premises. The same for service based businesses that have large or bulky equipment. A need for more equipment does not necessarily mean taking on a premises lease to store it.
If you’re a retailer with a shop and need sales staff, then yes, of course, they need to be in the shop. But if you’re an online business or service based provider, do your staff really need to be in an office with you? Technology now means that many office type jobs can easily be done from home. Service based providers like plumbers, electricians and gardeners can have their staff collect their equipment from a self storage unit. If you do need to meet with employees and don’t want the overheads of an office, those meeting rooms mentioned earlier can work.
All businesses have to keep certain paperwork for a period of time for tax reasons etc. It really doesn’t make sense to pay rent, rates, electricity etc. if most of the premises is only used for storing files and paperwork. A self storage unit is ideal if you find yourself in this situation. You’re guaranteed your paperwork will be dry and if you organise your filing systems properly, you’ll always know where everything is should you need to get it out. You may need to let the inland revenue know you’re storing the paperwork away from your ‘registered office’ address.
All sorts of businesses use our facilities at Space Centre Self Storage; some for paperwork and others for stock or equipment. We do not tie people in to long contracts and we are happy for you to move units without penalty as your business needs dictate. You can even put racking in to help you organise your unit.
If you’re a growing business who needs some extra storage, get in touch, we’ll be happy to help and advice based on more than 20 years of experience in the storage business.
Image credit: Bench Accounting