Is it possible to run a business from a storage unit?

The short answer is yes, it’s possible. At Commercial Self Storage, we ONLY serve businesses at each of our commercial storage facilities. However, there is more to the question than a simple “yes” or “no”. Let’s explore 4 key questions to ask yourself before deciding if you should run your business from a storage unit.

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What are the occupancy rules for the storage facilty?

Most storage facilities are not built for occupancy in the storage units themselves. If you set up an office, manufacturing operation or other use case where you spend working hours in your unit, you could put the storage facility at risk of getting in trouble with occupancy authorities.

Businesses that simply store tools, inventory, or equipment like plumbers, electricians, landscapers or home remodeling agencies find loading and unloading trucks from storage units a much easier way to manage their business than basing out of their home garage or allowing employees to manage their tools and trucks individually.

Could operating your business from a storage unit be a code violation?

Each storage facility builds to the local building code specifications. While it is assumed that people will be working to load and unload various items in the storage units, the code does not provide for the storage of hazardous materials (gas, chemicals, etc.) and does not allow for individuals spending extended amounts of time working in the units (i.e. using it as an office, day care, retail operation, etc.).

Commercial Self Storage offers both office and warehouse space to allow businesses with storage and office needs to create a “headquarters” location where office work and shipping, unloading and inventory/supply management can be done at the same site without causing any code violations or unpleasant working environment.

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Does running your business from a storage unit truly meet your business needs?

When it comes to running your business, there are several things to keep in mind that may not seem important on the surface. Are there public restrooms available? Many businesses operating out of self storage units have to drive to a local gas station or restaurant to simply use the restroom. Is there electricity and overhead lighting? Knowing what inventory you have on hand and where your tools are located is important. Even more important is knowing that your electronic equipment is fully charged and in good working order for the next day’s work.

Is there room for a semi or straight truck to easily get to your storage unit and unload your items? Once the truck arrives and finally makes it to your storage unit, do you have a forklift to get the pallets off the truck and where you need them in your storage unit? Can you be at the unit when shipments arrive, any time of the day or night?

What about meeting with customers and vendors? Are you going to be able to bring customers to your storage unit or will you need to meet them at a local coffee shop or provide delivery-only options?

These are all issues that need to be addressed before committing to a place that your business will call home. At Commercial Self Storage we take small business storage very seriously. In fact, that’s all we do.

Each and every lease we sign comes complete with the amenities a small business owner would need to operate their business: electricity and LED lights in each unit, 24/7 access, video-monitored security, plenty of turning space for semis and straight trucks on site dumpsters, forklifts, restrooms and water. We even provide receiving services, an on-site conference room and free WiFi.

Does the storage facility manager know about and approve of running a business in the storage units at their facility?

Not all self storage facilities are welcoming of business tenants. The needs of commercial storage tenants are much different than the needs of traditional self storage. Be sure that the facility manager knows and understands what you will be using your storage unit for and that they approve of the use.

Commercial Self Storage not only offers a wide variety of business-focused amenities for our tenants, we also carefully select our locations. Each of our facilities is located close to major highways for convenient transportation. Our sites are also located within 1-3 miles of gas stations, fast food restaurants and home improvements stores - a few of the most frequented sites of small businesses.

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Now that you’ve asked yourself some of the most pressing questions when it comes to deciding whether or not you can run your business from a storage unit, it’s time to find a place for your business to call home. Check out the Commercial Self Storage facility closest to you to see photos, amenities and prices.