By June 2, 2016 Read More →

Flexible storage for your business

Flexible storage, Big YellowStorage can be a headache, especially for home-based businesses.

Typically, it’s non-existent and you’re always falling over stuff, plus you think the budget won’t stretch to storage outside the home.

Organising flexible storage that grows with you or shrinks as needs be, is one key to efficient business — and a happy family life.

Big Yellow advise on home and self storage in this sponsored post:

Cloud storage
If you’re not already using cloud storage to archive business documents, now’s the time to get to grips with it. If new government plans for quarterly tax returns come to fruition, we’ll all need online accounting facilities anyway and having digital copies of records is the first step.

You could go the free route with commonly available offerings from Google or Dropbox etc., or opt for a more professional service for businesses such as Microsoft Office 365 with OneDrive storage.

In August 2016, however, Microsoft is reducing the amount of space currently offered with a OneDrive account from 15gb to 5gb, and discontinuing the 15gb camera roll bonus. Upgrades to 50gb are quite cheap, however.

Whichever option you choose for cloud storage, keep backups on an external hard drive or similar, just in case anything happens (such as storage space being suddenly reduced) or for any reason you can’t access your cloud account.

Getting the best from home storage
Startups often choose home storage, and there’s nothing wrong with that when the business is in its infancy and you’re not sure how fast it will grow. But try to get storage organised from the start.

Flexible storage - shelves– Install shelving systems: They must be sturdy enough to hold everything and strong enough not to topple.

– Use humble labels: Avoid putting things in opaque boxes without labelling the boxes clearly. There’s nothing more frustrating than hunting for something you know is in a safe place if only you could remember where that was. We always think we’ll remember, but we don’t.

– Consider access: Wherever you store items, make sure the things you use most are at the front, that boxes are stacked safely with the biggest at the bottom, that they’re not overpacked and too heavy, and that you don’t have to negotiate an obstacle course to get at anything. And if your business items arrive by van or lorry, make sure you know the safest, least hazardous route for getting from van to storage area.

Cost-effective flexible storage off-site
Anyone who’s tried running a retail operation from home knows just how easily stock takes over living areas. It’s bad for family life, and bad for business too, but getting secure storage away from home feels like pie in the sky if you think the only option is warehousing.

Self storage units provide an ideal solution that not many think of, and offer distinct advantages over warehousing:

– No long term commitment: Storage rooms are available from just a week, and as well as giving notice quickly, up- or downsizing is just as easy so there are no worries about paying for space you’re not using.

– Large choice of storage sizes: Some storage companies start with spaces as small as a locker and go up to huge rooms. Whether you need a safe place for document storage (tax records from previous years or backups of your docs in cloud storage), or you need space to store stock for a small department store, there will be a room size that’s just right.

– Security, plus a helping hand: Stock is much more secure than it would be at home thanks to CCTV and sophisticated alarm systems. Staff will also often receive deliveries on your behalf if you can’t be there when they arrive.

– Flexible workspace: Add a desk or table to your storage room and you can pack and dispatch in the same area, saving time and money on handling and travel costs as you move items back and forth.

Storage is one of those mundane things that ought to happen invisibly in the background, without you having to stress about it. But it can only do that if you choose the flexible storage system that’s right for you and your personal business model.

work from home secrets

Big Yellow also rent break-out office space for those times when a home office isn’t enough – when you’re collaborating with other professionals on a project, or need to hold meetings or interviews outside your home.

Posted in: Home offices

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