To be successful as an entrepreneur you have to be wily and instinctive, grasping any opportunity which presents itself. At first glance a storage facility might not seem the kind of place to inspire such instinctiveness, with corrugated iron corridors dominating the landscape.
The Home to Some of the Most Vibrant E-Commerce Businesses
This however is certainly not the case, and although it is true that many of the lockers inside these facilities are used by people who have a lack of space in their home for unwanted items, or want to store items that they cannot bring themselves to throw away, storage lockers are also home to some of the UK’s most bustling and vibrant e-commerce businesses.
Why would a business want to locate itself in a storage locker as opposed to a full time premises on the high street? The short and simple answer is flexibility. The self-storage industry is currently booming due to this very reason, because businesses (and seasonal ones in particular) are able to locate there, with the option to leavevery quickly and with few overheads to pay – especially as council tax is included in the rent.
Short Term leases Provide Practical Solutions
In a world where the recession has forced many businesses to close prematurely, a storage locker becomes the perfect solution for most start-ups, because if you take the gamble and your business starts to falter or even fail completely, you know you can leave within a month – and sometimes even less. Likewise, if you simply want to downsize, you can just rent less space.
Because storage lockers are generally located somewhere outside the immediate city centre, rental rates are cheap but access is good, meaning that they are the perfect distribution centres or warehouses for e-commerce businesses that need to be in touch with the city centres.
The boom in using storage lockers for business operations has largely been down to internet based businesses who have realised that they provide the perfect environment to store stock. As there’s a front of house reception centre on the premises, these small businesses also have the capability to take deliveries.
The storage centre revolution might be a fairly new concept, but it’s one which is certainly taking hold. The concept first started in America back in the 1970s, before spreading to Australia; finally coming to the UK around two decades ago.
Treasury Helps Small Storage Based Businesses
The fundamental reason for this is very simple: the cost of hosting a business there. Back in 2012, the Treasury introduced a tax on storage space, which meant that the cost of storing items, for domestic purposes at least, increased hugely. Businesses can however claim this expense back.
Businesses additionally do not have to pay business rates (the taxes usually paid on non-domestic properties) on any storage space they use. It is judged that this burden should fall on the self-storage facility itself, because it is classed as a warehouse and the operator is assessed as liable for paying the rates.
This means that, unlike in days gone by where businesses would set up in garages and lock-ups in side streets, they can now set up in safe, secure storage facilities where any visiting customers and clients can get a coffee while they wait in reception.
Especially useful for internet based and e-commerce businesses, storage units are the perfect solution for businesses up and down the country, encouraging that infamous entrepreneurial spirit. The only question that remains is, how far will the concept now go?