11 Tips for Picking the Right Storage Facility for Your Business
Whether you’re downsizing or simply in need of extra space for your business, choosing the right long-term storage facility is crucial. It’s not just about finding a place to stash your stuff. You’re entrusting your company’s belongings, some of which may hold significant monetary value, to a third party. The right facility should give you peace of mind, knowing that your items are secure, protected, and accessible when you need them.
But with so many options out there, how do you pick the perfect spot? From understanding various features to assessing security measures, here are key tips to help you make an informed decision when selecting a long-term storage facility.
1. Research Security Measures
The security of your stored items should be a top priority. Look for facilities with robust security features like 24/7 surveillance, gated access, and individual alarms for units. A well-secured facility will deter potential thefts and give you confidence that your company assets are safe.
2. Determine Your Storage Needs
Before you start looking, clearly define what you need from a storage facility. Consider the size of the unit, climate control options, and location. Are you storing delicate items that need a temperature-controlled environment? Or do you need a larger space for furniture or equipment? Knowing your specific requirements will narrow down your choices and guide you to the right facility.
If your organization requires its workers to move to corporate accommodation like oilfield housing, you might need a larger storage capacity for all their personal belongings that they bring with them while they’re away from home.
3. Check Accessibility and Convenience
Consider how often you’ll need to access your stored items. Some facilities offer 24-hour access, while others have specific operating hours. If you require frequent access, choose a facility that offers flexible hours. Also, consider the location – is it easily accessible from your home or work?
4. Understand the Costs and Contracts
Be clear about the facility’s pricing structure and contract terms. Some facilities might offer attractive introductory rates that significantly increase after a few months. Read the contract thoroughly to understand the terms, especially regarding payment schedules, late fees, and the process for terminating the contract.
5. Evaluate Customer Service and Facility Maintenance
Good customer service can make a big difference. Visit the facility and observe how the staff interacts with customers. Is the staff helpful and knowledgeable? Also, assess the overall cleanliness and maintenance of the facility. A well-maintained facility is likely to take better care of your belongings.
6. Read Reviews and Get Recommendations
Online reviews and recommendations from friends or family can provide valuable insights. Pay attention to comments about customer service, security, and overall satisfaction. However, remember to take online reviews with a grain of caution, as they can sometimes be biased.
7. Inspect the Storage Unit Personally
Before finalizing your decision, it’s essential to personally inspect the storage unit. This visit will give you a firsthand look at the size, cleanliness, and condition of the space. It’s also an opportunity to assess environmental factors like humidity or potential pest problems, ensuring your items will be stored under optimal conditions.
8. Ask About Insurance Coverage
Insurance is a critical factor in choosing a storage facility. Inquire about the facility’s insurance policies and what they cover. It’s also advisable to check if your business insurance plan extends to items stored off-site and consider additional insurance if necessary for extra peace of mind.
9. Look for Flexible Plans and Scalability
Your company’s storage needs might change over time. Look for a facility that offers flexibility in terms of scaling up or down your storage space. Facilities that provide a range of unit sizes and easy transitions between different units can be particularly convenient if your storage needs are likely to evolve.
10. Check for Special Amenities
Some storage facilities offer special amenities that can be incredibly useful. These may include free use of moving trucks, dollies, and packing supplies, or even mail and package acceptance services. While not essential, these amenities can add value and convenience to your storage experience.
11. Consider Climate-Controlled Options
For sensitive items like electronics, artwork, or antique furniture, climate-controlled units are a must. These units maintain a consistent temperature and humidity level, protecting your belongings from extreme temperatures, moisture, and the potential damage they can cause.
Choosing the right long-term storage facility involves more than just picking the closest or cheapest option. It requires careful consideration of your specific storage needs, the facility’s security and maintenance standards, and the quality of customer service. By taking the time to research and evaluate your options, you can find a storage solution that offers the perfect balance of efficiency, security, and affordability. Remember, the right storage facility not only safeguards your belongings but also provides you with peace of mind, knowing that your items are secure and accessible whenever you need them.