An online business has many benefits, but one big issue can be storage. Read about your main storage options when you’ve started home-based company.
Starting an ecommerce company can be brilliant for entrepreneurs who do not want any involvement with the physical high street. However, one common assumption is that you will never need any space at all when you run a company like this. You only need your laptop right?
Unfortunately, you’re very wrong if you think that. You do need less space than if you had a shop or a restaurant or similar business, but you will need more space than just you and your laptop takes up. Even if you only need a laptop you’ll need somewhere at home to work that is quiet and dedicated to your job, especially if you take conference calls. Your job however, is likely to involve more ‘stuff’ than that and you may have stock, equipment, prototypes and areas for paperwork to think about.
So what are your storage options when you’ve started an ecommerce company from home?
The Spare Room
OK, it is a stereotype to say you started a business in the garage or spare room, but there really isn’t anything wrong with using those spare spaces for your new venture. Long-term the lack of security and protection from accidental or environmental damage will be an issue, and as your business grows, your whole house could end up being taken over. In the beginning though, using space you already pay for makes sense.
Your Parents/ Friends Spare Room
OK, it is a little bit cheeky to ask a friend or relative if you can borrow their space, but when you’re starting a business, you can’t be shy! Agree a set time with them and in return perhaps you can do them a favour, ranging from cooking them a nice meal, to mowing their lawns. They may not want anything in return but it makes sense to offer, especially if they are unsure.
Cheap Self Storage
An affordable storage option for many types of business, but especially online businesses. There are no lengthy contracts to get tied into, you don’t have to pay for extra security, and you can move between unit sizes depending on your needs. Our storage price comparison chart is a good way to find about prices
Renting an office space is not the ideal option when you went into business to avoid those kinds of commitments. However, if you are taking on staff, or you want somewhere specifically for your business and nothing else, it might make sense. Do avoid offices in city centres if you can help it, and do haggle for the best deal. There are deals to be had, albeit you’re less likely to get a deal with office and warehouse contracts but, if you don’t ask you don’t get so do always try.
You will need some space for any business, even if it is online and if only for yourself as a workspace. However, it might be that you can go paperless, or you can avoid stock coming to your house. There are always ways to minimise what you’re working with and if you want the freedom to travel, or avoid being tied down to any area with storage, there are innovative ways to do that if you commit to working in that way from the very beginning.
Storage for an online based business is not always necessary, but when it is it can be efficient, free or very low cost. Do think creatively, do keep business stock to a minimum and do be mindful of things like security and the potential for damage to items that make up your business value. Before you know it, you’ll have an online business to be proud of, with efficient storage to boot.