How To Run Your Start-Up In A Storage Unit

Storage Vault

Are you a sole trader that works from home? Constantly battling against the ever-enclosing space of your home office à la spare room?

The most common problem young businesses face is not having enough space. However, not everyone can afford their own premises. And at this vital stage penny pinching might mean the difference between having your business in profit, or not.

At Storage Vault, we think we’ve found the perfect answer for both more space and lower costs!

Hire a storage unit!

Wait! Hear us out.

When you think of storage units, do you think of horror stories about divorce? Well, don’t. In amongst the personal storage units are a surprising number of businesses have set up shop behind the roll up doors of a self-storage unit.

And it’s for good reasons. Self storage has come a huge way in the past five years and now offers a service bordering on the best co-working spaces – like our CoVault service!

With a modern self storage facility, you can stroll in with a coffee in hand, make use of the free WiFi, sit down and get to work in a calm, clean and cheap workspace.

Self-storage units are a brilliant resource for sole traders or SMEs, offering extra facilities, low overheads, added security and unmatched flexibility. Seriously, what more could you want?

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The rise of the self-storage units

Self-storage units sprung to life in the US in the 1970s, making their way to the UK in late ‘90s. Most people used them for storing extra household items or odds and ends, but we’ve recently seen a huge change in use.

A 2017 study taken by SSA UK showed that 42% of storage units are being used for business purposes. That means almost every other storage unit that’s occupied is running some form of business out of it.

With rent on the high street increasing every single year, it’s not surprising that more businesses are turning to alternative work spaces.

So why are storage units so cheap? Well, to start with they’re usually built out in the suburbs, which means the rent is a fraction of what you’d normally pay on the high street.

And it’s not just cheap rent, going with a storage unit provides a lot more than you might think.

The benefits of working from a self-storage unit

If you’re struggling with space at home or in your office but can’t afford to invest in larger commercial premises, self-storage is an increasingly attractive option for many growing businesses. There are a lot more benefits than you might have considered.

Storage, Space and More

Where will I put the next delivery? I know that invoice was here somewhere. Did I remember to send out all the boxes with the last order? A storage unit can help keep things running smoothly and in order.

Firstly and unsurprisingly, it’s perfect for storage! Being snowed under with paperwork, stock, equipment and all other sorts of things that comes along with your business is all too familiar. A storage unit will provide you with the extra space that you need.

Are you an eCommerce business owner that has endless deliveries of stock both arriving and needing dispatched? Why not use your storage unit to keep the stock until it is used and also use the space to prepare it for dispatch?

Or are you a fixer of all things? You can store your backlogged items until you get time to work on them. Or better still use the space as your workshop, so you don’t need to be going back and forward.

Recently, self-storage providers have noticed this increase in units being used for business and have now began to target that market. Lucky for you!

More facilities and more extras are being offered, from teas and coffees, to entire conference rooms and wifi. Check out what your potential storage companies have to offer you and your business.

At Storage Vault we offer conference facilities, meeting rooms, kitchens and lounges all included with your work space. Get in touch to find out more.


As mentioned due to self-storage companies being located on the outskirts of town it means that they can keep rent low. Much lower than a store on the high street and with much more value for your money.

The UK average rental rate is just £22.68 per sq ft for a year for a storage unit! On the other hand, looking at renting a space on the high street you will be talking lengthy leases and tens of thousands a year for rent.

A UCL study provides the average prices in the following cities showing rent per month per square foot.

  • London (£52.50ft2 per month)
  • Belfast (£6.82/ft2 per month)
  • Cambridge (£4.08ft2 per month)
  • Glasgow (£3.45ft2 per month)
  • Brighton (£3.38/ft2 per month)
  • Leicester (£3.18ft2 per month)

So if you get a gigantic 500 sq ft storage unit, the average price you’d pay would be around £11,340 per year.
If you want a 500 sq ft office in london, you would pay £313,000. Okay london is expensive, we get that. But even your cheapest office space in Leicester would cost you £19,080 per year.

That’s still a massive price increase for rent alone.

Oh, because we forgot to mention that you don’t pay any council tax or business rates on storage units. That cost is absorbed by the storage company itself. Heating and electric? Included in the rent too! Good luck getting that deal with your office rental!

Using a storage unit will slash your costs across rent, rates and utilities giving your business a massive push towards being fully operational and profitable.

(Can’t get your head around how big a unit you might need, check out our nifty little sizing guide here.)


One of the biggest reasons for renting a storage unit is it’s flexibility. For most units, you’re limited to a one-month contract. So if your business starts to take off and you want to move to bigger premises, just give notice and get out of there next month!

Okay, we’ve mentioned that self storage units are usually outwith the city centre so you might be worrying that they’re tricky to get to.

Well, worry no more! With over 1,400 storage sites in the UK, nine in ten people are less than 45 minutes away from their units. That still too long? Well half of all people are less than 15 minutes away!

We understand that starting a new business requires attention at almost all times of the day, whether that’s taking phone calls or accepting early morning deliveries. Thankfully, at Storage Vault you have 24-hour access to your unit with a helping hand on call during office hours. And we also accept deliveries on your behalf so you can get on with things.

Not all storage companies offer this so check it out to make sure you get everything you need for your business.

Peace of Mind

Finally, we get that security is paramount to keep your business safe and running. With so much of your important stock, equipment and paperwork in these storage units it’s vital to be vigilant.

The majority of storage companies will provide 24-hour CCTV along with extra security measures like unique access codes. However, it’s important that you see the security measures for yourself and get a feel for how secure a facility is.

If you are looking around at your overflowing desk and know that you need to make a change, contact us now.

We can talk you through what we have to offer and how we can help your business grow.

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