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Can You Run a Business From a Storage Unit? All You Need To Know

Posted by wobstorage on November 8, 2023

Innovation knows no bounds in the world of business, especially when we have the power of self storage at our fingertips. Business owners constantly need creative solutions to minimise overhead costs and maximise profitability. One option that has gained attention recently is running a business from a storage unit. But can it be done? 

Let’s dive into the costs and practical aspects of running a business from a storage unit, and who can benefit from this commercial storage solution.

Can You Run a Business out of a Storage Unit?

A business owner directing employees inside a self storage unit

Whether or not it’s feasible to run a business from a storage unit depends on your business’ specific needs. You can use a storage unit for many business needs, like inventory storage and stock management. A storage unit can also be a peaceful, productive workspace for focused tasks that require ample space. This solution will help most businesses, but bear in mind it can’t meet every commercial need. 

At self storage you can: 

  • Store excess inventory, seasonal items, and overstocked goods
  • Keep materials and supplies in a secure and organised manner
  • Archive business documents, paperwork, and records
  • Ensure compliance with document retention regulations
  • Store tools, machinery, and equipment not frequently used
  • Maintain and protect valuable equipment from damage and theft
  • Manage stock for online stores, like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy 
  • Prepare orders for shipping

At self storage you cannot:

  • Store live animals, flammable materials, or hazardous goods
  • Host board meetings, virtual or in-person
  • Stay overnight in the storage unit

Is It Expensive To Work From a Storage Unit? 

A business owner calculating costs on a work laptop

While it may seem unconventional, using a storage unit as a base for your small business can be significantly more affordable than renting out a traditional warehouse or office space. These traditional commercial spaces can come with hefty overhead costs, including rent, utilities, maintenance, and property taxes. These expenses can be overwhelming for your small business, especially if it’s just starting out. 

Self storage facilities typically charge a fraction of the cost compared to commercial properties. You’ll only pay for the space you need, and many storage facilities include utilities like electricity, eliminating those hidden costs. When you rent an office or warehouse space, you’re typically responsible for maintenance and repairs. This upkeep can quickly add up, while in contrast, storage unit facilities are responsible for maintaining the property, saving you both time and money.

Types of Businesses You Can Run From a Storage Unit

An e-commerce business owner hard at work

As a business grows its range of product offerings and customer base, managing inventory more efficiently becomes crucial to success. E-commerce and online retail businesses often find themselves dealing with fluctuating inventory needs because of seasonal trends, promotions, or sales events. 

Storage units offer the flexibility to scale up or down at short notice. You can rent additional units during peak seasons and reduce your rental space when demand slows down, saving money in the process.

Service-Based Businesses

Service-based businesses are a diverse and growing sector of the economy, consisting of repair services, tradespeople, contractors, and more. What many of these businesses share is the need for space to store tools, equipment, and supplies. Your typical office space may not meet these requirements, which is where self storage can make a difference.

Service-based businesses cover a wide range of industries and professions, including:

  • Contractors: Whether it’s construction, renovation, or landscaping, contractors will need a secure and accessible space to store their tools, machinery, and materials.
  • Repair Services: Repair shops for electronics, appliances, or automotive repairs often need ample space for diagnostic equipment, spare parts, and the items waiting on hand to be serviced.
  • Tradesmen: Plumbers, electricians, and HVAC technicians need a central location to keep their tools, fixtures, and equipment organised and readily available.
  • Landscapers and Gardeners: These professionals need storage for lawn mowers, landscaping tools, fertilisers, and seasonal equipment.
  • Event Planners: Event planners will often have a vast inventory of decorations, furniture, and supplies that need secure storage between events.
  • Artists and Crafters: Artists and crafters require space to store their materials, finished products, and tools, especially if they work from home.

Event Planning 

Self storage is a valuable asset for any event business looking to streamline its operations, enhance those organisational abilities, and ultimately achieve a greater success rate. 

If you’re a planner, caterer, party rental service, decorator, photographer, or floral designer, self storage can help your event business run better, especially when it comes to managing equipment, decor, and supplies. This allows you to focus on creating unforgettable experiences for your clients. 

Logistics Businesses 

If you’re in the business of moving things from A to B, you’ll know that organisation and space management are critical components of your day-to-day running. Your logistics business is the one that makes sure packages get to doorsteps and make sure supermarket shelves are stocked, keeping the supply chain oiled at all times. 

But problems can bubble up when your warehouse starts to drown in its own clutter, which is where some extra space at easily accessible locations can help get you back on track. A drive-up storage unit has helped many logistics companies come back from the brink of bankruptcy.

5 Key Benefits of Running a Business From a Storage Unit 

A small business owner looking very satisfied

Cluttered offices, cramped workspaces, and throttling expenses can become a thing of the past when you choose to use self storage as a business space solution. Here are a few reasons you should seriously consider renting out a storage unit for business:


Businesses, especially startups, often find themselves struggling with a variety of expenses before they make it off the ground. Traditional office spaces can be expensive, eating into your budget with a voracious appetite. Enter storage units, your budget-friendly alternative. 

These spaces are a fraction of the cost of typical commercial rentals, allowing you to allocate more resources to growing your business rather than paying rent.

Flexibility & Convenience

One of the standout perks of running a business from a storage unit is its unparalleled flexibility. Need more space as your business expands? It’s a simple matter of renting an additional unit. Conversely, you can scale down during quieter periods without worrying about the fuss of breaking a lease. 

Many storage facilities provide 24/7 access, so you can work on your schedule, not someone else’s. Storage facilities also offer drive-up access, making it easier for businesses that require regular loading and unloading of goods.

Privacy and Security

Privacy is paramount for any business, especially those dealing with sensitive information or valuable inventory. Storage units offer you a level of privacy that can be hard to come by in a standard office building or co-working space. You control access to your unit, ensuring that your business remains secure. Storage facilities also provide top-notch security, including surveillance cameras, gated access, and individual locks, further enhancing the safety level of your assets.

Versatility of Space

No two businesses are identical, and their space requirements vary greatly. Storage units cater to this diversity with a versatile environment that you can adapt to suit your specific needs. Whether you need space for inventory storage, a workspace for your online retail business, or even a quiet place for crafting, storage units can accommodate it all. 

With the right organisational layout, your unit can become a multifunctional space that works as hard as you do!

How To Rent a Business Storage Unit?

A shot of a Wm. O’Brien Self Storage facility

Renting a storage unit at a self storage facility can provide a secure and convenient solution for your business storage needs. With Wm. O’Brien Self Storage, the process to rent a self storage unit is straightforward and painless:

  1. Select on our website that you’d like a business self storage unit 
  2. Decide how much storage space you need with the help of our size calculator 
  3. Fill in your details and decide on which date you’d like to move in

Our self storage experts will calculate your monthly cost with the information above and send it your way. Just a few clicks, and you’re sorted!

Get your instant quote with us today!