Over the last few months, entrepreneurs all over the world have reported that they see no reason to pass up a business opportunity, or business opportunities, simply because they have no space in which to house a small business. More and more small business owners, especially those who just started a new business or who are running a home business, have chosen to turn to self storage to provide the space they need at an affordable price. Many self storage companies, catering to small businesses and home-based business owners, are now offering more than just space -- they also provide conference rooms, Internet access, and other business-friendly features.
Al Mitamura uses a self storage space at Dillingham Blvd Self Storage in Kalihi, Hawaii, to run a monogram machine for his business, The Monogram Shop.
“I was paying $1,900 a month for a space three buildings down and it was 1,150 square feet. Now it’s costing me $730,” Mitamura commented in Hawaii News Now.
Dillingham’s owner, Nanette York, noted proudly that her facility made it possible for many local businesses to stay in business during the recession. Many closed their store fronts and moved into self storage facilities. Dillingham’s tenants include souvenir companies catering to tourists, slipper companies, pharmaceutical companies, and travel merchants. “The list goes on and on,” she says. Dillingham offers a conference room and is zoned for mixed-commercial use, so she can offer to let businesses use their self storage space as a headquarters without breaking any laws.
“They’re able to come in the morning, roll up their door, operate their machinery at low cost, shut the door at 6 o’clock or work 24 hours if they’d like,” she told Hawaii News Now. Rouel Cabotage, who owns a freight forwarding company, does exactly that. He has a unit equipped with a phone, fax machine and computer. “If I have visitors or I have business associates or partners or people who just want to talk to me about the business, we have a conference room,” he says.
On the other side of the Pacific, self storage companies in Singapore get small business tenants who are grateful for the climate-controlled, air-conditioned units and the 24-hour access to facilities. For example, Anthony Leong uses a self storage unit to hold racks of Italian fabrics, which he sells to local tailors. He rents his storage unit from Extra Space Self Storage of Singapore (not to be confused with Extra Space Storage in the United States). The fabrics are very sensitive to temperature and humidity, and must be in an air-conditioned space. Leong also works at home, but “I like the quiet here,” he says in Asia One News. “I usually spend my time here cutting fabrics and thinking of new business ideas....I can’t really work at home because my three children may need my attention.” He also uses his storage space as an office.
In Nottingham, England, an auction house, John Pye & Sons, relies on 160 self storage units to hold items for its auctions. The company also has three salesrooms, but could not function without the storage units which hold much of its inventory. John Pye & Sons has grown dramatically over the last three years, doubling its staff. This year, it won the BT Local Business award for Best Use of IT & Communications.
“Flower firm bunches blooms into winner of Nottingham Post business awards.” The Nottingham Post (UK). July 5, 2010.
Mendoza, Jim. “Small businesses set up shop in storage lockers.” Hawaii News Now. June 26, 2010.
Ng, Christina. “Low-cost start for high-end fabrics.” Asia One News. June 28, 2010.
“Singapore Self Storage assists in all walks of life: circus troops, comic collectors, wine traders and others.” Inside Self Storage. June 28, 2010.