As your business grows, you might find that you need extra storage for your inventory, equipment, marketing materials, and more. As you research business storage options, you’ll likely come across two popular choices: self-storage and warehouse storage.
In this article, we’ll compare self-storage versus warehouse storage, showing the pros and cons of each option so you can make the right choice for your company.
What Is Warehouse Storage?
A warehouse is a large commercial building dedicated to inventory management and storage. As a business, you can either rent and manage an entire warehouse facility or just rent some space in one. Many third-party warehouses also offer additional business services and an on-the-ground contact to manage your storage needs.
Benefits of Warehouse Storage
Here are some of the primary benefits of using a warehouse for your business storage:
- High storage capacity: Warehouses are often as large as 1,000 square feet or more. If you have a large quantity of items to store, you’re likely to find plenty of space in a warehouse.
- Additional services: Many warehouses offer additional services, such as fulfillment (which means they’ll package and ship your products on your behalf). In many cases, they’ll use advanced fulfillment software and can provide you with helpful reporting on your inventory flow.
- Ability to store unique items: Warehouses usually feature large shelves and high ceilings, allowing them to store large, bulky, and odd-shaped items
- Climate-control: Most warehouses are climate-controlled, enabling you to protect your items from extreme temperatures.
- On-site security: In addition to security cameras and lights, many warehouses also hire on-site security patrols to add an extra layer of safety and oversight.
The Drawbacks of Warehouse Storage
Storage warehouses aren’t the right choice for everyone. Here are some notable drawbacks:
- Expense: In almost all cases, warehouse storage is more expensive than self-storage, even if you’re only renting space in a third-party warehouse. If you choose to have your own warehouse, you’ll need to pay rent and insurance on a large commercial building and likely hire multiple employees to manage it.
- Less flexibility: In most cases, you’ll need to sign a three- to five-year lease to rent a full warehouse building, and you’ll be stuck with that space for the full term of your lease, whether or not your storage needs change.
- Less control: If you work with a third-party warehouse, you may not be able to handle your inventory directly. Instead, you’ll need to rely on the employees of the warehouse.
- Services cost extra: While it can be enticing to take advantage of the fulfillment services many warehouses offer, you’ll pay extra.
What Is Self-Storage?
A self-storage facility offers a range of fully enclosed storage units that come in a variety of sizes, from small units capable of holding a few boxes to extra large units capable of holding a household’s worth of items. Both businesses and individuals use self-storage facilities to store their personal and business belongings. Depending on the facility, you may be able to rent drive-up units or save money by renting second-story units.
What Are the Benefits of Self Storage?
Do you think a self-storage facility might be a better option for your business storage needs? Here are all the pros of choosing this storage option:
- Big savings: For many, the biggest benefit of using self-storage is that it is usually much less expensive than warehouse storage, even if you choose to rent a larger unit.
- Month-to-month contracts: Many self-storage facilities offer month-to-month leases, which can be ideal if your storage needs change quickly.
- Space flexibility: Most self-storage facilities will allow you to upgrade to a larger unit or downgrade to a smaller unit with minimal or no penalties, so you can change your storage unit as your requirements shift.
- Access: When you rent a storage unit, you have full access to the unit. That means you can pick up the items in your unit or drop off more items whenever you’d like. Many facilities allow you to visit 24/7.
- Convenient locations: Self-storage facilities are plentiful in most areas and tend to have convenient locations off major highways.
- Climate control: Some self-storage facilities offer climate-controlled units for a premium price.
What Are the Drawbacks of Self-Storage?
Like warehouse storage, there are some downsides to using self-storage facilities:
- Less customer service: After you rent your storage unit, it’ll be up to you to drop off, organize, and manage your items. You also won’t get add-on services, like in-house fulfillment.
- You can’t store everything: Storage facilities limit what you can keep in them. For example, you won’t be able to store food, plants, aerosols, or hazardous materials.
- Not everything can fit: Large and bulky items, especially large equipment, may not fit in most traditional storage units.
- Security is limited: Most self-storage facilities offer some level of security, including cameras and lights. However, you likely won’t get a security guard or extra precautions.
Is Self-Storage Right for You?
Using a self-storage unit for your business storage might be the right choice for you. Self-storage is ideal for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small businesses that need to operate lean and mean. It can also be ideal for other types of businesses that need no-frills, long-term storage for extra office furniture, seasonal displays, or old files.
If you’d like to explore self-storage for business, try Price Self Storage. We have facilities throughout California and work with business owners of every stripe. We offer climate-controlled storage units, month-to-month leases, and an easy online payment system.
Find your nearest Price Self Storage location today.