Entrepreneurs Debate Glitzy Office Space or Bare-Bone Unit

Posted on Jul 9 2015 - 9:58am by Garret Stembridge

So-called ‘good’ reality television has to be born of something. Typically topics prey on human behavior—a flare for the dramatic, humans versus the wild, an urge to collect more than we need.


The final example may be more common, although not as dramatic, as depicted in Hoarders. Most of us tend to collect more than we need. Who can pass up the dollar aisle at Target or Black Friday gluttony?

Then there are the ‘necessities’ of a first-world life. It truly ain’t cool to sport heavy wool sweaters in the summer or show up to the neighborhood campout sans tent, only to sleep in your trunk. Well, necessities, and non-necessities alike, require space. Things you don’t need everyday, but to which you’re not ready to say goodbye.

As it turns out, businesses, like individuals, have excess stuff. Herein lies the problem; stuff requires space and commercial real estate tends to be pretty pricey. According to entrepreneuer.com, in 2013 the price-per-square-foot average for commercial space was $23.23 with highs as high as $49.98 (in New York City, no surprise). Those numbers continue to grow.

Since you’ve found yourself on a storage blog, you very well may know where this is headed. Some, like you, have found a happy alternative for things they don’t need everyday—self storage. Average rates per square foot for self storage, were just $1.35 in 2014 according to the Self Storage Association.

double mirrorAnd numbers do matter. Especially for start-ups that struggle for cash flow. Even an inexperienced entrepreneur can do the math on that one.  A 20 foot by 20 foot office space, based on the average commercial rate, would be $464.60 per month. A similarly sized storage unit, $27 per month.

So, it makes sense to use storage for those things you just don’t need access to everyday.

Entrepreneurs are famously successful for putting a new spin on old ideas. And, self storage has not been overlooked in that equation.

The storage facilities of today often come equipped with electrical outlets, climate-control, facility-wide WiFi and stronger security than the White House (only a slight exaggeration). Seems like the perfect formula. According to Honolulu Magazine, more than one native Hawaiian would agree. Operating within a small collection of storage facilities on Oahu are a personal trainer, a collectible toy store, a wedding dress retailer, a tour operator, an upholstery repair shop and a small law practice.

Using self storage to cut operating costs? Smart move.***

***for some, that is.

According to storage.com, running a business out of a self storage unit is good business only if it’s legal. Many facilities do not allow businesses to operate direct-from-unit, although they do provide business storage.

‘How is that?,’ you may be wondering. Well, turns out storage units are made to house things and not people, generally speaking. So, file folders, rolodexes and inventory? Welcome. Attorneys, meat heads and designers? Au revoir.

Still, investors ready-yourselves. For the few facilities that do allow businesses to operate from within their walls, a new reality television show is calling: Storage Gone Rogue: the Secret Life of What Really Goes on Behind the Tin Doors…

I can hear the advertisers calling…

(image thanks to tonightontv.blogspot.com)

(image thanks to livingcivil.com)

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