If you’re just starting a small business office space can be a little bit pricey. Add that to restrictive use of your parents’ garage and/or limited space in your walk-in closet of an apartment, the room to stretch out and conduct business is hard to find. Many young businesses these days need limited amounts of real-world space anyway, so spending large amounts of cash on a rented office is impractical even if you have the funds to do so. Sometimes all you need is four walls, a light, and a lock, to have the space it needs to run a small business properly.
Primer, a critically-acclaimed independent film released in 2004, tells the tale of a couple of business-minded buddies that accidentally discover a way to travel backwards in time while trying to invent an error-checking device. While the story mainly focuses on the tragic flaws of toying with time travel, it demonstrates cost-effective entrepreneurialism pretty accurately. To evade the curious and do so cheaply the film’s characters conduct their experiments in a storage unit.
It makes me think of a Canadian friend of mine who recently started operating her own traveling vintage clothing store. She rented out a couple of Toronto storage units to keep her total inventory, then picked up items in the van she used as her “store” When gas and the rental costs are added together she tells me her costs still run under $200 a month!
Most storage centers are happy to accommodate activities beyond mere storage. Many storage center websites encourage people who need a place for band practice or need a workshop to rent out a storage room. They promise clean climate controlled environments that are accessible at any point in time. Most offer great deals on the first months fees, and the superior storage centers that exist make it just as easy to cancel your rental agreement as it is to sign up for one.
I’d check before aspiring to run an actual business straight from a storage center – storage facilities probably have a problem with people coming by to visit your flea market – but so long as you’re simply using the space for a business and not for housing one, you shouldn’t have a problem. It really comes down to whether or not you interfere with other storage customers.
In the meantime before renting office space becomes necessary and affordable, see about renting a storage unit to have access to space you can use cheaply and casually for an indefinite amount of time. Starting a business drains a lot of your worry power, so don’t make things worse by adding the burdens of a lease or compromising for space with family members, roommates, or loved ones. If all you need is the bare minimum space for your business to grow, look no further than self storage centers.