Launching your own business? There’s nothing quite like the excitement of drawing up your business plan, building your team, and finding a place to spend the days and nights ahead of you. As you dream about strategy sessions in the conference room and closed-door sessions in your corner office, you might be in for an abrupt awakening. Besides salaries, the largest expense for most new businesses is office space.
Leasing an office costs a lot of money and, in almost any market, typically requires things that not all new businesses have: solid credit (if not the business’ credit, then yours), revenue commitments for the upcoming year, and enough money to keep the lights on. These days, bootstrapping startups are taking to a new model of business presence: the self storage office.
Think about it: a self-storage unit offers all kinds of benefits, especially for a start-up. Rentals tend to be month-to-month, with no credit check. The space is so small that you won’t need to buy leather couches for the lobby or a conference room table.
Forget about the interactive “smart board” and Herman Miller chairs. You can use paper! Sit on folding chairs at a card table! Strike that line item for “indoor plant service” and haul in the Ficus tree you somehow kept alive on your own. All you have to do is check with the self-storage facility’s manager and make sure that your storage unit can be used as an office (and receiving mail there is a bonus).
Now you’re in business.
This could be the start-up wave of the future. There’s no need to spend four dollars on a latté every time you have a meeting. And really, who wants a P.O. Box on a business card? Securing your own space, where you don’t have to fight for a good table or share an outlet with ten other people, can pay dividends in the long run. Here are just a few of the benefits of the storage office space:
No more stepping outside the coffee shop to “take a call.” In your self-storage office, you’ll have all the privacy you need for wheeling, dealing, and explaining to your mom that yes, this is a “real job.”
A place to spread out your work.
No more lugging around your laptop and Moleskines from café (morning) to restaurant (business lunch) to a second café (bagels for dinner are great when you’re on a budget). Imagine spreading out all your Post-it notes, the business cards you’ve collected, back copies of Fast Company, and take-out menus. You won’t have to gather them up three or four times a day. You can set them out, leave them overnight, and start the next day with the map of your dreams in tact.
You’re not giving up your go-to meeting space.
If you choose a storage facility that’s close to your favorite coffee shop, no one will be the wiser. In fact, when you make the switch from spending all day, every day at the café to showing up only on the days you look pretty spiffy and are “meeting a potential client,” people will talk. In a good way.
Storage is included!
Finally, if your business involves a physical product—the latest smart wearable, or maybe terrariums you’re selling on Etsy—you can easily store it right in your self storage unit.
Congratulations, you have a new office.
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