Why is storage and office space leasing essential for small businesses?

The goal for every start-up or small company is to see it grow. But with growth, there’s often a need for more storage space and a central place to operate from. That’s where short-term leasing can come in handy.

Some of the biggest businesses started so small they were practically still just ideas. Think of Facebook, birthed by 19-year-old Zuckerberg in a university dorm room. Or Google, which was first launched out of Susan Wójcicki’s garage.

The point here is not to highlight that many of the world’s most successful businesses find their genesis in a room or garage, but to note that the likes of Facebook, Google, Apple, and almost every other start-up or small business, outgrow their initial operating space when business starts booming or to give it the space to boom.

At U Can Store, we understand the common needs of successful small businesses: the requirement for a larger office space and secure storage for business assets. For small businesses on a growth trajectory, exploring cost-effective office space is essential for a safe operational hub, while affordable business storage is crucial for organising and safeguarding valuable assets.

Small business storage

While business assets differ depending on a company’s operations, the reality is that almost every service provider will need to store equipment, and every retailer will need to store stock.

However, even within the same industry, the size and nature of the storage solutions that companies require are vastly different. Here are some of the different types of business storage needs that U Can Store caters to in several Johannesburg-based locations:

Inventory Storage

All retailers big and small, physical or online, need an organised space to store their goods. So do tradesmen, who need somewhere safe and secure to organise and store their materials for easy access, as and when they need them. Cleanliness and protection from climate conditions are also important factors when it comes to inventory storage, as some items might perish in warm or wet conditions.

Are you thinking about securing storage space for your small business? Below is a comprehensive checklist designed to assist you in making informed decisions for your business and to navigate you through the decision-making process effectively.

Vehicle Storage

Most service providers, tradesmen and retailers have a fleet of vehicles to transport equipment and goods from A to B. All too often, there isn’t enough space at an office park or a private home for a company’s full fleet of vehicles, which makes business storage a good investment.

Equipment Storage

From plumbers and electricians to party planners and event coordinators (and a myriad of service providers in between), so many businesses have tools and equipment that need to be kept in a safe space after a long day’s work. Even corporate offices might need temporary storage facilities for admin equipment like computers, scanners, photocopy machines, desks and office chairs.

Seasonal Storage

Clothing retailers need space to store jackets in summer and bikinis in winter, garden service providers need room to store mowers in the winter, and lawn treatment in the summer. And let’s not forget holidays like Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine’s Day… Seasonal-specific equipment, goods and materials are only used at certain times of the year and need to be kept safely and securely for whenever they’re needed.

Get the best use out of your business storage space

Business storage space may be the cheapest way to expand your business, but if you’re not using your business storage unit in the smartest and most efficient way possible, you’re still not getting bang for your buck.

With 20 years of experience, U Can Store’s dedicated team of storage professionals makes sure that every customer leases storage facilities that meet their exact requirements. Inspired by the needs of our customers over the years, we’ve designed business storage solutions that are:

  • Clean, dry, safe, secure and fully protected against floods and fire;
  • Conveniently located, with easily accessible sites across Johannesburg for straightforward drop-off and collection points;
  • Flexible, with different leasing options to meet the unique needs of each customer; and
  •  Professional, ensuring you appear professional to your clients and suppliers.

U Can Store knows the value and impact of small business, which is why we’re committed to collaborating with clients who need more than just a business storage unit.

Our customers are lifelong partners that benefit from best-in-class business storage solutions and value-added services that predict what you might need, before you know you need it.

Not only are we dedicated to partnered professionalism, but we enjoy offering you peace of mind when you store your goods at one of our secure and easily accessible storage facilities

Your box store

If there’s one thing that goes hand-in-hand with storage solutions, it’s good quality packaging supplies. Everyone needs boxes to move and store their belongings and, in the case of business storage, safety and security are essential for the wellbeing of your business.

Every U Can Store has a sister store onsite called Your Box Store, which offers a range of products and services to meet your moving and storage needs. We provide high-quality packing supplies such as cardboard boxes made from sturdy, double-walled corrugated cardboard, which protects your items during transit or longer-term storage.

Like U Can Store, our box shop is committed to providing affordable and reliable business storage solutions for our customers. Your assets are the cornerstone of your business, which is why we believe your goods and materials need to be kept safe. Your Box Store works hand-in-hand with U Can Store to achieve this.

While you consider which business storage solution is the right one for you, think about what else you might need – in addition to a storage unit – to store and organise your goods. Our range of packing materials should include exactly what you need to help protect your assets.

Your box store packing supplies

Let’s Move Together
Your Box Store By U Can Store

The affordable next step for your small business

While all small businesses hope for success, there’s no easy way to predict the rate or timing of a company’s growth trajectory. This is why you need a flexible business storage solution that can match the pace of your company’s growth, as well as accommodate its evolving requirements.

The additional cost of a storage unit may seem like an unnecessary overhead, but it’s far simpler and more affordable than acquiring a large warehousing space that’s too big for your current needs.

Moreover, renting a business storage unit from a friendly, experienced and adaptable service provider – one that understands your business needs and is committed to giving you options and flexibility – ensures that your money buys you exactly what you need.

At U Can Store, we believe scalability is the answer when it comes to matching the evolving growth of your small business. This is why we offer our clients different leasing options that will suit their pocket.

We also believe in having a solution for every business variable and are ready to help you succeed. For some customers, this may mean having to operate on the same premises as their stored assets or inventory, which is why U Can Store also offers office space to rent.

To streamline your expansion process, we provide extra convenience by offering forklift, van, and trailer rentals. This way, you can focus on your business growth without the added hassle of arranging equipment.

Small business storage: The FAQs

You can store almost anything in your unit, though there are a few exceptions for safety reasons. For example, we do not allow customers to store flammable liquids or combustible materials. We also don’t allow customers to store weapons, explosives (including fireworks), chemicals, radioactive materials, toxic waste, asbestos, biological agents, odorous goods, compressed gases or any illegal items, or any dangerous materials.

We ask that customers do not store food or perishable goods, living plants or creatures (including humans) in their unit. If you’re unsure about the legality of what you would like to store, you can always ask a friendly U Can Store employee for help.

Our state-of-the-art storage units are clean, dry, weatherproof, and pest-free. They’re also fitted with the latest in fire protection to ensure that your stored items are well-maintained and remain in the same condition they were stored in.
While we are committed to keeping your goods safe and secure, we advise all customers to insure their items for an extra boost of confidence. Talk to a member of the U Can Store team if you’d like to know more about affordable insurance coverage.
If you want to store or retrieve items or vehicles from your unit, you can do so between 7:00am and 6:00pm. Rest assured that your assets remain safe and secure around the clock, with 24/7 CCTV monitoring and a floodlit site (which also allows for safe and easy loading and unloading during office hours).
Only access-approved parties can access your unit. If you’re the only one with approved access to your unit, then only you will be able to retrieve items and load/unload goods.
Yes, you can secure a unit via a website booking. Once you’ve reserved a unit online, you’ll receive an email confirmation from us with a link to the rental agreement and contract. The email will also offer guidance to help you upload any relevant documentation we might need to secure your unit.
Once your first month’s rent is paid for, we hand over the keys and you can move in! When signing your rental agreement, be sure to bring a copy of your ID for company records.

Renting office space

Again, all businesses are different, but location is always key and many companies need to operate close to or on the same premises as their storage facilities. There are many possible storage solutions that might suit your business’s activities, but for small businesses looking for a storage unit and an office space to rent, a mini-warehouse with an office could be exactly what you need.

Mini-warehouse PLUS office to rent

Small businesses will often get to a point where they’ve outgrown their start-up premises but don’t yet need a large, industrial-sized warehouse.

If this is you, you’ll love U Can Store’s small warehouse and office space combos. This solution includes a storage space and an office for lease, with meeting rooms and internet access.

It also gives you the option of running your business from a highly secure and easily accessible location without having to factor in an additional trip to your warehouse or storage unit.

For easy access and the convenience of a central location, U Can Store’s office facilities and business storage units are all situated in key areas across Johannesburg, including Benoni, Sandton and Alberton.

Benefits of renting

It’s not always easy to know whether a solution will be a good fit for your company in the long run. If you’re still unsure about renting an office space, consider the following benefits:

  •  It’s flexible and scalable. If your small business is still expanding, there are many things you’ll still be uncertain of, including the amount of  space you require, and the number of people you’ll need under your employ. Renting an office space gives you the flexibility your small business needs to thrive under uncertain conditions, without the long-term commitment of buying or leasing a property over a longer period.
  •  It’s more cost-effective. A steady flow of income can be challenging for any small business owner, especially in the current economic climate. Renting a space commits you to a refundable deposit and allows for shorter contract  options (monthly or yearly). This means you’re not tied to a bond and can downscale your office space, if necessary.
  • You aren’t committed to one location. Buying a property binds you to the location of your purchase, but, over time, you might discover that a specific location is not ideal for your business activities. Renting an office space means you can opt to change locations to a more suitable one without being tied to one place. 
  • You reduce your risk. When you own a property, you’re responsible for the bond payments, as well as insurance on the property and your assets. You’re also liable when it comes to the safety and security of your employees. However, renting an office space reduces your risk, giving you the freedom to focus on your primary business. It also makes you less liable for the more general, operational side of your business.

As a trusted storage and rental partner, U Can Store always has your best interests at heart, which means we take on the liability of managing your business property and storage space.

So, if renting an office space is the next best step for your small business, what are some of the questions you should be asking your potential service provider?

Four questions to ask when renting an office space

1. How much does it cost and what does the package include?

How much are you paying and what is included in the price? Does your service provider cover insurance, damages and other liabilities? Who is responsible for maintenance of your office space?

Most storage service providers, including U Can Store, require a security deposit, which is used to protect the service provider against unforeseen damages. It also covers the rental cost when a tenant is unable to pay, or leaves without notice. However, the sum of the deposit is refunded to every customer when they choose to discontinue their contract. You might forfeit your deposit if you end your contract without giving sufficient notice (however long is stipulated in the agreement). A deposit might also be retained to cover damages.

2. Is it big enough for my business?

When shopping for an office space to rent, make sure that the space is sufficient for your business needs. And, if you expect your business to grow over time, consider whether you can rent a bigger space in the future or grow in the current space.

Remember to ask what amenities are included in the office space. Most companies need high-speed internet access and a professional board room for staff meetings, as well as a place to host clients or suppliers. A kitchenette and toilet facilities are also important if you have in-house staff operating out of the facility.

3. What are the terms of the agreement?

Always read the fine print! Terms and conditions exist to protect both you and your service provider. Be aware of what you are agreeing to, such as deposit terms, cancellation fees and liabilities. Who is responsible for maintenance, repairs or upgrades to the facilities? All this information will be included in your service contract.

At U Can Store, we rent out all standard units on a month-to-month basis. All tenants are required to give one month’s calendar notice or they forfeit their deposit. If we retain a deposit, it’s used to cover a month’s rent.

4. Does your service provider offer any value adds?

Besides our passion for providing secure, clean and weather-resistant storage facilities, U Can Store believes in small business. We want you to thrive, and we aim to take the load off when it comes to your business storage and office leasing needs.

If you need some extra storage space, we offer mezz units – a standard unit with a loft-like platform – which give you square footage without having to incur the cost of a full additional unit.

For customers renting office space, we include a forklift in your package, which you can use to move stock around, or between your office and warehouse.

Renting office space: The FAQs

You can sign a month-to-month contract or a year-long lease (which gives you one month free on your rental). However, if you sign a one-year lease U Can Store requires payment upfront for the year.
U Can Store requires one calendar month’s notice via email. If you vacate your office or storage unit without giving sufficient notice, you will unfortunately forfeit your deposit. When this happens, we need to retain your deposit so that we can cover the additional month’s rent.
You can rent standard storage units on a month-to-month basis. If you wish to move out, you need to give us one month’s calendar notice.
Depending on the location, our micro-warehouse/office combos include warehouse space ranging between 36m2 and 90m2, with access to meeting rooms (some ensuite) and a dedicated forklift to help you move stock around. This micro-warehousing/office combo gives you all the necessary tools to help you run your small business from a secure, accessible and centrally located warehouse and office space.
A mezz unit is a standard loft-like platform that gives tenants extra storage space at an affordable price. This solution is for existing customers who need extra space but don’t want to incur the cost of a full additional unit.
U Can Store offers trailer rentals at a daily rate to all tenants with a valid driver’s licence.
We rent out forklifts by the hour. They are operated by one of our qualified operators.

U Can Store knows that no two businesses are alike, which is why we offer each customer bespoke business storage solutions to meet their exact needs. Contact us for a quote or speak to one of our experts to find out more about what we can do for you.

Here’s some content you might find interesting

1. How much does it cost and what does the package include?

As a small business owner, you need to ensure that your business tools and assets – including expensive equipment, retail stock, and even your employees – stay safe and secure.

2. The pros and cons of storage solutions for your small business

Whatever the growth trajectory of your small business, an affordable storage solution – and a service provider that supports you – is the most cost-effective next step to ensuring that your company thrives.

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We put in a great deal of time and effort to ensure our storage units are kept clean, tidy and pest-free, so you’re assured that your belongings will remain in good condition in our care.

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All our facilities have 24-hour remote offsite monitoring through our CCTV systems, a full responsive 24-hour armed security force and electric fencing around the perimeter, so your stored items are completely secure.

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We do everything necessary to ensure your stored items are safe in storage, keeping all our storage units well-maintained, dry, pest-free, and protected against theft and fire with state-of-the-art systems.

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We understand that each person’s storage needs are unique, and those needs change over time, which is why we offer a wide range of storage options at affordable rates with no lock-in contracts, so you only pay for the space you need while you need it.

Let’s Help You Find The Right Storage Option

Our storage units range from small spaces to lock-up garages and micro-warehouses. Use our handy size guide or reach out to our friendly team to find your perfect fit.

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