Many of us rely on self storage to help get through a big move or to free up more space at home, but did you know storage facilities can be an important resource for small businesses?
We spoke with Dan Arvelo, owner of Garage Doors by Soho Stone, to discuss how he utilizes multiple storage units at Personal Mini Storage in St. Cloud to save money and to continue growing his business even during a pandemic.
One of the biggest expenses a new company faces is a physical location. When Dan Arvelo first opened Garage Doors by Soho Stone in 2016, he knew he needed to find a storage solution for his equipment, door parts, and extra inventory. “When we first started the business, we weren’t sure whether we should buy, invest in real estate or property as the prices were going up” said Dan. “With Personal Mini Storage, I was able to start small and scale up to where I’m at right now.”
Dan found that renting a storage unit was an affordable and convenient alternative to investing in the expensive real estate market. This gave him and his team the flexibility they needed, especially in the critical early days of his company.
One of the main benefits to using self storage for any small business is the flexibility it offers during both good and bad times. Even though many industries struggled during the pandemic, Dan found his business was actually in high demand and he needed to grow his storage space quickly. “I call it a partnership because that’s the way I feel. Every time I’ve needed to scale a little bit more, they’ve been there for me.” said Dan. “In the future, I plan to have a few more units with them just because I’m comfortable, and the prices are right.”
Supply chain issues have affected nearly every industry and having the ability to stock up on parts and inventory has helped Garage Doors by Soho Stone stay ahead of any potential shipping issues and gives them a leg up on the competition. It’s a business model many are adopting in today’s uncertain economic climate.
Another surprising benefit Dan noticed while storing at Personal Mini Storage has been his interactions with store managers, Karen and Vinny Richards. “Here I get the personal attention and I know Karen and Vinny, they’re the managers. I almost see them every day,” says Dan. “The place is well lit. I’m very comfortable leaving my merchandise overnight here.” Having resident managers who live on the property gives him additional piece-of-mind knowing they are always close by and ready to resolve issues or concerns.
Dan sees a bright future for his growing business and credits his partnership with Personal Mini Storage for helping him achieve his goals. His best piece of advice for anyone considering starting their own business? “Start small and scale up. Get your first storage unit and as you grow, add more space to help you grow the right way.”
The past year and a half has been a trying time to be a business owner. From Covid closures, to hiring issues, it can feel like you’re putting out a new fire every single day. As the economy opens back up, demand in many industries is reaching record highs. Even our team at Personal Mini Storage has seen an increase in requests for self storage at many of our locations across Central Florida. For many businesses though, this growing consumer demand is putting new strains on inventory and supply chains.
It’s important to plan ahead and make sure you are not caught unprepared when inventory dwindles and customers face delays. Here are three strategies you can start implementing immediately to help your business stay resilient in the face of uncertainty.
1. Stockpile Inventory
When your supply chain faces disruption, it can directly affect your bottom line. For small businesses, this could be the difference between survival and shutting the doors for good. One way to protect against volatility like this is to build up a reserve of inventory that will keep your operations running smoothly during short disruptions. The recommended amount of product you should consider stockpiling will depend on your specific industry and business.
Build up a reserve of inventory that will keep your operations running smoothly during short disruptions.
If you don’t have the space to keep additional inventory stocked at your business, renting a self storage unit can be an affordable alternative. Some facilities like Personal Mini Storage offer both drive-up storage as well as air conditioned units in case your inventory is sensitive to extreme temperatures. Be sure to choose a location that is convenient and easily accessible for your business.
2. Focus on Customer Satisfaction
Stockpiling inventory can help you navigate a temporary disruption, but what if those issues last for an extended period? How should you handle an issue that could affect your clients? According to Forbes, it’s important to have an effective problem resolution process. Transparency can go a long way to earning your customer’s trust (and repeat business). During times of volatility, it’s important to be open and honest with customers about the situation you’re facing. No one enjoys feeling like information is not being shared with them. When appropriate, let them know you’re dealing with a supply chain disruption and the steps you are taking to alleviate those problems.
Transparency can go a long way to earning your customer’s trust (and repeat business).
In addition to being transparent with your customers, consider offering a discount or compensation for the delay in receiving your product. A small gesture can make a big difference in the long run and show your clients you care about their overall experience.
3. Create an Emergency Plan
In the real world, emergencies are going to happen. How you react and prepare for these problems though, will ultimately decide how successful your business will be. Take time to think about how you would handle different issues and problems to your supply chain and create an emergency plan for these scenarios. This may include alternate shipping options, routes and backup suppliers.
Having a plan and knowing the steps you will take in those situations will ultimately save you time and money.
While you shouldn’t expect to have a contingency plan for every issue your business could potentially face, it’s important to think about the most likely scenarios that would have an affect on your supply chain. Examples of this could include a power outage affecting you or your supplier, weather related natural disasters, and economic downturns. Having a plan and knowing the steps you will take in those situations will ultimately save you time and money.
Are you looking for a solution to help your business avoid expensive supply chain disruptions? Personal Mini Storage offers businesses of all sizes flexibility with month-to-month storage rentals giving you the ability to stock up inventory and be prepared for whatever life throws your way.
More than one in eleven households in the U.S. rent a storage unit. While they provide flexible storage options for many Americans, is renting extra space the right choice for you? Below we’ll go through three examples of when they can be a great option and one situation where it isn’t a good fit.
1. Buying and Selling Your Home
So you’re ready to put your home on the market, hire a realtor, and schedule an open house. Now you need somewhere to keep all your belongings. That’s when self storage can be a good investment. Having a space to move personal items and furniture can be a great short-term option for those in the process of buying and selling a home. Most storage companies offer various sizes to choose from as well as climate controlled spaces and drive up units to make loading and unloading easier.
2. Growing Your Small Business
Owning and operating your own small business can be an exciting and liberating experience, but managing expenses can be a daunting task. One of the biggest expenses many small businesses face is renting physical space to set up an office or store inventory. A storage unit can be a cost saving option for many businesses. For example, a lawn care company can utilize the extra space to keep equipment safe and secure allowing for crews to pick up and drop off gear. Check out how Second to None Tree Care of Orlando utilizes space at Personal Mini Storage to save money.
3. Outdoor Hobbies
Enjoying the great outdoors is a part of the Florida lifestyle. From kayaking to mountain biking, there are plenty of options in the sunshine state. Many of us don’t have space for larger recreational equipment at home though. That’s why renting storage can be a convenient choice. Most facilities offer drive up units that make it easy to get your stuff out of storage and into your vehicle quickly. Many Personal Mini Storage locations also offer large vehicle parking that can fit boats and RVs.
If you are looking for a place to store food or perishable items, renting storage is not a good idea. In fact, many storage facilities do not allow food, produce or plants to be stored at their location. Other items that typically cannot be stored include ammunition, gasoline, paint, paint thinner, propane, and fireworks.
Still unsure if a storage unit is right for you? The team at Personal Mini Storage is here to help. Our self storage FAQ page has answers to more common storage questions. Plus you can reserve a space quickly and easily with our express move-in process.
Getting started in the landscaping business, in essence, comes down to proper preparation. The key is to not get ahead of yourself. An example might be buying a great deal of equipment before having the customers or training to use them. Our goal is to provide some helpful tips to ensure you are moving in the right direction. (more…)