Virtual vs. Physical Storage. Chuck? Upload? Or Store?

We all have something of the magpie about us, saving, storing and hoarding stuff, mostly ‘just in case’. But there comes a time when what you have is taking up all the space, leaving no room for the other things you want or need.

In business, storage is a critical part of the success equation, yet it’s only considered when there’s a shortage. The other problem around storage is that measures put into temporary practice have a habit of becoming permanent and ever more chaotic.

Getting clever with storage doesn’t need a degree in spatial awareness, it just needs a savvy eye on the options currently available:

Wise Business Storage

When your storage space is bursting at the seams, you have two choices: Get more space or chuck some things out.

Most businesses can’t just get rid of stuff, especially if that stuff represents profit in the shape of stock items for sale. The only option is to increase storage availability.

Warehouse space may be out of the question for businesses with limited budgets and smaller requirements. While it may be viable to consider larger office premises, a wiser and more cost effective solution could be self storage.

A Winner for Online Retailers

Self storage for online retailers has been in the vanguard of the digital shopping revolution for some time. Owners may not need a showroom, but they definitely need somewhere to fulfil orders rapidly. Adopting the self storage route, many virtual storefront businesses find they don’t even need offices. Here’s how it works:

  • Calculate roughly how much storage space you need. You can do this by eye just by looking at the existing space you’ve outgrown, or get technical and start calculating volumes.
  • Investigate local self storage companies and enquire about room sizes and availability. You’re looking for short term rentals, secure access, vehicular space for deliveries, long opening hours, and trolleys or pallet trucks to help with larger deliveries.
  • Rent a room slightly bigger than you need for storage, then install a table or desk where you’ll do the packing ready to dispatch. In the same space you could also find room to house sensitive business documents that need safe, long term storage.

Advantages are legion: You can upsize immediately by adding a second room to take advantage of seasonal stock levels, or downsize as the need arises. There are no long term contracts so you’re never trapped with space you don’t need, and helpful staff will often accept deliveries on your behalf when you can’t be there.

Self storage is the secret sauce behind many online retail operations, offering nimble and versatile solutions to all sizes of business operation. And unlike warehouse space, you don’t incur additional overheads through utility charges or business rates and VAT.

Maximising Cloud Storage to Streamline Admin Tasks

A robust cloud storage solution is more vital than ever in today’s business environment. Get it right and it can improve cash flow and increase efficiency. Here are a few more reasons all businesses should have cloud storage:

  • Security — Is all your sensitive data backed up or would you lose everything if disaster struck? Disaster recovery is a big plus in cloud computing. Once set up, backup happens invisibly often syncing in the background. Another big part of the attraction is third party expertise that you get with more professional cloud service providers so you don’t incur the expense of running an IT department.
  • Up To Date — if you go with big companies like Microsoft, you’re always running the latest software and are up to date with security. It takes a lot of hassle out of the equation when you don’t have to fret about things like viruses, scams and hackers. Subscriptions are fairly inexpensive and open up enterprise solutions to everyone.
  • Access From Anywhere — perfect for small business owners who need to be mobile but still keep up with office based operations. Also great for field operatives who need access to the latest customer or product records from mobile devices.
  • Clean Collaboration — Colleagues can work on the same documents in real time, so no more emailing back and forth and losing track of which is the latest document version, and no more conflicting file contents or locations either.

Most businesses need a combination of virtual and physical storage. With flexible solutions available in both, there’s no need to curb that magpie tendency. There is plenty of space for everything, and more of both always available at far lower prices than you may think.