As with any expense in business, it is important to weigh up the benefits of the action before deciding to spend some cash. For some businesses, they may even need to make a case to their board of trustees or senior management team before an investment can be approved. To help business owners and managers with their decision making process, we have put together some of the main pros and cons of choosing offsite storage, an in particular those features you will need to look out for when picking your self storage provider.
The pros of document archiving in self storage
- Without a doubt, renting a self storage unit for your document archives will be much less expensive than renting additional office space. Whether you are short of space currently or not, it is not good business sense to tie up entire rooms or stores with boxes or cabinets of files. Renting self storage space is cheap in comparison, therefore can be a great solution to free up useful space in your building.
- Self storage providers take their security seriously, so for many businesses it can actually be a more secure location for their important records and documents.
- Access to self storage is limited, unlike your offices store cupboard. Even if you protect your documents and sensitive data with a key, most employees would know where the key was kept, making widespread access a strong possibility.
- When considering protection against natural disasters, weather events and fire, storing documents off site can mean that if the worst happens and you lose your office space, you still have the records to keep your business afloat following a crisis.
The cons of offsite document storage
- You will be charged for the entire unit, whether the space is in use or not. To mitigate the risk of this being a significant impact, take the time to calculate the space required accurately, and speak to your storage provider for advice.
- You will not have such easy access to your records as you would have in the office. To cope with this fact, make sure you choose a storage provider that is open at the times you need it to be and which allows instant access to your unit.
- Employees will be taken away from their office duties to maintain the archived documents, and will have to claim mileage allowances for their travel to the unit. Mitigate this by ensuring your storage unit is not too far from your business premises to help reduce travelling time and expenses. As long as you have a well-planned system of filing for your documents, your employees will spend no longer filing documents at the storage unit than they would have in your own on site archives.
Overall, there are some potential downsides to renting self storage for your document archives, but if you do your homework and pick the right provider for your needs, then these will be minimised, leaving your business to enjoy the advantages this strategy brings.