Storage containers are one of the most versatile options for business owners to consider when planning from where to run their business. Far from simply being used to transport and store cargo, they are great for converting into business units. Here at Unit Hire, we love seeing the many ways in which a business can make use of shipping containers, and it’s great to see businesses realising the value of containers.
Container-based businesses are booming in popularity at the moment. Whether they’re thriving in what is perceived as their stereotypical roles as craft beer and gin bars in Brixton, or breaking convention as the kitchens of a 3-Michelin Star restaurant. Container businesses are everywhere.
Perhaps the biggest draw for so many business owners who choose to run their business out of a shipping container is the difference in price compared with a traditional, permanent unit. As you are only required to rent the land, you’ll undoubtedly save a lot of money when running your business out of a container.
But the money-saving goes even further.
Due to the portability of a storage container, no matter how much you invest into the interior of your business, you’re almost guaranteed to never lose money. For instance, when repainting, buying expensive light fittings or installing a bar into a permanent structure, not only do you have the initial cost to think about, but if you ever decide to change locations, the money you have invested into the property is effectively lost. With a storage container, however, your entire business can be moved with you, no matter what’s inside.
The price of storage containers as a business location is even more appealing to young businesses. In places like London, where rentals for business units can feel entirely exclusionary for young entrepreneurs, a container is ideal for establishing a business before moving into a permanent location. This is exactly what happened with Indian restaurant Kricket, who began their life in a shipping container in 2015, before upsizing to a restaurant covering two floors of prime real estate in Soho.
We’ve briefly addressed how the portability of container-based businesses can help you to save money, but portability means more than just value for money. Not being tied down to one location means that you can move your business to the customers, rather than waiting for the market to come to you. This is a great way to help establish a business quickly, especially with the growing popularity of ‘container malls’ like Pop Brixton and Boxpark that will allow you to bring your business to a fast-growing market as a pop-up shop, bar or restaurant.
Furthermore, they’re ideal for businesses that provide a service sought after at non-permanent events. Whether it be a music festival or a private party, with a container business you can travel to almost anywhere. These kinds of events are always crying out for food and drink retailers, so you’re guaranteed a great market.
All of the container conversions that we offer are entirely bespoke, so you can create a truly unique, eye-catching business. Of course, standing out from the crowd is incredibly important when running any business. We believe that having an entirely personalisable shipping container is a great way to do this.
Moreover, size concerns are effectively stripped away when you run your business from a container. Due to their small size, individual shipping containers can fit into almost any location. However, many people are often concerned that a shipping container may not be large enough for their business. While this can be the case at times, any concerns about size that you have are most likely unfounded. As shipping containers are modular, individual containers can be combined to form much larger structures. As such, when your business grows, you simply need to install more containers, allowing your premises to grow in tandem with the business.
As containers are designed for the storage and transport of potentially valuable goods, they are ideal for ensuring that your business is located within a secure premises. All of our storage containers are designed to be secure. Take that along with the fact that shipping containers are designed to survive harsh sea journeys, and you have some of the most durable business units capable of surviving all weather conditions. Under the right conditions and with the right maintenance, your storage container should last for around 25 years.
Another major factor in drawing entrepreneurs to container-based businesses is the fact that, as they are considered to be temporary, they often do not require any planning permission. You should always check with your local authority – and the rules will be different for businesses made up of multiple containers – but most of the time, shipping containers are exempt from planning permission rules.
Similarly, in line with the way in which shipping containers can work as a great springboard for new businesses, they are also fantastic locations for businesses requiring a temporary location. While many businesses would have to spend money to move location due to, for instance, renovation works, containers can act as a great way to keep the business going.
Just ask chef Thomas Keller, who’s 3-Michelin Star restaurant the French Laundry used shipping containers while upgrading his restaurant kitchens in 2015. This goes to show the ways in which shipping containers can be a great fit for any business, from small cafes to world-renowned restaurants.
For more information on how storage containers could benefit your business, or to request a quote for your business-related container conversion get in touch with the friendly Unit Hire team.