We are only too aware that basing our business in a Safestore doesn’t necessarily give an impression of permanence. The nature of self-storage businesses is such that they are particularly attractive to those who want ‘space’ for an indefinite period, with no strings attached. In actual fact Safestore offers much more and there are good reasons why we expect to stay there for some time to come.
As we have begun to consider the possibility of offering Leeds retailers a delivery consolidation service, the location and manual handling equipment which seemed unnecessary when we first moved in are now looking like vital pieces of equipment the cost of which could have been severely prohibitive. Their presence makes such a project possible and could allow us to pilot the idea with very little additional preparation and next to no additional expense.
When Last Mile Leeds began operations the 4 weeks’ notice required to vacate was indeed a significant reason why we chose the Safestore Leeds Central as our base. It was cheap and in a great location. If all went according to plan, we wouldn’t be there long.
Over the past few months of operating from there on a daily basis, I now have some real experience upon which to evaluate what has proven to be an extremely good business decision, and I suspect I will continue to operate from there for some time to come.
Let me list some of benefits:
- Secure storage space for 3 cargo bikes and additional equipment
- room to grow should we take on a larger cargo trike – likely if we do open a delivery consolidation centre
- A location literally across the road from the planned Eastgate development and about 3 minutes from Kirkgate Market or the Victoria Quarter
- Reception manned 8am-6pm, able to receive goods when all Last Mile staff are out
- 24 hour access
- Pallet trucks and goods trolleys
- Fork-lift truck (and four licensed drivers) –able to receive palletized deliveries (all as part of the service)
- Off-street loading and unloading bay able to accommodate up to 4 Luton vans
- Off-street secure parking in Leeds city centre
- High level of security, with 24hr CCTV etc
- Insurance against loss of £6,000
- massive flexibility to expand or contract the amount of storage space we use
- huge goods lift with 2.5 tonne capacity, easily able to accommodate the large cargo-trikes which we are looking to purchase (should we ever take additional space above the ground floor)
And all this for about £30.00 week, with no additional bills, or rates to pay.
There are of course a few disadvantages, the main one being that office facilities are limited, though the staff are very helpful if you need to send an odd email or Fax. We don’t have electricity in the lock-up, or a telephone line. Nevertheless, so far we have been able to handle everything by mobile, and should we reach a point where this is holding back the business then I have found that Safestore are very accommodating and seem always willing to negotiate.
Overall this has proven an ideal base to grow the business and one which could see us grow significantly larger before we would ever need to move.