Running a business involves a careful attention to detail and a talent for organisation, where companies will require various moving parts to function smoothly at all times. Whether you’re running a corporate office or a freelance crafting business, the financial and managerial aspects of the job will always be similar. Materials and equipment must be purchased, stakeholders must be dealt with and customers must be appealed to, all whilst keeping an eye on the bottom line.
Many of these aspects of running a business involve paperwork, where permissions, proofs and receipts tend to accumulate over the course of a financial year, whatever the industry that you’re working in. Although lots of paperwork and processes are now digitised, some key materials will still be paper based for a physical sense of authentication. This can lead to clutter and chaos in your workplace, where it can be difficult to store official documents for the length of time that is required.
This is where archive storage comes in – a cost effective and safe way to store your documents whilst decluttering your workplace. Read on to learn more about how to choose the right archive storage solution for your specific business needs.
What Is Archive Storage?
Archive storage is a specialist storage solution that allows businesses and individuals to preserve data for long periods of time, especially when it doesn’t need to be accessed frequently. This kind of storage can be more cost effective than standard object storage, where these sites can be specially designed to contain and protect sensitive data.
As such, archive storage is typically used for documents that need to be retained for extended periods of time, but that don’t need to be accessed in the near future. This is often the case for financial and company documents, where these kinds of records should be retained for six years from the end of the last financial year that they are in reference to.
Some records may have to be retained for longer than this if they describe more than one accounting period or if they cover something designed to last a long time, such as permanent equipment and machinery.
Determining Your Archive Storage Needs
Not every storage facility will offer the same service, where it is recommended that you do your research before making a final choice. Some will specialise in specific documents, whilst others are best for storing large volumes of paperwork, depending on how often you’d like to access it. The following points should be considered whilst assessing your storage needs:
First of all, you should consider the quantity of documents you need to store. Various archive storage facilities will be working with different capacities, where many will have minimum and maximum requirements that you have to reach. Always consult the storage team before arriving with your documents to ensure that they have the free space available to accommodate you.
You should also consider the type of documents you are hoping to keep in archive storage. If you only have a small quantity of personal documents, then these can be kept in a general storage unit or within a personal filing system. Otherwise, large quantities of business documents should be stored carefully in a designated archive facility.
It is important to think about how long you will need to store your documents for. As mentioned, financial and accounting paperwork typically needs to be retained for around six years. It is essential that you ensure your storage facility can meet these requirements, where some documents may need to be stored for longer or indefinitely.
Another aspect of choosing a storage facility is considering how regularly you would like to access your documents. Some sites will have restrictions in place for how often you can access your files, or how frequently you can remove or add items. Choose a more flexible storage solution if you think you may need your documents in the short term.
Security is incredibly important if you’re dealing with private or sensitive information. You may prefer to retain hard copies for this purpose, where this protects you from hackers and data leaks. Many archive facilities advertise on the basis of their security features, where some will protect your files with CCTV and an onsite security presence.
The Benefits of Archive Storage
Whatever storage facility you eventually select, you are sure to reap the benefits. Some of the many advantages include:
Long Term Solutions
When dealing with data retention, the best approach is to choose a long term solution to help you to streamline your organisational processes in the easiest way possible. Archive storage can allow you to neatly contain and preserve your documents for months or years to come, so you no longer have to worry about finding future solutions for your filing.
Archive storage solutions are custom made for the long term retention of your physical documents, meaning this is a much more cost effective approach than using a traditional self storage unit or other filing alternatives. Archive storage can be kept at low temperatures for long periods, especially if your documents don’t need to be accessed regularly, all of which can help to keep costs to a minimum.
Many archive storage facilities will be designed with security in mind, especially when it comes to protecting important financial and company information. This is often confidential and highly sensitive, meaning that it is of great importance to choose a storage solution that prioritises security and safety. CCTV, high fences and a physical security presence can all help to keep your data secure for the long term.
Declutter Your Space
Keeping important documents in your office space may seem like an easy and cheap alternative to specialist storage, but this approach can quickly overwhelm your work environment with clutter. Setting aside documents that you need to retain but don’t need to access regularly can help you to create a tidy space whilst making room for the documents that you really need on a daily basis.
Although archive storage facilities are designed for the long term preservation of your documents, many do offer flexible access opportunities. This means that you will be able to access important financial documents if you’re working through an audit or if you need to check insurance or compliance policies. Many storage sites will also allow you to add and remove materials whenever you like, meaning that this can be an incredibly flexible, albeit long term, solution.
Retain Important Documents
Above all, the major benefit of utilising an archive storage solution is that it allows you to retain and preserve your important documents. If you’re in charge of a business, it is your responsibility to make sure that all your documentation is in order, especially when it comes to your finances. Poor organisation when it comes to data retention can lead to financial or legal difficulties in the future, which is why archive storage presents an essential solution.
Essex Removals: Archive Storage Solutions & Commercial Removals
At Essex Removals, we can offer extensive archive storage solutions to suit your individual business needs, where our secure facilities are the perfect place for keeping your sensitive information safe for the long term. We can also offer containerised solutions to support your wider storage needs, where this form of storage can be a vital support if your business is downsizing or moving locations.
Beyond this, our team are adept at handling a wide range of commercial moving requirements, whether you need a comprehensive removals service to help manage your business set up or an experienced team to support an office relocation.
We also specialise in domestic relocations, where we can support individual house moves both within the UK and overseas. Our team can assist with packing, organisation, unloading and assembly, where we’re committed to helping you settle into your new home as quickly as possible.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about our storage and removals services offered throughout the Brentwood area.