Businesses can generate a large collection of files, documents and records over time. While many businesses use electronic records to reduce paper waste and maximize office space, tax, employment and industry regulations often require businesses to maintain certain physical records for several years, even indefinitely.
Filing cabinets, boxes and crates used to store years’ worth of files can occupy space that could otherwise be used for employees to be productive. In addition, expanding your office space to make room for growth can add unnecessary expenses to the bottom line.
Storing Documents Offsite
In lieu of expanding or further cluttering your workspace, businesses can utilize a self storage facility for storing sensitive documents.
Storage companies offer a variety of unit sizes that can accommodate any record collection, which can then be organized and customized by the tenant based on the business’ record-keeping system.
Examples of businesses that can benefit from using self storage for document storage include:
- Pharmaceutical reps
- Self-employed in a home office
- Medical practices
- Large corporations
- Small businesses
The Importance of Security
Because some businesses, such as medical practices, are governed by industry confidentiality regulations, it is imperative that your storage facility has premium security technology in place to protect your records.
Talk with a facility manager about security for the facility as a whole, as well as your individual unit. Ask if your unit will have its own alarm and a premium lock, such as a recessed cylinder lock, which will provide the optimum level of protection for your confidential documents.
An added value of self storage that is often overlooked is climate control. Climate control regulates both the temperature and the humidity within your individual unit. This is important because exposure to humidity can damage documents, including yellowing, smearing of ink and breaking down of the paper itself.
A climate-controlled storage unit can help ensure that your sensitive documents are well maintained in the event you should need to retrieve archived files.
When storing a large collection of documents, having an organization system in place can help businesses maneuver through the flood of paperwork and locate documents quickly and easily.
Some tips for document management and storage include:
- Develop a file naming system
- Establish a labeling system that can help you easily identify what each file contains
- Maintain a listing or database of files and documents that can be used to locate them when needed
- Establish a policy for who is authorized to view certain files, and the procedure for accessing those files
- Work with a legal advisor to establish a retention and destruction schedule
How does your business manage its archive of files and documents? Do you store documents in a third-party facility? Share your experiences with us below, along with any suggestions for an efficient document storage system.
Related Blog Posts:
- Self Storage for Business
- Climate-Controlled Storage: The Best Way to Protect Your Belongings
- Security Features in Self Storage
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