And now, a guest post from one of our colleagues Down Under _Trevor //
Shipping containers used to be just some rusty and clunky objects lying around shipping yards and ports. Things have changed in recent years, and we now see many startups, pop-up and retail shops situated in these steel boxes. This unconventional solution is excellent for small businesses and anyone trying to cut the operating costs.
Buying the traditional premises for many new companies is an investment too big to handle and renting is not the cheapest option either. So, why would you need a brick-and-mortar place when you have a portable, low-cost and eco-friendly office with everything you need? Treat yourself to something different, and invest in unique office space to see your business flourishing.
A box office
One of the biggest advantages of container offices is their cost compared to building something from the ground up. Thus, it’s not surprising that a lot of startups opt for this solution to get their business off the ground.
Last Year, for example, an innovative café called the Cook House opened in Newcastle, in two 40-foot-long containers. The artisan venue is growing in popularity and inspiring other entrepreneurs to give shipping containers a try.
Furthermore, one of the world’s first ever container barber shops opened in Toronto, Canada, and is already sparking much interest. Barber shops don’t require much room, and a couple of employees can easily go about their business. Many others are already contacting local companies like Royal Wolf from New Zealand to secure their own steel shelter.
Regent’s Canal in London is quickly becoming a hub for creative and small business owners that are working out of shipping containers, while New Yorkers can witness a stunning sight of Dekalb Market in Brooklyn. It’s a complex of 60 retailers located in shipping containers that stands out and draws more interest than traditional retail shops could.
A boxing day
To tackle financial problems, some people try working from home. This can be a great solution, although it’s linked with some specific challenges. Homes are comfortable and convenient, but containers also provide enough space to accommodate all your equipment and even your customers and partners.
They transcend the infrastructure problems and can have showers, toilets, sliding doors and windows, proving the kind of comfort and coziness you wouldn’t expect from a steel box. They can be as functional as static structures, and meet all types of needs. Also, these containers have low maintenance requirements and are portable. If you don’t like your neighborhood, why not change it, and move to a new location?
However, although the whole building process is much faster than conventional construction, you can’t just move your things into a container and start doing business. Ponder on container’s dimensions and condition to begin with. Shipping containers vary in size and you can choose a single and multi container structure. As your company grows, you can even make the whole complex of stacked container offices.
Don’t forget to muse on transportation logistics, and health and safety issues. Also, you need foundations for your structure to rest on, and to get planning permission from local authorities. Of course, you must hook it up to electricity and water too, as well as consider air conditioning. Insulation and heating are crucial during cold winter days, so make sure you are ready for all seasons.
Know that preparation and recycling are key, and chances are you will need the help of a designer or architect to pull it off. When the building is set, and the work is done, add some finishing touches to give your office a nice appearance. Shipping containers are cheap and effective premises that can even turn some heads with a bit of polishing. In fact, when painted and decorated, they are a great attention-grabbing tool for your business to skyrocket.
Sprouting all over the world
High building and renting costs are turning many companies away from expensive premises. Shipping containers, on the other hand, are garnering worldwide attention and container-based ventures are appearing all over the world.
Many others are realizing they are a more practical and cost-effective way to go. You can put your business on a truck and transport it wherever you want, even locate it in your front yard. These sustainable and eco-friendly offices will only get more popular- they are here to stay and stand the test of time.
Zoe Clark is a home decorator from the land down under. During her childhood she was constantly on the move, and that’s when she discovered her passion for interior design and home décor “to go”. You can find her blogging at Smooth decorator.