A Business Start-up
Finding new ways to do business is always a challenge. When Bray man Anthony Fitzpatrick (27) started his fledgling distribution business three years ago, he needed to break fresh ground.
His new venture – Wise Buys – opened for trade at the height of the Irish recession in 2011. Supplying independent discount stores with everything from toiletries to hardware, his cash-and-carry style business demanded a different approach.
“We needed a warehouse facility at a reasonable price and in a central location but rent is a major overhead when you’re locked into a long-term lease and for a start-up business, it puts you under huge pressure each month,” Anthony explains.
Traditionally, a business like Wise Buys would be at the mercy of landlords, but a change in the economic climate has fostered a new wave of entrepreneurial spirit in the capital. New to the game, Anthony was willing to think outside the box.
“Self-storage was perfect for us. It was convenient, flexible and it was easy to walk away. For a start-up, it was the ideal way to grow the business.”
Wise Buys customers are spread right throughout Dublin, north and south, and across the country from Dundalk as far as Portlaoise, so when he discovered the U Store It self-storage centre off the Red Cow roundabout where the M7 meets the M50, he had found the perfect location. One of three U Store It locations in Dublin and one of six nationwide – including Cork, Waterford and Belfast – U Store It self-storage centres are purpose-built. Combining the most up-to-date security technology – each storage unit is individually alarmed – 24-hour easy access and experienced staff, their centres are designed to meet commercial demands.
For Anthony Fitzpatrick, the self-storage facility served as a warehouse initially but as his business has grown over the last three years, he has been able to take on extra storage units. Now, in addition to secure storage, he can also drive sales by showcasing his product to customers.
“We started out with one storage unit and now we have three. We use two units for storage and the other is used for product display. It’s good for the image of the business, when we bring in customers.”
From a cost point of view, the advantages of self storage were obvious. Paying a set monthly fee for a self-storage unit – which was a fraction of any potential rental charge on a permanent location – took the pressure off Anthony in the beginning because he didn’t have a large, initial outlay. It enabled him to be more competitive in his own market-place and without that major financial burden, it made him a better salesman.
“When there’s less pressure, you don’t come across as desperate,” he says, speaking from experience. As his business has grown, he has become more reliant on U Store It but not merely for their storage solutions. Having developed a strong rapport with U Store It staff, he can also rely on them to handle deliveries – U Store It provide trolleys, pallet trucks and forklifts free of charge for customer use – and provide a reception service that would otherwise be unavailable to him.
“It gives me peace of mind, it makes me more efficient and it frees up more of my time to focus on sales,” says Anthony of the strong relationship he has with staff at their Red Cow centre.
So having thrived throughout the tail-end of the recession, Wise Buys is on course for even more growth in the future – all thanks to Anthony Fitzpatrick’s faith in self storage.
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