Some interesting reading from the BBC business and housing market news:

UK house prices rebound, Nationwide says.

UK house prices bounced back in June after three months of falls, according to mortgage lender Nationwide.

House prices rose by 1.1% during the month after falling by 0.2% in May.

But Nationwide economist Robert Gardner warned that "monthly growth rates can be volatile, even after accounting for seasonal effects".

The average price of a house in the UK rose by £2,590 to £211,301. Annual house price growth edged up to 3.1% from 2.1% in May.

London house prices rose at the slowest annual pace since 2012, by 1.2% year-on-year.

Mr Gardner said: "There has been a shift in regional house price trends. Price growth in the south of England has moderated, converging with the rates prevailing in the rest of the country."

He added that in the second quarter of the year, the gap in percentage rises between the strongest performing region - East Anglia, which saw 5% annual growth - and the weakest - the North of England, with 1% growth - was the smallest on record.

"Nevertheless, when viewed in levels, the price gap between regions remains extremely wide," Mr Gardner said.

However he also pointed out that London saw a "particularly marked slowdown, with annual price growth moderating to just 1.2% - the second slowest pace of the 13 UK regions".

Commentators said that the regional shifts were significant.

Jonathan Hopper, managing director of Garrington Property Finders, said: "For London's house prices to be growing at the second slowest rate in the country would have been unthinkable for much of the past decade.

"Instead, growth is now spread much more evenly across the country, with the market fragmenting into a patchwork of smaller hotspots and coldspots."

Meanwhile, Nationwide said that the rising cost of living would curtail household spending which, in turn, would create a "drag" on activity in the housing market.

A lack of homes being built, and few properties being put up for sale, meant house prices would still rise by 2% this year, the building society forecast.

 

So just why is mobile self-storage so popular?

From cupboards waiting to bury you in an avalanche of stuff you no longer use, to garden sheds becoming overfull with clutter. Not having enough storage space can be a problem. Mobile self-storage units are an increasingly popular way for individuals, families and businesses to store the things that are important to them – offering a secure and convenient alternative to using traditional storage solutions. From temporary storage whilst moving home or office to longer-term safekeeping. Many people are now turning to mobile self-storage as an easy, cost-effective and above all, safe way of dealing with their belongings.

So, how does it work? Here’s the low-down on how mobile self-storage units could be the answer to freeing up more space at home or work…

 

Storage that comes to you

With mobile self-storage there’s no need to hire a van then travel to your house to start the painful loading up before weaving your way across town to your chosen storage facility. The beauty of a mobile self-storage unit is that it comes to you. This makes it ideal for anyone who doesn’t have their own suitable transport. The mobile self-storage unit is delivered direct to your home or business address – enabling you to load it in your own time. Once you’ve finished packing the unit a simple phone call is all that’s needed to arrange collection. From there your goods are transported directly to our storage facility for safekeeping. Mobile self-storage makes your packing simple (the unit is, in effect, a large box so it is easy to safely load and stack items) and it takes away the need for you to hire a van or transport items yourself – as we deliver and collect for you. We also serve the following area’s South Manchester, Stockport, Altrincham, Wilmslow and many more.

Safe and secure storage

Whether you are storing personal items or business equipment you can feel assured that it is well protected. As moving and storage specialists, we also sell a wide range of packing materials for more delicate items, allowing you to protect those things which are most precious to you. Once your mobile unit arrives at our storage facility it enters a highly safe and secure environment, protected against intrusion by 24-hour digital CCTV surveillance, monitored intruder alarms and fire protection. These systems automatically contact the emergency services, as well as sending an alert to our independent security providers. For extra peace of mind, we also offer both goods in transit and in store insurance cover at very competitive rates.

So far, so good – But what happens when the time comes to retrieve your stored items?

Accessing your items from store is simple. Just tell us when and where you would like your items returned to and we’ll be delighted to deliver your mobile storage unit – ready for you to unload.

Just an ordinary day in Stockport...

 

I appreciate it’s secure.”

I know, I know. But you don’t have a spare?”

It’s an emergency! A health and safety emergency!”

Fine, fine, yes. I understand.”

No, it’s fine, thank you. Bye.

Damn. I had that key somewhere. I know I did. I’m the person who locked it in the self-storage unit to begin with!

That’s the thing I suppose. Maybe there’s such a thing as too secure? 

It’s one thing making sure only I can access that unit, but not having a backup?

I suppose it’s great for my peace of mind, but there’ll be hell to pay when it comes to my peace and quiet if I don’t find that damn key.

Oh. And now here she comes. The boss.

Yes, I phoned them.”

No, they don’t have a spare.”

I know it’s my fault. I know we need to get it. I know it’s a safety issue. I…

Yes.”

I will.”

Great. It’s started. This was all her idea anyway. That’s what happens when responsibility gets passed on to me I suppose. 

Find something safe. Did that. 

Secure – did that too. 

Affordable? You betcha. 

I even remembered we didn’t have access to a van big enough to move everything at once and found a company to bring the mobile self-storage unit to us!

It’s a good job I’m in the Stockport office today. I wouldn’t want to hear about the repercussions of losing that key all day.

I suppose I could just get some bolt cutters and try and open the padlock that way. I can’t see that being a popular plan though.

Never mind that. Time for some music on the drive.

What?

She’s calling again?

This can wait until I get to the office. Just put my phone in the glove compar-

AHA!

There you are! The key to the storage locker!

Cancel that call, where’s the number…

0161 877 1260

Hello!

Yes, I called earlier about the missing key.

Yes, the health and safety emergency, that’s me.

Well, I’ve found it. I can be with you this afternoon.

Oh, that’d be great actually.

No, a different location. I’m at the Stockport office. Here’s the postcode.

Brilliant, you’re a lifesaver. See you in a few hours.

Superb. Looks like I get to play the hero after all.

(Later that day..)

My mobile self-storage unit will be waiting for me and – yes – there it is.

I hope we packed it at the front of the unit…

Is it behind..?

There it is! Brilliant.

Time to phone the boss.

Hello.

Yes dear. Health and safety emergency is over. You can tell Connie her cycle helmet is right here, and she’s going to have a great time on that bike ride tomorrow.

I love you too.”

And this time, the key to my storage unit is staying right where I can find it…

Damn.

I had it a second ago!

It’s 4th October, 6.32am. I’ve been running my own business now for 5 years, 6 months, 1 day and roughly 6 and a half hours. I have no regrets making the decision to do so and have loved every minute of it so far. Alas, as someone once said, ‘nothing worthwhile comes easy’. One of the single most frustrating and challenging aspects of owning an SME is getting paid for services especially when it comes to larger enterprises.

Does this story seem familiar to you? 

It’s July. Your SME is working with a larger organisation. You’re providing a service, doing a great job, and you’ve submitted your invoice with your standard 30 day payment term.

Accounts payable bounce it back a few days later. You can’t invoice them until you get a Purchase Order from them. That’ll be with you by the end of the week.

It’s mid-July. After a few calls, you’ve got the PO reference. You resubmit the invoice. It’s now due in less than three weeks. 

It’s August. You’ve had your payments from all of the other small businesses you dealt with in July. You’ve settled your invoices with the smaller companies who provide you with services. And that invoice you sent to the big organisation moves into the column marked “overdue.”

You grit your teeth, pick up the phone, hold for five minutes and speak to accounts.

We work to a 60 day payment term.”

Great. Fantastic. Nice one. Their office works to a different schedule than your business, and for some reason we’re now all playing by Janice from accounts’ rules.

So it’s September. We’re up to 61 days since you sent the invoice. No payment. Gritted teeth. Ring ring. “The 60 days start when we send the PO reference, not when you invoice us.”

It goes on. 

And on. 

And on.

Politeness Costs Nothing. Delays Cost Livelihoods

It’s a regular story. Larger companies set their own payment terms, work to their own schedules, and it’s SMEs like you and me who are left carrying the bill. Not all of them – we’re happy to announce that one of our clients have never paid our invoices a day late, and they’re one of the biggest corporations in the country – but it’s a sizeable minority.

Us SMEs aren’t asking to dictate terms to big businesses who pay big money for big contracts. All we’re asking for is a bit of politeness. 

If any customer uses our services – whether it’s a corporate client, a small retailer or a student – it’s common courtesy that they check our payment terms. That they let us know up front about any PO references. And that they pay on time. 

Because for some businesses, that late payment starts a chain reaction that can really mess things up.

As employers we ensure that our staff are paid a wage on the specified date every week or month without fail. It’s part and parcel of the job. God forbid companies start adopting a lackadaisical approach to paying salaries as some have to paying invoices.

What Can We Do About it Then?

I’m not advocating a revolution, where we descend on corporate offices with pitchforks and demand the heads of senior bosses who always seem to get their bonuses paid on time (although if you all fancy that, we’re happy to store and deliver the pitchforks). But I think it’s time that SMEs around Manchester and the country decided to get together and demand that we’re paid on time. 

If we join together, we can start putting pressure on groups like HMRC and the government to bring in policies that insist on payment in a timely manner. In fact, in Australia it’s already the law that larger businesses who subcontract have to ask the end client to pay into a project account so they can’t delay payment to the smaller organisations.

Doesn’t something like that seem fair to you?

What do we want?

Payment for our services!

When do we want it?

Before the due date on our invoices!

If you agree that something needs to be done, let’s band together. Share this post on Facebook and Twitter, and let’s start a conversation about solving this issue for good.

It’s 4th October, 7am. I’ve been running my own business now for 5 years, 6 months, 1 day and roughly 7 hours.  The clock is ticking…

Who’s with me?

Can You Afford Student Storage?

Money’s tight for students. Summer’s here, and you’ve got places to be, people to see and things to do. So you’re probably watching every penny, and don’t want to spend more than you have to.

Luckily, we’re about to show you than a student storage from Space and Time Storage might be the best money you spend this summer. It’s not a case of whether you can afford storage – it’s more about whether you can afford to replace everything you own if you don’t buy storage!

You Own Over £2,000 Worth of Stuff

Take a look around you. How much do you have packed into your student accommodation? According to the NUS, you’ve got at least £2,000 worth of belongings in your room. That probably includes the following:

Laptop (for essays, note taking and downloading Game of Thrones): £300-£600
Smartphone (for WhatsApp, Tinder and calling home): £300
Games Console (for late night, post-pub Call of Duty sessions): £280
iPods, iPads, Kindles (to keep you entertained on the bus to lectures): £100-£300
Your entire wardrobe (because you need to get dressed): £500

So what’s the plan for all of that when you head home for a fortnight after exams? Or when you head to a festival, or spend a week or two in Magaluf? Do you trust the lock on your bedroom door to keep all of that safe, or are you planning on carting a Playstation around Glastonbury?

When you think about how much it’d cost to replace all this, student storage seems like a cheap option!

Student Storage Costs Less Than Fifty Quid for The Summer

At Space and Time Storage, prices start from just £49 for the summer. All of your belongings will be loaded up, locked up, and kept in our secure storage centre. 

Less than £50, and you’ve got CCTV and security keeping an eye on your TV, your laptop and everything else you can’t take with you over the summer holidays.

Seems like a great deal to us, but let’s put it into perspective:

What Could You Get for £50?

As a student at one of Manchester’s universities, £50 doesn’t go that far. You could have a night on it, but you could still splash the cash on the following:

  • A meal for two from Almost Famous. Chips not included.
  • A round of cocktails from the cheaper end of Odd Bar’s menu.
  • A train ticket to Birmingham, with enough change to get a half of lager 
  • A ticket to Old Trafford or The Etihad
  • Secure storage for everything you own

So, what would you rather do? Miss out on that half of lager, or avoid having to replace over a grand’s worth of gadgets if something happens while you’re traveling, back home, or on holiday?

We think it’s the first one. So give us a call today on 0161 207 1260, or drop us a line through the site, and we’ll give you a full quote for Student Summer Storage It might just be the best money you spend all summer.