The second of our Local Biz Heroes, Ash Advani is director at BabyCo and a loyal customer of Access Self Storage Wembley.
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Some industries become obsolete because of emerging technologies: record stores are slowly dying out and bookshops are increasingly falling prey to tablet readers. Others ebb and flow, their fortunes tied to economic and cultural factors far beyond their control.
The market for nursery accessories, however, is unlikely to suffer the same fate unless people stop having kids, making it a growth area for businesses worldwide. Indeed, in recent years, the sector has experienced something of a global baby boom.
Ash Advani founded BabyCo in 2003, and has overseen its transformation from a great idea into a thriving Wembley business. As an importer and wholesaler of baby products, his company offers prams, accessories, high chairs, and walkers – anything a bare nursery might need.
Why is BabyCo an Access Self Storage customer?
Ever the forward thinker, Ash saw early on that he would require more space to accommodate the needs of his expanding business. He tried various freight forwarders and other storage solutions, but he explains that “nothing was quite right – either for our budget, or in terms of the services offered”.
Running out of space and options, Ash approached Access Self Storage in the hope of finding somewhere to hold his expanding stock of nursery accessories. “I was surprised to find that the facility is well-equipped for receiving containers”, he says. “You can even dispatch inventory from one carton to multiple pallets.”
Since then, BabyCo has outgrown its storage requirement, doubling the number of units it rents from Access. The company has even moved into an office space.
“Working out of a storage unit is a little unconventional, but I’m surprised more people aren’t doing it”, Ash says. “It’s roomy, it’s cost-effective, and it’s highly customisable – you can really make the space your own.”
When asked if he’s happy with the service he receives from Access, Ash is enthusiastic.
“As we have continued to grow, Access has always helped us achieve our operational goals”, he says. “The flexible approach really works for us. We’re not bogged down in long-term contracts and can take on additional units as and when we need them. And without having to scramble for space when, for example, a big shipment arrives from China, we have more time to focus on our core business activities.”
“In the coming year, we’re going to try and increase our complement of nursery accessories”, Ash explains. “When that happens, we’ll certainly be looking to increase our storage requirement.”
What advice would BabyCo give to a growing business?
Ash believes that it’s important for business owners to really enjoy running their organisation, whatever they do: “A business owner should try to love what they do. If you’re not passionate about your company and having fun with it, you should probably be doing something else.”