How to Set Up & Expand A Self-Storage Business

Those who are looking for a good business opportunity could do much worse than setting up their own self-storage business. People will always be needing places to store their belongings – whether it is on a short term or a longer-term basis, there will also be businesses looking to store extra stock and even community groups looking for places to store their equipment.

Setting up a self-storage business is relatively simple, but there are a few details that you must get right in order for you to make it a success.

What is Involved in Having a Self-Storage Business?

Before you go ahead and start to set up your self-storage business, it is important that you know what you are letting yourself in for. It is pointless, after all, to get yourself set up, start trading, only to find that it’s not what you expected and that you actually hate it!

A self-storage business would involve purchasing shipping containers and moving them to a space where you would then rent them out to your customers. You would need to consider a number of factors, including:

  • The best range of shipping containers to get
  • How to ensure security
  • How you would lay them out in your space
  • Where you would be located
  • How you intend to get new customers
  • How you would keep hold of old customers
  • How you will charge them

Range of Shipping Containers

Shipping containers come in a range of different sizes, which, although uniform and stack-able, can hold varying volumes of items. The most common sizes are:

You also have the option of buying new or second-hand shipping containers – which will, of course, have an impact on the price.

Another option that you have to improve the range of containers that you can offer your customers is to customise them. Some people might need a ramp to help to get items in and out, others might require temperature control, or others might be looking for a container with racking, for example.

Security

Security must be a priority for your self-storage business. You need your customers to feel safe and that their items are safe and secure with you. This is, after all, one of the main points in having a self-storage unit.

You should think about having extra-strong locking systems on your individual shipping containers as well as more general security for the whole space.

Your Layout

Another consideration that you need to make is how you intend to layout your self-storage units. You will need to ensure that all of your customers can get access to their units easily and when they wish.

Shipping containers have been specially designed to be easy to stack on top of each other or lay side by side, so you should be able to fit them tightly and neatly inside your space.

You will also need to have a reception area, management, area to speak to customers, and toilet.

Location

It is important that you consider where you are going to have your self-storage units. Try to locate them somewhere that people might see them – this is extra, free marketing for you. You should also think about where you are expecting to get your clientele from and how they are going to access the space.

It is also worth considering the fact that many of your customers might want to bring and take their items in vans.

Other Business Decisions

There are many other business decisions that need to be made which are less specific to having a self-storage business. Issues such as marketing, the structure of your business, opening hours, pricing structure, and its day-to-day running.

Setting Up a Self-Storage Business

Once that you have an idea of how you intend to run your business, there is a certain amount of admin that needs to be done before you can begin. For example, you will need to:

  • Find a name for your business
  • Register and licence your business
  • Look into the regulations that you must comply with
  • Get comprehensive insurance

Having a self-storage business can be lucrative when it is thoroughly thought through and done properly. By choosing the right shipping containers, putting them in the right place, and running your business properly, there is no reason why it cannot be a grand success.