Helping people to move or store their belongings is big business in the UK. There are believed to be around 1,430 self-storage locations in the country, covering an incredible 42.2 million sq ft. There is also money to be made in storage. The Self Storage Association estimates the annual turnover of this sector in 2016 was a healthy £540 million.
However, it is not only the space and revenue that are sizeable in the self-storage industry. It is a sector dominated by big players, companies that have found lucrative sites and offer high levels of service and security. In fact, around a third of the UK self-storage locations are owned or managed by big companies.
The good news is that some of them can help you realise your dream to be your own boss. You just need to decide whether to take a chance on going it alone or launch your venture as a franchisee.
How does that work? Companies such as Big Yellow have a substantial track record and a big share of the revenue for self-storage facilities and services. However, you can start your own business using their respected branding and proven business model.
Another company offering business management, marketing and location support to new business start ups - as a franchise agreement - is Easistore. Alternatively, Space&Time is a mobile self-storage franchise based on collecting and delivering household and commercial goods in containers, which are then stored securely.
There are also niche businesses in this sector happy to help entrepreneurs start up. This includes Barn Store, who make the most of redundant farm buildings for storage.