5 Things to Consider When Starting a Storage Business

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starting storage business

More and more of us are needing to use the services of a self-storage business. There is an increase in people using sites like eBay, Etsy and Gumtree to run their own business, and they therefore need a space to store their stock securely. Also, in general, new builds are getting smaller. This means there is less storage space in homes, and a higher demand for self-storage containers for personal items.

Today, we look at the types of self-storage, the advantages and disadvantages, and what to consider when starting a business in the storage industry.

The Three Main Types of Storage

1. Metal shipping container

The biggest shipping container is around 160 square feet, and it can be divided up into smaller spaces. They are usually in a secured area with enough space for customers to park next them and unload easily.

Some businesses may run a large site with hundreds of shipping containers, or they might deliver them to their clients desired location. They can either stay there, or the business can pick them up and take them back to its headquarters.

Shipping containers are convenient and cost effective, with them usually being cheaper than warehouse storage options. When they are fabricated from tough steel, they can withstand any weather conditions. However, if they are made from a less durable material, items inside may be exposed to the different weather conditions.

The last thing customers will want is there clothes smelling of damp, so make sure to consider this if you want your self-storage business to be profitable.

>> Read more about: The Best Self Storage Franchise Opportunities in the UK

2. Warehouse storage

This is a popular type of self-storage and the one used by many storage companies in the UK. They are essentially a large building split into individual units. There can be hundreds or even thousands of them and they vary in size.

You can usually find this type of storage in a convenient location and, due to the sheer volume of units, many offer access 24/7. They are often temperature controlled too. But for all these perks comes a heftier price tag compared to the other options.

3. Lock-up garage

These are generally purpose built and are often slightly less spacious than the other two. Generally, they wont vary in size, and come in at around 124 square feet.

This is usually a cheaper alternative to warehouse storage options and found in more residential areas. However, depending on the quality of the door, the security may not be as high at the other two options.

Now weve examined the top three types of self-storage, you should have more of an idea of which type of business youd like to open. Lets now take a look at what else you should consider before starting a storage business. The focus is mainly on shipping container storage businesses.

This doesnt cover absolutely everything, so make sure to also conduct your own research to give your business the best chance of success.

5 Things to Consider When Starting a Storage Business

1. Examine the competition in your local area

By looking at your competitors, you can gauge an understanding of where customers already seek storage facilities and how much they are prepared to pay. Think about ways you can make your business more visible, or maybe even offer lower prices.

A storage business that is clearly advertised and in a populated area is likely to receive more trade than a business in the middle of nowhere. Also, if there are frequent passers-by, you wont need to spend as much on advertising.

Of course, it wont be possible to launch a storage business with 1,000 shipping containers in the middle of a city centre. But keep this in mind and be sure to firmly establish how you will attract custom.

You could place your company near small business units. Often during busy periods like Christmas, they will need extra storage space. You can capitalise on this by being their go-to storage facility.

2. Think carefully about the material of storage containers

If youve chosen the shipping container storage business, then using new one trip containers made from Corten steel should help your product last up to 20 years without much maintenance. Customers will want to leave their belongings somewhere clean, where they can retrieve them in the same condition they left them in.

Keep the roof clear of debris and touch up the paintwork at least every two to three years if you want your containers to last.

3. The security of customers belongings is your number one priority

You could offer your own padlock range, where padlocks are individually keyed and numbered and controlled with a master key. Make sure the padlocks are of a high quality too.

Some storage businesses let customers use their own locks. This could be their own preference but there are some drawbacks to this option. For instance, if the customer misplaces their keys or the police have a warrant to search it, the container will get damaged when the lock is broken.

4. Site presentation is important to create a professional impression

This may seem insignificant in comparison to other areas of the business, but its importance shouldnt be underestimated. If the site is disorganised and untidy, you will deter potential customers. If you cant even organise a site, how can they trust you to keep their belongings safe?

5. Pick a supplier who is respected and reliable

Get your containers from one supplier and use one colour for all. Uniformity should help make your business look more professional. There are ample manufacturers to choose from and the design will vary between the different ones. Two of the main ways they differ is the number of locking bars on the doors and the number of vents.

So there you have it our top five things to consider when starting a storage business. Some of the best storage franchise opportunities include easyStorage, Barn Store and Sentry.

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