So, you’re looking to start a storage company? That’s a good idea. A feasible idea, in fact.
There will always be a need for rental storage facilities as individuals and offices look to either free up space or need secure premises to hold their items temporarily, whether that temporary means a day or two, or a good couple of years.
That means it can be highly profitable to own your own storage facility.
Question is, how do you go about launching this kind of business? Here’s a simple brief of what you need to start a storage firm.
Analyze the local market
As much as it’s a viable venture to get into, it’s advisable to first gain a deep understanding of the storage sector and research the local market before launching your company.
Understand the business you’re about to get into and look at the potential competition in this space. Find out everything you can about their services and pricing, as well as the challenges faced in the sector.
Launching a storage business without proper analysis is not a very wise move. While there may be a ready market for storage services, that demand might be already met. So, establish the viability of the opportunity.
Consider your budget
The size of the storage facility you have in mind is what largely determines the cost of starting and running it.
Do you want a small facility or are you planning for a larger one?
Sunk costs (aka the money you pay to get the facility off the ground) should not only include the initial facility rental costs, but also other costs such as the website, promotional materials, a van or truck maybe for pick-up or delivery of items, etc.
Create your business plan
A business plan is a very important aspect of any business, and a storage company is no exception.
The plan should be comprehensive, outlining the results of your market research, type of business structure, summary of services you want to offer, your objectives, a detailed financial plan for the first few years, the issue of marketing, etc.
Come up with a detailed marketing plan
Speaking of marketing, you will need to create a comprehensive marketing strategy that addresses everything from market penetration, to the growth and communication strategies.
A storage business calls for flexibility and adaptability, so determine the approach that’s likely to work best, bearing in mind that there is no blanket solution to marketing.
Your storage facility will be your first (and arguably the largest) expense you will incur when starting a storage business.
Location is important, as are the actual storage units – which you also need to decide if to build your own, rent them or purchase.
Security should be top of the list, and accessibility of the facility is a big bonus.
The legal issues
You’ll need to register your storage company and fulfil all the relevant legal and tax regulations. Orient yourself with the federal and state license requirements for a storage company.
If you’re not sure where to begin, you can seek advice from the US Small Business Administration or such similar body.
A small business taxation and regulations attorney can also be helpful when navigating the legal red tape, so consider this option.
Promoting your business is all about increasing your brand awareness – aka getting your name out there.
A solid web presence is a must these days. Start with a business website before all else – the social media profiles, paid ads and so on.
As well, depending on the area you’re serving, offline marketing may or may not be a good idea. But some offline marketing strategies that never fail include having branded merchandise like t-shirts, as well as branding your business vehicle(s).
This is basically a compressed list of the key aspects you’ll be focusing on when starting a storage company.