How to Get Started in the Self Storage Business

The Energy Experts

How to Get Started in the Self Storage Business

Self storage provides space for individuals to store their belongings on a short-term basis, either while traveling or moving or as a solution to a lack of living or working space in their homes or apartments. Typically, these spaces are garage-style units that can range in size, accessibility and amenities. In some cases, these spaces are located outdoors or indoors and may be climate controlled. Regardless of the location, customers rent these spaces on a month-to-month basis and have access to their belongings during business hours.

Whether it’s a result of an unexpected life event or the normal process of downsizing, one out of 10 households rents a self storage unit in the United States. This trend shows that people are in constant need of a safe place to store their belongings, especially when they can’t fit everything they have into their home or apartment.

The self storage industry is an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs because it offers a lot of flexibility and can be profitable if it is managed well. Unlike residential housing, which is often a high risk investment due to unpredictable market fluctuations, the storage industry has more in common with retail and provides a stable income stream with low operating costs.

As with any business, it’s important to research the industry thoroughly before making a decision on where you want to start. You will want to consider the local demand, your competition, and your target customer base. It’s also important to keep in mind that a self storage facility will require significant capital up front to build and launch the business. As a rule of thumb, you should be prepared to spend around $25 per square foot to construct a single-story self storage building.

There are many ways that you can find financing to help you get started with this business. Some owners will opt to take out a small business loan, while others may seek out private investors or partners. It’s also a good idea to have enough money to cover the first year of operating expenses.

In addition to finding the right location, you will need to purchase land and obtain the necessary permits. In some areas, this may be more difficult than in others, so it’s crucial to research the area carefully before deciding to open a self storage facility there.

You will also need to decide if you want to manage the facility yourself or hire a manager. This will impact your operational costs and can affect the success of the business. Choosing a management company that will be familiar with the industry and have experience running similar facilities can make this decision easier.

While you can store many types of items in a self storage unit, there are some things that you simply cannot. These include anything that is wet, including kayaks and surfboards or any item that may grow mildew in a dark, closed-off environment. Other items are prohibited for safety or legal reasons.