Top tips to help you successfully open a storage facility

We all have stuff at home we keep that's always under foot. That's why storage facilities have become popular. Here are top tips to help you successfully open a storage facility and capitalize on this trend.
Important questions to first ask yourself

Start by determining:

  • Where you want to open your storage facility
  • Do you want to start from scratch and build a warehouse, or buy a pre-existing business?
  • If you choose to buy, do you want to operate a franchise?

Research and assess your options according to the scenario that appeals to you most. Evaluate your spending. As such,you’ll need to conduct a little market research to evaluate what the competition is doing, projected sales, the market value of the rental space and the lease. You can find helpful information on database and statistics websites.

In addition, try to find ways that will make your business stand out:

  • Offer extras and amenities that set you apart from the competition.

This added value should attract customers.

Next, what services will you provide?

All these questions should be weighed carefully. They will help you foresee expenses and build a business model with a competitive edge.

What types of storage will you offer?

You need to determine what type of storage you want to offer (i.e., residential, commercial, industrial). Will you offer to store archived files and documents? If so, make sure you can protect and preserve documents properly.

Rental services: long term? Short term? Or both?

To better accommodate your customers' needs, you can offer short-term and long-term leases. You can charge monthly, biannual or annual rates, with or without a contract. To simplify things for your customers, offer online payment through your website. Flexibility appeals to customers, but don't go overboard: too much choice can also be confusing.

The size of your business

Determine how many units you can rent. Propose units of various sizes. Will your warehouse have one storey or two? If you have two floors, you’ll need to consider elevator access.

On-site security

You’ll need to ensure maximum security on the premises. You can install interior and exterior lighting, 24-hour camera surveillance, sprinklers, and of course an alarm system. It’s also a good idea to provide customers with a unique access code for their unit. It is also essential that you buy liability insurance.

Moving services

If you choose to provide a moving service, you should consider acquiring a fleet of trucks. You can offer to rent equipment and materials such as boxes, bubble wrap, protective covers, straps, belts and carts.You can also provide a packing service to help your customers, if requested.

Transport and accessibility

Consider whether you need one or more trucks to pick up and transport goods. Make sure there is a loading dock for loading and unloading vehicles. Will your facility be free-access and available to customers seven days a week?

Temperature and climate control

You must ensure adequate temperature control to inhibit moisture and condensation. Moisture is the main enemy of items in storage, encouraging the growth of mould and mildew. In the summer, make sure you have air conditioning.

Maintenance

Do you intend to include pest control treatment? In terms of general maintenance and repairs, do you have an idea of who will do it, and how often?

Top tips to help you successfully open a storage facility
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