How to Start a Self-Storage Business: Success Tips for Beginners

November 20, 2020

The self-storage (shortened from self-service storage) industry is a service that allows individuals or businesses to use secure storage space to store goods in exchange for rent.

We all know that certain experiences such as moving houses or offices can be incredibly cumbersome, and this is where self-storage solutions come in to make the ride smoother.

There are several other instances where individuals or businesses will seek out storage facilities, and here are some tips for serving your customers with the highest quality services when they eventually come knocking. There is a relatively high demand for secure self-storage units; for you to make a dent in the market, the key is market research. If you are looking to start a self-storage business, look no further than these tips:

Why Invest in Self-Storage?

There are several reasons why investing in self-storage is a great idea. For starters, a self-storage business requires a considerably lower starting capital amount that other real estate ventures. For those looking for higher returns in shorter periods, this is the way to go. Because of these factors, and combined with the high success rates associated with this industry, it is relatively easy to get a capital loan from prospective lenders.

In this line of business, you can experience profitable returns even at 60-70% occupancy. People will always need storage space, just like they will always need transportation, dining, and the like.

If your locality is undergoing some development, which would lead to the relocation of families and offices, this is the perfect time to invest in a self-storage business - and you can do it on your own. Research shows that a majority of successful storage businesses are not the ones run by franchisees, but the ones that are run by independent operators.

There is a certain leeway on the available unit choices based on economic engagement levels. Some common varieties of self-storage units include outdoor units, for when security isn’t always the highest priority, but accessibility is; climate-controlled units, for maximum security and for storing premium goods in a dry, thermally-monitored environment; vehicle storage units, which, as the name suggests, is strictly for two- or four-wheeled vehicles, unless specified otherwise; and mixed storage units, which are mostly used by businesses and offices to store inventory.

You can choose to invest in outdoor units if you are looking for some extra money on the side, but if you want to build an empire in your local self-storage market and beyond, you should diversify your investment into other types of units based on market research.

To get more in-depth articles and information about getting into the self-storage game, make sure you visit

How to Find the Best Self-Storage Business for Sale

Now, you have decided to embark on your journey as a self-storage business owner. The first thing you need to research is the location. You need to refer to your local sources and make a list of the best self-storage businesses for sale. Then, visit the facilities, take photos, and compare square footage prices.

You can choose to buy the property outright or to lease it for a specified amount of time. Make sure you look out for leaks or other construction issues when examining each unit.

You can find out how much your competitors are paying for storage and try to get yourself a better deal. Every city has a different need based on socio-economic conditions, so make sure to include factors such as demand, recessions, and construction or rebuilding projects into deciding the ideal location for your storage facility business. To put it simply, a Manchester storage business would fare much differently from a storage business in London or Brighton You can also visit for the latest industry trends.

Another factor to take into consideration is the average income of the demographic surrounding the location if you are basing it near a residential area. Generally, only individuals in middle- to higher-income groups opt for storage units. Likewise, if it is near an industrial area, check the income and needs of the companies there. It is also handy to take average age into consideration, as individuals of the age group 25-50 are the most likely to use a personal self-storage unit.

How to Maximize Profit from Your Self-Storage Business

The key to maximizing profit is, once again, conducting research. However, it makes sense to cover some legal checks first. Make sure your self-storage facility is registered as a legal company. Make sure you cover your bases and ensure a dry, safe, secure, and private storage unit that will not only serve the customers’ purposes but leave a lasting impression of your company in their minds as well. The key to success with any brand is to listen to and satisfy the needs of the customer, and that advice is just as valid in this industry as anywhere else.

Now that you have covered the basics and your company is all set up for success, you can maximize your profits by investing some money in advertising. Online advertising is always the best way forward, but do not undermine the power of the more traditional forms of advertising.

Know your area and know your customers; you will find out what methods work best and what most people respond to. If you aren’t sure, it's better to conduct market research before you launch a full-fledged ad campaign.

Ensure that your marketing plan addresses three of the most important factors that will ensure success in your self-storage venture. The three key areas are market penetration, communication strategy, and a growth plan.

Market penetration is all about creating a niche market for yourself, which can be achieved through targeted advertising. Your communications strategy oversees your direct interactions with your customers, and it is always advised to be transparent with your customers about pricing and terms. Your growth plan underlines your strategy to grow and expand your business over time and how you will achieve short-term goals, like coming to a breakeven point.

Furthermore, you can provide add-on services such as packing and transporting customers’ goods to increase profits. Also, it helps to keep checking the latest developments in security and climate-conditioning by paying attention to new accessories and storage units for sale.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Investing in Self-Storage

As with any business venture, things could go horribly wrong in self-storage investing. While it is true that a lot is left up to chance, there are certain mistakes you can avoid to maximize your chances of success.

One of the first mistakes beginners often make is getting confused between a good property and a cheap one. One of the first lessons in this, or in any real estate venture, is that you cannot compromise on quality. When comparing units to lease or buy, take into consideration not only the quality but also the visibility and accessibility of the units.

Secondly, you should remember that hiring professional help is always a viable option. Whether it be for designing the units or for getting financial help during any phase of the business, it is always a good idea to consult a professional. You can find professional help on various self-storage business aspects in

An experienced designer can not only help you maximize space - which translates to higher profits - but they can also increase the aesthetic value of your unit.

Make sure your business plan is airtight, consult a professional if need be, and keep an eye out to keep your units and legal work updated for your self-storage businesses.


If you’re looking for reliable cash flow and a recession-proof business venture, buying a self-storage unit facility is a great idea. While the market is steadily growing, it is not completely saturated, which means there is plenty of space for your business to flourish. If you invest in the right resources and advertise to the right crowd, you’ll soon see the profits rolling in.

To read more in-depth articles about real estate and business planning, make sure you visit


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