How to Start a Self-Storage Business: Content Series

All businesses start with an idea. And turning your idea into a product or service requires research, planning, and execution. We're creating a content series of blogs to go over the many aspects of how to start a self-storage business.

Ever wonder what’s involved in starting a self-storage business? You’re not alone. Self-storage is a lucrative business that continues to grow. With a steady cash flow, large income potential, low overhead, and minimal construction costs, more and more facilities are popping up. If you want to start a self-storage business, there are quite a few things you’ll want to research. We are going to do a series of blog posts to hit on the different aspects of starting a self-storage business.

There is a lot of great information about how to set up a self-storage facility. And you don’t have to tackle it all on your own. To help get things rolling, it’s a good idea to hire industry professionals to determine your project’s feasibility. All companies start with an idea. And turning that idea into a product or service requires research, planning, and execution. So, we analyze the market, look for trends, gaps, evolving customer needs, and competitor offerings.

After identifying potential opportunities, it’s time to figure out how your idea is different (and better) than the rest. Gathering information helps validate the idea and guides product development. With a well-thought-out strategy, you can bring your idea to life in the market. And the goal of any product or service is that it fills a need. Business owners in the storage industry know there are needs to fill.

Here are some of the topics we will cover in our future blog posts on How to Start a Self-Storage Business:

Self-Storage Associations and Events

Associations and events in the self-storage industry are great resources! They can help you start your self-storage business. There are several self-storage associations to work with, both nationally and on a state level. For networking, education, advocacy, and exposure, be sure to connect with them. Here are the big hitters:

Self Storage Association

Inside Self-Storage

For a list of all state self-storage associations, check out this page. And don’t forget to look up your local association’s Facebook and LinkedIn pages. Our upcoming blog on “Associations: How to Start a Self-Storage Business” will give you some helpful tips for being in the know!

Storage Options

Our upcoming post on this topic will go over the differences between relocatable units and permanent storage buildings. We will discuss what it means to be a quality and durable product. Can you customize your storage units? And what will the delivery and installation entail? And will there be a warranty on the storage you choose? If you are starting a self-storage business or expanding an existing one, this will be a great read for you.

Market Research

It’s so important to look at your local competition and demographics. What kinds of things are the people in your community putting into storage? Find out what size units will do well in your area. Identify the location, size, rental rates, occupancy, and other details of your competitors. This can help dictate your unit mix, features, and prices, for example.

Boxwell, how to start a self-storage business, community connections, choosing your property, location, demographics, self-storage facility

Self-Storage Properties

Are you building a new self-storage business or expanding upon an existing facility? Either way, you’ll need to look at permitting requirements, the cost of construction, and the options for placement and configuration. Consider the shape and type of property you have. Identify if you have uneven ground, grass, dirt, power lines, easements, parking lots, or other obstacles to deal with. If so, you’ll want to explore all your options for site layout.

Financing for Storage Facilities

Once you’ve figured out the location for your self-storage business, it’s time to figure out how to finance it. And there are options! Anything from loans (SBA and commercial), or self-financing, to investors or finance partners. We’ll look at what can work for you in our upcoming blog. Once you’re set, look at possible tax benefits you may have. Relocatable units are considered equipment, which qualify for the Section 179 tax benefit.

Self-Storage Feasibility Study

A feasibility study can help determine the potential success of a self-storage business and identify any potential challenges that may arise. We will go over this and more in our upcoming blog. Here are a few questions to ask: Where can I fit storage units? What is my property type? What is the best mix of storage sizes? How should the traffic flow? Who are my tenants? The study can help you identify the optimal location, size, and layout of your self-storage facility.

Boxwell, how to start a self-storage business, community connections, choosing your property, location, demographics, self-storage facility, management

Facility Management

Hiring and training your staff is super important to the success of your new business. So, invest in it! Be sure everyone is trained in your marketing and knows how to run your technology. 3rd party management software is also an option to consider. This upcoming post, “Management: How to Start a Self-Storage Business” will go over the many ways to run your facility.

Self-Storage Marketing

Be sure your self-storage business has both curb appeal and online appeal. Work on your SEO and be sure your website is clear and current. This upcoming post will go over offline and online marketing tactics for your self-storage business. For example, utilizing your local directories, offering promotions, hosting events, using signage, and partnering with local businesses.

Community Connections

Last, but certainly not least, we will discuss ways that your community plays a vital role in starting a self-storage business. We’ll go over volunteerism, donations, local events, signage, and partnerships. And don’t forget how important referrals and testimonials can be! We’ll show you ways to make these connections.

Boxwell, how to start a self-storage business, community connections, Giving and Gratitude

When starting a self-storage business, the easiest and most cost-effective choices can be the most solid. The future of storage is looking good, and it feels like it’s going to continue to grow. Whether you do the research yourself or get some help from industry experts, the more information you gather, the better prepared you’ll be. It’s easy to determine your optimal site layout and unit mix. Decide upon a permanent structure or relocatable units, and in no time, your site will be transformed into a revenue-generating storage business!

About Boxwell

At the core, Boxwell uses a hands-on approach to business that is carried throughout everything we do. When we need to talk, we pick up the phone. If there are questions, we demo our product. And when we’re intrigued with something new, we give it a try. If a team member needs help, we offer it. When our community needs support, we lend our resources. With compassion and innovative ways of “thinking outside of the box,” anything is possible. That’s our culture.

When building Boxwell, Rod Bolls set out to create a company that prioritizes a balance between working hard and playing hard. He aligns a strong business model with a strong team and a sustainable work environment. To achieve an ideal company culture, Rod nurtures every relationship. For example, this includes customers, partners, vendors, local non-profits, neighborhood sports teams, and museums. Our products include drive-up self-storage units, relocatable self-storage units, portable storage containers, moving containers, and restoration containers.

Boxwell units can help you increase your business’ revenue-generating space with units in a variety of sizes, including our new 10 x 20 units and our 8 x 20 units. Our portable containers and relocatable self-storage units are flexible, stackable, and beautiful! Boxwell is here to ensure that our products help you achieve your business goals.

CRE Startup Podcast with Rod Bolls and Laura Brooks of Boxwell

Rod Bolls and Laura Brooks featured on Commercial Real Estate STARTUP Podcast. Listen in for industry insights and to learn all about how Boxwell is #ThinkingOutsideTheBox

Check out or call (303) 317-5850 today!

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