How to set up a Self Storage company


Thinking of setting up a self storage company? Self storage is proven to offer fantastic returns, is resilient to economic decline and provides great exit strategy opportunities.

Naturally, setting up a company like this will take time and also a great deal of preparation, but the rewards are there. Here are some helpful steps to follow to ensure your self-storage venture gets off the ground.

Market Research – Supply and Demand

Before running in to this and spending too much time, money and effort you will need to diligently research the local market.

Is there sufficient demand for such an enterprise in your local area? How many potential competitors are currently operating in your intended target area, if any? What packages/services do they offer and what can you do better?

All these questions need to be thought about carefully and answered before you embark on your new venture.

Also, find out exactly what the competition is offering, and find their weaknesses!

What are the costs you face in the short-term?

Start up costs are quite high but should not deter the budding self storage operator – will you buy or rent land to build a purpose built building or will you convert an existing building? You will need finance in place to fit out the premises for self storage, albeit this can be done in phases to assist with cash flow, with later phases being financed from previous phases. Apart from these costs, you will also need to pay for the creation of a company website and the relevant PR materials that you will use to advertise the business – either via brochures, social media channels, local media ads and so on. Also, you need to secure the relevant planning permission or potential change of use from the local authorities. Take all these costs into consideration before constructing your business plan.

Also, consider additional items that you may need, including electrical works, secure access gates with key codes, toilets, and reception area, all these are items that Active Supply and Design can assist with and bear in mind that although start up costs can be quite high, the returns in both the medium and long terms are amongst the best available and that you will have created a very desirable asset when you're finished.

The Business Plan

So it's time to put pen to paper on the business plan – this is a very important document about your whole business strategy and your plans.

  • What do you plan to achieve?
  • Detail your goals and overall business objectives?
  • Summarise your business – including its location, organisation structure and ownership details.
  • Establish your key products and service offering.
  • Use graphs to show the current market and possible demands.
  • Describe your marketing strategies and goals.
  • Create your investment plan and outline the general costs for starting up your self storage company – detail the full maintenance costs for the first few years after start up.
  • Get an approved accountant on board to help handle daily bookkeeping and establish your key tax and legal obligations.

The Location and Tools required to start a business

Once you have the necessary capital in place, you need to secure the land or building. Then at this point, it's time to get a professional to make the most out of your available space, this is one of the most important areas as each square foot of lettable space equates to income. 

Your fit out contractor should incorporate a range of different sized units in the design, simply because different customers have different requirements. Not everyone will want to rent a 50sqft unit for example. Diversity is key, you will need to provide a range of storage solutions to match all your customers requirements. If you can offer your customers choice, and a price point that they can afford you're on the right track!

So after reading this, you are one step closer to making the jump. 

For further information on storage solutions call Active Supply and Design on 01270 215 200 or email