How to Start a Self Storage Business Using These Resources

December 16, 2020 262 views


Tips Insights and Resources to Start a Self Storage Business

About This Post

In this post is an impressive amount of resources related to starting and running a self-storage business. You’ll find information for many of the concerns you’re wondering about and the points you may not have considered yet.

This unique collection took hours to research and organize. You can access all the resources further down the page any time you need them, but first, lets’ go over a few important issues you’ll want to consider before you jump in and start your business.

Are You Suited for This Opportunity?

One of the most important issues to consider is if this business opportunity is a good fit for you or not. The amount of success you’ll have will be affected by how determined and passionate you are about your business.

Think of it as a career. If you hate your job and hate going to work, the negativity starts to spill into other parts of your life. You suffer, and your job suffers. Would you agree in a situation like that, it’s better to find a job your passionate about and something you want to do? How much more successful will you be at a job you love, compared to one you can’t stand?

It’s the same with business. If you’re not interested in what you’re doing. With every little problem, you’ll start to look for ways to get out of the business rather than looking for solutions to solve the problem. For more see, Passion – An Important Key You Need to Succeed in Business.

Do You Have the Necessary Skills?

Do you have what it takes to run a business? If you do great, you only need to be introduced to the self-storage industry. If you don’t have business skills, then it’s not the end of the world. You can learn the skills needed.

If you learn as you go, I would suggest speaking with a trusted advisor before making any important business decisions. For the skills you’ll need, see How to Run a Business – A Quick Look Into Skills You’ll Need

Points to Consider Before Starting

Is There a Demand for Self Storage Units In Your Area?

Have you looked into the demand for self-storage in your area? If there are a lot of self-storage facilities, you may have come across a saturated market. It’s a difficult market to get into. You’ll be competing with everyone else. Before you open your doors to the public, the other businesses will start competing against you. You’ll need to improve on an existing service or bring something new that the others haven’t thought of.

On the other hand, if there are no self-storage businesses in the area, there could be insufficient demand to support a business. There is no use opening when there is no demand because it’s an uphill battle to market something no one wants. For more, see Startup – What Is the Demand for Your Products and Services.

Self Storage Setup Options

Will you offer your customers options? If I were to open a self-storage business. I would consider the following:

Extended Customer Insurance

Having the right insurance coverage for this type of business is crucial. You are storing people’s goods; therefore, you must have some form of insurance to cover them in case of an accident.

I would offer my customers the standard package included in the rental price. I would also offer a premium insurance package to insure expensive items not covered by the standard insurance.

In any case, it’s best to consult with a professional insurance company that deals with self-storage. I have listed a few further down the page in the Insurance section of the resources.

Climate Control

I would offer climate-controlled storage units for people that are storing goods susceptible to temperature and humidity. I would also offer units without climate control at a lower rate.


I would offer 24/7 Security. It may be placing a guard there for every eight hours or outsourcing to a company that could monitor from a remote location.

Another option is to combine the security guard position to include other duties. After all, if there is a problem, the security guard will call the police. So you could have an attendant onsite for each shift. The attendant would deal with any issues, such as maintenance checks, customer service, security, paperwork, etc.

Entry Options

I would offer a system where you can use a key or use an app to access your unit. With an app, you could apply for your unit online, pay online, and get an access code to your phone. This automation is easy for those that want it, and it helps automate the business.

Those who don’t want to use the tech options and like the old school method could come to the office and get their access in the traditional way.


Variable Climate Control

I would give energy use options. For example, some people don’t want the heat at 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They only want it 35 degrees just above freezing. The same for air conditioning; they may want just enough to reduce any humidity.

Video Monitoring

I would offer some units with video monitoring for the inside and outside of the unit. If a customer wants to check on their goods, they could log in to their unit’s camera. I would install cameras that can rotate, giving you a better view and allow a customer to find something in the storage unit. Naturally, you would need your items organized and labeled for this to be effective.


I would offer units with shelving and units without. Some customers want their units to have wall-to-wall shelving, while others don’t want any at all. It’s nice to have the option.

Unit Alerts

I would make sure I had a unit alert built into my security. Anytime the unit is opened, an alert would be sent to the customer. A customer who rented a climate control unit will also receive an alert if there is a significant temperature change.

What Type of Company Structure Will You Setup?

You can set up your self-storage business as a sole proprietorship, which is the easiest and least expensive setup. It would also be the one with the least protection in case of bankruptcy or a lawsuit.

A corporate structure protects you against liabilities and has different tax brackets. There are pros and cons to each structure. I would suggest speaking with your accountant and lawyer to determine the best route for your business and your situation.

For more see, How to Register Your Business Using These Resources.

Startup Cost

To determine you’re startup cost, you need a plan. Without a plan, you won’t be able to get any reliable estimates.

Will you be leasing a building, buying one, building a new one? How many units will you have? The area you’re in and the price of real estate will affect your startup costs. As you can see, many questions need to be answered.

Create your plan so you can start to gather estimates. The resources below will give an idea of where you can start, but your local area is a good place to get your estimates. For more on startup costs, see, Estimating Startup Costs: Are You Missing Anything?


Have you considered any add-ons for your business? Here a few I can think of:


If I have someone on the premises at all times. I would offer moving supplies, such as bubble wrap, boxes, tape, labels, etc.

Customers may not have considered bringing items to help them organize their unit. Having these available at your location is convenient for your customers and something that brings in extra income.

Other Forms of Storage

Depending on the size of my property, I would consider other forms of storage. For example, if I had a few acres. I would put up a secure fence or wall and offer vehicle, RV, and boat storage.

I would also consider adding another service, such as a warehouse. A crew would pick up, store, and deliver the items. All the customer would need to do is schedule the time.

Naturally, all the above ideas would be based on feedback to determine the demand.

There is no reason you can’t expand this type of business. You may want to do something like the examples above. Or you may want to stick to the self-storage units, automate them as much as possible and expand by adding more locations where it’s feasible.

Getting the Word Out and Getting Customers

You can acquire customers using traditional advertising methods such as; your local TV station, radio ads, newspaper advertising, magazine ads, etc. When using these forms of advertising, make sure your campaign starts off with a small test to find the best ad. Once you have a proven ad, then you would role it out for more exposure.

Moving Companies

You could look for moving companies in the area and let them know about your service. A lot of times, moving companies have customers that need a short-term storage solution. In return, you can offer the firm a referral fee for every client.

Real Estate Firms

Another type of business to reach out to is real estate firms. Sometimes when people buy and sell houses, they need more time than the closing date. You can provide short-term solutions for their customers that need it. You could offer a referral fee for every client they send your way or something similar.

The Resources

Now it’s time for the resources mentioned earlier in this post. The resources are provided by various authors giving you a broad overview.

You’ll find hundreds of resources below. You won’t be able to get through them all in one visit. The good news is you can come back anytime you need them. They will be here.

Good luck with your business!

A Collection of Resources Related to Starting a Self Storage Business

How to Start a Self Storage Business

Everything You Need to Know About How to Start a Self-Storage Business

How to Open a Rental Storage Unit Business | Small Business – Chron.com

5 things to know before you become a self storage owner | storEDGE

How to Start a Storage Unit Business | UpCounsel 2020

How To Start A Storage Unit Business – House of Debt

How to Start a Self Storage Business: 5 Steps to Get Started – Self Storage Investing

How to Get Started in Self-Storage Investing | Millionacres

Starting a Self-Storage Business

How to Start a Self Storage Business: Breakeven Analysis | General Steel

Tips for setting up a container self-storage business

Self-Storage Business Investment Guide | Steel Storage, UK

Self Storage Investing for Beginners | Commercial Property Advisors

Starting a self-storage business : Entrepreneur

Getting Started with Portable Storage Investing

What to Consider Before You Start

Reasons for Getting Into Your Own Business

The Pros and Cons of Owning Your Own Business

10 Questions You Must Ask Before Starting a Business

Passion – An Important Key You Need to Succeed in Business

Steps and Considerations

Over 21 Steps and Considerations When Starting Your Business

Getting Inside Information

An Inside Look Into The Business You’re Considering

A Simple Guide To Starting A Business

How to Start A Business – Making a Complex Topic Simple

The Pros and Cons of Running A Self Storage Business

The pros and cons of self-storage units by Stevens & Stevens

15 Pros and Cons of Owning Storage Units – BrandonGaille.com

The Pros and Cons of Self-Storage Investing

The Pros and Cons of Starting a Local Storage Unit Business | Units Franchise

Pros and Cons of Investing in Self-Storage (Or Why not another commercial asset class?!) – SAMO Financial

Cons of self-storage – Self-Storage Talk

The Pros and Cons of Renting a Self-Storage Unit

How to Finance Your Business

Self Storage Loans: How to Get Self Storage Financing

Self Storage Financing, SBA Self Storage Loans, SBA Construction Loans

Self-Storage Loans from Live Oak Bank’s Small Business Lenders

Self Storage Loans: Your Complete Guide • Radius+

The SBA 7(a) Loan Program: A Self-Storage Overview and Case Study | Inside Self-Storage

Best Self Storage Financing and Loans | Fast Capital 360®

Self-Storage Business Loans

Scotsman Guide Media

Everything You Need To Know About Business Loans

How To Register a Business

How to Register Your Business Using These Resources

Limited Lines Licensing for Self Storage – Self Storage Association News / Blog | Self Storage Association

Self-Service Storage Agent License

Storage Warehouse (Premises) License Applicaiton Checklist – DCA

Self Storage Business Name Ideas

Selecting a Good Name for Your Business

Self Storage Business Name Generator – How to Name a Self Storage Business

101 Catchy Storage Facility Business Names – BrandonGaille.com

466+ Best Self Storage Business Names – theBrandBoy.Com

Business Plan

How to Write a Business Plan Using This Unique Collection of Resources

How to Write a Marketing Plan Using These Select Resources

Self-Storage Business Plan – Executive Summary

Self-Storage Business Plan – Company Summary

Self Storage Business Plan | OGScapital.com

3 Ways to Freshen Your Self-Storage Marketing Plan | Inside Self-Storage

Self Storage Marketing Plans | Joshua Management

Trends and Statistics

Self Storage Industry Statistics (2020) | Neighbor Blog

U.S. Self-Storage Industry Statistic [UPDATED MARCH 2020]

Self Storage Market | Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020 – 2025)

Storage & Warehouse Leasing in the US – Industry Data, Trends, Stats | IBISWorld

Council Post: Four Predictions About The Self-Storage Industry

6 Trends Affecting Self-Storage Development in 2020 | Inside Self-Storage

Profitability and Revenue

Estimating the Profitability and Revenue for a New Business

3 Reasons to Start a Self-Storage Business | Self-Storage Facility

#179- How profitable is a self storage facility? – The Sweaty Startup

How to Profit in the Self-Storage Business: Getting Started – ToughNickel – Money

What Is the Profit Margin of a Storage Facility? | Bizfluent

Building a Profitable Pricing Program for Your Self-Storage Business | Inside Self-Storage

Self Storage Add-Ons That Add Up to Profit

Startup and Operating Costs

Estimating Startup Costs – Are You Missing Anything?

6 Keys To The Self Storage Business Bottom Line | The Parham Group

Cost to Build a Storage Unit Business | LoveToKnow

Cost To Build Self Storage

self-storage cost | Scott Meyers | Self Storage Investing

Steel Mini Storage Building Prices (2020): Costs of Building Steel Mini Storage Buildings for Your Self-Storage Facility


Essential Office Equipment You May Need to Run Your Business


Here’s Everything You Need To Know About Business Insurance

Business Insurance for Self Storage Companies

Self-Storage Facility Insurance – Nationwide

Comprehensive Self-Storage Business Insurance | StorageFirst

Insurance for Self-Storage Businesses | Liberty Mutual

Business Insurance for Self Storage Facilities

Self-Storage Insurance – Cost & Coverage (2020)

Insuring Your Facility | Inside Self-Storage

Self-Storage Business Insurance | Find an Agent | Trusted Choice

Business Insurance Self Storage, Commercial Property Insurance, General Liability Insurance Self Storage Facilities

Employee Considerations

The Pros and Cons of Running a One-Person Business

How and When to Hire a New Employee

Common Jobs Needed for Running a Business

Hiring an Employee VS Subcontracting

Self-Storage Hiring Hacks: Advice From an Industry Staffing Expert | Inside Self-Storage

2 Key Principles to Hire the Right Employee for Your Self-Storage Business | Inside Self-Storage

How to Hire a Great Self Storage Property Manager

Self Storage Owner’s Guide to Hiring and Recruiting

Self Storage Hiring | Self Storage HR | SkilCheck Services, Inc


Self Storage Association | Home

Associations | Inside Self-Storage

About The Self-Storage Associations

Self Storage Association Globe Magazine > Home

Business Cards

How to Design Business Cards That Draw Attention

Self storage business card | Business card contest | 99designs

Latest Image Search Results Related to Self Storage Business Cards


How to Create an Impressive Logo

Self Storage Logos | 1,535 Custom Self Storage Logo Designs

Storage Logos: the Best Storage Logo Images | 99designs

Self Storage Logos: the Best Self Storage Logo Images | 99designs

Best Free Storage Logo Maker: Locker, Warehouse | LogoDesign

Storage Logos | Storage Logo Maker | BrandCrowd

Free Storage Logo Designs | DesignEvo Logo Maker

Latest Image Search Results Related to Self Storage Business Logos


Storage Legal Forms – State Specific | US Legal Forms

28 Printable Storage Space Rental Agreement Forms and Templates – Fillable Samples in PDF, Word to Download | PDFfiller

Tenant Releases | Inside Self-Storage

Service Forms for Self Storage Renters | Saf Keep Storage

Online Forms for All-Star, Stor-It-All & Riverton Self Storage


Best Self Storage Software 2020 | Reviews of the Most Popular Tools & Systems

Best Self Storage Software – 2021 Reviews, Pricing & Demos

Best Self-Storage Facility Management Software in 2020 | G2

16 Best Self Storage Software of 2020 – Reviews, Pricing, Demos

Best Self Storage Software – 2020 Reviews & Comparison


Avoid These 10 Mistakes When Purchasing Self-Storage Management Software | Inside Self-Storage

Self Storage Software Reviews & Ranking for 2020 | GetApp®

Business For Sale

Buy A Business or Build one From Scratch?

An Inside Look Into The Business You’re Considering

Deciding Whether to Build or Buy a Self-Storage Facility | Inside Self-Storage

Should I Buy A Self Storage Business?

Self Storage Facilities for Sale | LoopNet.com

Self Storage Businesses for Sale | Buy Self Storage Businesses at BizQuest

Storage Facilities and Warehouses For Sale – BizBuySell

The Commercial Real Estate Exchange

Self Storage Warehouses For Sale in the US, 9 Available To Buy Now

Latest Search Results Related to Self Storage Business For Sale

Franchise Opportunities

The Ins and Outs of Owning A Franchise

The Pros and Cons of Self-Storage Franchising: Is It Right for You? | Inside Self-Storage

15 Storage Franchise Business Opportunities – Small Business Trends

The First Self Storage Franchise Has Arrived! Actually, There’s Now Four!

Self Storage Franchise | Storage Authority Franchise | United States

11 Best Mini Self Storage Franchise Opportunities for Sale | ProfitableVenture

Storage Authority eyes 500 franchised locations by 2020

Established Self Storage Business

The 4 Best Self-Storage Companies of 2020 | Move.org

5 Best Climate-Controlled Storage Companies of 2020 | Move.org

The 6 Largest Self Storage Companies | Moving.com

The Top 10 Self-Storage Companies in the U.S. — Commercial Real Estate Loans, Inc.

Top 100 Self-Storage Operators: List Released by Inside Self-Storage | Inside Self-Storage

Top 5 Storage Companies of USA 2020 | Cost to Hire | Moving Feedback

Best Storage Unit Companies of 2021

Marketing Tips

Think Outside the Box: 4 Creative Self-Storage Marketing Ideas

13 Marketing Tips | Inside Self-Storage

How to do self storage marketing for your self storage facility | 6Storage

7 Self Storage Marketing Ideas [Quick Article]

5 Ways A Self-Storage Business Can Drive More Leads

Self Storage Marketing Ideas – The Guide for 2020 – Storist

5 Tips for Marketing Your Self-Storage Facility – Weaver Realty Group

Selling & marketing to the self storage consumer: How to get the biggest bang for your buck | storEDGE

Top 4 Marketing Ideas for Self-Storage Facility Owners

5 Digital Marketing Strategies for Storage Facilities | WebFX

5 Digital Marketing Strategies for Storage Facilities | WebFX

14 Self Storage Marketing Ideas – BrandonGaille.com

How to Use Video to Promote Your Self Storage Business


Five Challenges Faced by Todays Self-Storage Owners and How to Maximize Your Asset | Inside Self-Storage

5 Challenges Faced by Self-Storage Facility Managers and How to Conque | Inside Self-Storage

Most common problems faced by self-storage owners


The Top 10 Mistakes in Self-Storage Construction | Inside Self-Storage

Top Five Mistakes Made by New Self-Storage Developers: Know What They Are So You Can Avoid Them | Inside Self-Storage

25 Design and Construction Mistakes Self-Storage Owners and Developers Should Avoid | Inside Self-Storage

Three Common Mistakes In Self-Storage Projects – DBCI Blog : DBCI Blog

Article Mix

Storage by the bin: A new business model for self storage | storEDGE

Best Websites to Buy Self Storage Units | REtipster

More Than Just Units: Creating a Specialty Self-Storage Business Model | Inside Self-Storage

The Self Storage Business Model Explained – BrandonGaille.com

4 Untold Secrets to a Successful Self-Storage Business

Calculating Self-Storage Facility Value: A Proven Method for Determining Present and Future Income | Inside Self-Storage

Cap Rates: How to Calculate Value in the Self-Storage Industry

How to Value Self-Storage | Budgeting Money – The Nest

How Businesses Can Use A Self Storage Unit

Self Storage Tips & Tricks | Extra Space Storage

7 Profitable Tips On Starting A Self Storage Business

3 Reasons to Start a Self-Storage Business | Self-Storage Facility

The 7 Abilities You Need to Start a Self-Storage Business | Inside Self-Storage

How to kick start your Self Storage business? | 6Storage

6 Keys To The Self Storage Business Bottom Line | The Parham Group

Running a Business

How to Run a Business – A Quick Look Into Skills You’ll Need


Inside Self-Storage

SSA Magazine | Advertising Opportunities

Self Storage Magazines | MAKO STEEL, INC.

Top 25 Self Storage Blogs and Websites To Follow in 2020

5 blogs every storage owner should subscribe to | storEDGE

Top 10 best blog posts for new self storage owners and investors | storEDGE

Blogging + Social Media For Self-Storage – The SpareFoot Blog


Self-Storage Terminology You Must Know: Business, Finance and Real Estate | Inside Self-Storage

Self-Storage Jargon | Inside Self-Storage

Self Storage Glossary And Self-Storage Terminology.


Self Storage Education & Training | Learn Self Storage

Self Storage Investing Playbook: Part 1 Building and Acquisitions

Analyzing Self Storage Businesses for Maximum Profit | Udemy


Books from Amazon Related to Starting a Self Storage Business

Google Book Search Related to Starting a Self Storage Business

The Latest about Starting a Self Storage Business

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Latest Search Results Related to Starting a Self Storage Business

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