How to Start a Storage Locker Business
A storage locker business offers a solution for people who need a temporary place to keep a few belongings. Generally, smaller storage lockers can be found in storage shed businesses next to much larger units. Individuals may rent these lockers when space is limited at home or at the office. According to the Self Storage Association, 90 percent of self-storage space in the United States is owned by a small business entrepreneur. Starting a storage locker business that is profitable requires attracting customers to a visible and central location.
Determine if you want to start a storage business that provides stationary units, mobile lockers to be rented or both.
Draft a business plan. Research the storage locker business in your area. Find out which companies are your competition and write your business plan to compete with them. Use your research to write a mission statement stating the purpose of your storage locker business, a description of the services you'll offer, financial projections, how much you need to charge for storage rental, how to handle unpaid rent and abandoned belongings and the supplies and equipment you need to open your doors and expand your business.
Register your storage locker business. Contact your secretary of state's office to file articles of incorporation and to register your business name. Contact your small business administration for business and zoning permits to build your storage locker business. Apply for an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS if you have employees.
Find a location to start your storage locker business. Look for a commercially zoned lot where you can place your storage sheds and lockers. Choose a location near businesses, apartments, condos and residential neighborhoods. Consider if you want your storage lockers to be housed indoors with air-conditioning or outdoors. Hire a real estate agent to assist you in finding a prime location for your business.
Purchase storage locker units from a supplier or wholesaler. Try to negotiate a discount on price if you buy in bulk. Buy or lease trucks if you plan to rent out mobile storage lockers to customers.
Keep your storage locker business secure. Install a gate, cameras and lighting and hire a security guard.
Advertise and promote your storage locker business in the community. Mail out promotional brochures and fliers to homeowners. Visit businesses and drop off your business card. Place ads in the local newspaper, on television and radio when you have the available funds to do so. Launch a website. List information about your business that makes you unique from the local competition. For instance, tell your customers that you rent air-conditioned and mobile locker units. Mention the security procedures for your business and provide your contact information and rates on your website.
Consider purchasing an existing storage locker business or franchise if you have the funds upfront.
Business laws vary from state to state. Hire a lawyer to help you establish your storage locker business.