Self Storage Business Plan: Small Business Ideas

self storage business

So, you are planning to start a self storage business and you want to know what it takes to build and maintain a self storage facility. Good, you have come to the right place for your research because in this article we tell you what it takes to start a storage unit business.

Self storage facilities (or self service storage facilities) are facilities to store excess goods. The industry is based on a real estate service in which storage units such as rooms, lockers, containers or outdoor spaces are rented out to tenants for a short period of time so that they can use those spaces to store their belongings.

This is a promising business industry in the US worth $40 billions and is expanding with a growth rate of 8% every year.

Business Pitch
There are many people who have stuff that they cannot store in their homes or offices for many reasons that I cannot mention here. Some people are just willing to rent a place just to store their stuff. Here’s where you come in. You can build a self storage unit facility consisting of many units which you can rent out to different tenants.

Some people rent your place for a short period of time and some rent for a long period of time, either way you are the one to decide who rents your place and for how long.

If someone refuses to pay the rent and doesn’t take back their stuff, you will have the authority to auction whatever is in that particular unit as per the contract signed by both the parties.

It is important to note that most of the people just let you auction their stuff because it is just not economical for them to either move it or pay the rent. It is also true because with time, people lose interest in what they once thought was valuable and those stuffs don’t spark feelings in them anymore. So, they are more than happy to get rid of it.

How much does it cost me to build a self storage facility?
Land is one of the biggest factors that affects your income in this business. It is not important how big your land is, but it is important how far is your land from a populated area. Farther the land, lesser the income.

The actual cost of maintaining a self storage business depends on the type of the facility and place where you are starting the business. A moderate and cheap self storage facility made of shipping containers costs less than a concrete structure. If you are planning for a long time business, then it is obvious that you need to have a sturdy facility.

Or if you don’t want to build one, then you can always buy an existing self storage facility and alter it to your needs. The latter costs you more money but it is easier for people who are not ready to waste time in building and getting permits. A normal facility of 30 rooms will cost you anywhere around $100,000-$250,000 depending on the area that you live in. There are franchise opportunities that range from $350,000- $1,500,000 to build and operate self storage facilities for you about which we will talk later.

Some self storage facilities are built using shipping containers stacked on one another, this is done to cut the costs and thus earn a higher income on rent.
You also need to  spend money on advertising, website, and other marketing tools so that people know that your business exists.

What are the permits required for starting a self storage business?

Every country has its own rules and regulations when it comes to permitting a business. Please contact the local government body to know more about all the permits you need. But there are some basic regulations in every country that you need to get before starting. Some of them are listed below
Building permits – To build the structures so that you can have access to electricity and water supply.
Legal clearance for business – Like business name, business registration, taxes and some form of No Objection Certificate from the local authorities.
Safety and quality inspection – From the fire department and other health departments. Insurance – Well, nothing much to explain there.

Pros and Cons of owning a self storage business


  • Storage space industry is booming and there is good demand in some countries.
  • You will have the right to auction if the tenant refuses to pay the rent or the contract is breached somehow. 
  • Possibly the best and the most profitable real estate business right now with very little risk factor.
  • Easy maintenance.


  • Real estate costs are high near town areas
  • Too much upfront cost is needed to set up a facility and takes a long time to break even.
  • Marketing is hard and there is a lot of competition in countries like the US.
  • Franchise opportunities

    This website makes it easier for you to set up your business and having a franchise contract is one of the easiest ways to get a good business in hand as you don’t have to worry about the marketing, setups and the staff.

    Self storage industry does have some good franchise opportunities. Please do your own research before getting into any such contracts…

    Here are some of the franchise opportunities out there for the self storage business1. Storage authority – Please find all the details about it at

    2. UNITS moving and portable storage – Please find all the details about it at

    3.    Smartbox –  Please find all the details about it at

    So, we hope our little blog post was helpful to you in understanding the ins and outs of this business, feel free to share it with others that you think it is helpful for. Happy prospecting.

    Hope this article helps you. Please checkout other awesome business ideas mentioned in our blog. If you want to know about starting a plant nursery, click here . You can also checkout our other agriculture related posts here.

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