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How to Start a Storage Company (with Shipping Containers)

16.01.2017 - Posted by Updated On 23.01.2017    

Many people don't like to throw things away because of real, or perceived, value; and when the run out of room at their home to store things the overflow needs to go somewhere. This place called “somewhere” creates business opportunities for many people around the country that own storage companies. The question that we're asked on a regular basis is, “how do I start a storage company, and can I use shipping containers to do it?” The answer is typically “yes”.

Step 1: Planning Your Storage Container Business

Setting up a storage business requires a lot of market research and planning. The first thing to do is research on the competition. Search the internet for local companies and see how much they charge, and what size units they provide. As with any venture you also need to consider the location. If you live in a large metropolitan area it may be harder to start than in a rural area, however there will be more potential customers in the metropolitan area. The key is finding a location easily accessible to high traffic areas, but inexpensive enough to allow for some profit to be had.
Once you determine the potential revenue from monthly rentals, and the cost of the real estate, you can start looking at the size of facility to build that will allow you to achieve your target profitability goals. Here's where shipping containers come in. Unlike a traditional “bricks and mortar” structure that needs to be built all at once, a storage facility built with shipping containers can be expanded over time allowing you to maximize your occupancy rates and profits. Shipping containers can be moved on site as they're needed, even better they can also be sold off if occupancy rates fall below an optimal level.

Step 2: Writing a Storage Company Business Plan

The business plan is your road map to success. It outlines the goals that you hope to achieve, how you're going to achieve these goals, the costs, and the valuable market research that justifies your case. If financing is required a business plan can make or break your changes with the bank. A good business plan consists of the following sections:

  • Executive Summary: In brief, what do you hope to achieve and how you're going to do it.
  • Background and Purpose: The history of the company, current situation, and resources.
  • Market Analysis: All the good information that you found earlier. How many competitors, what do they charge, and what factors will allow you to be more competitive than they are.
  • Development: What do you need to build the company?
  • Marketing Strategy: Business concept, how you're going to reach your goals, and sales forecasts.
  • Financial Planning: Five year cash flow predictions outlining operating costs and revenue streams.
  • Organization and Management Team: Who's running the company, and what experience do they have?
  • Ownership Structure: Type of business structure, and who owns it.
  • Critical Risks and Contingencies: How can the business fail, and what happens if it does?
  • Conclusions
Continued in "How to Start a Storage Company (with Shipping Containers): Part 2"

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