Creating a business plan for a mini storage company may seem like a daunting task, but it is well worth the effort. According to studies, nearly 10.6% of US households make use of self-storage facilities. This is largely attributed to increased urbanization with a correlating increase in property prices. For some households, this can result in less storage space as they must opt for smaller homes.
If you’re in the market to start a mini storage business, you’ll need to develop a business plan first. This affords you the opportunity to investigate the risks and potential rewards before you jump in. But first, you’ll need to know what a business plan is and when to use it.
A business plan is a document that details the objectives of a business and how it plans on achieving them. It’s advisable that when you’re ready to start a business – whether you require funding or not – that the business plan is the first document you draw up.
A business plan is the benchmark for your strategy and allows you to track your progress. For this reason, it’s also a handy document to hand over to potential investors and lenders when you’re in the market for funding.
Most business plans, even those for a mini storage business, will follow a basic format. We will go into greater detail about this below.
There are many templates available to formulate your business plan out there. A simple Google search will find dozens. We took the time to analyze these and put together a list of the most important aspects.
This is the highlight reel of your mini storage business and should briefly include what your business does, the problems it solves, who benefits from the products or services, and what the financial considerations are at that point in time.
It should also include a summary of the jockeys (top management or owners) of the business and highlight whether they have the necessary skills to run the business effectively. A bigger focus on the owners takes place later in the company summary.
The objectives section of the business plan is a succinct culmination of what you hope to achieve, with which resources, and by when. It should read something like this:
“Joe Soap’s Mini Storage facility will achieve a 40% occupancy rate in its first year based on the demographics, lack of mini storage competitors, and proximity to urbanized areas. This will be reviewed quarterly to ensure we remain on track.”
You may have multiple targets or objectives and if so, list them for clarity. A target list may include:
The company summary will start with the business owners and what you will bring to the table in the way of expertise and/or capital. You will also need to allocate the roles and responsibilities of the owners in this section. The employee structure will follow later in your business plan.
Your mini storage company summary should also include why you’re starting a self-storage business, and for many, this reason is simply to make a profit.
Finally, address how you’ll start the business. This should briefly include whether you’re funding the entire project out of pocket or whether you’ll need funding from a bank or investor.
The financial summary is a projected look at the fiscal situation you’re hoping to achieve. This is based on the information you’ve gathered through market research or even a feasibility study. It’s not a summary of what the business has already achieved, and if you’re looking to start up a new mini storage business, past performance wouldn’t help in any event.
There are three documents that help determine the future financial state of the business:
While there are many more documents that can be added to your business plan for a mini storage business, these are the most pertinent ones to track the financial health of the company going forward.
In this section, you’ll have an opportunity to list all the storage facilities, their types, what sets them apart from competitors, and the expected rental types and prices. An example of this is:
Our 4’ X 4’ X 5’ unit – This is a good fit for college students who have basic items to store such as a few boxes or small pieces of furniture. This also works for those who require seasonal storage for items such as holiday decorations. This unit goes for this amount on a short, month-to-month lease or at a discounted rate of this amount for longer leases. This unit is steel fabricated, which protects your goods against theft, mold, and adverse weather conditions.
You should also list additional services such as:
A SWOT analysis is written in a table format and lists your mini storage business’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats, unique to the storage industry.
It should list the following:
Your SWOT analysis is a working document and should be updated regularly to encourage growth and counter possible detractors.
The market analysis includes aspects such as trends for your industry, potential growth rate based on relevant studies, and market conditions for your potential target market. This section will detail why you think there is a need for a mini storage business in that area, and what information you’re basing it on. Customer surveys and market research play a big role in this assessment.
Simply put, this section will detail what actions your business will take to meet its objectives. This can include elements such as storage marketing strategies and a grand opening to create awareness.
If you haven’t included your staff in the company structure, it’s important to make mention of the key players in your business. For instance, the number of staff you intend to employ. It’s also good to mention how you will counter operational issues in the event a key staff member takes leave or resigns.
Once you’ve completed the business plan and you’re ready to get started on the build, you have several options to work through:
It goes without saying that you’ll need to consider the online route as inroads to new clients, especially for a new storage facility. Digital marketing touches on each aspect of a client’s lifecycle from engagement right through to the after-sale servicing.
Other marketing tactics include:
Maverick Steel Buildings offers a turnkey building solution and uses only 100% American steel. Price your building today with one of our steel building experts.