15 Sep, 2016

Where Do I Get Started?

Land and Loans

First and Foremost you must secure funds or at minimum get pre-approved for a construction loan and have a plot of land to place your building. If a bank requires an estimate before you can get approved we can provide estimates to you initially.

Counties all across the United States have varying degrees of requirements for buildings being erected. Some may require high snow load requirements, others may require wind loads to be met. We have even encountered areas that require the side of a building facing the road must have a brick exterior. So before you even get started with looking to quote a building, you need to figure out what requirements your county, city, and state all require when erecting a commercial property.

Building Size VS Land Size

The next thing you want to consider is the building size VS the land size. Just because you have a lot of land, does not mean you need to fill it completely with storage buildings. You want to balance your expenses with profitability.  Their is no point in racking up $500,000 in building and erection costs, when your first year or two will put you in the black or red. The Storage Business is booming, but you can easily price yourself out of the market

You want to be profitable from the beginning while providing competitive costs to entice customers to choose your facility over a competitors. What is the point of even getting started if your storage will be the same as the guy down the street, but you are 3X-5X more expensive?

Most of our clients just getting started will start small, adding buildings as business picks up. With the speed Storage Building Central can manufacture and deliver buildings, we will have no problem keeping up with your demands when building expansion is needed. You will have to be smart about this of course. You do not want to order new buildings when your capacity is near 90% full. You will start looking at getting new mini storage buildings when capacity has reached around 30%-40%.

How Do I Price My Storage?

This is actually pretty easy. Simply research the local area, stop into storage facilities and see what add on’s they offer, and any fees they may charge. Once you are armed with this information from your local market, you can start to build out your pricing structure. As long as you were able to keep your expenses down during the loan process and the cost savings of going with Storage Building Central, you will have no problem undercutting your competition’s local price.

Just remember, if your price is to low you will run out of storage quickly and you may not have enough profits to build further. Try to find that equal medium which allows for profitability for the business and savings for the customer.

The Layout

The layout is the most overlooked aspect of most companies. If you have ever been to a large facility, you can easily feel overwhelmed with the directions and locations of storage units. You can have the most expensive facilities offering the best storage facilities in the world, but if navigation for your customers is too difficult, you will lose money left and right from vacant storage units. The layout is something that should be discussed almost immediately as you segment your land for different buildings.

A couple of things to consider:

  1. Should We Color Code Each Building? It’s easier to tell a customer to proceed to lot blue, then it is giving confusing directions to a customer that has never been with you before. The buildings should be designed around customer usability first.  For example the blue lot can be a white building, but all the doors are blue, where the green lot, could be all white buildings with green doors. You can learn more about all the colors available to you on the Mini-Storage building Colors page
  2. Should we Paint Clear and Defined arrows on the main roadways between buildings? For example if you go with a color scheme layout you could have a Blue Arrow Left for Blue Lot, Green Arrow Right for Green Lot.  Intersection signs with colors pointing in different directions. The simpler it is to follow, the better your customer experience will be, which will drive referrals and business your way.
  3. Should we build buildings for each self storage size available, or provide a variety of self storage sizes in each building? This answer really comes down to how much you can spend, and the popularity of size in your local area. For smaller budgets, multi-size units for mini storage buildings will be more cost effective and will be easier to fill. There is no point in ordering buildings with all 10X20 storage units, when your local area only usually rents out 5X10 lots. Maximize your dollar by only building unit sizes that are popular in your area.