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Too much is never enough – especially when you have the option of self-storage.
Nearly 10% of the U.S. population rents self-storage units, according to Sparefoot Storage Beat. And with more businesses using the same solution, the outlook for the self-storage industry remains positive.
Annual self-storage revenue reached $36 billion in 2016 and is projected to rise to $37.5 billion in 2017, according to IBISWorld. While the market has some major corporate players, continued growth means there is plenty of room for small business owners to thrive. Industry associations say about 75 percent of self-storage businesses are owned by small business owners.
The first self-storage businesses started in the late 1960s in Texas when a few business owners decided to build simple garages for people to store their personal property. Today, there are self-storage businesses across the nation. It’s a more divergent industry with some self-storage businesses housed in very simple buildings, and other more upscale locations with air-conditioning, landscaping and other amenities, such as indoor berths for boats and special units that include wine cellars.
BFS Capital has been providing small business financing since 2002. Whether you want to buy an additional storage facility, equipment, or renovate your current building, we are here for you. We offer an easy application process and access to funds in as few as two business days* for qualified applicants.
Equipment may not be the first thing that comes to mind for self-storage business owners. But it can be a significant expense even if you own a very basic self-storage business. Industry experts recommend that self-storage facilities provide video surveillance and other security equipment, lighting systems, locks for each storage bin and moving equipment for customers to move heavy items in and out of your facility.
Regardless of the size of your business, you’ll likely need to have standard items such as cash registers, office equipment, and technology for invoicing and bookkeeping tasks.
A fast-growing segment of the market is specialty storage for items such as fine wines and artwork. The appeal for many is that these types of items are more secure in a specialty facility than in their own homes. Specialty storage facilities generally offer such features as 24-hour digital surveillance, state-of-the-art climate control, and all-hours digital gate access. Some even offer free WI-FI and shipping services at the front desk.
You may also want to consider purchasing storage facility insurance to protect your business and yourself. Even in situations that are covered by customers’ homeowners insurance, you may be responsible for damage to your business property if an adverse event occurs.
For a small business owner, it can be difficult to finance the purchase of new equipment or pay upfront for the best business insurance. You don’t want to miss out on opportunities that will help your business grow because you don’t have the cash in your pocket. This is where BFS Capital can help. We understand how important financing is for small businesses to succeed.
If you are even considering expanding your self-storage business, it likely means that you are doing well, and have a reason to be optimistic. If you can’t meet customer demand with your existing building, it may be time to look into whether expanding your current location or moving to a larger facility would increase your profits.
Before you take any steps towards expansion or relocation, it is important to fully understand zoning regulations. Many areas now have specific regulations for self-storage businesses. Even if you are expanding your existing building, laws may have changed from the time you first opened your self-storage business. While obtaining good legal advice in zoning can be expensive upfront, it can save a lot of money in the long run.
Industry experts say the ideal property for a self-storage facility would be a flat, visible property with a high traffic count close to a major population center. Depending on your location, you should consider what would be the most likely uses for customers. For example, if you own a facility near a lake or beach with many day-trippers who own boats, you may want to consider expanding your current building or relocating to a larger facility to be able to serve boat owners.
The costs of expansion can be high, and you may not want to tie up your credit line to fund it. This is where BFS Capital may be the partner you need for easy access to financing the expansion of your self-storage business.
BFS Capital can provide funds in two business days* to qualified applicants so you won’t need to miss out on opportunities to begin your expansion plans.*
For some entrepreneurs, the appeal of a self-storage business is that it doesn’t require many employees. These businesses employed an average of 2.46 employees per facility in 2012 according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
While your self-storage business may not have many employees, it may be worthwhile to consider training your staff. There has been more focus by some in the industry in this area. Popular topics include how to effectively engage walk-in customers and how successfully in collecting late payments before needing to take legal action.
More self-storage businesses are using technology to track the number of calls and walk-ins to get an idea of what percentage ultimately rent space. This technology is helpful, but it can often also require training for employees on how to use it.
While your time may be limited, it can be helpful to establish specific processes for situations such as delinquencies or auctions. Experts say these processes should be written out and easily accessible to employees so that there is no confusion on how they should act in these situations.
If you decide to invest in training, there are a variety of options, including consulting firms that provide training and help with establishing procedures for the self-storage business industry. You may also decide to do it yourself or to designate a manager with the task.
What you don’t want is to miss out on making the best decision for your business because of a lack of readily available funds. That’s where BFS Capital can help. Don’t lose out on the opportunity to build up your business by reaching out to us to see how we can serve your needs.
Marketing is often a critical component to the success of a self-storage business.
The best marketing for self-storage businesses often starts with your current customers. Industry associations recommend ideas such as discounts for customers who offer referrals and simply asking departing customers if they have friends or family members who may be in need of self-storage.
Promotional packages have been proven to be successful for a number of self-storage businesses. For example, some businesses located near colleges offer special pricing, along with moving boxes, during the start and finish of the school year.
Your external marketing is likely to be a mix of new media such as a business website, ads on Facebook, Twitter, a presence on Instagram and other popular sites, along with old methods such as coupons for the first month a customer rents a storage unit, direct mailings, brochures and newspaper ads. It might also include efforts such as sponsoring local sports teams or community events.
If you simply don’t have the time to create an effective marketing plan as you concentrate on building your business, hiring a marketing consultant who specializes in the self-storage industry may be the best way to go.
Often it makes sense to get financing for these marketing efforts. BFS Capital understands the importance of marketing for self-storage businesses, and we’re here to help you with financing.
BFS Capital can provide funds in two business days* to qualified applicants so you won’t need to miss out on the opportunity to grow your business through marketing.*
BFS Capital understands self-storage financing. We can offer the financing solutions you need to succeed and grow your business.
We know the hard work it takes to own a self-storage business. Competition in the industry means you need every possible advantage in the marketplace. We are here to help you build your self-storage business, whether you need funding to purchase new equipment, expand your facility, marketing, or other purposes.
Unlike some financial institutions, BFS provides personalized service to our customers, and a relationship manager will be on-hand to help you make the right decisions for your business. We know you have many options for self-storage financing, but our focus on customer service makes BFS Capital the best choice.
Whether you have only a few or have many years of experience, we have a variety of funding solutions to meet your specific needs, with business financing from $5,000 to $500,000, and an easy application process that can get the funds to qualified applicants in as few as two business days*.
Let us help you realize the self-storage business of your dreams. For more information, call 1-888-905-4334
Simply answer a few questions about your time in business, monthly sales and business type, and your application will be submitted for review.
Once you fill out your application, one of our funding advisors will contact you.
When approved, you’ll have the money in your hands, for any business use, in as few as 2 business days¹.