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Have you ever experienced a feeling of an overstuffed home? This issue affects a lot of people, which accounts for the $23 billion self-storage market. Though it requires a sizable initial investment to get a self-storage business off the ground, once it is up and running, you may earn a consistent and largely passive income. You just lease apartments, collect payments, and carry on with your daily activities. 

To get there, though, requires substantial effort and expertise. Fortunately, this detailed guide sets out all you need to know to launch a profitable self-storage business.

Step 1: Find Out if this is the Right Business for You?

Positives Vs Negatives

After tenants have moved their belongings in, there is not much to do.
Low Expenses: Just cover your loan and utility payments.
High demand and a sizable market of potential clients
Investment: Purchasing or constructing a facility may require $1 million.
Chasing Payments – When customers fail to pay, you must pursue collection.
  • Industry size and previous development – The US self-storage market was valued at $23.2 billion in 2021, up 2.5% yearly over the preceding five years.
  • Forecast for growth: By 2026, the self-storage market is expected to expand by 35% globally.
  • Number of companies – In 2021, there were 182,063 self-storage companies operating in the US.
  • Number of employees – 211,300 persons were employed by the US self-storage business in 2021.

Cost of Starting Self Storage Business

Self-storage businesses require an investment of $300,000 to $600,000 at startup. These expenses pertain to buying an existing self-storage facility. As an alternative, you could buy land and construct the self-storage units, but this would likely cost well over $1

Is Self Storage Business Profitable?

Self-storage units typically cost around $100 per month. After paying your mortgage and overhead expenses, if your facility has 200 units, your profit margin will be roughly 40%.

70% of your flats can be continuously rented in the first year or two, generating an annual income of $168,000 for you. Using a 40% margin, the profit would be greater than $67,000. You might have 95% of the units rented as your marketing initiatives increase demand. You would earn $90,000 with an income of around $230,000 per year.

Entry Barriers

  • The hefty initial costs for a self-storage business are the only roadblock to entry. Most storage facilities cost $1 million or more, and a down payment of at least 30% is required.

Step 2: Create a Strategy

Identify a Gap

Examine the offerings, costs, and client feedback of local self-storage companies by conducting online research. You’re aiming to fill a market gap. For instance, if there isn’t a self-storage facility in the area that provides pick-up or valet service. 

Your word-of-mouth advertising may pick up steam as a result, drawing customers in immediately.


  • Along with storage unit rents, you might also provide packing services, moving vehicle rentals, storage box sales, and valet services.


Depending on the size of the units and whether they are climate-controlled, prices change. They might cost as little as $40 a month or as much as $200. Around $100 is the national average for storage unit costs. To make sure your rates are reasonable, you should research the prices of nearby storage facilities. You will be responsible for paying your mortgage and overhead. A profit margin of at least 40% should be your goal.

To calculate your markup and final price points after knowing your costs, utilize this Step By Step Profit Margin Calculator. Keep in mind that the prices you use at launch should be flexible and subject to adjustment as the market demands.

Target Market

Your target audience will be highly diverse. Spread your promotion across platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. You should advertise on LinkedIn as well, as this is where you will probably meet local e-commerce firm owners.


Your self-storage company’s success heavily depends on where it is located. Locate a location with strong exposure and simple access, such as next to a busy crossroads or a large highway.

The area’s demographics, including population density, income levels, and the presence of commercial or residential areas that could need storage options, should also be taken into account.

Make sure the area you choose complies with all zoning and legal regulations for self-storage operations before choosing it.

You may create a profitable and successful firm that satisfies the needs of clients and distinguishes itself from rivals by carefully selecting the ideal site for your self-storage operation.

Step 3: Write a Business Plan

A plan is important for any business. This will help you guide your new business through the launch process and keep your eye on your main goals. A business plan also helps possible partners and investors understand your business and its goals better:

  • Executive Summary: A brief outline of the whole business plan that should be written after the plan is done.
  • Business Overview: A summary of the company’s goals, vision, purpose, assets, and control structure.
  • What we make and what we do: Explain in detail what you’re selling.
  • Do a SWOT analysis and look at market trends like changes in demand and growth opportunities.
  • Competitive Analysis: Look at your key rivals’ strengths and flaws and make a list of what makes your services better.
  • Sales and Marketing: Look at the unique selling points (USPs) of your business and come up with sales, marketing, and promotion plans.
  • Management Team: An overview of the team’s tasks and professional backgrounds, as well as a business structure.
  • Operations Plan: Your company’s operational plan includes how it will get supplies, where it will put its office, what its most important assets and tools are, and other practical details.
  • Financial Plan: A three-year plan for money, including start-up costs, a break-even analysis, predictions of profits and losses, cash flow, and a balance sheet.
  • Appendix: Add any other papers related to money or business.

Step 3: Create a Marketing Plan

Some of your business will come from passersby or people who find you online, but you should still spend money on marketing! Getting the word out is especially important for new businesses because it will bring in more customers and make people more aware of the brand. 

Link your website to your social media accounts once your site is up and running. Social media is a great way to market your business because you can make posts that are interesting and sell your goods.

  • Facebook is a great place for paid ads because it lets you target specific groups, such as guys under 50 in the Cleveland area. 
  • Instagram: Same perks as Facebook, but it’s for a different crowd.
  • Website: Search engine optimization (SEO) will help your website show up higher in appropriate search results, which is a key part of making more sales. Make sure your website has clear calls to action. Try changing the size, color, and placement of calls to action like “Book Now” This could bring in a lot more customers.
  • Google and Yelp: Getting mentioned on Yelp and Google My Business can be very important for getting people to know about your business and buying from you.
  • Signage – Put up enticing signs at both your store and website. 
  • Flyering – Hand out fliers throughout your area and at professional gatherings. 
  • Blog creation: Create a blog and post frequently. Share on many websites and vary your content.
  • Find recommendations – Provide incentives to encourage existing customers to recommend new customers.
  • Paid social media advertisements: Use sites that can help you contact your target audience and run focused ads.
  • Pay-per-click marketing – Use Google AdWords to rank higher in search results. Do some keyword research beforehand.
  • Testimonials – Customer comments on how your storage services benefited them should be shared.