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July 15, 2019
It's always good to be on the lookout for intuitive, healthy investments that'll grow your business.
For self storage facilities, one increasingly-popular investment (especially in more affluent markets) is the addition of portable storage.
What exactly makes portable storage a good investment for your storage facility?
Portable storage is an extremely versatile investment.
First of all, you don't need to invest an inordinate amount of time and cash (as compared to similar investments) into portable storage units to see a return.
If you're looking for a smaller, more flexible type of "hobby" business, then all you need is one or two containers.
However, what's fascinating is you can turn portable storage into a large commercial enterprise if you're interested in doing so. It'll take longer; however, once you get up to about 12 containers, you could have a serious portable storage venture on your hands. The margins and inventory turnaround will allow you to make strategic marketing strides.
If you have a storage facility already, you can use the "fractional" method, offering portable storage alongside your current self storage services.
As you obtain more portable storage containers, you'll be able to create a sizable recurring income stream with established overhead, practices, and industry resources.
Since self storage requires customers to come to your facility, the majority of clients reached with traditional marketing techniques will be within a few miles of you.
Portable storage containers help you break free of the distance constraint by being able to ship them to customers many more miles away.
There are fees charged to the customers associated with the delivery and retrieval of containers. Although, the convenience provided by the containers mitigates this fact.
Portable storage doesn't just let you expand the geographical reach of your storage business; it also brings in new types of customers (both residential and commercial) that might use your self storage facilities.
An example of a new residential customer would be a suburbanite decluttering areas of their home. There's no reason for one of these individuals to rent out a self storage unit and make multiple trips to and from the facility to keep an area clutter-free for a short while.
Having the portable option at your facility immediately solves the suburbanite's problem of wanting storage but only for an extremely transient amount of time. With portable being an auxiliary service you offer the suburbanite will now have your self storage facility at the top of their consideration the next time they need more long term storage.
This example reiterates how consumers have a willingness to pay for convenience when it thoroughly satisfies their needs. Having portable storage is a seemingly thoughtful addition to any facility when the particular benefits are what consumers in the area might require.
Another residential market that opens up to you is the college student market. Students do a lot of moving around during their years in school; typically immediately before and after the school year ends. So they need a more versatile form of storage than a traditional facility.
On the commercial side, one of the most lucrative markets portable storage will grant you access to is construction. They'll need your services for long-term, allowing for negotiable rates in exchange for the convenience of indefinite periods of portable storage.
No investment is a good investment 100% of the time; before you consider investing in portable storage, you'll need to do some research.
First, make sure there's sufficient demand for portable storage in your area.
Portable storage allows for your scope to go further, as different markets have different wants/needs in terms of storage. For example, there might be a market for large, spacious containers out in rural areas.
Customers in rural areas may be less worried about optimizing their space and more interested in creating sectioned, organized areas they can manage on their property with a portable container. They may have miscellaneous equipment, a desire to create a garage or workshop area, or merely have too many items from generations of kept culture they'd rather have on their immediate premises.
Contrast that with customers that live in urban environments; bigger containers will often be too large to fit anywhere.
Customers in urban areas need to use all space most effectively when storing belongings, especially, when they often need access to them. Traditional storage facilities exist already in central locations. Urban areas are heavily traveled areas making them great spots for self storage complexes. Portable storage may be a counterproductive solution for that customer base because of facilities already effectively satisfying that markets need to optimize space.
Research to find out all costs associated with portable storage. Self storage is a large enough industry that there will be plenty of options in vendors or resources to optimize your budgeting. You want to ensure you have the little details ironed out, such as
Realizing the scalability and broad spectrum of portable storage operations can help any new or existing storage operator. Identifying the model's trends can modify budgeting and goal planning to attain the most benefit from investing in portable storage opportunities.
Realizing portable storage extends storage options to customers outside of the standard area of service in comparison to traditional facilities. Facilities can make use of the increased range of utility portable storage provides to offer holistic customer service and opportunities. Portable storage can be an entry point to self storage for customers particular needs which could influence their preference when needing more long term storage down the line.
Realizing the areas to focus on while researching portable storage within the industry can hone your decision making to increase success and decrease the risk of succumbing to common pitfalls. Widen the scope of your possible market and consumer base to understand their needs. Use industry resources to gather all available information on associated costs and related marketing.
Portable storage is a good investment whether you are deciding a stand-alone approach or as an addition to your existing self storage operation. The ability to provide storage for consumers is becoming increasingly more helpful and advantageous. Portable storage adds unique benefits that can equate to productive investment opportunities for you as a self storage operator.
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