Are you about starting a cold storage company? If YES, here’s a complete sample cold storage business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE to get started.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a cold storage company. We have analyzed and drafted a sample cold storage marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for cold storage companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Why Start a Cold Storage Business?
If you live in the united states and are interested in owning a business portfolio in any industry and you have not made up your mind on what kind of business to engage in, then you should consider starting your own cold storage unit business.
Although, you can also start a cold storage business in London or some cities in Canada and Europe, but the United States of America still remains the only country where this type of business is indeed a big industry.
What you need to do before venturing in into cold storage business is to carry out a survey to know if such business is needed in the area you intend establishing it, and how many people will be willing to pay to store their stuff for a short period.
No smart business man or women would want to invest his or her money into a business venture that they aren’t sure will fetch them money.
Also, you will need to have reasons why you want to be in the line of business you have chosen. That means there has to be a real connection between you and the people whose problems you want to solve. This could be categorized as the vision of the business as you will see in the sample business plan as you forge ahead.
You can write your own business plan by fixing in the appropriate details of your business after you have gone through the sample cold storage business plan template below.
A Sample Cold Storage Business Plan Template
1. Industry Overview
Cold storage business is classified under the refrigerated storage industry and operators in this industry include establishments that operate refrigerated warehousing and storage facilities. Temperature-controlled services include blast freezing and tempering.
Establishments that primarily store furs for trade are included in this industry. These furs are used as raw materials for the manufacturing of garments and personal accessories such as bags and shoes.
In the United States, over the past five years to 2018, the Refrigerated Storage industry has benefited from consumer spending levels and growing trade activity, which have increased the volume of goods being shipped. Additionally, although some downstream companies decided to manage their own warehouse facilities instead of outsourcing these functions to industry operators, this trend has not substantially hindered industry performance.
Over the five years to 2023, industry performance will likely be bolstered by continued growth in the total value of US trade activity, as well as continued improvements in the level of domestic consumer spending. The Refrigerated Storage industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much thriving in developed countries such as United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Italy et al.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 2,203 licensed and registered cold storage cum refrigerated storage facilities responsible for employing about 55,663 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $6 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 5.4 percent between 2013 and 2018.
Americold Logistics LLC, Lineage Logistics and Preferred Freezer Services are the market leaders in this industry; they can boast of having the lion market share in the industry.
Businesses in the Refrigerated Storage industry provide a variety of warehousing and transportation services to retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and other relevant customers. A recent report published by IBISWorld shows that the storage of goods is expected to generate 70.6 percent of industry revenue in 2018.
Generally, wholesalers, retailers, importers and exporters outsource the storage operations of their supply chain to specialized third-party refrigerated storage operators, either on an as-needed basis or by contract.
These storage services can differ substantially in terms of the duration and temperature required, ranging from the short-term storage of fresh produce in tepid conditions to the sub-zero storage of ice cream and other frozen products for extended periods of time.
The entry barriers for new operators in this industry can vary significantly by state and city. Overall, barriers are moderate, but are increasing across the United States. Costs to purchase or lease of land or facility vary across regions and are a major barrier to entry.
These expenses can be more manageable, though, in well-established, highly populated cities, whereas land costs can be significantly lower in smaller cities and suburban regions. There are several regulatory requirements that must be met by companies in the cold storage business. The most difficult of these generally relates to zoning and land development conditions.
Over and above, a cold storage business in the United States of America can be started by anybody as long as you have the startup capital to acquire a property and then design the property to fit into the purpose you want to use it for.
2. Executive Summary
Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC is a licensed refrigerated storage facility that will be located in a commercial hub in Dallas – Texas. Our basic aim of setting up the business is to make available refrigerated warehousing and storage facilities for our clients who are resided in Dallas and neighboring cities.
We have been able to secure a standard facility in a central and easy to locate location in Dallas. Our cold storage facility is of international standard. We conducted a thorough research and feasibility studies and we were able to come to the conclusion that Dallas community is the right place to start our cold storage facility.
At Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company, our client’s best interest would always come first, and everything we do is guided by our values and professional ethics. We will offer trusted cold storage services to all to our clients and also ensure that we work hard to meet and surpass our clients’ expectations whenever they make use of our facilities.
Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company, will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible.
We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.
Our plan is to position the business to become one of the leading brands in cold storage business in the whole of Dallas – Texas, and also to be amongst the top 20 cold storage companies in the United States of America within the first 10 years of operation.
Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company is owned by Gerald Moses and Thomas Mickey his business partner. The business will be managed by both of them since they have adequate working experience to manage such business. Gerald Moses has over 10 years’ experience working at various capacities in the refrigerated storage industry in the United States of America.
3. Our Products and Services
We are in the cold storage business to provide safe short – term refrigerated storage for residents of Dallas – Texas which is why we have been able to put up a facility that can help us achieve this goal. These are the amenities and services that will be made available to our clients;
- Storage of goods that needed to be refrigerated
- Leasing or rental of mini refrigerated storage truck units
- Providing blast freezing services
- Providing tempering services
- Operating modified atmosphere cold storage facility (private and public)
- Other related cold storage services
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our Vision of starting Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC is to build a brand that will become one of the top choices for residents and businesses in the whole of Dallas – Texas.
- Our mission for establishing Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC is to build a standard and well – secured cold storage facility that can favorably compete in the industry.
Our Business Structure
Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC is in business to become the leading cold storage facility in the whole of Dallas – Texas and we are fully aware that it will take the right facility, management and structure to achieve our goal.
Our business will not be built only for the purpose of giving our customers value for their money, but also we will ensure that we make our work environment highly conducive for our employees. We will provide them with facilities that will help them stay motivated and deliver on their various tasks.
In view of that, we have made provisions for the following positions to be occupied by highly qualified and experienced staff;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Facility Manager
- Admin and HR Manager
- Marketing and Sales Executive
- Customer Care Executive / Front Desk Officer
- Refrigerated Truck Drivers
- Security Guards
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Office:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results and developing incentives
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Accountable for handling leasing or rental of mini refrigerated storage truck units
- Handles goods that need to be refrigerated
- Provides blast freezing services
- Provides tempering services
- Operates modified atmosphere cold storage facility (private and public)
- Handles other facility operations such as repairs and renovations et al
Admin and HR Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Carries out induction for new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.
Marketing and Sales Executive
- Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with company policy
- Responsible for handling business research, marker surveys and feasibility studies for clients
- Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
- Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for expanding sales
- Documents all customer contacts and information
- Represents the company in strategic meetings
- Helps to increase sales and growth for the company
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the company
- Serves as internal auditor for the company
Client Service Executive/Front Desk Officer
- Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s services
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients
- Receives parcels/documents for the company
- Distribute mails in the organization
- Handles any other duties as assigned by the line manager
Refrigerated Truck Drivers
- Delivers customer’s orders promptly
- Runs errand for the organization
- Handles any other duty as assigned by the sales and marketing executive and manager
- Ensures that the facility is secured at all time
- Controls traffic and organize parking
- Patrols around the building on a 24 hours’ basis
- Submits security reports on a weekly basis
- Any other duty as assigned by the facility manager.
6. SWOT Analysis
Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company engaged the services of a professional in the area of business consulting and structuring to assist the firm in building a well – structured cold storage business that can favorably compete in the highly competitive refrigerator storage industry.
We hired the services of Dr. Pius Cesar, a HR and Business consultant with bias in business structuring to help us conduct SWOT analysis for our company and he did a pretty good job for us. Here is a of the result we got from the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC, Dallas – Texas.
One of the obvious strengths that will definitely stand as a plus for Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company is the fact that our facility is centrally located in a commercial hub area in Dallas – Texas; our location and high level of security is in fact our major strength.
We equally have a team that can give our clients value for their money; a team that are trained and equipped to pay attention to details and to deliver excellent services. Lastly our service package is one of the best that anybody living in Dallas – Texas can get; it is cheap and affordable.
We critically looked into our Business model and we were able to identify two major weakness. One is the fact that we are a new business and the second is the fact that we may not have the financial resources required to match up with existing and well established cold storage facilities when it comes to acquiring large facilities in choice areas.
We are centrally located in one of the busiest areas in Dallas – Texas and we are open to all the available opportunities that the city has to offer. We will be open 24 hours in a day during weekends (Fridays to Sundays) and from 6:00 am to 12 midnights from Mondays to Thursdays giving us the advantage to leverage on any available opportunity.
Some of the threats that are likely going to confront Sub ZERO® Cold Storage Company are unfavorable government policies, demographic/social factors, downturn in the economy which is likely going to affect consumers spending and lastly, the emergence of new competitors within the same location where our cold storage facility is located.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
The trend in the industry is such that if a cold storage facility is positioned in a place where people can easily access without much stress, there is the likelihood that the facility will enjoy high patronage. Many companies have begun operating their distribution and storage functions internally.
So also, the industry will be supported by increasing demand from downstream markets. The industry performance will likely be bolstered by continued growth in the total value of US trade activity. The owners of cold storage facilities are always looking for ways to increase their market share; they go as far as signing deals with merchants, importers and businessmen and women who needed temporal refrigeration of their goods.
It is a common trend that as cold storage facility grows (fully occupied throughout the year), it becomes necessary for them to develop new service offerings or install new facilities that will help them attract more people.
8. Our Target Market
The target market for cold storage facilities cuts across people of different walks of life and businesses. The fact that people would need a secured place to keep their goods refrigerated for a short period of time makes the cold storage business a thriving and growing business. These are the category of people that we intend marketing our cold storage facility to;
- Merchants, Importers and manufacturers
- Restaurants and hotels
- Ice cream productions businesses
Our competitive advantage
The refrigerated storage industry is indeed a profitable and highly competitive industry. Clients will only make use of your cold storage facility if they know that your facility is reliable, highly secured and spacious enough to contain whatever goods they want to store.
Our competitive advantage is that ZERO® Cold Storage Company is that we can boast of optimum capacity utilization, we will leverage on automation to reduce operational costs, particularly those associated with labor and of course, our output will be sold under contract – incorporate long-term sales contracts.
Plus, our facility is centrally located in a densely populated area in Dallas – Texas; our location and high level of security is in fact our major strength. We equally have a team that can give our clients value for their money; a team that are trained and equipped to pay attention to details and to deliver excellent services.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the industry and we are going to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis and to ensure that our facilities are fully occupied at any given time. ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC will generate income by offering the following amenities and services;
- Storage of goods that needs to be refrigerated
- Leasing or rental of mini refrigerated storage truck units
- Providing blast freezing services
- Providing tempering services
- Operating modified atmosphere cold storage facility (private and public)
- Other related cold storage services
10. Sales Forecast
It would be hard to create a sales forecast with a newly opened business because the statistics that will be provided will be on a short term basis. Experts say that usually a business should be in operation for at least one year before they can generate the statistics that will help in accurate forecasting.
We expect to attain 65 percent occupancy of our cold storage facility within our first year of operation and then in subsequent years we will grow to full occupancy (between 80 and 100 percent occupancy). Below are the sales projection for ZERO® Cold Storage Company, it is based on the location of our facility and the services and amenities that we will be offering to our clients;
- First Fiscal Year: $200,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $450,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $750,000
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within 4.5 miles’ radius.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
Our marketing strategies will be directed towards achieving specific objectives that support the strategic goals of the organization. The truth is that all that we do will be geared towards creating new market channels, increasing sales and our market share.
As part of our sales and marketing strategies, we will pay attention to the promotion of our cold storage facility so as to attract people to rent or lease our facility. Part of the marketing and sales strategies that we will adopt are;
- Advertise our cold storage facility on community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- Promote our cold storage facility online via our official website and all available social media platforms
- Introduce our cold storage facility by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to businesses, sports clubs, schools, corporate organizations, hotels, restaurants, households and key stakeholders in Dallas – Texas
- Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
- Delivering consistent customer experiences to all our clients; making our first impression count positively to those renting or leasing our cold storage for the first time
- Make use of attractive handbills to create awareness and also to give direction to our cold storage facility
- Adopt direct mailing coupon marketing approach
- Position our signage / flexi banners at strategic places in and around Dallas – Texas
- Create a loyalty plan that will enable us reward our loyal clients especially those that refers their family members and friends to us
- Engage in roadshows within our neighborhood to create awareness for our cold storage facility.
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our branding and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market.
We are set to become the number one choice for clients in the whole of Dallas – Texas which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our cold storage facility. Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC;
- Place adverts on both print and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote our brand
- Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Dallas – Texas
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas in Dallas
- List ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC in local directories / yellow pages
- Advertise our cold room facility in our official website and employ strategies that will help us pull traffic to the site.
- Ensure that all our staff members wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are branded with our corporate logo
12. Our Pricing Strategy
Our pricing system is going to be based on what is obtainable in the industry, we don’t intend to charge more and we don’t intend to charge less than what our competitors are charging.
Be that as it may, we have put plans in place to offer discount services once in a while and also to reward our loyal customers especially when they refer clients to us or when they use our facility for a longer period. The prices of our services will be same as what is obtainable in the United States’ open market.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment via credit cards
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via mobile money transfer
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our client make payment for our services without any stress on their part.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
In setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting a place, then you would need a good amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of, and that your facility is conducive enough for workers to be creative and productive.
The tools and equipment that will be used are nearly the same cost everywhere, and any difference in prices would be minimal and can be overlooked. This is what it would cost us to set up ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC in the United of America; These are the key areas where we will spend our start – up capital on;
- The Total Fee for Registering the Business in Texas – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
- Marketing promotion expenses (8,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $10,000.
- The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $5,000.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,800.
- The cost of accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
- The cost for leasing facility for the cold storage facility – $500,000.
- The cost for facility remodeling – $50,000.
- Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
- The cost for start-up inventory – $15,000
- The cost for acquiring security locks, CCTV and other security wares – $20,000
- The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
- The cost for the purchase of cooling van – $40,000
- The cost of Launching a website – $600
- Miscellaneous – $15,000
We would need an estimate of $550,000 to successfully launch a standard cold storage facility in Dallas – Texas. It is important to state that the testing and evaluating expenses would be high because of the large amount of needed to secure a large facility in a good location.
Generating Startup Capital for ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC
ZERO® Cold Storage Company will be owned and managed by Gerald Moses and his friend and business partner Thomas Mickey. They decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of his stocks
- Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
- Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank.
N.B: We have been able to generate about $200,000 (Personal savings $150,000 and soft loan from family members $50,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $35,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. One of our major goals of starting ZERO® Cold Storage Company is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running.
ZERO® Cold Storage Company, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner.
We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Registration: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
- Securing Point of Sales (POS) Machines: Completed
- Opening Mobile Money Accounts: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Acquiring facility and remodeling the facility to fit into our cold storage facility and warehouse: In Progress
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from family members: Completed
- Applications for Loan from the bank: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Printing of Promotional Materials: In Progress
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of the needed office appliances and security gadgets and software: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: Completed
- Creating Awareness for the business both online and in the neighborhood: In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement (License): Secured
- Purchase of cooling vans: Completed