Do you want to start a storage unit business but want to go niche and be unique? If YES, here are 50 best storage related business ideas / opportunities.
The storage industry involves renting out space or storage units to renters on a month-to-month payment basis. This industry has indeed come to stay as many households have taken to storing their excess items in storage facilities. The unprecedented growth of the industry has been attributed to self-storage consumers including renters, homeowners, students, businesses and transitional populations who are constantly demanding rental storage.
In fact, it was estimated that as of 2016, there were more than 58,000 self-storage facilities in the united states with a total of 32 million storage units covering over 2.3 billion square feet of storage space, and all these facilities are in use. The industry was estimated to have grossed over $30 billion in revenue in that same year.
Another study reported that the number of renters who used storage facilities in 2007, almost doubled by 2013, and 2 million out of 17 million renters reported that they would most likely rent in the future. This was what led IBIS World to predict that the self-storage industry revenue will grow at an annual rate of 2.9% through 2022.
These statistics alone are enough to encourage any aspiring entrepreneur to delve into the storage business. Another great thing about this industry is that there are a whole lot of businesses one can start under it if one does not have the finances to run a full self-storage facility. Here are a few of them.
Best Storage Business ideas
One of the storage related business ideas is the storing of official records. Many companies are required by law to retain financial, legal documents and files about their business and clients for a long period of time because of unforeseen circumstances.
In some cases this period can be up to ten years or more from the original date of the information or document. This fact creates a huge opportunity for the innovative entrepreneur to start and run a record storage facility, as many companies simply run out of space to store their accumulated documents and files.
The business should be established in a location or warehouse that will take the following considerations into account: security, fire sprinklers, building condition, pest control, square footage, ease of accessibility, potential for expansion, central high-traffic location, and affordability.
Rates for record storage vary greatly depending on the clients specific needs, in terms of volume of record storage and type of documents being stored.
However, a well-planned and managed records storage business can post yearly profits that exceed six-figures. If you want to start a record storage business, you need to get proper training because you would not want to make any mistakes that would compromise the records kept under you.
Data storage is the collective methods and technologies that capture and retain digital information on electromagnetic, optical or silicon-based storage media. Information in the form of e-mails, documents, presentations, databases, graphics, audio files and spreadsheets is the lifeblood of most companies, and the applications that run and protect these businesses require a lot of disk space.
Sooner or later, that small business will need more space for data storage. You can capitalize on this to start a data storage business.
For your business to be successful and be able to find and retain clients, you should have features like automated backup software, double encryption and scalable storage space. The space available for you to store business data should be significant and you must have state-of-the-art equipment and software so as to be able to backup and retrieve data.
Cloud storage is a cloud computing model in which data is stored on remote servers accessed from the internet, or the cloud as it is called. Here, data is maintained, operated and managed by a cloud storage service provider on storage servers that are built on virtualization techniques.
Cloud service and storage providers offer valuable IT solutions for businesses of all sizes. If you are very knowledgeable about the cloud, you can offer to help businesses back up their services in the cloud or store their precious data in the cloud.
This business may not cost you so much to start as it is a service business, you only need the requisite knowledge and the right contacts.
Bicycle Storage business
In 2015, the bicycle industry pulled in over $6 billion in revenue, thus making the industry very viable. With so many people purchasing bicycles, they’re going to need someone to repair them when they eventually breakdown. Since this is probably a seasonal business, there would be need to store these bicycles if you have a large enough space.
For example, if you lived near a beach, people could store their bikes with you instead of them transporting them back and forth. Interestingly, since it appears that more people are deciding to purchase used bicycles, you could take advantage of your storage space to consider selling used bikes either in-person or online.
Boat storage business
Boat storage business is a business that helps boat owners store their boats in a conducive environment pending when they would be needed again. Starting a boat storage business offers income potentials for an enterprising small business.
Boats continue to be popular as younger families choose to save travel dollars while enjoying more contact with their children.
If you live near a popular body of water, boat ownership may be commonplace, and boat storage is a must for those who do not have space at home. Because so many communities discourage on-street parking of boat trailers, storage facilities for these vehicles are always in demand.
To start this business, you must get a large lot that can accommodate a couple of boats at once. You may be able to rent a lot, but buying it could be a better option in terms of equity in the property. You will also need plenty of room to maneuver the boat trailers safely, and to make sure that you clients can get in and out easily.
The lot should be in an easily-accessible area, close to the body of water that boat owners will be using and easy to reach from major highways.
The property must be fenced for the protection of your customers’ vehicles. Make sure your type of business is allowed on the property so there are no potential legal problems. This is particularly important if you plan to construct a covered storage.
Cold storages are large refrigerated warehouses, commonly used for storing fruits, vegetables, processed meat, frozen foods and pharmaceuticals. Cold storages serve as an important link between farmers and the final consumer. The temperatures in the storage facility are usually maintained with the help of precision instruments to prevent the damage of produce.
Whenever these items are needed, they can be taken from the cold storage and made available to consumers very easily. Starting a cold storage may be quite capital intensive, but it is a very profitable business especially if you live near a farming or fishing community. You can store goods for your clients and charge them rent for using your cold storage.
Document Security and Storage
Almost every individual, government agency and business owner have documents that are processed on a daily basis regardless of if they have a paperless office system. Document security is defined as the means in which important documents are filed, stored, processed, backed up, delivered, and eventually disposed of.
Storage and backup of your documents involve a lot of planning than simply deciding which type of filing cabinet or lock you will purchase.
It involves understanding the space and means in which to store documents for safekeeping and easy retrieval. In an attempt to save space, many companies hire document storage facilities to store their documents instead of paying to lease more space.
If you have this space at your disposal, you can contact companies to help them secure and store their files and official documents. Your business can secure storage and indexing of paper records, digital media and other business-critical information, including computer disks and tapes, optical disks, microfilm, audio and video tapes, medical records, and blueprints.
Manufacture portable/mobile storage containers
Another storage related business to look into is the manufacturing of portable storage or mobile containers. People and businesses that are involved with moving and storage always need durable storage devices to make sure that their client’s properties are safe.
You can manufacture from ISO shipping containers to domestic and international pod-style storage units that help in the storage business. Because this business is concerned with manufacturing, it is quite capital intensive.
Shipping Container Storage business
Containers that are used to transport merchandise in a ship can make for a viable business. Because of its bulk and durability, it can be used for practically anything, and some people have been taking advantage of this to run a viable storage business.
The storage container industry is getting more popular by the day and if you have the required capital, setting it up is relatively easy.
There are a few things you should consider before starting this business. Top on the list is sourcing the containers, transportation and site approval. Others are funding, location, legalities and marketing. The location of the storage company would account for the success or failure of the business.
As such, your location should be centrally accessible to people in the locality and the site should have utilities, accessible road network etc.
Building a storage company with shipping containers is challenging and expensive, but you can invest in a few containers and gradually increase inventory as the business grows. To run an efficient business, you can offer goods delivery, pickup and storage.
Storage container rental business
Portable storage containers have plenty of uses in different industries for example construction, renovation, retail, and commercial companies etc. These industries have found that renting a shipping container is a great solution to their business’ storage needs.
These storage containers are offered in both plain steel shipping containers, as well as refrigerated containers for perishable goods. This is another storage business one can choose to start. You can rent or lease a site, gather these containers together, paint and refurbish them, and start offering them out to rent to businesses.
On-demand storage service
On demand storage is a more convenient option to the traditional self-storage unit. It can be said to be a pleasant modification to the self-storage unit. In an on-demand setup, the company usually has professional movers that will go to the house of their clients with a truck, move their items to storage, and return their stuff whenever they have need for it.
These items are carted away and stored in a secure and climate controlled facility for as long as needed. To set up this business, you would need a secured and conducive storage facility, a moving truck, and a few professional hands, thus making the business capital intensive, but you would sure get a lot of customers who would prefer to leave all the heavy lifting to you.
Start a Mini Storage Business
Mini storage facilities allow people to store extra items that won’t fit in their homes or offices. While you do not need experience to start a mini storage facility, there are still a few things you need to know to start a mini storage business. Depending on your location, the demand for these facilities may be great.
Start a mini storage business by purchasing an existing facility, buying into a storage franchise or building a new facility in a convenient location for customers. Apply for a business license to operate a mini storage business in your area by contacting your local small business administration office or county clerk’s office.
Apply for an Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service. Register your mini storage business with your state’s secretary of state’s office to form a business entity, such as a Limited Liability Company, corporation or partnership.
Purchase business insurance to protect your property from damage or theft and to protect your business assets in the event of a lawsuit or settlement. Obtain the necessary zoning and building permits to complete construction, and hire a reputable commercial construction company to build your mini storage facility. Thereafter, you can open your business and start sourcing for customers.
Agricultural storage business
Some agricultural products usually appreciate with time because the ratio of supply to demand of such commodities always decreases exponentially with time. The agricultural storage business is a process in which farm products are purchased by the businessman directly from the farmers or possibly wholesalers and are stored till such a time when the commodities will be scarce in the market.
This is a business strategy which can yield over 100% profit if properly done. This is a wonderful business strategy with almost zero percent level of risk involved if properly done.
Many business moguls who have discovered this particular process have reaped wonders from it, and so can you too. To succeed in this business, you must ensure that your storage facility is of the highest standard or you may risk losing your produce to either pests or temperature fluctuation.
Create an automated storage and retrieval system
Automated storage and retrieval systems (AS/RS) are automated hardware and software that are helpful in the accurate storage and retrieval of commodities in a warehouse. These systems automatically locate and deliver the required inventory to a conveyor system, manual outfeed, or an ergonomic operator station.
This translates to a reduction in labor, floor space and inventory levels, while increasing accuracy and productivity in comparison to manual storage methods. Typical storage applications include order picking, tooling, consolidation, work-in-process, and buffering in ambient, cold, freezer, or clean-room environments. You can create and sell these apps to businesses that need them.
Self-storage is an industry in which storage space or storage units such as rooms, lockers, containers, and/or outdoor space, are rented to tenants, usually on a short-term basis (often month-to-month). Self-storage tenants include businesses and individuals.
The self-storage industry is primarily a United States-based industry. As of 2018, it is estimated that between 44,000 and 52,000 storage facilities are currently in the United States.
Self-storage facilities rent space on a short-term basis (often month-to-month, though options for longer-term leases are available) to individuals who need to store household goods, or to businesses who need to store excess inventory or archived records.
Some facilities offer boxes, locks, and packaging supplies for sale to assist tenants in packing and safekeeping their goods, and they may also offer truck rentals. These facilities are forbidden from being used as living spaces.
A self-storage business is a very profitable business in the United States because people always prefer to be in charge of the properties they have in storage. Ownership of a self-storage space can be revoked in the event of a default in payment and the properties in the space can be auctioned off to settle the bills.
RV storage business
If you are looking to start a business with good income potential and little maintenance required, you may want to start an RV storage business. The term recreational vehicle (RV) is often used as a broad category of motor vehicles and trailers which include living quarters for temporary accommodation.
The majority of RV owners do not have room for RV storage at home during the winter months. And others have restrictive regulations imposed by homeowner’s associations that do not allow for storing RV’s on their property. These stiff regulations are mostly what gave birth to the RV storage business.
To make your RV storage facility to be competitive in the industry, it has to have well-lit with wide aisles, to make it easy to maneuver RVs into its designated parking space. It should also have a state-of-the-art security including video surveillance, gated key code entry, and on-site managers.
Business storage is a perfect solution for storing important business documents, medical records, excess retail inventory and many other business storage needs. People seldom use their business office for storage. Instead, they look for a local business storage unit as a convenient alternative for storing non-essential documents, furniture, and computer equipment.
Your facility should offer professional solution for on-the-road sales agents who need a central location where they can easily access products and important business documents.
Business storage units are typically used by; Pharmaceutical/Sales Representatives for retail inventory storage, Contractors for equipment storage, Local Small Businesses for business file storage, Legal Firms for sensitive business records storage and Medical services for medical files storage, etc.
Provide insurance for storage businesses
The storage business is indeed very risky and as such should not be run without insurance. This is because anything can happen and you may get to lose your clients prized possessions. In such an unfortunate eventuality, you would need insurance to help you out.
Asides that, the law would never even allow you start a storage business without having the right insurance policies. If you are an insurance provider, you can start providing insurance for storage businesses. You can protect storage businesses against inappropriate sales, disposal of property, and damage sustained during the construction of new storage units.
Provide Storage by the Bin
This is another new storage business idea, but it has taken the industry by storm. In the storage by the bin model, customers fill bins provided by the company and then the bins are shipped off to a warehouse for safekeeping. The tenants are not required to visit their storage unit because they don’t even have a traditional storage unit, so they don’t need to visit.
They can simply put in a request and the storage company will deliver their requested bin(s) back home. Storage by the bin takes the “self” out of self-storage. Here valets deliver storage bins or boxes and transport renters’ stuff for them. This is another good storage business to consider.
Provide Mobile Storage
Mobile storage pods are portable storage units that are brought to the renter’s home, filled, and then returned to the facility. This method of storage is super convenient for homeowners who are moving from one residence to another, and who are in need of an easy way to store and transport their stuff – just like a moving truck.
After their stuff has been packed and properly labeled, their portable storage unit can be dropped off at their new address for them to unload into their new home at their convenience. You can also look towards providing this service.
Storage Postal deliveries
Another innovative way to step into the storage space is to accept postal deliveries. Accepting postal deliveries is a convenient way to provide on-demand services to your tenants that doesn’t involve a lot of work from the manager and staff.
Postal deliveries allow managers to sign for packages and let renters to pick up their packages at their leisure, offering a ton of convenience for a small amount of effort. If you’re already renting to savvy parents who use their storage unit to hide Christmas presents from their kids, accepting package deliveries of gifts is the next logical step.
Rent trucks to storage companies
Trucks are very essential in a storage business. I mean, how else can you move people’s properties from their houses to your storage facility if not without a truck? Because of the cost of a good truck, not all storage companies can afford to buy a truck of their own, they can only afford to hire.
If you have a truck that you usually rent to tenants, you might have just found yourself another customer. Approach storage companies and offer them the use of your truck for a small fee, but you have to ensure that the fee covers the cost of gas and maintenance where necessary.
Offer storage warehouse space
Again most storage companies may not be able to afford the leasing of a space for their storage business. Most of these companies use commercial warehouses to store their customers’ belongings, but as they grow, they’ll need more space.
If you have large warehouse-style spaces, you could very well have some indispensable real estate. You can partner with storage by the bin companies and rent them space for their storage business. This is a great way to earn passive income off your property.
Car storage business
Car storage is big business, especially in the northern climate areas of the United States because of the harsher climate. The first step to establishing a car storage business is to secure low-cost indoor storage space, such as a vacant warehouse or manufacturing building.
The next step is to simply market the business, and this is best accomplished by joining automotive clubs and associations and attending the clubs’ meetings and social functions to network for business. Current automotive storage rates are in the range of $40 to $80 per month.
Be sure your storage spaces are heated and in a good shape, as this will be vitally important to the success of the business. And, of course, be sure to obtain insurance for the business as it will be a necessity, and a great marketing tool.
Run a storage blog
If you cannot start a particular business, talking about it is one way to earn revenue from that business without having to set up any shop. This is what a blog does for you.
If you are quite interested in the storage business, you can open a blog that talks about every area of the business so that readers can come in and get enlightened. You can tell of the best storage facilities around, give tips on how to find them and even how to run the storage business successfully.
Self-storage for caterers
Professional caterers often use industrial catering equipment and food processors, and these equipment are quite heavy and bulky. Not only that, they do purchase their food supplies in bulk in other to cut cost. They may also source fine wines to complement the cuisine they offer, and they may supply chairs, tables, utensils and décor.
Non-perishable food products and boxes of wine are also bulky items, and tables, chairs, napkins and table cloths can easily fill up a whole garage or home. So where do you store them during the inevitable hiatus between jobs? You got that right, in storage facilities. You can set up a storage business that caters exclusively to caterers.
Provide wine cellars
A wine cellar is a storage room for wine in bottles or barrels, or more rarely in carboys, amphorae, or plastic containers. Wineries always need to have somewhere to store their wines before distribution. If you have a suitable space, you can rent it out as a wine cellar. In an active wine cellar, important factors such as temperature and humidity are maintained by a climate control system.
Classic car storage
Classic cars are old and unique cars that are no longer in production today. This makes these vehicles very valuable to their owners. If you have a spacious and well ventilated space, you can use it as a classic car rental space. To succeed in this business, you have to ensure that your storage space is well maintained with the right heating.
Insurance is another vital thing for this business as you have to protect the cars under your care. You should regularly inspect the vehicles for leaking fluids, proper tire inflation levels and any other issues that may arise while the vehicle is in your care.
Provide storage for Online Retailers
The internet, especially eBay, has revolutionized the world of start-up business. Thousands of people are running sales organizations from their kitchen tables, and they sell everything from homemade crafts to resale furnishings, clothing and publications.
When an Online business begins to take off, it invariably requires more and more space to store what it sells. There comes a time when the business outgrows the use of closets, garages and basements at home and would require something bigger. You can start a storage business where you provide storage facilities to online retailers.
Sell Home Storage Products
There are hundreds of home storage products on the market, and you can profit by starting a business that specializes in selling and installing these products. The business does not require a lot of investment capital to set in motion, and can be very profitable, as you can charge an hourly rate to install these products as well as add a markup onto all the products that are sold.
Search the Internet and directories for manufacturers of these products, then contact them and inquire about becoming a sales agent or representative for their products in your community. This is the type of business that, once established and you have a few clients, word-of-mouth and referrals will fuel the business growth and expansion.
31. Start a high-end clothes storage business
Yes, there is such a thing as clothes storage and people, especially celebrities have been making use of them for a long time. If you have ample storage space in a good area in your city, you can start a business where you get to store clothing and other fashion accessories for your clients.
It should be noted that famous celebrities usually have a lot of clothes and fashion accessories that ten walk-in closets can’t even contain them. What they usually do to free up space is to take their most prized collections to clothing storage facilities for storage.
To start this business, you need to make sure that your storage area has tight security, that the air is constantly purified, and temperature adequately is controlled. This business can earn you a lot of profits if you know how to penetrate your target market.