Do you want to start self storage business?

Do you want to start a self storage business? A self storage company provides storage space (such as lockers, containers, rooms, outdoor space) to individuals and businesses. People use the services of self storage companies whenever they run out of space, move to a new place or simply do renovations in their homes. Businesses and companies operating in small facilities use the services of self storing companies for storing their business inventory or archives since they are unable to store these things due to limited space. And considering the economic situation of today, where people are forced to live in small homes and business are forced to operate in small offices, self storage businesses have become a need for everyone. So if you want to start this business, chances of making profits are really high.
In case, you don’t know how to start your own self storage business, the first thing you must do is to prepare a comprehensive business plan which will establish the basis of your company’s future operations and decisions. To help you make your self-storage business plan, we are here providing you the business plan for a self storage business startup named ‘Houston Self Storage’

Executive Summary

2.1 The Business

Houston Self Storage is licensed and insured self storage company located in Downtown Houston. The company will provide short- and long-term self storage services by offering storage units in various sizes to accommodate all sorts of storage needs of the customers. Our storage units business model is specifically designed to fulfill the requirements of all sorts of customers.

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2.2 Management

Houston Self Storage will be a joint venture owned by Jack Elisken and Mike Harvin, both of which are experienced industry professionals. Jack has been associated with storage industry while Mike has been associated with the moving industry, so both of them have the right resources and knowledge needed for starting a self storage business. This venture will be equally funded by both parties and both will have equal ownership in it.

2.3 Customers

Our target market is the residential community, institutions and organizations as well as the corporate sector based in Houston. Considering our target customers, we are based in the best possible location for opening a self storage business.

2.4 Target of the Company

We aim to become the best self storage business of Houston within next five years of our startup. Our main business targets to be achieved as milestones over the course of next three years are as follows:

  • To achieve the net profit margin of $10k per month by the end of the first year, $15k per month by the end of the second year, and $25k per month by the end of the third year
  • To balance the initial cost of the startup with earned profits by the end of the first year
  • To start another storage center in Texas city after six years of startup
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Company Summary

3.1 Company Owner

Houston Self Storage will be a joint venture owned by Jack Elisken and Mike Harvin. Jack is a highly experienced industry professional and has been serving as the General Manager of New State Warehouse for the last 7 years. Mike owns a moving company, Realtime Movers. The venture will be equally funded by both parties and both will have equal ownership in it.

3.2 Why the Business is being started

Jack and Mike have decided to start self storage business for the purpose of making profits in this industry. Considering the increasing population of Houston and relatively less self storage facilities in the city, their venture has fair chances of succeeding.

3.3 How the Business will be started

Starting a self storage business is not easy since you have to considered a lot of things. In case you don’t know how to start a self storage business, you can take help from this sample self-storage business plan.
Houston Self Storage will be located in Downton Houston, a place where it is needed the most. The facility covers an area of about 55,000 square feet and is divided into various segments of 10-by-30-foot storages, 10-by-25-foot storages, 10-by-20-foot storages, 10-by-15-foot storages, 10-by-10-foot storages, 5-by-10-foot storages, and 5-by-5-foot storages. The financial experts have forecasted following costs for expenses, assets, investment, and bank loans for the startup.

Self Storage Business Plan - Startup Cost

The detailed startup requirements, startup funding, startup expenses, total assets, total funding required, total liabilities, total planned investment, total capital and liabilities are given in the table below.

Start-up Expenses 
Research and Development$32,750
Expensed Equipment$32,750
Start-up Assets$0
Cash Required$332,500
Start-up Inventory$32,625
Other Current Assets$232,500
Long-term Assets$235,000
Total Requirements$245,000
Start-up Expenses to Fund$11,875
Start-up Assets to Fund$15,000
Non-cash Assets from Start-up$18,750
Cash Requirements from Start-up$0
Additional Cash Raised$18,750
Cash Balance on Starting Date$21,875
Liabilities and Capital$0
Current Borrowing$0
Long-term Liabilities$0
Accounts Payable (Outstanding Bills)$0
Other Current Liabilities (interest-free)$0
Planned Investment$0
Investor 1$332,500
Investor 2$0
Additional Investment Requirement$0
Loss at Start-up (Start-up Expenses)$313,125
Total Funding$255,000

Services for customers

A self storage business can be immensely profitable provided that you plan it effectively and choose the right place for its startup. A self storage business profit margin depends on what services will you provide to your customers so make sure to plan your services before you think about how to start a storage unit business. Planning your services before opening a storage facility is also important because it helps you with the planning of other subsequent components.

Houston Self Storage will provide short- and long-term self storage services to its customers. We will offer storage units in various sizes to accommodate all sorts of storage needs of our customers. All storage units will be completely secure from theft and other sorts of damage. We will be open 24/7 for providing you the services you deserve. Our facilities will always be clean, well-lit and we will provide moving carts to facilitate our customers with loading and unloading of stuff. Our main services can be divided into following categories.

  1. Standard Self Storage Units: We will provide standard self storage units in various sizes to accommodate all your goods. Our storage units are specially designed while keeping user requirements in mind.
  2. Temperature-Controlled Self Storage Units: In addition to standard storage units, we will also provide climate-controlled self storage units in which constant temperature will be maintained throughout the year. These storage units are perfect for storing delicate items such as important documents, electronics, wood and furniture.
  3.  Packing and Storage Supplies: We will also provide a variety of packing and storage material for the convenience of our customers such as packing boxes, tapes and other important supplies.
  4.  Moving Services: We will also provide moving services to our customers within our storage facility by loading and unloading the goods of our customers.

Marketing Analysis of self storage business


The most important component of an effective <strong>self storage business plan</strong> is its accurate marketing analysis that’s why the company owners acquired the services of marketing experts to help them through this phase.

It is only after this stage that a good storage unit business model could have been developed. After identifying the availability of current self storage facilities and the current demand in Houston, the marketing experts and analysts also helped them to select the best site for starting a storage facility business.
The success or failure of a self storage business totally depends upon its marketing strategy which can only be developed on the basis of accurate marketing analysis. Marketing analysis is a must-do thing before you even think about how to run a storage unit business. If you are starting on a smaller scale, you can do marketing analysis yourself by taking help from this self storage business plan template or other storage facility business plan samples available online. But if you are opening a storage business on a larger scale, it is always best to seek the counsel of marketing experts for developing a good storage unit business plan.

5.1 Market & Industry Trends

The first component of the marketing analysis of your storage units business plan is the feasibility analysis of the current self storage industry. Feasibility analysis dictates whether the industry has become saturated or not and helps figure out whether a startup in this industry will succeed or not. That’s why it must be catered before you start storage unit business.

The self storage industry started in 1960’s due to the increasing need for commercial and residential storage. Since its start, the industry has doubled in size each decade and the ROI have been greater as compared to other forms real estate investment. As of now, the self storage industry generates $38 billion annual revenue in just United States. The industry comprises of around 58,000 businesses and is responsible for employing more than 141,000 people across the country.

As per the growth statistics, the industry has seen a 7% growth rate from 2012 to 2017 and is also projected to increase in future. The reason behind this increase is the increasing tendency of people to live in rental house business and the increase in accumulation of leisure articles such as exercise equipment, wind-surfers, and skis etc. In short, considering the ever-increasing population, we can say that self storage industry is feasible for startups. Hence, you can open a storage unit business and can make it immensely profitable provided that you plan it successfully.

5.2 Marketing Segmentation

For developing an effective marketing strategy, it is crucial to analyze the market segmentation of the future customers of our self storage business. A successful and efficient marketing strategy can only be developed after a business completely knows its potential customers that’s why it is important to consider before starting a storage facility. Our target market is the residential community, institutions and organizations as well as the corporate sector based in Houston. Considering our target customers, we are based in the best possible location to open a storage unit business. Our experts have identified the following type of target audience which can become the future consumers of our services.

Self Storage Business Plan - Marketing Segmentation

The detailed marketing segmentation of our target audience is as follows:

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5.2.1 Residential Community:

Our first target group is the residential community based in Houston. The residential community comprised of people from all races and all sorts of background, most of which are financially stable. Due to economic decline, which has affected every single person in the United States, people are living in smaller houses which usually are unable to fit everything. Most people have accumulated leisure articles like exercise equipment, wind-surfers, and skis which they occasionally use, so most of the time people store such articles in self storages so as to avoid stuffing their homes. Another important aspect is about 44% of Houston population live on rent and whenever they have to move from one place to another, they use self storage services for temporarily storing their goods.

5.2.2 Local Businesses:

Our second target group is the local businesses and startups based in Houston. Many businesses in the city, such as retail outlets, often use self storage units for storing their stock on a temporary basis. Another important aspect is many startups and even some of the established businesses operate within limited space such as small offices so they need to stock their inventory and products in self storage units.

5.2.3 Institutions & Organizations:

Many institutions and organizations operating in limited space also need the services of self storage businesses to stock their inventory and products.
The detailed market analysis of our potential customers is given in the following table:

Market Analysis       
Potential CustomersGrowthYear 1Year 2Year 3Year 4Year 5CAGR
Local Businesses32%11,43313,34416,55318,74520,54513.43%
Residential Community48%22,33432,34443,66552,54466,43210.00%
Institutions & Organizations20%12,86714,43315,99917,56519,13115.32%

5.3 Business Target

We aim to become the best self storage business of Houston within next five years of our startup. The company owners aim to start another storage center in Texas city after six years of startup. Our main business targets to be achieved as milestones over the course of next three years are as follows:

  • To achieve the net profit margin of $10k per month by the end of the first year, $15k per month by the end of the second year, and $25k per month by the end of the third year
  • To balance the initial cost of the startup with earned profits by the end of the first year
  • To provide unparalleled services in the industry and set a benchmark of quality

5.4 Service Pricing

Service pricing is one of the most important factors in deciding the marketing strategy. Selecting the prices of services is difficult because startups have to attract customers while yield profit at the same time. These two things cannot be achieved at the same time and the only way out is to select a compromised trade-off between the two.
After considering our competition and the market demands, we have priced our services in the similar ranges as of our competitors. The reason behind our pricing policy is to achieve MARR (minimum attractive rate of return) which would not be possible in case of offering our services in lower prices.


After identifying the market trends, the market demand, and the potential customers of the startup, the next step is to develop an ingenious sales strategy. Like marketing analysis, sales strategy is also an important component of a self storage business model and must be considered before you think about how to run a self storage business.

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6.1 Competitive Analysis

Self storage industry is a competitive one considering the fact that there are currently around 58,000 self storage businesses in the United States. However, we hope to excel our competitors due to several competitive aspects. Our first and the most important competitive advantage is our strategic location which is ideal to start a self storage business plan. We are located in Downtown which is the central hub for all local businesses and is very near to the residential zone of the city. In addition to our location, our quality services will also be one of our biggest competitive advantages. We will ensure that our storage units are clean and well-lit as well as safe and secure from theft or other sorts of damages. We will also provide moving carts to facilitate our customers with loading and unloading of stuff. Lastly, we will open round the clock, seven days of week, ensuring your access to your stuff at any time of the day.

6.2 Sales Strategy

After carrying out a detailed. our experts came up with the following brilliant ideas to advertise and sell ourselves.

  • We will carry out a large-scale social media campaign for our advertisement.
  • We will launch our website by which customers can know whether a storage unit with their desired requirements is vacant or not. Customers will also be allowed to make reservations through our webpage.
  • We will offer customer referral awards to promote our services.

6.3 Sales Monthly

Our experts have forecasted following sales on a monthly basis which are summarized in the column charts below.

Self Storage Business Plan - Sales Monthly

6.4 Sales Yearly

Our experts have forecasted following sales on a yearly basis which are summarized in the column charts below.

Self Storage Business Plan - Sales Yearly

6.5 Sales Forecast

Considering the quality of our services, our sales pattern is expected to increase with years. By analyzing our market segmentation strategy, our experts have forecasted the following sales on a yearly basis which are summarized in the following column charts.

Self Storage Business Plan - Unit Sales

The detailed information about sales forecast, total unit sales, total sales is given in the following table.

Sales Forecast   
Unit SalesYear 1Year 2Year 3
Standard Self Storage Units1,887,0302,680,3202,588,240
Temperature Controlled Self Storage Units802,370815,430823,540
Packing and Storage Supplies539,3207702301,002,310
Moving Services265,450322,390393,320
TOTAL UNIT SALES3,494,1704,588,3704,807,410
Unit PricesYear 1Year 2Year 3
Standard Self Storage Units$140.00$150.00$160.00
Temperature Controlled Self Storage Units$600.00$800.00$1,000.00
Packing and Storage Supplies$700.00$800.00$900.00
Moving Services$650.00$750.00$850.00
Standard Self Storage Units$2,149,800$2,784,000$3,383,200
Temperature Controlled Self Storage Units$120,050$194,500$268,500
Packing and Storage Supplies$50,110$71,600$93,000
Moving Services$139,350$194,600$249,850
Direct Unit CostsYear 1Year 2Year 3
Standard Self Storage Units$0.70$0.80$0.90
Temperature Controlled Self Storage Units$0.40$0.45$0.50
Packing and Storage Supplies$0.30$0.35$0.40
Moving Services$3.00$3.50$4.00
Direct Cost of Sales   
Standard Self Storage Units$989,300$1,839,000$2,679,700
Temperature Controlled Self Storage Units$66,600$119,900$173,200
Packing and Storage Supplies$17,900$35,000$52,100
Moving Services$19,400$67,600$115,800
Subtotal Direct Cost of Sales$1,294,100$1,699,400$2,104,700
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    Personnel plan

    A business can succeed only if it is properly planned during its initial stages. Just like the planning of other components, you must also develop a personnel plan before you think about how to start a self storage facility. The personnel plan not only establishes what staff is required for the startup but it also gives an estimate of the costs incurred on their salaries. However, it is never easy to estimate the number and type of staff needed for a company before it is even launched therefore seek the help of HR experts before you open a self storage business.

    7.1 Company Staff

    Jack will act as the General Manager of the company while Mike will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the company. Following staff has been estimated by HR experts for starting a self storage unit business.

    • 2 Administrators / Accountants for maintaining financial records
    • 4 Sales Executives responsible for marketing and discovering new ventures
    • 20 Field Employees for operating and maintaining the storage
    • 8 Movers for helping customers load and unload their stuff
    • 8 Cleaners for keeping store clean at all times
    • 2 Technical Assistants for managing website and social media pages
    • 1 Front Desk Officer for acting as a receptionist
    • 6 Security Officers

    To ensure the best quality service, all employees will be selected through strict testing procedures and will be trained for a month prior to onboarding.

    7.2 Average Salary of Employees

    The following table shows the forecasted data about employees and their salaries for next three years.

     Personnel Plan   
     Year 1Year 2Year 3
    Sales Executives$45,000$50,000$55,000
    Field Employees$550,000$650,000$750,000
    Inventory Manager$145,000$152,000$159,000
    Technical Assistants$50,000$55,000$60,000
    Security Officers$187,000$194,000$201,000
    Front Desk Officer$42,000$45,000$48,000
    Total Salaries$562,000$599,000$646,000

    Financial Plan

    After deciding the strategy and personnel plan of the company, the next step is to develop a detailed map of the financial projections of the company. Just like the planning of other aspects, you must also prepare a financial plan before you start thinking about how to build a self storage business. The financial plan should craft a detailed map about the cost of startup, inventory, payroll, equipment, rent, utilities and how these costs will be covered with the profits. So, if you are thinking, is the self storage business a profitable business you’ll get your answer after you make a financial plan. To make an accurate financial plan, make sure to consult financial experts before you start your own storage unit business. The financial plan of Houston Self Storage is as follows.

    8.1 Important Assumptions

    The financial projections of the company are forecasted on the basis of following assumptions. These assumptions are conservative and can show deviation but to a limited level such that the major financial strategy of the company will not be affected.

     General Assumptions   
     Year 1Year 2Year 3
    Plan Month123
    Current Interest Rate10.00%11.00%12.00%
    Long-term Interest Rate10.00%10.00%10.00%
    Tax Rate26.42%27.76%28.12%

    8.2 Brake-even Analysis

    Self Storage Business Plan - Brake-even Analysis
     Brake-Even Analysis 
    Monthly Units Break-even5530
    Monthly Revenue Break-even$159,740
    Average Per-Unit Revenue$260.87
    Average Per-Unit Variable Cost$0.89
    Estimated Monthly Fixed Cost$196,410

     8.3 Projected Profit and Loss

     Pro Forma Profit And Loss   
     Year 1Year 2Year 3
    Direct Cost of Sales$15,100$19,153$23,206
    TOTAL COST OF SALES$15,100 $19,153 $23,206
    Gross Margin$293,969$366,781$439,593
    Gross Margin %94.98%94.72%94.46%
    Sales and Marketing and Other Expenses$1,850$2,000$2,150
    Leased Equipment$0$0$0
    Payroll Taxes$34,510$40,726$46,942
    Total Operating Expenses$188,766$220,744$252,722
    Profit Before Interest and Taxes$105,205$146,040$186,875
    Interest Expense$0$0$0
    Taxes Incurred$26,838$37,315$47,792
    Net Profit$78,367$108,725$139,083
    Net Profit/Sales30.00%39.32%48.64%

    8.3.1 Profit Monthly

    Self Storage Business Plan - Profit Monthly


    8.3.2 Profit Yearly

    Self Storage Business Plan - Profit Yearly

    8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly

    Self Storage Business Plan - Gross Margin Monthly


    8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly

    Self Storage Business Plan - Gross Margin Yearly

    8.4 Projected Cash Flow

    Self Storage Business Plan - Projected Cash Flow
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     Pro Forma Cash Flow   
    Cash ReceivedYear 1Year 2Year 3
    Cash from Operations   
    Cash Sales$40,124$45,046$50,068
    Cash from Receivables$7,023$8,610$9,297
    SUBTOTAL CASH FROM OPERATIONS$47,143 $53,651 $59,359
    Additional Cash Received   
    Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Received$0$0$0
    New Current Borrowing$0$0$0
    New Other Liabilities (interest-free)$0$0$0
    New Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
    Sales of Other Current Assets$0$0$0
    Sales of Long-term Assets$0$0$0
    New Investment Received$0$0$0
    SUBTOTAL CASH RECEIVED$47,143 $53,651 $55,359
    ExpendituresYear 1Year 2Year 3
    Expenditures from Operations   
    Cash Spending$21,647$24,204$26,951
    Bill Payments$13,539$15,385$170,631
    SUBTOTAL SPENT ON OPERATIONS$35,296 $39,549 $43,582
    Additional Cash Spent   
    Sales Tax, VAT, HST/GST Paid Out$0$0$0
    Principal Repayment of Current Borrowing$0$0$0
    Other Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
    Long-term Liabilities Principal Repayment$0$0$0
    Purchase Other Current Assets$0$0$0
    Purchase Long-term Assets$0$0$0
    SUBTOTAL CASH SPENT$35,296 $35,489 $43,882
    Net Cash Flow$11,551$13,167$15,683
    Cash Balance$21,823$22,381$28,239

    8.5 Projected Balance Sheet

     Pro Forma Balance Sheet   
    AssetsYear 1Year 2Year 3
    Current Assets   
    Accounts Receivable$12,613$14,493$16,373
    Other Current Assets$1,000$1,000$1,000
    TOTAL CURRENT ASSETS$201,259 $237,468 $273,677
    Long-term Assets   
    Long-term Assets$10,000$10,000$10,000
    Accumulated Depreciation$12,420$14,490$16,560
    TOTAL LONG-TERM ASSETS$980 $610 $240
    TOTAL ASSETS$198,839 $232,978 $267,117
    Liabilities and CapitalYear 1Year 2Year 3
    Current Liabilities   
    Accounts Payable$9,482$10,792$12,102
    Current Borrowing$0$0$0
    Other Current Liabilities$0$0$0
    SUBTOTAL CURRENT LIABILITIES$9,482 $10,792 $12,102
    Long-term Liabilities$0$0$0
    TOTAL LIABILITIES$9,482 $10,792 $12,102
    Paid-in Capital$30,000$30,000$30,000
    Retained Earnings$48,651$72,636$96,621
    TOTAL CAPITAL$189,360 $222,190 $255,020
    TOTAL LIABILITIES AND CAPITAL$198,839 $232,978 $267,117
    Net Worth$182,060$226,240$270,420

    8.6 Business Ratios

     Ratio Analysis    
     Year 1Year 2Year 3Industry Profile
    Sales Growth4.35%30.82%63.29%4.00%
    Percent of Total Assets4.35%4.71%5.80% 9.80%
    Accounts Receivable5.61%4.71%3.81%9.70%
    Other Current Assets1.75%2.02%2.29%27.40%
    Total Current Assets138.53%150.99%163.45%54.60%
    Long-term Assets-9.47%-21.01%-32.55%58.40%
    TOTAL ASSETS100.00%100.00%100.00%100.00%
    Current Liabilities4.68%3.04%2.76%27.30%
    Long-term Liabilities0.00%0.00%0.00%25.80%
    Total Liabilities4.68%3.04%2.76%54.10%
    NET WORTH99.32%101.04%102.76%44.90%
    Percent of Sales    
    Gross Margin94.18%93.85%93.52%0.00%
    Selling, General & Administrative Expenses74.29%71.83%69.37%65.20%
    Advertising Expenses2.06%1.11%0.28%1.40%
    Profit Before Interest and Taxes26.47%29.30%32.13%2.86%
    Main Ratios    
    Total Debt to Total Assets2.68%1.04%0.76%67.10%
    Pre-tax Return on Net Worth66.83%71.26%75.69%4.40%
    Pre-tax Return on Assets64.88%69.75%74.62%9.00%
    Additional RatiosYear 1Year 2Year 3 
    Net Profit Margin19.20%21.16%23.12%N.A.
    Return on Equity47.79%50.53%53.27%N.A.
    Activity Ratios    
    Accounts Receivable Turnover4.564.564.56N.A.
    Collection Days9299106N.A.
    Inventory Turnover19.722.5525.4N.A.
    Accounts Payable Turnover14.1714.6715.17N.A.
    Payment Days272727N.A.
    Total Asset Turnover1.841.551.26N.A.
    Debt Ratios    
    Debt to Net Worth0-0.02-0.04N.A.
    Current Liab. to Liab.111N.A.
    Liquidity Ratios    
    Net Working Capital$120,943$140,664$160,385N.A.
    Interest Coverage000N.A.
    Additional Ratios    
    Assets to Sales0.450.480.51N.A.
    Current Debt/Total Assets4%3%2%N.A.
    Acid Test23.6627.0130.36N.A.
    Sales/Net Worth1.681.290.9N.A.
    Dividend Payout000N.A.

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