If you are currently running a self-storage facility and are finding that you have the margin to expand your business, you may want to consider going in the direction of incorporating a mobile storage component.
Providing mobile storage options for customers is an excellent way to not only expand your storage business, but also to reach another customer base to those who only need temporary storage or who want to use their mobile storage unit to move their possessions from one place to another.
In addition, adding mobile storage units to your business won’t require permits or substantial land use, making it easier and cheaper than expanding your on-site storage space. But before you invest in mobile storage, here are four things you should consider:
- How many mobile storage units can you have in circulation at one time?
Purchasing mobile storage containers may cost less than building more storage units at your on-site facility, but that doesn’t automatically mean you will get a larger ROI. In order to generate enough additional income to cover the overhead costs of purchasing the containers – and the truck(s) and lift(s) required to move those containers – you will need to have a certain number of mobile storage containers leased, rented out, or in circulation at any one time.Now would be a good time to pull out a calculator…
- How much space do you have?
Mobile storage units are incredibly flexible in terms of the amount of space you will need for housing them, especially since a number of your containers will be sitting on your customers’ property and not on yours! The containers that are available for customers to take home can be stored in awkward, tight spaces or even under the power lines on your property – places where you could not conveniently (or legally) build an on-site storage unit.However, the containers are not the only piece to this puzzle. You must also consider parking for your truck(s) when they are not in use.
- How big is your truck(s)?
Speaking of trucks… in order to make the most out of your mobile storage business component, many managers have found the best ROI to come from an 8′ x 16′ size container or larger. Your trucks would then need to be able to transport these larger containers, which garner higher rent rates (without a lot of extra cost per container).Keep in mind that if your truck has a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of up to 26,000, anyone can drive it. However, if the GVW is 26,001 lbs. or more, your driver will be required to have a CDL. This requirement could make finding a driver a little more difficult and expensive due to the costs of maintaining the the license.
- When do you plan on investing in your mobile storage units?
A word from the wise: Plan the expansion of your business well in advance. Realize that it can take 8 to 10 weeks for the containers you’ve ordered to arrive, so purchase your containers in the off-season. This will ensure that you are fully stocked and ready when the busy season kicks back in.
Adding mobile storage units to your company’s storage options is an excellent way to expand your business and provide your customers with more choices. However, before diving headfirst into the mobile storage business, it’s important that you carefully consider the above factors. Mobile storage can provide a large ROI – but only if you do the research and properly prepare your business for it.