Expanding your moving business to include mobile storage is a wise decision that can return a pretty penny on your investment. Once you have made the decision, it is necessary to dig into the brass tacks and start planning your expansion. The following are the most important things for you to consider when it comes to the required infrastructure and marketing.
Forklifts and Delivery Systems
Forklifts will run anywhere from $15,000 to $25,000 depending on the size and features you desire. You will most certainly need one, and maybe two or more depending on the size of your operations and the volume you intend to process.
You will also need to secure a fleet of trucks to haul containers to and from their locations. Each truck will need to be equipped to handle the lifting and transportation of your particular containers. Depending on the lift system you want to install, this can mean spending between $60,000 to $130,000 to purchase and equip each truck.
You will need between 40-60 containers to run a profitable operation. Containers cost between $3,000 to $5,000 a piece, so you can expect to invest a minimum of $100,000 in containers as you get started. When you choose containers, it is advisable to identify your target market first. This will help you purchase the correct mix of sizes, strength, and features so that you can adequately service the markets you are aiming to capture. Generally speaking, it’s advisable to purchase mid to high-end containers as these will be more durable and cost you less over the long run than cheaper options.
You will most certainly need a plot of land where you can safely store your containers when they are empty and also after your customers fill them up. A small operation can plan to invest in two to three acres of land, while a larger operation may want to invest in 5 or more acres.
While some containers can be stored outside, most customers are going to want their possessions stored within an indoor facility. Thus, you may want to consider building a pole barn structure. These generally run between $2.50 and $4.00 per square foot, thus they are inexpensive additions that can generate considerable revenue once they are completed. These also allow you to add additional office space where you can manage your growing operations from.
It is crucial that you invest a heavy chunk of your efforts and resources into establishing and marketing yourself as a mobile storage provider. After all, client’s won’t call you asking about your services if they don’t know that you offer them. On average, you should plan to spend 10% of your revenue on marketing each year.
When you get started within the mobile storage market, you should plan to increase this 5-10% so that you can continue marketing your core services in addition to promoting your new mobile services. As always, you should distribute your spending proportionally across the various marketing channels that you have already tapped into and that are proving to generate reliable returns on your investment.
Maintenance, Security, and Incidentals
Because you will be storing client possessions, you will most certainly want to install a security system that includes fences, cameras, motion sensors, and secure locks. You will also need to invest in a maintenance contract with an area mechanic so that your fleet of trucks and forklifts remain operational. Finally, it is a given that you will need to invest time and money training your personnel to handle the containers and market them to your new clientele.