Launching a mobile storage business begins with making investments in facilities, personnel, and advertising. These costs can add up, so it is important to know what they are and plan for them before you start the process. The more planning and preparation you put forth, the better the position you will be in when it is time to offer your storage solutions to the public. To that end, the following are some of the expenses you absolutely must take into consideration.
Land will represent between 25-30% of your total development expense. This will, of course, vary depending on your region and the location you choose. Because customers do not require ready access to mobile storage containers, you can save on this expense by locating your operations in areas where land is less expensive.
Structures for housing mobile storage containers can cost anywhere from $25-45 per square foot to build. When designing your building, you will want to design it so that it has a smooth flow into and out of the building to facilitate easy movement of the storage containers. It’s also a good idea to design your building around the storage containers you intend to use. This will help you maximize the usage of the space and ensure that you have ceilings, doors, and loading ramps that are ideally suited for your needs.
The cost of mobile storage containers varies depending on the material it is made of and its intended purpose. Small containers made of wood can cost as little as a few hundred dollars a piece, while larger, refrigerated units can cost up to $10,000. For this reason, you will want to determine what markets you want to target and purchase containers that are suited for the needs of that market.
Hiring trained and qualified personnel is essential to success in the mobile storage industry. While you may be tempted to save money by hiring inexperienced staff, it’s a decision that can cost you far more than a few extra dollars an hour. If you want the best results, invest in the best personnel. Remember, these people will be the face of your business for your clients, and it is important that their customer service, accounting, marketing, and management skills are solid and reliable.
Establishing a fleet of trucks capable of moving containers can give your business an advantage over the competition. It means that you always have a reliable method of transporting your client’s portable storage containers for them. However, it also represents a considerable expense. You will need to plan for the financing of the vehicles, installing lifts on the trucks, maintenance, insurance, etc. You may also need to plan for fuel storage. Purchasing fuel in bulk can trim your operational expenses. However, it also requires building facilities that are in compliance with standards set by the EPA and any local ordinances.
When you are budgeting your mobile storage investment, it’s important to include permits, market analysis, architect’s fees, surveys, inspections, security, and other incidentals into your plans. These costs can add up quickly, and while they are not as significant as land, building, personnel, and containers, they can add thousands of dollars to your expenses.
When it comes to cost considerations, mobile storage is like any other business. The more you prepare your business to absorb start-up expenses and maintain profitability, the better positioned your business will be for growth within the market. In the end, going over these expenses with a fine-toothed comb and incorporating them into your business plans is the key to building a successful venture.