Visit as many storage companies as you can and talk to owners. If you can find customers to talk to, it would be most helpful, as you can also understand their needs and expectations.
Write a business plan
Prepare a business plan. This is a road map of the business and it will help you see a clear picture of what you need to achieve before starting the business. Without a business plan, it will be difficult to find partners or raise money for start-up or expansion reasons.
Register the business
Decide what business entity you want to operate – CC, Private Company etc. Once you have registered the business with the Companies Intellectual Property Registration Office (Cipro), you will need to register the business with the South African Revenue Services (SARS) for VAT and tax.
You need to contact your local municipality for more information regarding the bylaws that apply in the area in which you intend to operate the business. Our step-by-step guide can advise you on the processes of starting a business.
What kind of property do you need?
A storage facility must be dry, secure, clean, and well situated with convenient access.
How to find clients
Build good connections in the removals industry, as this is an excellent way to find customers needing temporary or long-term storage space. Advertise in the Yellow Pages and think about starting an internet site that offers your services.
Convenience is probably the single most import factor in the decision of where to rent a self-storage unit. Customers in the self-storage industry have certain similarities across different market segments. The underlying need is for a reliable, safe, dry, pest free and accessible self-storage facility. Customers are generally less price sensitive and consider a convenient location as their major buying decision criterion.
Be open to change
A business of this kind must be able to adapt as storage and market needs change. It is very important for companies to implement standards and rules to protect the company, its customers and its employees.
These important issues must be researched
- Location – the most convenient for your target market
- Security – the very best available that fits with your financial plan
- Insurance – carefully research property and liability insurance
- Monthly storage rates – these have to be competitive
- Deposit – some storage companies charge a deposit, others don’t
- Variety – offer a variety of storage unit sizes
- Make it easy – offer packing supplies and packing solutions
In order to achieve this you must do a careful comparison of what competitors offer. Try to find something that is unique, better or more inclusive. In other words, look for something that will give you a competitive edge over everyone else in the business.