If you’re thinking about starting your own self storage business, you could well be onto a good thing. Self storage is big business, with many people needing storage units for all kinds of things, from storing university furniture when it’s the holidays to storing business stock, and much more besides. With space being at such a premium in homes, it stands to reason that people need that little bit more, and that they’re willing to pay for it. The fact that there are over 1,000 self storage facilities in Australia is a testament to that fact.
Yet it’s not as simple as finding a facility to franchise or building one from scratch. There are a number of things to take into account. Read on to find out more.
Self Storage Laws Australia
As with most things in life, opening your own self storage facility and running the business will be subject to various rules and regulations, and the self storage laws in Australia are something you’ll need to be very familiar with and stick to no matter what else you do. If you can do this, you’ll have a good business and gain a positive reputation.
These laws protect not just the storage facility, but the people storing their possessions with you. You’ll need to ensure you have the right kind of security, for example, and you’ll have to have insurance. Access is something to consider too – is your facility accessible at the times you’ve said it would be, and is it accessible for wheelchair users?
What about the types of things you can have stored there? Although most household items aren’t an issue, what about chemicals, machinery, and even paint? You’ll need to go through all the legislation and create agreements that stipulate exactly what you expect from your customers and what they can and should expect from you.
And make sure you’ve triple-checked things like zoning and building standards before breaking ground on a new self storage facility. Keep detailed notes of all of your discussions. If you make a mistake, it could cost you a lot of money.
Setting Up A Self Storage Business Australia
Getting an Australian Business Number (ABN) is part of starting a new business, but it really is only the start. An ABN helps the government and the public find your business. It is used to register a business name, apply for tax credits, and send out invoices.
You should also think about what kind of business structure is best for your company. You can choose between a sole proprietorship, a limited company, or a partnership. Depending on how your business is set up, your legal obligations will be different, and your tax payments will change. It’s well worth speaking to a business expert before making any decisions, as some ideas will be better than others, and it’s better to start off on the right foot than have to go back and make changes later on.
For many people, the idea of starting and setting up their own business is a troubling one. They want to do it, and they’re sure they could do well, but they don’t know where to start, or they’re worried about falling foul of the laws or not making the progress they had hoped to. This can mean their dreams are discarded, and they go back to whatever they were doing before.
What about a self storage franchise though? Opening a franchise, while still hard work, is much less risk than starting a business from the ground up. You’ll still have to market and you’ll still have to provide the service, but you’ll have much more backup than you ever would if you started your own business from scratch.
There will be an initial investment, but the same is true of any business, and often a franchise is cheaper. Not only that, but it’s easier (although still not easy, so make sure you have all your paperwork and evidence in place!) to borrow money if you want to start a franchise; it’s seen as a safer bet by lenders. Your dreams could still come true.
Self Storage Business Models
In either case, no matter what you decide to do, it’s worth exploring the possible self storage business models that exist to give you an idea of what direction you might want to go in.
Although each different unit facility is going to have different ideas about its own business model, there is one thing that is important to remember about the storage unit business; give people what they need.
In other words, you have to make sure you have a wide range of different storage unit sizes at good prices and with easy access. If you can offer this, the rest should come together well.