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How to Start a Storage Business

No matter what size facility you plan, you need professional advice from those who understand self storage — a top-quality, single source self storage building manufacturer like BETCO, with the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process. BETCO has developed a Business Starter Kit to help you get started.


Because We Are a Single Source Manufacturer

Instead of contacting a variety of suppliers, you get everything you need to start a storage business from a single source. You deal with fewer people. You save time and expense by getting your products and services including building design, engineering, component manufacturing, and building construction from BETCO. There is no duplication of expenses and if you have questions or concerns, one company – BETCO – has all the answers.

Site Selection

Self storage is a local retail business, limited to a very specific area surrounding your facility site. Your site must be conveniently located and highly visible for potential customers in your market.

Whether you select a site or already own a piece of property, first you must determine if it is a good location for a self storage business:

  • Is the site the right size and configuration to accommodate a storage building or buildings?
  • Does your property have good visibility on a major thoroughfare with a high traffic count?
  • Is it easily accessible?

If you find a site that seems suitable, you may want to put an “option to buy” on it — this ties up the property while you’re going through the other stages of the process.

Then a market analysis will provide you with the necessary information to decide whether you should proceed with your site selection or stop consider another location. 

Market Analysis

A market analysis is vital to the your success in your market. It will reveal demographic information about the type of people who live and work in your market:

  • What age and income?
  • How many are renters?
  • How many are homeowners?
  • Who is married and who is single?
  • What percentage of rooftops are residential or business?
  • What percentage are students or military personnel?

This demographic profile of a market will also determine how you run and market your business, identify where your competition is, and indicate if the demand for your services exists in your market.

Feasibility Study

This study is more like a business plan, covering very specific information:

  • Development costs
  • Financial analyses
  • Projected costs and anticipated returns
  • Traffic flow
  • Competition
  • Demographic reports
  • Zoning
  • Permits
  • Unit mix

The feasibility study will ultimately reveal whether or not you should proceed with your plans to start a self storage business in that location. If you do proceed with the site, you need to make a final commitment to the site chosen. If you have optioned the property, you will need to finalize items such as soils testing, zoning, permitting, and title.

To generate this information, BETCO will be glad to suggest consultants who perform self storage feasibility studies and will also provide you with additional insights about how to start a self storage business.


You should have both the market analysis and feasibility study when you apply for financing.

If you know a local lender or a community bank, start your search for financing there. However, there are national lenders who specialize in self storage development loans.