If you are going in to the mini storage business, there are two main considerations. The land, and the building. Getting either one wrong will result in lower profits, lost business and higher costs.
Prefabricated metals kits are an ideal solution due to their low costs, easy expandability and fast deployment time.
In this guide you’ll find:
What's In This Article
Due to the increasing rate of urbanization in many countries is one of the main factors that has made mini-storage buildings increase in popularity. This means that there are more people living in urban areas, more renters and a bigger volume of people frequently moving and needing storage space.
This is the reason that storage buildings are growing in popularity as a business and building mini-storage buildings are an easy, cost-effective way to start a business providing much needed space to those seeking temporary or longer term storage solutions.
Due to many of its features, using prefab metal building kits to construct a mini-storage building business is a popular option.
What is a Prefab Metal Mini Storage Building?
We’ll start with the basics. What is a prefab metal mini storage building?
Prefab metal buildings kits are a popular alternative in construction today. The structure is prefabricated in a factory, where the individual pieces are assembled and then packaged up as kit and shipped to the location where the structure is to be built. This style of building makes construction easy and streamlined as the pieces are designed to precisely fit together in the construction process.
Prefab metal buildings are often preferred because of their cost-effectiveness. They arrive in a more complete form meaning the building pieces and components to assemble arrive in a kit making it very quick to build. This saves you a lot of money on construction and design costs. Additionally, you get all the benefits of metal, as it is a strong, durable, and resilient material.
These unique benefits are particularly applicable to storage units as they tend to follow uniform sizing and design standards making them even that much more streamlined to erect and operate. Next, let’s examine the main pros and cons of prefab metal storage buildings to help you decide whether they are a worthy investment for your storage business.
Pros & Cons of Mini Storage Building
In this section, we evaluate the pros and cons of metal storage units from the perspective of a business owner. Typically, those who are buying storage units are doing so intending to rent them out to customers. We’ll examine whether these units are a good investment, and the particular benefits they provide.
Metal storage units are affordable due to simple design. Their design is mostly standardized and simplistic compared to other, more complicated building styles which makes this style of business building quick and relatively easy to construct. Business owners appreciate they are able to save a lot of money in the design and construction process.
Additionally, the cost of steel is generally a lot lower than comparable building materials, such as wood and brick. While you are paying a premium for the prefab nature of the parts and this specific construction method, business owners still benefit from the lower cost of the raw materials.
When it comes to owning a business, it’s all about return on investment. If your initial investment is low, you have the potential to recoup that investment faster. Additionally, with the speed at which this style of building can be assembled and ready for use, it supports a faster return on your investment by providing the ability to commence the operations of your business faster.
Durable and Safe to Keep Belongings Secure
Metal is a highly durable building material and this is particularly important when you are providing storage units as your customers need to know that their belongings are safe and their unit is well protected from any break-ins.
Building a metal prefab storage unit means you’re using a hard and resilient building material and your units will be built to last decades if not longer. All the pieces fit together tightly, the building framing is made from steel and they are outfitted with doors that support heavy-duty locks to offer all the protection of superior storage lockers.
Steel is also resilient against many of the problems that are common to other building materials. Metal building materials are fire-resistant and able to withstand strong weather events, pests and rotting. Overall, you can be confident that your storage lockers offer superior protection; minimizing the potential of damage from other sources which provides a direct benefit to your business as your customers will feel confident their valuables are safe.
Customize to Size You Need
Although prefab storage buildings are standardized, there is plenty of room for customization. Prefab storage units come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and you can decide how many units you want and the exact dimensions of the units themselves.
This is an important consideration in deciding what kind of storage solutions you want to offer. Whether it’s smaller units for personal belongings or larger units for vehicles and equipment, prefab metal storage units can be adjusted to suit your needs.
You also have cosmetic choices. There is a variety of options for colour, finishing materials, windows and doors, and even interior specifications. And because prefab buildings have wide, empty wall-space, it is very easy to add insulation and offer more higher end storage units with heating and cooling.
The units are also easily expandable. If the business is booming, you can simply order more prefab metal building units which can efficiently be added to your existing units. You can easily order these new units in the same style and dimensions.
Prefab metal storage units are environmentally conscious due to their efficient insulation. The metal pieces are big and wide and fit together securely, preventing air loss throughout the unit. This is a huge benefit if you are offering heated or cooled storage units as you will save money on the business utility bills.
Additionally, because your units will be better insulated, they will also be more energy-efficient, which makes them more environmentally friendly. As well, metal is infinitely recyclable and building metal typically contains at least 25% recycled content within it. These are all selling points that you can use to appeal to potential customers.
Easy to Maintain
When it comes to running a storage unit business, one of the main business activities is maintaining the units themselves. It is your responsibility to fix any issues with the units and to ensure that the units remain a safe and secure place for customers to keep their belongings.
This is why so many entrepreneurs turn to metal storage units. They are resistant to fire, water, rot, and many pest problems. While some of these issues could still arise within the units themselves, you won’t have to worry as much about maintenance costs related to the unit. Since maintenance is one of the biggest costs associated with running this business, you want to keep this cost as low as possible.
Steel buildings are efficient for maximizing the interior space of your mini-storage building overall and allows the most beneficial number of units to be created. The metal is strong and can stand on its own with minimal help from support beams and columns which may be necessary with other building materials. This makes for thinner walls and less interior fixtures that result in less space.
Overall, this allows you to provide more of what you are selling – storage space! You want to maximize your service offering, that means maximizing storage potential within the building overall. Many prefab manufacturers have past clients seeking the same business goals with their building and can provide guidance on specific and successful interior layouts and building sizes to consider so that you’re maximizing your return on investment.
Great for Businesses
Overall, prefab metal buildings are the ideal choice for running a storage unit business. You pay less money up-front in design and construction costs, and you are assured a quality product to offer your customers.
Operating a storage unit business is primarily about providing your customers space to store their belongings, but also providing them with a sense of security that their belongings will be safe. Prefab steel mini storage buildings meet all these criteria and more. They are a wise choice from a business standpoint.
Choosing to invest in a prefab metal mini-storage building will also provide an enduring investment due to the durability of the building material and the benefits it can offer your customers.
As with any decision, it’s important to take time to review the good and the possible “bad” or aspects that may present challenges to your building plans. Let’s look at some potential downsides of these buildings to help you make the best choice for your own business. Here, we take an objective look at the drawbacks.
Up-Front Investment Might Be Higher
The primary downside with prefab metal buildings is that the up-front investment may be a bit higher. This is because you are essentially paying a premium to have all the materials prefabricated to your specifications all at one time so you pay more than if you were to buy the raw materials yourself, bit by bit as your project progresses.
You need to balance the slightly higher up-front investment against the money and time that you save with prefab metal buildings. You pay more for the materials at the start, but you also save on design and construction costs. This is a trade-off that you have to evaluate before making your decision.
Mini Storage Building Pricing
One of the most common inquiries surrounding mini storage buildings is how much they cost. Unfortunately, there is not a straight and simple answer to the question of, “How much does it cost to build?”. It depends on the specifications of the building itself, including the overall size dimensions, how many buildings your mini-storage will have, any interior finishing, materials used, door and window options, and insulation options.
The truth is that the cost of the building depends on the type of building you want and whether your needs are more or less extensive. There are some guidelines to get a good idea of the cost. Below, we’ve included a general pricing chart to give you a basic idea, based on the size of the unit.
Average Mini Storage Prices
|Mini storage building||$10-20 per sqft|
|Windows & doors||$1-2 per sqft|
|6″ Foundation||$5 per sqft|
|Fittings||$20-80 per sqft|
|Construction||$2-4 per sqft|
As you can see, mini prefab storage buildings are highly affordable! If you manage to fill these units with customers, you can recoup your investment in a very short period.
Of course, only use this chart as a general reference. To get a full quote to your exact specifications, click here.
Storage Business Opportunities
Before we wrap up our comprehensive guide, let’s address the most important question – are metal storage units right for you?
Truthfully, it’s more important whether you think this is a solid business opportunity that would be a valuable addition to the location you have in mind. Storage unit businesses are all about selling space to people who need it, and there are a few reasons why this particular business appeals to so many people.
First, space is at a premium these days. Rent and housing prices are skyrocketing and people simply can’t afford the type of space that they could in generations past. As a result, they need a place to store valuables that they can’t imagine parting with but that also perhaps don’t fit in their smaller homes space. Storage units are in demand, and they present a lucrative opportunity for savvy entrepreneurs in areas such as larger urban centers that might have less space availability overall.
Second, this is a relatively low-maintenance business. Most of the investments are made upfront, such as the cost to purchase land and then construct the units. After that, your efforts are spent marketing to new customers and maintaining or expanding the storage units. Aside from that, it’s a relatively straightforward business and the expansion potential is vast
Finally, it’s a relatively stable business. Demand doesn’t fluctuate with the seasons, and there aren’t going to be technological advancements to replace extra space. You can be confident in the fact that demand will stay relatively consistent and may even increase over time if rentals in your area are in high demand or you live in a more densely populated area.
The downside to all this is that barriers to entry are also low. Because it is such a simple business to set up and run, it attracts many different entrepreneurs so it is recommended that before you consider setting up a storage business, survey your area to evaluate the level of competition.
Popularity of Mini-Storage Across the United States
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