When is the Best Time to Open a Self Storage Facility?

 

As an operator of a self storage facility, it is important to make every decision strategically. To be as successful as possible, there is no room for a lackadaisical approach. This doesn’t just apply to day-to-day operations. Intentional business practices begin the day you commit to building construction.

In fact, the first strategic decision to be made as a business owner is when exactly to open for business. There are pros and cons to opening a self storage facility in each season. The decision is yours, but we have some food for thought to get you pointed in the right direction.

Opening a Self Storage Facility in the Winter

Winter is not a prime season for all industries. In fact, many vertical markets are negatively impacted in the winter months. Luckily, self storage facilities can actually perform very well in the winter.

The pros of opening a self storage facility in the winter include

  • Quick boost of renters who need to store their holiday items
  • Renters looking for climate-controlled storage in the frigid months
  • If your facility has the space, renters will be looking for RV, boat or other large storage for their summer toys

If your facility offers shipping options as well, as many self storage businesses do, you can really market those services for the holiday rush to help boost initial profit margins.

In some locales, however, the winter may be very slow and you may experience trouble getting renters into units.

Outside of the practical benefits of opening a self storage business during the winter months, there are other benefits. Winter is a great time to focus marketing efforts to build brand awareness. While families spend more time inside, on their phones or televisions, marketers have a more captive audience.

Opening a Self Storage Facility in the Spring

Spring offers a wealth of opportunity for self storage business owners.

Spring is a popular time for moving, renovating and cleaning. As the chill of winter falls away and activity begins to increase, self storage business owners have a fantastic opportunity for capturing some of that activity.

Spring is typically one of the most prosperous times for self storage businesses – more so than summer and certainly more so than the winter. Business owners that will rely on a foundational customer base will have the best chance at gaining one in the spring. However, it is important to note that because of the high-activity levels in the spring, competitors will likely offer spring-specific deals that could make other facilities less attractive to renters. Owners that don’t want to compete for traffic might have better luck opening a facility at another time of the year.

Opening a Self Storage Facility in the Summer

While not as active for self storage businesses as the spring, the summer is a hot season for renters and can be especially lucrative for specific self storage businesses.

By the time the summer rolls around, most seriously-interested storage unit renters have found a facility already. So, opening a self storage business in the summer might be met with a deficit of customers.

There is one exception, however: college students. College students move and store their belongings in the summer more than any other time. Owners of self storage facilities located in close proximity to a college campus can greatly benefit from college students moving into and out of town over the summer months.

Opening a Self Storage facility in the Fall

Objectively, fall might be the worst season to open a self storage business. However, with some smart marketing, it can be a very profitable season.

The fall months are sort of the “predecessor” to the winter, holiday months. If self storage business owners target their marketing, they may be able to secure the holiday customer base before their competitors.

Another pro for opening a self storage facility in the fall is that you can likely count on your renters to stay throughout the winter and spring. Most people don’t want to be caught moving in the colder months, so each renter that is secured will pay their monthly rent for at least a few months after.

To learn more about starting a self storage business, and the best time of year to do so, contact BETCO Inc, a single source self storage specialist since 1984.