Skip to main content

Starting a self storage business can appear to be a daunting process, with numerous parts to consider in order to get the business fully underway. So where to start?

Through our experience, we tend to see similar questions crop up, so we’ve collated them in seven initial considerations you should have relatively clear in your mind, in order to have your new self storage centre up-and-running as quickly as possible.

1. Where is a good place to locate a self storage site?

Having a well populated town within a relatively short distance has always been a mainstay for picking the perfect location, but it’s also worth taking the time to research and new and upcoming residential developments within that catchment area.

Similarly, being close to local amenities such as retails parks and supermarkets can be of benefit where potential customers can see your signage when passing by.

2. What type of ground conditions are best suited for a self storage site?

In an ideal world, a flat, concrete/tarmac site would be perfect for your self storage site, but of course this is not always possible.

Keep in mind that your customers will not want to wade through muddy puddles to get to their storage unit, so a hardstanding base with good drainage is a good general guide.

Having your containers level and true is also crucial to ensure that the functionality of their doors are not affected.

3. Will I need planning permission?

A question we get asked a lot at Storage on Site when planning new self storage centres!

While many consider it a grey area, we always advise that planning permission is arranged prior to commencement of delivery of your containers. Check with your local authorities for what steps you need to take for your new, or change of use, application. Need help? We can help guide you in the right direction.

4. Should I use new or used containers?

Our advice would be to order ‘one trip’ new containers for your self storage site.

Using self storage graded containers with their increased amount of vents, wipeable flooring, easy opening doors and uniformed colours, will show your storage customers your commitment to high quality and the most secure storage.

5. What size containers should be used for self storage centres?

The most common size for self storage centres are our 20ft long x 8ft wide containers, commonly known as 160 square foot.  This size of these units can be easily described to storage customers as the size of a standard garage.

Also growing in popularity are the smaller 8ft (~60sq ft) and 10ft (80sq ft) containers, allowing centres to diversify their product range and opening their site to a larger market of storage customers with different requirements.

6. Could container units be stacked to maximise space?

Due to space constraints and land availability issues, a common solution in container self storage sites is to add a second storey. This ensures you maximise your land footprint even further, as well as the option to diversify your unit size offering. 

Storage on Site are extremely well versed in creating bespoke second level units, also known as ‘toppers’, so get in touch for advice.

Knowing how many containers a site can accommodate initially is key to projecting revenue and the feasibility of a project. Our team will be on hand to answer questions that arise during the whole of your set up or expansion process.

Ryan VickerySales Manager

7. What about the competition?

Self storage is a growing industry, so new and existing sites should expect competition in their local area. Research the potential competition thoroughly and use your findings to guide you on your pricing, unique selling points (USPs) and local market viability. Learn from their errors and develop on what they are doing well. Healthy competition usually dictates that demand is good within the area.

At Storage on Site, we pride ourselves on having supplied and partnered many successful self storage sites over many years.

We are always happy to offer our in-depth self storage centre expertise with new clients or existing, by introducing a full on-site introductory service. This includes design site planning, introductions to experts in required sectors, and a unique finance scheme.

From the initial contact, one of our expert self storage team will visit your proposed site to design a site plan to with the goal to maximise revenue from the usable land. This live site plan will fully take into account our knowledge of container size and types, their feasibility for use in self storage, and your preferences.   

Alongside the site plan, we will also offer information on up-to-date advice on security, software requirements, marketing your business and pricing. Storage on Site works alongside a network of industry professionals, who we can make informal and non-obligation introductions to.

The final part of our self storage turnkey solution is our finance package, created specifically with self storage businesses in mind. For a minimum of just 10 units, we can offer a bespoke package to allow the start or growth of your self storage business.

Whatever stage your self storage centre is, Storage on Site want to be your long term partner. Offering a true turnkey package with our expert team establishes SOS as the first choice container supplier in the self storage market.

Neil VickeryManaging Director

For further information or to get the ball rolling on your own self storage centre, please call 023 8033 2266 or email