6 Keys to the Self-Storage Business

Self-Storage Business - Complete Controller

In the 1960s, self-storage development started with pioneers, who identified the increasing demand for commercial and residential storage. They were the real estate developers who produced the stage for the self-storage industry.

The self-storage industry is not much different from industries that deal with demand and supply economics. Commercial and residential storage have increased the facilities that supply them. The increased growth of the industry has contributed to increased public awareness of the product’s personal and economic advantages. The continuous increase in demand is teeming with excellent potential, and it has made self-storage one of the leading growth industries since 1978.Download A Free Financial Toolkit

The importance of the self-storage industry is undeniable. Commercial development of the industry started back in the 1960s. Real estate will always be one of the significant assets for households, governments, and businesses. They are affected by the economic law of demand and supply; however, opening a self-storage business is never a guaranteed success.

Key Factors of a Self-Storage Business

The essential factors you must consider in a self-storage business model include the following:

Cash Flow Analysis

A cash flow analysis helps determine the business’s total profit, which is an integral part of any business. Various factors must get consideration. They include a considerable amount of leasable space, projected percentage of occupancy, loss due to vacancy collection problems, and the income of gross annual rents.

Development Costs

Assessing developmental costs and considering total costs is essential before making any significant decisions. Bookkeeping is useful when tracking any information that is related to the considerable expenses related to the business. The area of the purchased land should not reflect the full amount of the leasable space upon completion.  The significant factors that help determine the leasable coverage include utilities, easements, building codes, and physical land features. The figures linked to the construction costs are entirely dependent on the type of facility. Almost 67% of the development budget goes towards construction and comprises equipment, labor costs, and many other items. Self-storage businesses require more than half of the developmental costs of multi-family properties, including co-housing properties and apartments.LastPass – Family or Org Password Vault

Financial Analysis

Financial analysis is a crucial part of a self-storage business. A cash flow analysis helps in the determination of the ROI just after the development costs. The target occupancy percentage must be developed and is usually around 90%. Other than the target occupancy percentage, the break-even occupancy should cover the debt services and operational costs. Self-storage businesses believe that the occupancy rate should be between 60%-72%. A low break-even percentage is always ideal for investors because it provides an extra cushion for fluctuations in the market.

End Users of the Self-Storage Business

An increase in business-minded individuals mainly powers the self-storage industry. These are the parts of every typical start-up and require a mobile workspace and temporary storage. Companies like e-commerce stores make use of self-storage units as an essential part of their inventory facilities. Other than the commercial market, many people move into new homes and avail self-storage units to store their belongings, whether short or long. The market developed rental rates for many different types of self-storage consumers, and they operate within these rates. These rates are essential to competitive sales of self-storage units. A self-storage business is beneficial as it is one of the most significant investments compared to other major real estate developments. The growth of online companies and start-ups helps expand the number of self-storage businesses and the industry. CorpNet. Start A New Business Now


Rents are a vital part of a self-storage business. The average annual rent charges for real estate were surveyed in a large number of studies. Self-storage units are similar to multi-family and real estate properties regarding rent prices. The rents and costs of storage services are as follows:

  • Multi-family: $7.5 to $12 per square foot
  • Offices: $14 to $24 per square foot
  • Retail: $16 to $20 per square foot
  • Self-storage: $6.5 to $12 per square foot


The self-storage industry emerged in the 1960s to meet the rising demand for storage solutions and has become a vital player in the real estate market. Its growth aligns with the principles of supply and demand, with facilities expanding to match storage needs. Key critical considerations for a self-storage business include cash flow analysis, development costs, and financial analysis, catering to a diverse range of end-users, from mobile workspaces to homeowners requiring temporary or long-term storage. Rental rates are competitive, varying based on factors like location and facility type. With the continued growth in demand for storage solutions, the self-storage industry remains a dynamic and compelling real estate market segment.

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