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Mini-Warehouse Expansion- Part 2

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June 1, 2016

Ways to Increase Profits for a Self-Storage Facility

Part 1 of this series on mini-warehouse expansion covered the things to consider before committing to enlarging your self-storage operation. Now let’s look at some of the ways to accomplish your expansion.

Self-Storage Curb Appeal

In real estate, curb appeal is second only to location in importance.

self storage expansion 3In any retail operation— including self-storage businesses— appearances do matter. An attractive, upscale facility invites customers in. If it appears you take care of the facility, it follows they can trust you to take care of their stored items. A shabby, run-down mini-warehouse operation drives customers away.

Before you consider expanding your business, decide if your current units need renovating for a fresh look.

Go beyond aesthetics, too. Check rival facilities. Do you need to upgrade security to compete in your marketplace? Adding alarms, increasing lighting, and installing security cameras boosts customer confidence in your operation.

Does your location still work for you?

Towns and cities change constantly. New commercial and residential developments start popping up on one side of town, while another area begins to atrophy. Where you once enjoyed sufficient traffic, you may now find diminished circulation of potential customers.

Does your current location allow room for expansion? If not, you may want to move to a better location, or consider expanding to a second facility in a prime area.

Adding Storage Units

If your current site still brings in the business— and provides room for further growth, the next logical step is adding more storage units.

There are many ways to increase available rental space.

Do smaller units stay vacant? Reconfigure the smaller storage spaces. Combine two smaller units into a larger rental space.

Do 10’x10’ rentals make up the lion’s share of your income? Build more of those.

Does your lot limit the amount of land available for growth? Check into two-story storage buildings to double rentable space.

Using mezzanine floors, two-story mini-warehouses maximize space. Installing elevators keeps the second floor convenient and accessible for clientele.

Many customers today willingly pay 15% to 35% more for climate-controlled units. Here are a few tips for climate-controlled units:

  • Design these structures for access from interior corridors, not exterior openings.
  • Keep humidity at 50% or less to protect items from mold and mildew.
  • Climate-controlled storage requires an average of one ton of air conditioning/ heating for every 1,400-1,600 sq. ft. of floor space. (Check with a local engineer for exact recommendations in your area.)
  • Include premium insulation packages on climate-controlled buildings to keep operating expenses low.
  • In hotter climates, consider adding cool-coated metal roofing to cut air conditioning costs and 15%.

Recreational and Marine Storage

Many newer residential developments today discourage property owners from storing boats and RVs on their property. These outdoor lovers are a prime target for self-storage facilities.

If RV and boat use is popular in your area, you may want to include larger units for their storage. Here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Recreational vehicle and boat rentals generally make extremely stable, long-term tenants.
  • RV/boat space rental takes up a lot of available land and typically garner smaller fees-per-square-foot than other storage.
  • To allow easy maneuverability, RV and boat rental units need a 50’ to 60’-wide aisle.
  • RV/boat storage buildings cost more to build that other storage units.
  • Boats and recreational vehicles represent a substantial investment for their owners. Consequently, security is paramount to these customers.
  • While open-air, canopy-style storage buildings are less expensive to build, most boat and RV owners prefer the greater protection of a completely enclosed rental space.
  • RV and boat owners demand complete 24/7 access.
  • The average size of a recreational vehicle unit is 14’x40’, or 560 sq. ft.
  • Doors on RV units should be 14’ in height to accommodate all RVs.
  • Boat storage units, on average, measure 12’x15’.

Building a Mini-Warehouse Business with the Strength of Steel

Discriminating self-storage facilities choose pre-engineered steel buildings from RHINO Steel Building Systems. Over half of all one and two-story commercial structures are framed with steel— as well as 90% of all industrial building projects.

Prefabricated metal buildings from RHINO are particularly well suited to self-storage facilities. Our structures erect more quickly, withstand Nature’s vagaries better, require little maintenance, and hold their value decades longer than other types of construction.

RHINO structures create exterior access mini-warehouse buildings in any length. In addition, RHINO offers wide, clear-span structures for interior-accessed self-storage buildings.

You may order these RHINO options with your self-storage building purchase:

Cool-coated steel roofing for warmer climates
Extra-thick insulation for climate-controlled buildings
• Large-throated gutters and downspouts
• Mezzanine second floors for two-story storage facilities
Overhead doors in a variety of styles, colors, and sizes
• Personnel doors
• Skylights
• Wide range of metal building colors
• Wind-rated doors for coastal areas

When building or expanding your self-storage operation, choose the premiere steel building system with the affordable price; choose RHINO.

Call now. RHINO’s knowledgeable and expert steel building specialists are available to answer all questions and assist in planning your self-storage or other construction project. Speak to a RHINO specialist at 888.320.7466.

- by Bruce Brown,
Steel Building Systems, Inc

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