Setting up Your First Storage Facility
To be a truly competitive moving company, you need to offer comprehensive service that covers all the things that customers need. This includes setting up your own storage facility.
Offering storage is a crucial aspect of your operation because of the following reasons:
- It’s an additional source of income if you offer it as an add-on service
- Self-storage is a very common practice that people have begun to embrace in the recent years due to the very limited space in urban areas
- You need a place to temporarily park your cargo whenever there are extreme weather conditions (storms, tornado, etc.) because your route may be impassable for a while
- Being able to offer storage is a sign of being a well-established company. People sometimes look for it specifically and failure to offer it may send potential clients away.
- Where will you place the items of people who fail to pay the remainder of the agreed upon fee? You as a company need storage for yourself too.
These are plenty of reasons on why you should start setting up your first storage facility soon. Now let’s talk about the things that you need to prepare.
What You Need to Prepare
Here are some of your options when creating this profitable addition to your business:
This is the very first thing that you need to consider. Ask yourself if your company is financially-prepared to purchase a new lot. You should also think hard on where you want your storage location to be. The most ideal area is one that’s smack in the middle of your usual travel route. However, for local operations, you can also have it near your main office.
Wooden crates are self-supporting structures that either come with or without sheathing. The strength of the container will depend on the strength of all its 6 sides (top, ends, sides). Basically, the strength of a wooden crate will be measured on how much weight it can carry once the top is already in place. Wooden crates are a great way to store awkwardly shaped or bulky items like furniture.
Most people prefer storing their household goods in vaults that can be locked safely. This way, nobody can know and see what’s inside. Take note that people also like it when they can visit their storage vaults and add things inside. Unlike with normal shipyard storage where it’s less client-friendly and the customers can’t stay long. A moving company can also add a premium price to vaults that offer second-floor access via an elevator, as well as climate-control facilities for the preservation of some items.
If you’re just starting out and are trying to build your own facility with a small budget, you can also use pallets (or skids). Pallets involve creating horizontal rows with multiple levels, like a metal rack. This is the cheapest option out there. Take note however that it doesn’t look appealing to customers and that it’s easier to get damaged.
When you opt to go for pallets, make sure to invest in forklift trucks as well.
Storage units are basically rooms with private access. This is the more expensive option but it is very comfortable and convenient for customers. Most of the time, customers are always willing to pay more for a bit of luxury and ease of use.
A Few Additional Reminders
Ensure that you also have the following at your new storage facility:
- office management staff whom you will be in constant communication with
- a good communication set-up between the storage facility and your main office
- handlers or crew members who are highly trained in handling the facility
- security system (CCTV Cameras for the entire lot, key-lock features for the vaults themselves, bomb-sniffing dogs, and so on)
- climate (temperature) control system
- municipal licenses and business permit(will depend on where your location is)
A storage facility can really boost your business and give you bigger revenues but before you jump into it, it’s essential to do some proper planning first.