It’s a DIY world out there. Unless it’s a franchise, pretty much every small business works on the DIY principle. Self-storage is a popular way to get into business for yourself. What’s great about this industry is that it just keeps growing.

There is over 2.3 million square feet of self-storage space offered by businesses in the United States. Nearly 9% of all American households rent a storage unit, and the annual revenue is more than $22 million. What’s even more encouraging is that the occupancy rate for these self-storage businesses remains above 87%.

How to Get Started

These statistics show that owning a self-storage business can be lucrative. Even so, it’s important to identify and understand the costs and risks before you jump in. It’s the only way you can develop a realistic business plan.

There are plenty of costs to track, but the two biggest expenses are usually going to be the storage buildings, and the land to put them on.


A leading self-storage consultancy and development company called the Parham Group estimates that the current average cost of land for this usage is about $3.25 per square foot. The organization also points out that you will only be able to use about 45% of the land you purchase for your self-storage business—which puts the real cost of the land closer to $6.82 per leasable square foot.

It’s also important to remember that land prices vary depending on the level of surrounding development. To put that into perspective, it’s estimated that 32% of self-storage units currently are in urban areas, while 52% are in suburban areas. The remaining 16% are out in rural locations.

The great leveler here is that you’ll price your rates depending on location. As a rule of thumb, most self-storage companies have rates per square foot that are about the same as apartment complexes in the area.


The other major expense are the self-storage buildings. One of the most cost-effective approaches is to use pre-engineered metal buildings. Besides being less expensive than traditional construction, our designs for use in businesses like self-storage units feature clear span ceilings. This increases the amount of usable storage space for customers, and it helps to justify the pricing.

Our design also allows for easy insulation, which allows you to offer climate controlled self-storage options. This lets you charge even more for your self-storage space.

Our hybrid steel truss buildings are also extremely maintenance-free. The special truss design makes them durable and strong, and your customers won’t have to worry about heavy snow loads and high winds. Miracle Truss® structures are so well built that they come with a 50-year structural warranty.

There’s a whole lot more to consider if you’re interested in going into business for yourself by opening up a self-storage company. You’ll have operating costs, advertising and marketing expenses, even staffing to budget for.

One thing’s for certain, though. You’ll have more operating capital to push at these expenses if you approach your building and construction by working with Miracle Truss®. Request a free quote from us. There’s an area on the form where we ask for your location and building use. Tell us it’s for a self-storage business and we’ll be able to help you with accurate pricing estimates.

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