To understand the market share of mobile storage, it’s essential to understand the three core industries it services. In any geographic area, mobile storage services the needs of the existing $22 billion self-storage market, the $16.5 billion moving industry and uncalculated need for the customers and commercial businesses that need temporary storage on their site.
Each mobile storage operator has different goals and objectives. Some may want to build a very large standalone business while others may want to simply add some additional containers to augment their existing self storage or moving business. There are no right or wrong answers. It’s what’s right for you.
Think of it as building a house. Some people choose to live in very large elaborate houses and some in smaller more modest homes. There are numerous reasons why people make these decisions. Understanding the reasons can help you achieve a better understanding of your mobile storage business and the costs associated with it. Setting realistic goals and carefully planning for your businesses success should include a close examination of the following:
- What size mobile storage business do you want to build?
- Will you store containers outside at a secure lot or inside a warehouse?
- Will you hire a driver/office manager?
- How quickly do you want to grow?
- What are your long term objectives? Cash flow, pass it on to your kids, sell your business?
Once you have a clear vision for the type of business (house) you would like to build, then it’s necessary to build out the income and expense modeling for it. Don’t worry, MI-BOX will help you. Using similar sized existing MI-BOX dealers, we can use our cost modeling to help you build out accurate projections and expenses for your business (home). Understanding the correct numbers for your business is essential to achieving your goals.
Market share is the percentage of a market (defined in terms of either units or revenue) accounted for by a specific entity. Look closely to the self storage and moving data available to grasp the enormous size of this market share in your area. Don’t forget to look at the On Site market opportunities as well.
- Focusing on market share does not necessarily lead to maximum proﬁts.
- Instead of setting market share objectives, ﬁrms should focus on identifying the most proﬁtable segments to serve, and ﬁnding ways of proﬁtably serving them while protecting themselves from price wars.
- Market share is tracked through parameters including overall market share, segment share, relative share, annual fluctuation rate of market share, and the specific market sharing of customers.
The average service area of a mobile storage franchise can be up to an hours drive time from your facility. That increases your market share exponentially. Make sure to include data from your entire service market. Just think, how many self storage and moving business are located within an hour of you. If you can service that entire market, your chances of reaching your lease up goals increase dramatically. Your chances of renting more containers at a faster pace increase as well.
In most serviceable markets, a mobile storage operator would only need less than 1% of the overall market share to fill 400+ mobile storage units.
MI-BOX will help you asses the potential of any market, understand the real numbers behind your business and work with you to develop a strategic marketing plan to achieve your goals.
Market Service Area
The general service area for a self-storage facility is about 2-4 miles in most populated areas and extends to 3-5 in less populated areas. The market service area for a mobile storage operator is generally about 30-45 miles or up to a 1 hour drive time from their facility. Increasing the service area dramatically increases the potential customers needed to fill a mobile storage operation. So the market service area should be closely tied to the goals of each facility. Each mobile storage facility will have limitations as to the amount of containers they can house at capacity, so the market service area size for each mobile storage business may be different as well.
There are a host of factors that need to be examined when determining the feasibility of introducing mobile storage to any market. Gathering information on your market conditions will leave you better prepared to make a confident decision. Some of the conditions include:
- Competitive Analysis – other mobile storage operators and prices charged for their services
- Self Storage Demand – facilities in market service area, climate controlled, unit mix, occupancy levels, locations, prices charged for their services
- Moving Industry- Major van lines, independents, loading labor services
- Housing Data – housing units, apartments, condos, single family, market conditions
- Population- size, stability, growth rates
- Service Businesses – contractors, restoration companies, restaurants, remodeling companies
- Location – access to freeways and major roadways, traffic patterns, rental rates
Market Resources and Information
MI-BOX is rapidly expanding our franchise network throughout the United States and Canada. We believe the key to good decision making comes from proper education. We want our dealers to know as much as we do about mobile storage and the market we service.
Here are some interesting facts to get you started:
- There are now approximately 48,500 “primary” self storage facilities in the United States as of year end 2012; another 4,000 are “secondary” facilities (“primary” means that self storage is the “primary” source of business revenue – US Census Bureau)
- There are approximately 59,500 self storage facilities worldwide as of Q4 – 2012; there are more than 3,000 in Canada and more than 1,000 in Australia
- While Canada has about 2 to 2.5 square feet per capita in self storage, Americans account for closer to 9 square feet, studies have shown.
- Canada Day is one of the busiest days of the year for moving. In fact, 8.96% of all American households currently rent a self storage unit (10.85 million of the 113.3 million US HHs in 2013; that has increased from 1 in 17 US HHs (6%) in 1995 (18 years ago).
- Most Canadians move between mid-June and early September. Just in these three months, the moving industry makes up 70 per cent of the year’s business
- 83.9% of all US counties (or 2,634 out of 3,141) have at least one “primary” self storage facility.
- Did you know…The annual mileage of North American U-Haul trucks, trailers and auto-transport would move a family to the moon and back again more than 9.9 times per day, every day of the year and could also travel around the Earth more than 177 times per day, every day of the year.
Here are a few FREE helpful downloadable fact sheets to get you started:
Mobile storage is quickly becoming the preferred way for consumers to move and store. Consumers are realizing the benefits of being able to take their time to load and unload a mobile storage container right at their front door. The old way of renting a truck, packing all your stuff in it and driving to a self-storage facility, unloading it, only to do it all over again when you need your belongings back is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
People today are consumer-oriented around convenience and time savings. Mobile storage puts the consumer in charge of their schedule and gives them extra time to properly plan for any moving or storage need.
Many companies have tried to enter the mobile storage but only a few have succeeded in building out a North American presence. Many major van lines have incorporated it into their services. Freight carriers are now using it as a more efficiently way to move products.
Mobile Storage has expanded to every major market in the United States, Canada, Australia and other parts of the industrialized world. It’s meeting the demands and needs of our more mobile society and aging population. Experts have predicted it will double in size over the next 5-7 years. It’s no longer a question of if mobile storage works? But rather, the question is will it work for you?