Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Self Storage

We are planning to offer on rent storage or warehouse space as small as 10 to 20 sq ft. Examples can be someone who wants to store his household goods or old furniture. Store food grains. Keep his car for a few days when he is on a holiday with his family. Small retailers who can’t afford large warehouse space can rent small enclosure for a nominal fee.
We are also planning to offer lockers in which people can store their valuables like jewellery and valuable documents when they are away from home.
Self storage is a booming industry in USA and is used by people to store household goods, boats, motorcycles etc. Enlisted military men use them to store their belongings when they are on overseas deployment.

Current Situation
Currently there is no storage service offered in India where a person can store his household belongings when he is away. Till now people used to request their neighbors to keep an eye on the house and car.
We can offer a service in which we can store his household goods and car for a specified period of time and charge a nominal fee. We can also offer a pick up and drop facility to transport the goods to the warehouse location. People keep their cars with friends or in the office when they are away from city.

Facility Layout
A large warehouse of more than 10,000 sq ft situated at the outskirts of the city or within city limits would be ideal for this venture. An advantage of having the warehouse within city limits is to avoid any conflict with local Octroi authorities on the goods being transported.
Small enclosures made with fencing nets with gates would be put up. These gates can be locked by the person who takes the space on rent. These would be multistoried, so that vertical empty space can be utilized. Fork lifts or suitable pallets would be made available to make it easy to transport goods within the warehouse.
A security agency can be hired to oversee the facility and provide security. We can even outsource the running of the warehouse to the security agency.
The customer would be allowed access to his storage space only during office hours and week days. There can be an option of having no electrical connection at all. A mobile flood light can be arranged and plugged into nearest plug point.
Access to storage space can be done during office hours. Security guards can be placed depending on the size of the units. Even the entire management can be outsourced to security guard agency.

Example Situations
1. Store cars or motorcycles when the family is on holiday outside the city or travelling for a duration of more than a few days.
2. Overseas job posting: IT employees can store they belongings when they are posted abroad for months. They do have an option of transporting their belongings to their home but this may not always be feasible as cost of transport and want of space at home may be an issue.
3. Temporary Storage for Inventory: Small companies can hire space for a few days to a few months to store their inventory. They need not hire a warehouse and pay for space they are not using when they don’t need it.

Services Offered
1. A tempo can be arranged to pick up and drop goods from the doorstep of customers.
2. Storage can be offered for a few days to months.
3. Small and large lockers would be available to store small valuable items.
4. Delayed delivery option can be exercised by customers who wants the goods to be stored for some time and then to be delivered at a certain location.
5. Can act as a temporary storage or collection point for a few hours. This service needs to have special loading docks built.

Marketing Challenges
This service has to marketed and advertized to reach the targeted audience. Initially the retail market can be targeted. Significant amount of money has to be spent on making a brand image and making the service known.

Many established courier and less than truck load (LTL) transport companies can start offering such services.
Established warehouse owners may not want to rent out space at a retail level as staff costs will be high and service quality may be an issue.
New entrants can come into business as operating and maintenance costs are low.

“Tata Motor’s Nano will have a rippling effect on other industries as well. As the number of car owners in India increase, the demand for parking and car storage will also increase significantly. The Indian self storage industry and marketplace should take notice of this new storage trend and look at the possibilities ahead. Parking garages, automobile self storage and streetside parking will be prime real estate for self storage owners.” (Source: www.selfstorageblog.com)

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