There are lots of guides out there on how to start a self-storage business, this is an attempt to synthesize the best of them into some general tips and ideas. Here are two that I looked at before deciding to write this article, if you want a more in depth look. Ultimately, there is no Internet guide that will replace the mix of business acumen, hard work, and luck that will make your business successful. And there are some estimates that say as many as 80% of all startups will fail within their first year-and-a-half.

I don’t mean to scare anyone away because business ownership can be very fun and rewarding; it’s pretty great when you get to be your own boss, but don’t underestimate the challenges that small business ownership presents. One way to think of it is like this— if someone else came to you with your business plan, would you invest in it? If this answer is no, then you probably want to think about coming up with a better business plan.

The first thing to come up with is a solid business plan. You’re going to be your own biggest investor, so it makes sense to come up with an airtight pitch. Pretend you’re going on Shark Tank or a similar show, you want a business plan you can’t say no to. Your business plan should include an analysis of the need for, and potential growth of, your business. If the market is already saturated with similar businesses, you probably want to come up with a different idea. The Self Storage business, for instance, is resistant to economic ups and downs, and existing storage unit software makes managing the business easier for both the business veteran and the rookie.

This is just a broad example, you need to spend lots of time doing research and getting to know the needs of your community to decide if there is really a need for your kind of business. Once you’ve determined that need, you need to find out how and where you’re going to fill it. After you’ve come up with an airtight business plan, you’re probably going to need an accountant and a lawyer. If you have experience with accounting for your own business and wrangling with the red tape of starting a business, then you may be able to go it on your own, but most small business owners will have enough on their hands that delegating responsibilities to more experienced professionals will be a solid investment. Once you have a clear business plan, a solid financial plan, and have all the technicalities out of the way you can actually look forward to opening day! If you leave this article with any advice, remember to have a solid plan, clearly stated goals, and clear business objectives. Good luck out there!