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Unlock Profitable Growth: Top Storage Unit Franchise Opportunities in 2024

Updated: Apr 23

Seeking the right storage unit franchise opportunities in a competitive market can be daunting. As an entrepreneur looking to capitalize on the growth in the storage industry, it’s crucial to assess which franchises align with emerging trends and offer solid profitability. This article steers you through the selection process, highlighting critical financial factors and successful operational models to ease your entry into the lucrative world of storage franchising.

Key Takeaways

  • The storage unit franchise market is varied and profitable, with opportunities ranging from traditional self-storage facilities to innovative mobile storage and comprehensive storage solution franchises, fueled by high average occupancy rates and a robust demand for space management.

  • Prospective storage unit franchisees must carefully assess investment costs, franchise fees, financial requirements, market research, and the balance between compliance and operational flexibility when choosing a franchise opportunity.

  • Important storage unit franchises in 2024 include UNITS Moving and Portable Storage, Storage Authority, and Go Mini’s, each offering distinct services and operational models to cater to evolving consumer storage needs and preferences.

Exploring Storage Unit Franchise Opportunities

The storage unit franchise market presents a diverse array of opportunities that cater to the growing demand for space management solutions. In 2024, entrepreneurs are presented with options that range from traditional self-storage facility franchises to mobile storage franchises, and comprehensive storage solutions franchises. The appeal of these opportunities is reinforced by the impressive fact that self-storage facilities in the US typically enjoy an average occupancy rate of around 90%, illustrating a robust demand that spells profitability for savvy investors.

Within these opportunities, there’s a spectrum of services offered that appeal to various customer needs and preferences. For instance, the moving industry, which includes services from companies like UNITS Moving and Portable Storage, has shown a remarkable revenue growth trajectory, surpassing $18 billion in 2017 with continued expansion. This is buoyed by the fact that the average American moves more than 11 times in their lifetime, creating a sustained need for moving and portable storage services. These factors collectively contribute to the combined revenue of over $42 billion in sectors such as:

  • self-storage

  • on-site storage

  • self-service moving

  • inter-franchise moving

Self-Storage Facility Franchises

When considering self-storage facility franchises, one encounters the traditional model that has evolved significantly over the years. Pioneers like GarageTown USA have revolutionized this sector by transitioning from standard rental models to offering oversized condominium storage units that customers can own rather than rent. This innovative concept was founded in 2008, and it provides a historical context to the evolution of self-storage facility franchises, which have been adapting to meet the changing demands of residential and commercial customers.

These facilities, including traditional self storage facilities, typically offer a range of storage units that cater to the needs of individuals looking to declutter, businesses requiring extra space for inventory, or even hobbyists seeking a secure place for their equipment. The flexibility to choose from various unit sizes and the convenience of having your own storage facility have made self-storage facility franchises a staple in the storage industry. They offer a proven business model that can generate a steady stream of rental income for franchise owners, making the self storage business an attractive investment opportunity.

Click Here To Discover Top Absentee Franchises

Mobile Storage Franchises

For those seeking a more dynamic approach to the storage business, mobile storage franchises provide an adaptable and flexible solution. These franchises combine the services of moving and storage to offer customers increased versatility. This mobility allows for portable storage containers to be delivered directly to the customer’s location, where they can load their belongings at their own pace and convenience. Afterward, these containers can be stored on-site or transported to secure storage facilities, making them excellent portable storage solutions.

Running a mobile storage business, however, does come with its unique set of challenges. It requires:

  • Additional staffing

  • Comprehensive insurance coverage

  • Specialized logistical support to ensure smooth operations

  • A fleet of delivery vehicles

  • A robust scheduling system to handle the moving services

Despite these challenges, the convenience and flexibility offered to customers make mobile storage franchises a compelling choice for entrepreneurs.

Comprehensive Storage Solutions Franchises

On the other end of the spectrum, comprehensive storage solutions franchises offer an all-inclusive service that takes care of every aspect of storage, from pick-up to transportation. Companies like Big Box Storage stand out with their unique container-based solutions. The company allows customers to load their items into a ‘Big Box’ storage container. Afterward, the company picks up and securely stores the container in their facilities. This offers a convenient and hassle-free option for those who prefer not to deal with the logistics of moving and storing their items.

Moreover, Big Box Storage provides long-distance shipping for customers’ stored items, adding another layer of service. This is particularly useful for individuals who are relocating or businesses that need to transport inventory across large distances. Other franchises like PODS, 1-800-PACK-RAT, SMARTBOX, and U-Haul also provide portable storage containers, aligning with the trend of full-service convenience that appeals to today’s busy consumers.

Key Factors in Choosing a Storage Unit Franchise

Venturing into the storage unit franchise business is an exciting prospect, but it requires careful consideration of several key factors. At the heart of this decision-making process is the assessment of financial requirements, which includes analyzing the initial investment as well as ongoing franchise fees and other financial commitments. It’s also vital to recognize the importance of brand recognition, which can provide a significant competitive edge in the market and facilitate easier customer acquisition.

Moreover, comprehensive market research is indispensable. It helps understand the demographic and economic profiles of potential customers and is supported by a robust feasibility study of the location. Additionally, prospective franchisees must consider the decision to buy or build a facility, taking into account the time and effort related to zoning and entitlement processes. These factors combine to create a foundation that can support a successful and profitable storage unit franchise.

Financial Requirements and Support

Diving into the financial landscape of storage unit franchises, the initial investment can span a broad spectrum. Here are some examples:

  • UNITS Moving and Portable Storage franchise: investment ranges from $686,700 to $1,285,000, including an initial franchise fee and an ongoing royalty.

  • Go Mini’s franchise: requires an initial investment between $342,804 and $662,704, with a similar fee structure.

  • Storage Authority franchise: necessitates liquidity of $1 million to $3.5 million to start, along with a set franchise fee and additional fees for services.

It’s also important to consider the various funding sources for purchasing or developing a franchise, such as personal assets, loans, or investor contributions. Prospective franchisees of Extra Space Storage must meet financial requirements including liquidity and net worth criteria. These financial aspects form a critical part of the decision-making process for anyone looking to step into the self-storage franchise arena.

Technical and Logistical Assistance

In the realm of storage unit franchises, the importance of technical and logistical assistance cannot be overstated. This encompasses everything from essential software solutions like accounting and invoicing systems to sophisticated online platforms for booking and management. Mobile storage franchises, in particular, benefit from cloud services that enable remote management of operations. The correct implementation of tools for managing payments, expenses, and assets is a cornerstone for avoiding operational issues and ensuring the franchise’s success.

With advancements in technology, storage facility franchises are also embracing contactless access options and integrating robust data security measures for enhancing customer convenience and trust. This type of technical support not only simplifies the day-to-day running of the business but also adds a layer of professionalism and efficiency that can set a franchise apart in a competitive market.

Mentorship and Guidance

One of the most appealing aspects of entering into a franchise agreement is the mentorship and guidance provided by the franchisor. This can significantly accelerate the path to success compared to starting a business from scratch. With resources such as development manuals, operational guidelines, and personalized guidance at their disposal, franchisees can navigate the intricacies of the storage business with greater ease and confidence.

This support is particularly valuable in the self-storage industry, where a franchisee typically owns the entire business and operates it under a licensing agreement. This allows for a balance between autonomy and the support provided by an established brand, which can be crucial in navigating the challenges of the storage industry.

Flexibility and Compliance

When selecting a storage unit franchise, balancing compliance with operational flexibility is critical. Prospective franchisees should consider whether there is the option to engage a third-party management company, which can offer a degree of operational flexibility. Understanding the permissible extent of local marketing efforts is also important for maintaining this flexibility while staying compliant with the franchise’s standards.

Franchise compliance, which includes a set of requirements that must be followed, ensures brand consistency and quality across the franchise network. It’s essential for franchisees to research how much operational flexibility is allowed by the franchisor, as this can impact how they manage and grow their business.

Top Storage Unit Franchise Opportunities in 2024

As we navigate through 2024, several storage unit franchises stand out as particularly promising opportunities. The self-storage industry in the United States alone boasts a market value of $44.37 billion, with expectations to grow to $49.88 billion by 2029. This growth is even more pronounced globally, with the market value estimated to increase from $58.26 billion to $72.15 billion by 2029.

Some of the best storage unit franchises to consider include:

  • Public Storage

  • Extra Space Storage

  • CubeSmart

  • Life Storage

  • U-Haul Self-Storage

These franchises offer a proven business model, strong brand recognition, and the potential for significant profitability in the growing self-storage industry.

With a plethora of 15 different storage unit franchise businesses to consider for investment, let’s focus on the top three that have been making waves in the industry.

UNITS Moving and Portable Storage, with 60 franchise units, stands as a noteworthy opportunity, thanks to its innovative services and extensive client base. This, coupled with the rankings from the ‘Top 3 Most Successful Storage Unit Franchises in 2024’ section, provides a clear picture of the potential that these franchises hold, ranging from budget-friendly options to those with the highest market demand.

UNITS Moving and Portable Storage

UNITS Moving and Portable Storage distinguishes itself with offerings such as secure, climate-controlled facilities and weather-resistant storage containers, which are a testament to their commitment to customer convenience and security. Their unique ROBO-UNIT delivery system ensures that these containers are made easily accessible to a wide range of clients, including individuals, families, businesses, and even government agencies.

The operational flexibility afforded to franchisees of UNITS Moving and Portable Storage is an attractive feature, allowing owners to either directly manage the business or employ a manager for semi-absentee ownership. This flexibility, coupled with the brand’s strong national presence, positions UNITS as a top contender in the storage franchise market.

Storage Authority

Storage Authority has built a reputation for solid industry experience since its founding in 2014. With an emphasis on a manager-driven platform, the company has positioned itself for operational efficiency and market competitiveness. This approach allows for effective leadership within the franchise locations, which is a critical factor for achieving success in the self-storage market.

The brand recognition that Storage Authority has developed over the years is a testament to its established presence within the industry. As customers often look for trusted names when it comes to storing their valuable possessions, the strong brand identity of Storage Authority can be a significant asset to franchisees looking to enter the market.

Go Mini's

Go Mini’s stands out for its operational simplicity, requiring minimal staff and eliminating the need for warehouses or heavy equipment, which contributes to streamlined franchise operations. Their portable storage containers are engineered with durability in mind, suitable for outdoor storage and featuring ventilation systems and a variety of sizes to meet different customer needs.

Moreover, Go Mini’s unique 20 ft. storage containers are designed with polyurethane-coated wheels to protect driveways during delivery, demonstrating the company’s attention to customer property and efficient delivery methodology. This focus on product quality and operational efficiency makes Go Mini’s an attractive option for potential franchisees.

Investment and Startup Costs for Storage Unit Franchises

The journey to owning a storage unit franchise begins with a thorough understanding of the investment and startup costs involved. These can range from $1.5 million to $10 million, influenced by factors such as location, facility size, and the level of amenities offered. The costs of construction vary between single-story and multi-story facilities, with a considerable difference in per square foot pricing, not including the price of land and site improvements.

Additional costs such as landscaping, parking, and material costs for steel storage units can also affect the overall investment. Financing options like SBA 7(a) loans and SBA Express loans are available to help cover these expenses, with some top lenders offering competitive interest rates. It’s important to note that the initial investment required can vary significantly based on location and other variable factors.

Advantages of Opening a Storage Unit Franchise

Stepping into the storage unit franchise arena brings a host of advantages, one of which is the growing industry demand. With population growth, shrinking living spaces, escalating home prices, the rise of e-commerce, and the common propensity for accumulating belongings, the self-storage industry is experiencing an upward trend. These conditions create a fertile ground for storage franchises to thrive and expand their market reach.

Moreover, storage unit franchises offer several benefits, including:

  • Adoption of sustainable practices such as energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy sources

  • Reduced environmental impact

  • Potential financial savings for the franchise

  • Established brand recognition

  • Access to mentorship

  • Opportunity for scalability

Opening a storage franchise presents a stable and potentially lucrative business venture.

Essential Considerations for Launching a Storage Unit Franchise

Launching a storage unit franchise is not without its set of essential considerations. It’s paramount to engage a team of professionals from various fields including:

  • Legal

  • Real estate

  • Financial

  • Construction

  • Design

to guide you through the intricate process of starting your franchise. Additionally, developing a comprehensive business plan that encompasses not only financial projections but also detailed marketing strategies is critical for the long-term success of the franchise.

The initial costs of a franchise extend beyond the mere purchase price. They encompass a range of expenses from legal and accounting fees to insurance, advertising, staffing, training, travel, and the crucial working capital needed to sustain the business before it becomes profitable. Moreover, ongoing operational expenses like property taxes, maintenance, utilities, and employee salaries are vital for the financial planning of the franchise. It’s also wise to consider the high resale value of a storage unit franchise as part of the owner’s exit strategy.

How Much Do Storage Franchise Owners Make?

Some studies indicate that storage franchise owners typically earn about $126,015 a year, but earnings can vary widely, from $365,000 to $800,000, depending on factors like location, size, financing, and services offered. Earnings also depend on competition and franchise size. However, it’s important to note that factors such as the franchise’s location, competition, and size can significantly influence potential earnings. A prime spot with high demand and limited competition can lead to substantially higher profits.

Diversifying services, such as offering climate-controlled units or portable storage options, can also help attract a wider range of customers and increase revenue streams. The ongoing demand for storage, driven by factors such as downsizing, relocation, and the need for business inventory space, suggests that the potential for revenue generation in the storage industry remains robust.


In conclusion, the storage unit franchise industry in 2024 offers a compelling array of opportunities for entrepreneurs looking to enter a market with high demand, sustainable practices, and significant growth potential. From the variety of franchise models available to the comprehensive support systems in place, there is a path for every type of investor. Whether you’re drawn by the operational flexibility of mobile storage or the solid brand recognition of established facilities, the key to unlocking profitable growth lies in careful planning, market research, and a strategic approach to financial management.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the main types of storage unit franchises available in 2024?

In 2024, the main types of storage unit franchises available include traditional self-storage facility franchises, mobile storage franchises, and comprehensive storage solutions franchises.

What kind of financial investments are required to start a storage unit franchise?

To start a storage unit franchise, you'll need to make initial investments ranging from $1.5 million to $10 million, depending on location and facility size. These costs cover various expenses associated with setting up the business.

Are there any advantages to opening a storage unit franchise?

Opening a storage unit franchise offers advantages like growing demand, established brand recognition, mentorship, and sustainable practices, making it a promising venture.

What should I consider before launching a storage unit franchise?

Before launching a storage unit franchise, consider engaging professionals for guidance, developing a comprehensive business plan, understanding the initial and ongoing costs, and factoring in the franchise's resale value to make an informed decision.

How much can storage franchise owners expect to earn annually?

Some studies indicate that storage franchise owners typically earn about $126,015 a year, but earnings can vary widely, from $365,000 to $800,000, depending on factors like location, size, financing, and services offered. Earnings also depend on competition and franchise size.

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