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Building Your Own Self Storage Facility

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Ben Shirey

Welcome to another episode of the Self Storage Insights Podcast. In this episode, we sit down with Kayla and Ryan from Store It Up Mini Storage in Karns City, Pennsylvania. They recently completed the construction of their first self-storage facility, and we delve into their experiences, insights, and advice for others looking to enter the industry. Join us as we discuss their journey, the decision to build instead of buying, the construction process, marketing strategies, future prospects, and more.


Building the Foundation

 Kayla and Ryan began their entrepreneurial journey in the residential rental business several years ago. However, as they sought to expand their portfolio, they stumbled upon the self-storage industry. Intrigued by its potential and how it complemented their existing rental business, they decided to pursue this new venture. Having secured a property a few years earlier, their initial intentions for it were flexible, but ultimately they saw the potential for a storage facility.

The Building Process

 The construction process for Store It Up Mini Storage started in mid-April and was completed by the end of June, with the facility opening its doors on July 1, 2023. Ryan, with his construction background, took the lead in the build. With the exception of excavating, which was subcontracted, Ryan and his father-in-law handled most of the construction work themselves. They opted for a pre-manufactured kit and found the process smooth overall, except for deciphering the initially vague instructions. Going forward, they would lay out all the pieces on the concrete first to gain a better understanding of the assembly process.

Marketing Strategies

 Located in a rural area with road frontage and near other businesses, Store It Up Mini Storage relies on a combination of social media presence and word-of-mouth marketing to attract customers. They have established a presence on Facebook and are starting an Instagram account. Being in a close-knit community, word-of-mouth has played a significant role in generating interest, and they have been receiving inquiries consistently since their opening.

The Future of Self Storage

 Kayla and Ryan believe that the self-storage industry will continue to grow beyond its current boom. They see it as a sustainable market, as the need for storage is not solely tied to moving or downsizing. From college students seeking temporary storage to businesses requiring additional space, the demand for storage units remains diverse and robust. With an adaptable mindset and an understanding of customers' varying needs, self-storage facilities can thrive in the coming years.

Lessons Learned and Future Plans

 Reflecting on their experience, Kayla and Ryan express satisfaction with the building process and the initial success of their facility. However, they do acknowledge that there are always lessons to be learned. Ryan wishes they had built a slightly larger facility from the start, but they plan to expand and add more units in the future. They emphasize the importance of gaining knowledge and advice from others in the industry, as well as having a well-thought-out business plan and system in place.


 Building a self-storage facility can be an exciting and rewarding endeavor. By leveraging their construction background and engaging in thorough research, Kayla and Ryan successfully brought their storage facility to life. Their journey highlights the importance of market research, adaptability, and networking within the self-storage industry. As they look ahead, they are optimistic about the industry's future and the potential for growth. If you're considering entering the self-storage industry, take heed of their advice and embark on this venture with enthusiasm and careful planning.


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