Introducing Stora for Startups: Everything you need to run your self storage business online

By Gavin Shields on December 08, 2020

Our new product is an all-in-one website, booking, payments and facility management solution for new self storage businesses.

When I decided to open my first self storage facility in 2019, one of the biggest surprises was the lack of modern self storage software. I expected to find some sort of easy-to-use product that would give me an online self storage “shop” that helped me to automate all the key customer and facility processes. Something that allowed me to take online bookings and payments, and provide me with some way of managing my site. All set up in an afternoon. Something like Shopify, but built specifically for self storage operators.

StoreStuff

My first self storage facility: we held a concert to mark the opening

I tested out all the main self storage software products, but couldn’t find anything designed specifically to help new businesses get set up quickly and easily. So, I had no option but to build my own. Six months and about £50k worth of design and development time later, I had a website, basic online booking and payment system, automated billing system and facility management software that connected with my smart entry system. I was lucky to have a tech background and friends I trusted to build everything properly - without that, £50k could have easily become £100k or more.

Back in April, during lockdown, I wrote an article about how I did it and what technology I used. Unexpectedly, (some) new and (lots of) existing self storage operators from around the world got in touch to ask if they could use it too. Although the solution we created was bespoke to our requirements, there was obviously a need for something that would help new operators get online quickly and easily, and empower existing operators to properly embrace the power and benefits of online and automation.

StoreStuff tech and services map

This was the original combination of technology I used to get my facility business launched. Stora for Startups replaces this complicated combination of products with one simple solution.

So, we set up Stora. Stora is an online revenue optimisation and process automation solution for self storage operators. We help them dramatically increase revenue and reduce costs by enabling the shift to a fully-online, automated sales model.

And today we are launching our first product—Stora for Startups.

Stora for Startups is the solution new self storage operators have been crying out for. An all-in-one website, booking, payments and revenue management solution. Simple and easy to use, it includes everything you need to quickly launch and grow your self storage business.

The best thing? You can set it up yourself in minutes and get started for free.

Homepage made with Stora

Your self storage website set up in minutes (by you, no web developer required)

The first thing I needed was a way for customers to find my business. So the first thing we give you is a website that does exactly that. It’s as simple as entering your company info, facility location(s) and units. Stora instantly creates a beautiful, responsive website for your Self Storage business.

It takes care of the little things so you don’t have to. We provide unit images, terms and privacy documents, and even customer contracts. All fully customisable from the Stora Backoffice.

Your Stora site is optimised to work across all devices, and to be easily found on search engines. It’s also fast. Very fast. Too often Self Storage web sites are old and slow which kills conversions. These days speed also has a real impact on how well you rank on Google.

Pagespeed comparison

Not just a website. Bookings and payments too!

A website is a great first step, but I needed more than just a few info pages. I wanted to create the best possible customer experience while automating as much of the booking and payments process as possible. To achieve my goal of maximum efficiency, I needed customers to be able to book, pay and even check-in online without the need for any manual interaction (telephone calls or site visits).

With Stora for Startups, that’s exactly what you get. Bookings are made on the site and recurring payments set up automatically. Insurance sales, online check-in and contract signatures are taken care of too.

You can be collecting customer payments in less than 10 minutes.

Stora bookings and payments

An online Backoffice for your team to manage your business

The Stora Backoffice has everything you need to set up and manage your pricing, availability, promotions, units, customer subscriptions and payments.

If you have a smart entry system like Noke we take care of that too (don’t worry we support traditional padlock-based units too).

Best of all we provide powerful analytics and reporting tools, so you make better business decisions.

The Stora Backoffice

Everything else runs automatically in the background

At Stora, our goal is to** automate all processes** that don’t require manual involvement. So** your time is freed-up to focus on the most important parts of your business** (or to take it easy - it’s up to you!). For now, that means:

  • Payments run automatically
  • Automated invoicing and billing
  • A self service portal for customers to manage their own reservations online
  • Automated late payment resolution process (meaning you don’t have to get involved in 90%+ of missed payments)

And we have lots more still to come:

  • Revenue optimisation tools including demand-based pricing and autopilot price increases
  • Self Storage specific analytics and reporting to help you manage your business
  • AI-based analytics engine uses industry-wide trends to make pricing recommendations
  • Customer Sales and Support: let our experienced team answer your customer calls, take bookings by phone and even carry out remote facility tours.
  • Marketing services including free (social media management) and paid (adwords)

Only pay when you’re ready to go live

Stora is completely free to get set up. Once your site goes live, Stora costs £49/month + 2.9% of gross sales through the platform.

This includes:

  • Everything above—a website, hosting, payments and facility management
  • Free feature updates
  • No setup or hidden fees

Want to learn more?

We’ve already onboarded several self storage startups across the UK. If you’d like to discuss how Stora can work for you, set up a call with me today.

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Author

Gavin Shields

Gavin Shields is the CEO at Stora, a provider of self storage automation software and services, as well as the MD & Owner of self storage operator, StoreStuff.