UK Self Storage Business Tools & Services Ecosystem
Welcome to the Stora UK Self Storage Ecosystem: your one-stop knowledge base for everything self storage.
Interest in the world of self storage is exploding right now. Savvy people worldwide have realized that it's a great business to be in. Once set up, it offers high returns with low effort.
There's also a big unmet supply need, and that's why we're seeing the industry performing better than ever. Check out the latest UK Self Storage Annual Report, showing the phenomenal growth over the last year.
In the past, much of the work in a self storage business was upfront—selling (both digitally and in person), setting payments platform, access systems, insurance—and so much more. But now there are tools to help, and we've brought them together for you—to save you hours of painful searching and trial and error.
You can find them all here in the UK Self Storage Business Tools & Services Ecosystem.
At Stora, we've compiled them all into an easy-to-use graphic that gives you a visual overview, and lists each resource below out, so you can learn more.
We'll keep updating this on a regular basis as new resources launch, and as we become aware of them.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but with more than 60 companies represented, it does paint a good picture of the Business Tools Ecosystem.
If you are aware of something you think should be included, please let us know.
Tools & Services
💻 Software (6)
Software plays a vital role in the operations of most modern day self storage businesses. In the UK, there are a few options which vary in scope.
- Stora - All-in-one web sales & facility management
- Other options include Space Manager, 6Storage, Storman and SiteLink
📣 Marketing (3)
- Storist - Specialists in self storage digital marketing
- Clover Four - Training courses in self storage sales and marketing
- Auburn - Multichannel marketing strategies
💬 Customer support (7)
There are a variety of tools and services out there to help you communicate with your customers. Phone answering services and live chatbots can take care of this on your behalf, leaving you with more time to focus on building your business.
- Hubspot, Crisp, Olark, Intercom - Live website chat tools
- TTNC, JustCall, RingCentral - Virtual telephone services
🏪 Indoor facility fit-out (7)
Indoor facilities are a great way to provide your customers with a secure, climate-controlled storage solution. There are a number of providers who operate within the UK.
Pro-tip: Don't forget to check out which smart entry system(s) they integrate with. The main providers are:
📦 Outdoor containers (5)
Are you interested in operating a self storage business using shipping containers? We've got you covered with an array of suppliers of both new and used containers:
🛗 Mezzanines & elevators (8)
If you've decided on an indoor facility, it's likely you'll be asking yourself if you should offer storage across multiple floors. If you decide on a mezzanine, you'll be required to provide an elevator too. Here are a few options to consider:
- Janus, Active Supply & Design, Storage Future - Mezzanines, elevators and facility fit-out
- CSC Industries, United Storage, SAS Storage, Kuboid - Mezzanines and facility fit-out
- MiTek - Mezzanines only
📱 Smart entry / access control (7)
Automated smart lock systems have opened up an entirely new way to offer self storage. These secure systems can future-proof your business as staff are no longer required to be at the facility to open gates or welcome new customers. Instead, they empower your customers to access their unit and belongings at a time that suits them best. Here are the best options available in the UK today:
- Nokē - A fully keyless entry system allowing your customers to access your facility via a smartphone app
- BearBox - Manage access control and provide access via key codes, an app or number plate recognition
- Sensorberg - Access via mobile app
- OpenTech Alliance - Access your facility via key codes or a mobile app
- PTI Security, SC Solutions - Access via keypads or an app
- Sentinel - Access via keypads
💼 Business advice & valuations (4)
These organizations can offer perspective and insight on property and business premises. Always remember the importance of location, location, location!
☂️ Insurance (6)
In the UK, it is required that your customers have insurance during their stay with you. Selling insurance through your business is a great way to increase your revenue. Here are a few of the most popular providers who you use to sell insurance onto your customers:
🔒 Packaging & padlocks (6)
Another popular way to increase self storage sales is to sell packaging, boxes, and padlocks—all the things people really need when they are interested in storage. If you'd like to offer these items at your facility, here are a few of the main UK providers:
- PHS Teacrate, Packing Boxes, Packaging Express, DavPack - Packaging
- Nothing But Padlocks, Locks Direct - Padlocks
📍 Local Suppliers
Other provisions may need to be made, which will likely require local services after your fit out. This list is not exhaustive, but could include:
- Gate installation - Sign companies - Provision for main signage and potentially instructional signs for the facility.
- Planning & building control consultants - Will be required for building, remodelling or repurposing. Local restrictions and rules will apply.
- Maintenance & cleaning services - Keep your facility looking its best by ensuring all areas are clean, and maintenance issues are fixed quickly.
- Fire safety consultants - Documented fire plan and provisions.
- Pest consultants - Useful to keep any pest issues minimized.
- Sign companies - Provision for main signage and potentially instructional signs for the facility.
- Local advertising services - Use of local services like newspapers, mail drops alongside internet based services can be useful.
- Finance and accounting services - Services may be required to manage the accounting, bookkeeping and payroll side.
For these, we recommend you get a referral from someone local to your facility location. Failing that, try Googling for "Your town/area name + what you need". Check reviews on Google, Facebook and elsewhere to get a better understanding of the quality of their service.
What does the next 10 years look like for self storage business tools and services?
We're building Stora to be the operating system that centralizes everything, and makes your life as a self storage operator as easy as possible.
If you know of something else you think should be included in our Ecosystem, please let us know. We're always excited to find out about great tools and services to help self storage operators grow!