John Islands, S.C.-based UNITS Mobile Storage, with an eye toward opening 50 franchise locations by 2011, added four facilities in North Carolina, bringing its current count to seven. The new franchises are in Greensboro, High Point, Raleigh-Durham and Winston-Salem.
States targeted for future expansion include Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia. A potential franchise territory must have a population of at least 400,000.
UNITS franchisees generally invest from $250,000 to $500,000, including a one-time franchise fee that ranges between $40,000 and $60,000. In addition, they should own a storage facility of at least 25,000 square feet with 30-foot-high ceilings, plus a heavy-duty delivery truck and a lift truck capable of lifting a minimum of 15,000 pounds. Finally, they must purchase at least 10 containers before opening their business. It will take approximately 18 months for franchisees to recoup their investment, according to company founder and president Michael McAlhany.
As part of their venture, franchise owners get a week of training at the UNITS headquarters as well as sales, marketing and operational tools to help them develop their territories and manage operations.
UNITS containers are designed to resist water, mold and UV rays and have a lifespan of more than 10 years. The companys most popular unit size, 8-by-16 feet, is large enough to accommodate the goods of an average 1500-square-foot house. The company also sells packing and moving supplies.
The moving and storage industry has seen significant growth over the last two decades and shows no signs of slowing down, McAlhany said. With more than 41 million Americans moving yearly, UNITS is offering a tremendous business opportunity in a widely untapped market with a steadily growing client base for years to come.
UNITS (unique, no hassle, individual, transportable storage) was launched by McAlhany in 2003. For franchise information, call 866.495.2570; visit www.unitsstorage.com.