After two decades of dramatic industry growth, pioneers of the Canadian self-storage industry could sit for days discussing the many hurdles they've had to cross to get their facilities off the ground. The challenges are many: finding acceptable ratios for financing, determining a profitable location, choice of facility style and design, obstacles to construction, and how market and operate the facility once occupancy permits are issued. As a single source of industry products and services, Turnkey Storage Systems is making solutions easier to find.
The Startup Blues
Every new entry into this industry must almost reinvent the wheel and undergo the same ordeal of challenges. A hidden hurdle is the time it can take to stimulate your dreams into grand openings, and the risks of bad timing, which can lead to many major pitfalls. For example, searching for a location is not easy. First, a developer must understand what qualifies a location as profitable.
After the site is found, you begin to think about construction parameters for the estimates of finance requirements. Consider how long it could take to find qualified architects or contractors familiar with the self-storage industry; plus they should be knowledgeable about different building requirements for light-gauge metal construction or internal conversion concepts.
Now consider that to complete a business plan suitable for this industry it can take a few months to gather all the necessary feasibility data on your site required by your lender. All may seem easy until the prime site you choose for your feasibility study slips from your grasp, purchased from under your planning time. You are back to the beginning again. Of course you could risk buying the building and hold it for a while as you develop your feasibility plan but that is not very appealing.
Even an incorrect unit-mix layout can cause major financial problems with cash-flow projections to stifle financing. A competition study created without all required information can offset your financial projection ratios with adverse affects.
These are just a few of many problems that can occur and will greatly affect your pocketbook. We can look at time and measure its costs, especially if you run out of construction time and need 120 more days for completion. Loss of income over a minor three-month construction delay can reach $375,000 or more depending on facility size. Consider that number and think of what a year or more in construction delays could cost. Knowledge is the power to stop the financial blood flow and, in most cases, prevent it from even occurring in the first place.
A Single-Source Solution
Doesn’t a dream team of experts begin to look like the most important aspect of developing a self-storage investment? And it is available in Canada. In 2000, Shawn Baker, CEO of Canadian Metal Manufacturing Inc., a company serving the metal-building requirements of the commercial and industrial construction industries, developed a plan to answer all those startup challenges for the self-storage industry.
Baker has gathered specialists in every aspect of self-storage development and construction. For the first two years, this group studied all the problems investors and developers face, from concept to completion, including facility management. Then Turnkey Storage Systems (TSS) was launched in 2003. Defined by the most important criteria, the team will find profitable site locations and show why it will be successful.
Canadian Metal Manufacturing can produce an entire customized feasibility study and business plan, and be ready to approach lenders in days not weeks. The company has experts on city planning and building that know how to approach and get building permits with relative ease. Canadian Metal has completed almost half a million square feet of self-storage facilities, and has provided services from Vancouver Island, British Columbia, to St John’s, Newfoundland.
From design to metal manufacturing and construction, TSS has been referred to as the Microsoft of self-storage with all aspects covered by practical in-house capacities. Plus, they can create a complete turnkey operation, including ongoing facility management or train owners and management staff.
Turnkey Self-Storage Systems was developed for the Canadian market by Ontario-based Canadian Metal Manufacturing Inc. Established in 1999 as a metal fabricating company for general building construction, Canadian Metal turned its primary focus to the self-storage industry in 2003. For more information, call 888.951.1762; visit www.canadianmetal.ca.