Self-Storage’s humble beginning started shortly after World War II ended. There was a substantial increase in military personnel needing to store their items. As they began to look for places to store their extras, they began to rely on their friends with extra garage space to help with this. It was also during this time; America has become so much more mobile because of the construction of so many more highways. Because of this, and as income began to grow, folks started buying more “things” than they needed. After a few years, this generation had acquired so many “things,” that the need became evident that a solution was needed which led to a shortage of room on, and in, their property.
Self Storage Occurred
Because of this booming time in America’s history, new homes – without basements and attic space – seemed to appear everywhere. And this, my friend, is what American ingenuity is all about. This is the legacy of this self storage concept and its development into the business it is today.
A few entrepreneurs began to build some simple concrete block buildings with roll-up doors — the problem with block buildings where they had to deal with cracks and leaking continually. After some time, these buildings had to be sealed and painted so often that this led to the search for a better structure.
Metal-made Storage Warehouse
In their search for a better building, someone built a metal building and found that this seemed to be the answer. During the early 1970s, the building of metal buildings began to grow. Still, they were a far cry from what we see today.
But it was during this period that so many metal building companies got their start, as they were less expensive to build and maintain. The challenge was, these early buildings were constructed with heavier gauge steel (which was galvanized) and therefore prone to rust. We have all seen the unsightly white powder-looking substance which began to appear on these buildings as they age.
Storage Became A Big Problem Of The Plenty of Collections
For the past 40 or so years, American companies have eagerly pursued the Baby Boom generation. These folks began to spend large sums of money on homes, toys, and just everyday things. The Baby Boomers spent so much money on valuable things that safe storage became a real challenge. One would think they only needed so much stuff, and this trend would slow down. Quite the opposite, as competition on who had the latest and best, was greatly encouraged by savvy corporate marketing schemes for toys that folks couldn’t seem to live without.
Retired “Baby Boomers” Thought Self-storage Industry Will Become A Trend
The turn of the century saw these Baby Boomers begin to achieve retirement age. However, an honest portion of this segment is not spending their free time just puttering around the country in rvs or playing 18 holes of golf.
Instead, so many of them are starting their businesses. A study by the Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation showed that people between the ages of 55 and 64 are the most likely Americans to start up a new business. Why is this phenomenon taking root? Well, according to an article in U.S. News & World Report, it’s possible that the Baby Boomers are having a sort of existential crisis. After so many years spent working for other people, they want to work for themselves. And, unlike many young people, they have the money and experience to do so.
Many of these aspiring entrepreneurs are considering the Self-Storage industry as promising a post-retirement career. It’s one of the few small business investments that provide relatively low-risk but high-reward. Many of these folks have built a considerable network of contacts developed through their years in the corporate world. They reasoned they could use this information during their post-retirement years to enhance their ideas and businesses. For Boomers with an entrepreneurial itch, getting started in the self-storage industry could be the perfect outlet.