There are many ways to generate revenue within your existing self-storage business. A recent article on InsideSelfStorage.com discussed one business owner’s experience of opening a postal and shipping center within their self-storage operation. The idea caught our attention and we decided to do some digging on the financial benefits or risks involved. We have discussed previously adding rental trucks, selling boxes, offering other supplies, and as a result, adding a postal center might be a helpful solution to draw customers inside your business. Business owners do report pros and cons to offering this.

What is a postal center?

A postal center within your business can be simple or complex. You can offer shipping services through UPS, DHL, FedEx, and even the USPS. You can offer packing services in addition to your shipping, or you can simplify and only provide shipping whatever is already packed. Some businesses offer rentable post office boxes where mail is delivered and available for pickup. Some businesses offer packing supplies and sell stamps.

What are the benefits of an onsite postal center?

The benefits of having an onsite postal or shipping center can be extensive. Some business owners report that it simplifies their personal business needs by offering a service they needed. Other benefits include:

  • Generating traffic to your location outside of your current self-storage customers
  • One stop shop for shipping needs creating a separate stream of income
  • Providing a necessary and useful service to the community

What are the risks involved with an onsite postal center?

Some business owners struggle with the risks of an onsite postal center prior to taking the leap. Some of the concerns include:

  • That the financial investment is not worth the return (at least in the beginning)
  • Sorting the mail for onsite private mail boxes can be time intensive and requires dedicated labor
  • Concerns of legal liability when handling mail
  • Theft and box security

Options to consider

There are permits required for the various types of services your business might offer. Starting out simply might be the best strategy. It can be daunting to jump into something new financially that might be a bust. Consider becoming a package drop off location for specific carriers. If the USPS is currently picking up mail at your location, consider becoming a permitted drop off location just for US mail. This information may also be helpful to finding what you need. Then you will market your services via social media and network to communicate this new service you’re offering. If you are successful as a mail drop location, you might consider adding retail items like stamps, boxes, packaging and the like.

If this is manageable and financially beneficial, you might then consider adding a second carrier drop off location (UPS, DHL, FedEx) depending on the carrier you most frequently use.

You may decide that offering private mailboxes are the next step that makes sense, or you may be satisfied with how things are working without them. There’s a lot to consider when offering new services to the community. As with any add-on profit center, you will want to increase your business insurance to cover any issues that might come up.

In conclusion, there are great ways to add value to your business as a self-storage operator. As the Argus Self Storage Network Affiliate for the states of Florida and Georgia, Weaver Realty works hard to encourage the growth of entrepreneurs who partner with us. We look forward to working with you as you expand your self-storage in Florida and Georgia. Call us today at 903-733-0039.