From Start-Up to Success

Monday 9 – Monday 16 May 2022

Via Zoom

Training Session

From Start-Up to Success 
Monday, 9 May & Monday, 16 May 2022

Learn the tips and tricks when opening up a new self storage store from two industry professionals who, between them, have developed and opened dozens of stores across the country.  Split over two days, these sessions will explore everything from financing and site selection, through to design and construction, budgeting, planning permissions, branding, staffing and then fill-up.   This is the most comprehensive training ever offered to the industry from two of the most successful and skilled self storage operators in the UK.

Note: This is a two-part training session, split over two dates, a week apart.  Bookings are for attendance at both sessions.  It is not possible to book either Part One or Part Two only. 

Part One – Before you build
Monday, 09 May 2022 - 1.30pm - 4.30pm


  • Finance options
  • What banks want
  • Covering fill up

Site Selection

  • Main road vs secondary
  • Freehold vs leasehold
  • Demographics
  • Construction impacts (ground work, slopes etc)
  • Competition – barriers to entry
  • Conversion vs new build

Design Considerations

  • Load limits
  • Size/height
  • Fire regulations
  • Access requirements
  • Corridor widths
  • Unit mix
  • Loading bays
  • Number of lifts
  • GLA vs MLA


  • Construction
  • Operating
  • Bridging
  • Valuations
  • Build cost vs day one value
Part Two – Planning, building and fill up
Monday, 16 May 2022 - 1.30pm - 4.30pm


  • Timescales
  • Pitfalls
  • Signage

Getting it Going

  • Indicative price to build
  • Construction methods
  • Build times, impacts


  • Store name considerations
  • Brand / image / colour


  • Key functions
  • Recruiting – past storage experience vs fresh


  • Website
  • Local marketing
  • Start-up pricing
  • The first move out!
  • What is mature occupancy

Exit Strategy

Chair - Rennie Schafer

Rennie Schafer.jpg  

Rennie is the current CEO of the Self Storage Association UK, having previously been the CEO of the Australasian Self Storage Association for over 9 years.  Rennie has extensive knowledge of the self storage industry across the world, from the developing Asian markets through to the birthplace of self storage in the USA.  He has over 22 years of association management experience, 17 at CEO level.  Rennie is also on the Board of the Institute of Association Leadership, has an MBA and completed the Oxford University High performance leadership programme.


Speaker - Dave Davies 

Dave Davies Photo New 2020.jpg  
Dave is an accomplished self storage professional with over 19 years experience in the industry.  He spent 17 years at executive board level at Safestore joining at 15 stores and 40 employees. As a member of the Management Buy Out Team in 2004 and the IPO Team in 2008 he played a major role in the companies success and its growth to a FTSE 250 company with over 580 employees, 134 stores and revenues of £112m and EBITDA of £64m. Dave was also Managing Director of Space Maker Self Storage (12 stores) for 6 years before Safestore acquired it in 2016.  He is passionate about self storage, the people who work in it and the customers who use it and believes the key to a successful self storage business are the people.  His unique set of knowledge, skills and practical hands on experience has proved invaluable to many businesses in the self storage sector.


Speaker - Mike Wilson 

Mike Wilson.jpg  

Mike has over 10 years-experience in the self storage industry, and is co-founder of SureStore, having previously being CEO of North-West based Smart Storage. Mike also has spent the last 17 years in senior board positions in a number of sectors, giving him widespread corporate governance experience in delivering goals in an effective manner. Mike was also a previous Board member and Chairman of the SSA UK.

Exclusive to SSA UK Members @ £140 + VAT per person

Who should attend?
This is essential training for anyone considering opening and/or developing a new store or site.