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Start-up Story: Mobile Storage Services

Our business can be described as an end to end solution to self storage and removals. At Mobile Storage Services we bring the solution to you thus offering convenience and dramatically reduced handling of your belongings putting the customer back in control. In today’s busy world we bring bespoke storage trailers to your home or business which you can load in your own time and we look after everything else. We can even load for you. We have achieved this by creating unique storage cubes which are of similar dimensions to our trailers and this is what our customer loads. When we return bring your belongings to our facility, we remove the complete cube with the aid of handling equipment and so we never actually touch your goods. When required, we you can have your belongings back on your drive within hours without you having to leave your drive.

Why did we start

The creators of Mobile Storage Services have more than 40 years of logistical experience in the multi-national arena at management level and the idea came from a need to resolve difficulties experienced when managing the movement of goods in the businesses which they worked in. There had to be a way to reduce handling to avoid damage of goods and also put the decision making and timing of transactions back in the hands of the customer and that is what has led to our unique offering. The experience of moving fragile and valuable products around Ireland and writing off a considerable amount of stock to damage created the need in our minds and hey presto – the solution was Mobile Storage Services.

Where do we see it going

We have launched the business in the Dublin and North East region and our growth plan is to expand to the larger population centres of Ireland with further expansion into the Northern Ireland and UK markets planned in the near future.

What needs to happen for it to grow

Given that our offering is unique there is a period of education required along with the marketing of our business. This is the great challenge for our company at this stage in development. Because what we do cannot be directly compared to existing practices it is challenging for our customer to accept the added value or comprehend the change of processes even though it simplifies the process considerably. The next stage in development within our business plan is to build our “brand” and that is paramount for any new venture in order to gain traction in the marketplace. We have created a strong growth plan for the coming years to allow us grow steadily over the next 5 years within Ireland and further afield.

What we have learned

Over the first 12 months of trading we have learned valuable lessons which will stay with us for the future. One of the key observations is that creating and launching a business takes a lot longer than you might think. The majority of businesses will take at least 18 months to launch and even then it will take at least a further two years to build profile and brand. You need to be prepared for this and sacrifices have to be made. We are ahead of schedule but are taking nothing for granted and believe us when we say it takes a huge effort to get your message out there!

Tips for other businesspeople starting out

Following on from the point above anyone thinking of starting out on the road of opening a business needs to think long and hard before making that leap of faith. The key question is “is there a gap in the market?” And more “importantly is there a market in that gap?”. It sounds simple but too many people get caught up in the concept but neglect to do the research. If we were to advice anybody we would very strongly recommend that you do your homework with particular focus on both primary and secondary research. Who are the main players in the market? Even if your business is unique in the space it must have competition, if not direct, so examine best practice internationally. Who are the success stories within your sector? Examine how they do business and how they go to market and “learn”. The other tip we would give is to allow that you need deep pockets or access to funding for a period probably for a lot longer than you may have allowed for in your business plan. The vast majority of businesses that fail do so due to cash flow problems in the early stages. We all start out expecting to conquer the world and some will get there but it does take a toll financially and on home life etc. So be prepared to make that sacrifice and be true to yourself. If you are not willing to work long hard hours for little reward in the early days and live with the consequences you are going down the wrong road. All that said it is a fantastic way to earn a living if you can make it work so go for it with all your mind, body and soul and if you work hard enough you WILL be rewarded!

Written by Robbie Norton. For more information visit http://www.mobilestorageservices.ie/.

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