Entrepreneur founder of Storage by the Box Phil Murphy hit upon his business idea after discussing a problem with friends of his who just didn’t have enough room for their stuff.
“Traditional storage places all have cookie cutter size places and people have to choose from a one size fits all mentality,” said Murphy. “I knew people who would only use a quarter of the space they had available and were stuck paying for space they didn’t use.”
Even worse, said Murphy, was that storage places tended to be clustered in less than savory parts of town where people didn’t always feel safe.
“People don’t want to take the EL or a Bus to a rough part of town to put their stuff in storage and so I knew people taking a cab to the storage facility and paying $50 or more in cab fees! That is just crazy.”
After some brainstorming and planning, Phil Murphy had a 27,000 square foot facility built for his new business and Storage by the Box was born.
“Our system is extremely simple and pricing works just like it sounds; it’s Storage by the Box.”
He went on to explain how it works. “People have two choices; they can use our box or theirs. The standard size is 24”x12”x12” and after the box is filled the customer prints off shipping labels from out site and attaches them to the box. FedEx comes to pick them up at our cost and ships them to our facility. “
The boxes stored by customers are stored in the warehouse and there is never any reason for a customer to visit. Right now Storage by the Box is storing boxes for people from coast to coast but has plans to eventually build a warehouse on each of the coasts to cut down on the shipping costs.
“What’s really convenient for people is that we let them upload as much information as they want about their stored boxes to our site, pictures included.”
Murphy explained that a popular option for people is storing their winter clothes and then they upload a picture of the box with the lid off showing the clothes inside with the label “winter clothes” so the customer can have their memory jogged when they log in. This way, if a customer has multiple boxes in storage they can just have one shipped to them as opposed to all of them.
“Some people like to take a picture of every single item in the box and other people just take a picture from above and still others don’t take any pictures at all,” said Murphy. “Everyone is different.”
Murphy said he also has a number of clients who store their golf clubs with him because they like to have them shipped to wherever they travel to play. “Some of these guys are business travelers and they just keep their clubs in the bag at our warehouse and have us ship them to wherever they are staying.”
In addition to box storage, Murphy said Storage by the Box is willing to store any type of container such as the large Rubbermaid containers sold at stores like Target and Wal-Mart.
Murphy said that while the advantages of a “concierge” style storage facility are a great convenience to the customer its main advantage is price. “Customers with us save, on average, 60% of what they would pay at a normal storage facility and people really like that,” said Murphy.
Murphy claims he has five main types of customers:
1. The typical person that needs to store some things
2. Business storage for small businesses (they also offer secure document destruction)
3. Inventory Management- “we have several bands that use us to stock their shirts, CDs and other merchandise and when they run out they have us ship another box to the next city on their tour” said Murphy. “They love it.”
4. Student Storage- A lot of kids either going to or graduating from college after they leave the nest need storage
5. Military- A lot of soldiers on the move worldwide has been good for Storage by the Box. “We ship to APO/FPO addresses so we can reach military members around the world.”
Business has been good; Murphy said revenue has increased by 200% a month each month since launch last January.