Published on 16 Apr 2021 Time 8 min read Last update by 20 Feb 2024

UNITS Moving and Portable Storage Franchise Review (2021)

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UNITS  Moving And Portable Storage (“UNITS”) is an industry leading company that provides short and long-term storage both on and offsite with convenient moving capabilities with the most secure storage container in the industry

UNITS is one of the largest moving and portable storage companies in the United States, beginning its franchising model in 2006

UNITS is part of the $42 Billion moving and storage industry that is growing at a rapid pace. It has proven to be one of the most recession and technology resistant industries available

Their ideal candidate for UNITS is someone who has or has held a corporate job and desires to build a large overall asset through tangible assets/real estate. Their great performers have strong leadership and great people skills. Their most successful franchise partners have a management background with an understanding of sales and marketing.

Management Team

Mr. Michael McAlhany, Jr. is CEO and President and has been since UNITS incorporation on March 1, 2005. Ms.Holly G. McAlhany is the Vice President and has been since their incorporation. They both have extensive experience working with storage units since 2000. The company is lead by a very experienced and supportive management team that helps and trains franchisees so that they have all of the tools to success at their disposal.

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Franchise Storage Industry Analysis  

Franchise Strengths

  • Strength and power of a national brand, technology-driven system, professional marketing, volume purchasing power, and comprehensive training and support
  • Proven recession resistant industry
  • Ability to generate revenue through multiple revenue streams
  • Ability to have a very scalable business
  • Differentiated storage units with superior unit quality (steel) and ability to have unit moved via robot

Franchise Weaknesses

  • Other moving and storage firms like UNITS Moving and Storage are entering the space and growing fast
  • Very large yet competitive market
  • Can be hard for clients to understand the differentiators that UNITS offers

 

Franchise Opportunities 

  • Self-Storage, On-Site Storage, Self-Service Moving and Inter-Franchise Moves (Long Distance) represent $42 billion industry that is growing
  • Offers solutions for various scenarios; short-term or long-term storage, relocation, remodeling, residential or commercial uses
  • Recession resistant, could perform better in a downturn of housing market as more people would need to downsize and move

 

Franchise Threats 

  • Potential for new competitors entering the space, whether franchise models or corporations
  • Potential for very busy weeks during hurricanes and extreme weather situations
  • Potential for conventional storage companies to enter the portable storage unit space

Moving and Portable Storage

How much is a Units Franchise?

Units Franchise cost ranges from $556,022 to $1,083,322 according to the 2019 FDD.

Estimated Initial Investment

Cost Types Amount (in USD) When Due To Whom Payment is to Be Made
Low High
Franchise Fee $55.500 $222.000 Upon Signing FDD Franchisor
Real Estate / Rent (Annual) 60.000 75.000 Before Opening Lessor
Initial Inventory 1.500 3.000 Before Opening Third Parties
UNITS Containers 288.000 456.000 Before Opening Franchisor
UNITS Moving and Portable Storage Delivery Systems and Trucks 109.322 109.322 Before Opening Franchisor
Signage 200 5.000 Before Opening UNITS Third Parties
Grand Opening Advertising 10.000 10.000 First 3 Months of Operations Third Parties
Training 1.500 3.000 Before Opening Third Parties
Start-up Costs 30.000 200.000 Before Opening UNITS Third Parties
Total $556.022  $1.083.322
Royalty Local Ad-Fund
6,0% 2,0%

How Much does a  Units Franchise make?

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Growth in Average Annual Revenues 15,7% 18,7% 9,4% 17,4% 18,8%
Number of Above / Below  4/7  4/7 6/5  5/6  2/9
Average Annual Revenue No. Above / Below Average Median # of Markets Above $1mm # of Markets Above $725k but Below $1mm # of Markets Above $500k but Below $725k # of Markets  Below $500k
$725.587   1/2 $592.154 3 1 7 4
High Average Median Low
Revenue $1.430.275 $651.437 $587.632 $126.769
Operating Expenses $1.010.563 $424.479 $362.340 $110.885
EBITDA $419.712 $226.958 $225.292 $15.884
Exp as % of Rev 70,7% 65,2% 61,7% 87,5%
EBITDA % 29,3% 34,8% 38,3% 12,5%
Average Annual Revenue No. Above / Below Average Median # of Markets Above $1mm # of Markets Above $725k but Below $1mm # of Markets Above $500k but Below $725k # of Markets  Below $500k
$452.446 2 $434.889 0 0 1 2
Maximum Average Median Minimum
Annual Revenues $1.958.528 $714.962 $641.288 $159.373
Annual Direct Operating Expense $1.185.162 $451.159 $412.762 $156.345
Annual Gross Profit $773.366 $263.803 $216.360 $3.029
Annual Gross Profit Margin 39,5% 36,9% 33,6% 1,9%
GP Margin Over/ Under 1 1/5 1 3/4
Maximum Average Median Minimum
Annual Revenues $637.030 $452.446 $434.889 $221.003
Annual Direct Operating Expense $399.377 $292.615 $298.444 $149.918
Annual Gross Profit $349.015 $179.191 $130.932 $62.032
Annual Gross Profit Margin 54,8% 39,6% 30,1% 28,1%
GP Margin Over/ Under    1/2 2

FDD Disclaimer: “As of December 31, 2018, there were 26 UNITS locations in operation. Twenty operated as traditional franchises (“Traditional Franchises”); 3 are operated as fractional franchises (“Fractional Franchises”) and 3 are operated as affiliate locations (“Affiliate Locations”). Each Location offered similar products and services as would generally be offered by a typical UNITS Moving and Portable Storage business offered under this disclosure document. Of the twenty Traditional Franchised Locations, 15 were open and in operation for the entire 2018 calendar year.

Table 1-A sets forth the Average Annual Revenues of the 15 Traditional Franchises during the 2018 calendar year, and Table 1-B sets forth the Average Annual Revenues for the 3 Affiliate Locations during the 2018 calendar year.

Eleven of the Traditional Franchises provided the expense information we requested for the 2018 calendar year.

We have not audited or independently verified this information. Written substantiation of the data used in preparing this information will be made available upon reasonable request.”

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Notes to Table One.

  1. “Annual Revenues” is defined as the total gross revenues generated from 15 Traditional Franchised Locations and 3 Affiliate Locations with operations during the complete 12 months of 2018 fiscal year. This includes income from the rental of portable storage and moving containers, deliveries associated with container rental including local moves, container and contents coverage and ancillary moving and storage supplies. Annual Revenues exclude (a) all refunds made in good faith, (b) any sales and equivalent taxes that are collected by a franchisee for or on behalf of any governmental taxing authority and paid thereto, (c) and the value of any allowance issued or granted to any customer that is credited by Franchisee in full or partial satisfaction of the price of any services and products offered in connection with the Business.
  2. The “Average Annual Revenues” for the 15 Traditional Franchise Locations is determined by taking the sum of included franchisees Annual Revenues divided by the number by 15. The “Average Annual Revenues” for the 3 Affiliate Locations is determined by taking the sum of the affiliate Annual Revenues divided by the number 3.
  3. “Median” means relating to a value or quantity lying at the midpoint of a frequency distribution of observed values or quantities, such that there is an equal probability of falling above or below it.
  4. The Highest Annual Revenue over the 2018 calendar year for the 15 Traditional Franchise Locations disclosed in Table 1-A was $1,958,528, and the Lowest Annual Revenue for these units was $159,373.
  5. The Highest Annual Revenue over the 2018 calendar year for the 3 Affiliate Locations disclosed in Table 2-B was $637,030, and the Lowest Annual Revenue for these units was $221,003.

FDD Disclaimer: “Table 2-A sets forth certain Revenue and Expense information for these 11 Traditional Franchises for the 2018 calendar year, and Table 2-B sets forth certain Revenue and Expense information for the 3 Affiliate Locations for the 2018 calendar year.”

moving

Notes to Table Two.

  1. “Annual Revenues” is defined as the total gross revenues generated from the 11 Traditional Franchised Locations that were in operation for the entire 2018 calendar year and that submitted the financial information we requested (for purposes of Table 2-A), and the total gross revenues generated from the 3 Affiliate Locations with operations during the entire 2018 calendar year (for purposes of Table 2-B). This includes income from the rental of portable storage and moving containers, deliveries associated with container rental including local moves, container and contents coverage and ancillary moving and storage supplies. Annual Revenues exclude (a) all refunds made in good faith, (b) any sales and equivalent taxes that are collected by a franchisee for or on behalf of any governmental taxing authority and paid thereto, (c) and the value of any allowance issued or granted to any customer that is credited by Franchisee in full or partial satisfaction of the price of any services and products offered in connection with the Business.
  1. “Annual Direct Operating Expense” is defined as the total Expenses (as defined below), the 11 Franchise Locations reported they incurred through their normal business operations. “Expenses” for purposes of Tables 2A and 2B are defined as including the following reported expenses: Cost of Goods Sold (locks, blankets, straps, etc.), Ad Fund Fee, Advertising, Auto Insurance, Auto Repair & Maintenance, Equipment Repair & Maintenance, Fuel, Health Insurance, Lease / Rent for Storage Center, Merchant Bank Card Fees, Payroll Processing Fees, Payroll Taxes, Repair on Containers, Royalty Fee, Uniforms, Utilities, Wages and Workman’s Comp Insurance.
  2. “Annual Gross Profit” is defined by taking “Annual Revenues” and subtracting “Annual Direct Operating Expense”.
  3. “Annual Gross Profit Margin” is defined by taking Annual Gross Profit” and dividing by “Annual Revenues”.
  4. “Average” is determined by taking the sum of the 11 included Traditional Franchises and divided by 11; and for the Affiliate Franchises the sum of the 3 included locations is divided by 3.
  5. “Median” means relating to a value or quantity lying at the midpoint of a frequency distribution of observed values or quantities, such that there is an equal probability of falling above or below it.
  6. “GP Margin Over/Under” reflects the number of locations (for both Traditional and Affiliate) that are over and under the “Average” and the “Median”.

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