You Could Be Making MONEY With Your Stuff in Storage TODAY
For those living in hyper-compact cities like San Francisco or New York, you know how hard it is to find enough space for all of the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years.
In order to fit your life into a closet-sized apartment, you either have to sell, stack, or shed belongings. You could also have an inevitably late and unreliable storage company pick up and store your stuff for you for a pretty penny. The options weren’t great…until now.
Introducing Omni, an on-demand storage company launched in 2016 by Pagelime and Feet co-founder, Tom McLeod, that will pick up your extra stuff, store it, and then help you rent it out to others in the area, thereby offsetting your storage costs. The company is still defining its identity and working towards profitability, but it’s services are undeniably attractive, both to consumers and businesses.
Omni Doubles as a Storage Business AND Rental Business
Omni began similarly to other on-demand storage companies like Clutter and Trove. The typical customer experience goes something like this: you tell Omni you want to store a few items, a delivery truck and able bodies come to your place of residence, your items are cataloged and then zipped away to a warehouse where they sit until you call them home.
Here’s where Omni changes it up.
While your items are in storage, they can be rented out to anyone within the Bay Area. Have a tent you only use three months out of the year? Send it to your “closet in the cloud” and rent it to more ambitious campers who will use it when you won’t. Not riding your bike anymore but don’t want to get rid of it? Rent it through Omni until your biking itch returns.
Omni takes care of all deliveries and pickups in exchange for a 50% cut of the rental price set by item owners. That means passive income for owners who don’t have to put in any work. All items are covered by a $2k insurance policy which helps provide some peace of mind to those who won’t see their stuff for long stretches throughout the year.
The rental side of Omni’s business is growing now that its warehouses have ample volume and diverse catalogs. Through this new revenue stream, the company has effectively created a marketing channel AND a way for people to engage with Omni’s brand before actually using the core storage service. Many renters of Omni’s items today do not store items with the company, but a positive rental experience could be all it takes to get people on board.
“Our vision at Omni has always been to create a way to move physical goods frictionlessly…”
Another avenue of growth on the rental side for Omni has been working with other businesses that don’t need to hold inventory at all times. For example, an event planning company might have Omni hold onto event decorations until the actual set-up day comes or an outdoor adventure company might store its summer gear in Omni warehouses to make more room for winter inventory. Although this customer segment isn’t a primary focus right now, it will continue to grow as the company expands across the Bay Area.
One of Omni’s primary selling points is its delivery times. When customers who are storing their items with Omni need something, they can get it back within two-days for free or pay a fee to have it sooner. The fastest delivery time is within two hours which costs $20 to the customer.
On the storage front, Omni’s pricing is set on a per item basis which can be cost effective for those with only a few items to store. Smaller household items like shirts, shoes, and books cost $0.50 per item per month while closed boxes with a variety of items cost $7.50 per box per month.
No Profits Yet, But SOON
Today, Omni has 57 employees and 3 warehouses in the Bay Area with over 100k square feet of storage. In those warehouses sit tens of thousands of items, many of which are available for rent.
To date, Omni has raised over $37M in total capital which will help fund its expansion outside of the Bay Area this year and into many new markets in 2019. The company isn’t profitable yet, but they have reported generous positive gross margins.
Initially, some in the market were skeptical that the Omni model could be successful with making so many deliveries and pick-ups at low costs to the consumer, but now the company has enough volume sitting in warehouses that generate consistent monthly revenues. With the rental side of the business steadily growing, the company can start to turn some profit in the near future.
Omni’s Plan: Build a Solid Business FIRST, Differentiate SECOND
With Omni, we see a great example of a company that built a familiar infrastructure but then added a key differentiating element to its business. Omni’s rental platform is helping it stand apart from the others like Clutter and Trove who focus solely on storing items. Additionally, Omni is pulling from the Uber and Airbnb playbook by offering customers a chance to make some passive income as long as they are willing to make their assets available to others.
This Untold Business is a reminder that you don’t necessarily need a game-changing service on day one to get in the game and be successful. Building a solid business that mimics what others are doing is okay, provided that the market isn’t already oversaturated. THEN, differentiate your offering and see what happens. Before investing all of your time, energy, and resources into an idea people haven’t seen before, get their attention with something they recognize…and then blow their minds! If you have belongings taking up valuable living space, try storing and renting with Omni. You are a short app download away from making a few extra bucks with your stuff that is currently collecting dust!
June 11, 2018| By Chris Fruci- Untold Business Writer