Bilting Farm Case Study

After a drop in his existing industry meant Simon Grayson of Bilting Farm needed to explore new revenue streams, he decided to take a dip into the world of self-storage – that’s where we came in to help.


Originally established in the 1930s, Simon’s father took over the mushroom farm in 1978 after the family moved back to the UK from Cyprus. Unfortunately, the industry began to experience difficulties in 2010, leading Simon – who had now taken over – to explore other options. After reading an article about the opportunities in the USA’s storage industry, and conducting his own extensive research, he took the plunge and decided to start a small self-storage business for light and industrial clients on some spare land.


Soon, revenue from the self-store business exceeded any profit the family was making from farming, despite the intensive schedule farming involved, so they took the decision to stop farming and start storing full time. And the rest, as they say, is history.


It would be an understatement to say the business has skyrocketed since Simon made the jump into the industry. Thanks to its great links to the capital, more and more London residents are choosing to store at Simon’s Kent facility when looking for somewhere to house their extra possessions.


He explained: “We started small, growing a pair of containers at a time. We now hold 178 20ft storage containers, plus 30 small container compartments, a range of internal rooms in a building, and some warehouse storage.”


But it wasn’t without hard work. When the self-store business was first established, Simon had to take cash flow, finances, planning permission and other areas into consideration. However, overcoming these, the business was off to a flying start.


Mr Box supplied over 200 containers to Simon and his team in Kent, who then rent them out to private clients and small businesses. These facilities are easy to use, and containers are held in a safe location, providing the perfect place to store your excess items.


Embracing technology, Simon has now made it possible for his customers to easily sign up online to arrange their own containers, and with a fast turnaround they’re ready for use.


“Mr Box offered us integrity, great advice and the staff have been a pleasure to deal with,” said Simon.


“If we have ever had an issue, it’s been dealt with promptly and resolved to our satisfaction. We have great trust in Mr. Box, and we would be very happy to recommend them to other clients looking to set up their own self storage business.”


And Simon’s greatest piece of advice to those considering a move into the self-store industry? “If you take 6-12 boxes, there will be no change in your life whatsoever,” he explained. “Once you start to go above that number it becomes more of a serious business and you will want to start putting more infrastructure in place.


“We have never looked back.”