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Ontario man turns barns into a high-end storage business with great business plan

CompanyToy Farm Storage
Industry:Transportation and Warehousing
City:Baltimore, Ontario
Amounts: various  Find what funding programs you qualify for

Business concept turns barn into storage facility

When the property down the road came up for sale, Brad Stewart was already familiar with what it had to offer. Originally a farm, the Baltimore, Ontario property had two large barns with a total of 12,000 square feet. One was constructed of concrete block, and the other of wood, and both were insulated, with well-laid concrete floors and finished ceilings. "They're not your average barns," says Stewart. "They're pretty nice." With a good business concept and the help from the Centre for Business Plan Development, Stewart got a professional business plan and is ready to start his business.

Creating a business concept for farm barns

Stewart, who works as a core mould maker at a steel plant, thought the buildings would make great storage facilities for large items, such as cars, boats, snowmobiles and other "seasonal toys". The property also had a residential space he could rent as an apartment. "I saw the potential there, and I had to make a decision," he says. "I decided that I was going to try to make a go of it."

He bought the property, and began to work on the business concept for Toy Farm Storage. Baltimore, between Rice Lake and Lake Ontario, is situated close to a lot of vacation homes and cottages, which made it the perfect market for Stewart's plan. But first, he needed to renovate the buildings, which had become rundown.

The value of a business plan

He also realized the value of a business plan. "I want to explore all my options. I want to take advantage of anything that could potentially help me," he says. He turned to the Centre for Business Plan Development to help get his dreams down on paper in a format that would help him finance and grow the business and he found himself in the midst of a great learning experience.

"It opened my eyes up to the whole process," he says. "And they had some good ideas, actually." Through working with the Centre for Business Plan Development, he found himself considering value-added services, such as shrink-wrapping boats for outdoor storage. "So I learned something from it, and it gave me a little better direction."

Preparing to launch the business

Stewart plans to have Toy Farm Storage ready for business soon. "It's looking pretty good right now. I should have almost the whole building available for indoor storage." But he's holding off on officially launching his business until everything's in place. "I've got to have the place presentable," he says. "It has to look professional." He's also putting in a security system, including video cameras, and he'll install bars on the buildings' windows. "A lot of people have a lot of money and time invested in their boats and cars and stuff like that. And I want them to feel comfortable when they drop them off with me. And I want them to come back to me next year when they want to store their toy".

Imagine how a professionally prepared business plan could help grow your business. For a free consultation, call 1-800-481-8434.

Please note our Centre is not affiliated to programs profiled in the above article and no claim is made that funding is due to our Centre unless stated.
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