June 20, 2014
New York City is known as “The City that Never Sleeps,” and if you ask anyone who lives in the Big Apple, they’ll also tell you that it’s a “city of small apartments and crowded rooms.” Even city-dwellers who are creative with space still might not have enough room to store all of their items.
Enter UrBin. It’s on-demand storage for people living in New York City and parts of New Jersey, but it’s not using the traditional storage model. Similar to most entrepreneurs, CEO and Co-Founder of urBin, Josh Ernst says he came up with the idea from his own problem.
“When I moved here I was in a tiny apartment and wanted to get a storage unit for my things and it was such a pain just to even find and move into the storage unit,” says Ernst. “Forget about trying to get my stuff, the last thing I wanted to do was to spend my night after I got off at 11 o’clock or my weekends to go to this storage unit and get my things back.”
Ernst who is originally from Dallas, Texas thought about potential solutions to his problem, and realized he could improve the current storage options available to people in big cities.
“I think the time is right for someone – hopefully us – to innovate the antiquated business that is storage,” says Ernst.
How Does urBin Work?
urBin uses an easy 3-step storage process. Here’s what first time users should know according to their site:
- Simple Sign up: users sign up online and then can fill up their bins. Ernst says “we drop off empty storage bins to customers homes, departments, offices, and they take their time packing and filling them and then they lock them on site.”
- Storage that comes to you: urBin comes to your doorstep to pick up your storage. You don’t have to worry about going across town with big boxes in a large city – they do the hard work for you.
- Easy online retrieval: Ernst says customers let them know through a couple of clicks on the website when they need their storage back home.
- urBin also lets you store larger items such as furniture, bikes and larger possessions, according to their site.
While safety might be a concern to some users, urBin has a 24 hour surveillance facility and people can use their own locks.
“Everything is locked by you before it ever leaves your apartment so you can use one of your own locks or one of ours and you keep the key, whatever is easy,” says Ernst.
The Future of Storage and UrBin
The storage market is showing no signs of slowing down. Ernst says roughly 1 in 10 households uses storage, and he’s glad that people are willing to use a non-traditional model like urBin.
“One thing that we are excited about is that our customers never considered to do the traditional storage because it was such a pain, but because our process was so seamless and hassle-free they were happy to sign up,” says Ernst.
The urBin team has the opportunity to get a large piece of the market, and they’ve already thought about expanding to other cities such as Philadelphia and D.C.
“We want to stay around urban areas obviously where apartment living and crowded spaces are more prevalent and people don’t necessarily have access to transportation,which is huge and one of the big things our customers loves about us,” says Ernst.
Advice For Young Entrepreneurs
Ernst says he’s learned a lot about himself through the challenges of running a business.
“It’s about keeping the right attitude and having the perseverance,” says Ernst. “The day-to-day up and downs are so much more dramatic than I even thought they would be,” says Ernst. “Knowing that that’s going to be the case, just trying to keep a level head and take it day-by-day.”
The 27-year-old CEO, who previously worked on Wall Street, says young entrepreneurs should “go for it” and be confident in a running a business, but should also be prepared.
“Don’t be scared, there’s not time like the present,” says Ernst who attended the University of Texas at Austin. “But also if you are going to go for it, do your work, and do your research.”
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